p.2 To the Editor of the Patriot
St. Catherines, 11th Sept., 1841.
Sir, - You will no doubt hear of the attempt made on Thursday night last to destroy
Lock No. 37 on the Welland Canal, and it is as well you "should hear it correctly."
Three strangers were seen loitering about Allanburgh (where the Lock is situated,) on Thursday afternoon, the 9th inst. One of them, a young man decently dressed, was asked by a shopkeeper (where he bought a pocket bottle,) whether he was a travelling - he said no, but that he belonged to a schooner then lying in the Canal near the village; nothing therefore was suspected and no one was thinking of injury to the Canal, when about 11 o'clock a tremendous explosion was heard, and it was immediately ascertained that one of the head gates of the upper Lock at Allanburgh was completely destroyed, - very fortunately - [this being an important point on the Canal] - a guard Lock had been erected about 50 feet above the injured Lock - the Gates of which closed almost immediately after the explosion, from the force of the current caused by the water rushing into the level below, and thus preventing the whole body of water above, from descending into the Canal and the surrounding country, and causing most extensive damage to both.
It appears that two kegs of gunpowder, containing 25 lbs. each, were sunk by means of a sand bag, at the head of the Lock - having 3/4 inch lead tubes, fitted into the head of the
kegs, - through this tube, patent fuse was inserted so as to reach the powder and then ignite. Only one of the kegs I think exploded, the other was found with the head out, but not otherwise broken.
The damage was repaired by mid-day on Friday, as we keep spare gates, ready for use, always on hand.
The intention of the miscreants was no doubt, to cause a serious interruption to the steady and increasing business now doing on the Welland Canal - in this, they failed, though the attempt was a bold one, and well calculated to effect their object.
The public may rest assured that all proper vigilance and precaution will be used on the part of the Company will be used on the part of the Company, to prevent any further attempt being made to injure the Canal during the remainder of the season.
Superintendent Welland Canal.
p.S. The powder keg was marked "New York," and the tube and fuse such as we buy in Bufalo.
p.3 Sudden Death - Thomas Waugh a Sailor on board H.M.S. Niagara fell down in a fit of apoplexy on Tuesday last on board the ship and expired. An inquest was held on the body on Wednesday, when the jury returned a verdict, "that the said Thomas Waugh came to his death by the visitation of God." [Chronicle of Saturday]