(from original at Queen's University - Special Collections; Vol. 1 No. XX)
CAPTAIN SANDOM AND HIS OFFICERS.
The long talked of action brought by Bray against Captain Sandom, for an arbitrary exercise of his authority, was tried at the District Assizes, on Saturday last, the damages being laid at £1000.The close argument of Mr. McDonald, who with Mr. Kirkpatrick and Mr. Benson had been retained by the Plaintiff, was the subject of general admiration, but his closing reply was one not only of close reasoning, and apposite citation of cases bearing on the subject, but of much fervid eloquence. The counsel for the defendant were the Attorney General West, (Mr. Baldwin,) and Mr. Smith the Member for Frontenac. Both these gentlemen exerted themselves to make the best of their client's case, but the determining point of law being against them, the Jury, after having been charged at length by the Head of the Bench (Mr. Justice Jones) gave a verdict of £50 which certainly was, in our estimation, and according to the evidence adduced, ample remuneration for the injury sustained.
But while we acquit Captain Sandom of that excessively tyrannous conduct towards the plaintiff with which he has been charged, we regret that his manner, since the trial, has not been such as to afford a refutation to the reports of his undue strictness towards those placed under his command, which have been so generally entertained and circulated. It is said that, immediately after the termination of the trial, (at which, by the bye, was present almost every commissioned and petty officer of the dock-yard, marines as well as sailors) he ordered, as an annoyance to many of those whom he had reason to believe pleased that a verdict had been given against him, the Traveller to be got under weigh for a "cruise," and furthermore directed that the gates of the dock-yard should be hermetically closed - all egress and ingress being peremptorily prohibited. Strange as it may appear this latter order proved of serious inconvenience to Sir Charles Bagot - in what manner however, we do not choose to explain.
And while upon the subject of dock-yard restriction, and dock-yard tyranny, we feel that it is but an act of justice due to a set of gallant and ill used men, to expose and denounce the humiliation to which Captain Sandom has long been in the habit of subjecting his officers namely, causing each and all of them, without any exception, to leave their names at the dock-yard gate, whenever they might choose to pass the precincts of the "sanctuary." That Captain Sandom may justify this outrage upon the feelings of the gentlemen who are amenable to his authority (and among these we include the gallant Captain Collis of the Marines, who has spent a long life in the service, and who recently battled for and won honor and distinctions at the siege of Acre) upon the plea that his stone building was placed by himself upon the footing and regulations of a man-of-war, we are prepared to expect; but we contend that, beyond that of his simple will, he has no right to promulgate such an order, or to establish such a regulation. We very much doubt if the Admiralty would countenance this system, were a formal and general complaint to be made by the officers, all of whom we know look upon this species of surveillance of their actions as an act of arbitrary power. But, be that as it may, the harshness of the proceeding is not less manifest. How, for instance, (to cite, in example, those who are in the barrack opposite to the dock-yard) would the officers of that corps feel or act, should their Colonel take it into his head to desire that no officer should leave the square without first writing his name down in a book, kept for the purpose at the gate, which book should be frequently taken to him during the day, in order to be submitted lo his inspection. Were such a course to be adopted by a commanding officer in the army, his stay in the Regiment, with any comfort to himself, would be of short continuance. The cases are parallel. The dock yard is nothing more or less than a barrack for seamen and marines, nor should it be considered in any other light. As for the idea of putting a house on the same footing with a ship, when there are nearly half a dozen ships in the harbor,it is too absurd for notice. Mr. Justice Jones himself could not refrain from remarking pleasantly, several times during the trial, on the singular fiction which endowed with the title and attributes of a ship, an unwieldy stone building. We had looked for some remarks upon the "Admiralty house" as well, but these were spared, only because it did not happen to be introduced.
Since writing the above, we perceive that the Traveller has been out again puffing her black smoke in dense clouds, and this naturally suggests a question. Is the coal consumed in these punishment "cruises" paid for out of Captain Sandom's private purse, or is it charged to the Government? We understood retrenchment was to be studied in the dock yard, and yet a vast amount of coal must have been burnt within the last few days, without any seeming public object in view. If it had been used to try the speed and working of the Cherokee and Mohawk it might have well, but the Traveller only was out towing the Montreal - for what purpose no one knows.
In offering the above remarks we are influenced by two considerations - firstly, because the last British Whig contains such a vindication of Captain Sandom's conduct as would lead one, ignorant of the facts we have stated, to imagine that his officers and men have no well-founded cause for complaint against one to whom the article attributes so much of the milk of human kindness; and secondly, because we trust that our comments on Captain Sandom's extreme rigor and want of proper consideration for the feelings of his officers, all of whom are gentlemen, and highly susceptible of the slight which is put upon them, but which the imperious rules of the service precludes them from resenting, will have the effect of softening down the asperity of feeling and conduct at present entertained and manifested by that officer during his continuance in the command of these Lakes.
FOR MONTREAL DIRECT.
The Low Pressure Steam-Boat
Robert Gilpin, Master,
Will leave Greer's wharf, Kingston, every
Tuesday afternoon at 2 o'clock.,
Gananoque do. 5 do.
Brockville do. 11 do.
Prescott and Ogdensburgh, Wednesday morning, 3 o'clock.
Cornwall 9 o'clock,
and arrive at Montreal same evening, stopping at Coteau du Lac and Beauharnois Canal.
Will leave H. Jones & Co.'s store, Canal Wharf, Montreal, every Thursday afternoon at 6 o'clock, Lachine every Friday morning early, arriving at Bytown every Saturday, which place she will leave immediately for Kingston.
This boat is propelled by one of Messrs. Ward & Co.'s superior angular engines, and is one of the fastest boats making the trip to and from Montreal. She is fitted up with comfortable Cabins, manned by an obliging Captain, an experienced Pilot, and careful crew. Every attention will be paid to the comfort and convenience of passengers. Apply to
H. & S.Jones, or
J.H. Greer, Agt., Kingston.
H. & S. Jones & Co., Brockville.
H. Jones & Co., Montreal.
Kingston, May, 1843.
Lake Ontario, 1843
The Steam Packet
Captain C. Burns,
Will, during the season, ply between Kingston, Oswego, Wellington, Cobourg, Port Hope, Bond Head Harbor, Port Darlington, Whitby, Toronto and Hamilton, as follows:
To leave Kingston every Monday at 8 o'clock, A.M., Oswego, 7 o'clock, P.M., and on Tuesday call at Wellington, Cobourg, Port Hope, Bond Head Harbor, Port Darlington, and Whitby, arriving at Toronto the same night. Leaving Toronto for Hamilton on Wednesday at 6 o'clock A.M., touching at Port Credit and Oakville.
To leave Hamilton every Wednesday evening, Toronto at 7 o'clock A.M., calling at Whitby, Port Darlington, Bond Head Harbor, Port Hope, Cobourg, and Wellington, and arrive at Oswego on Friday morning.
Will leave Oswego the same evening, after the arrival of the boats from Syracuse, and reach Kingston on Saturday morning, in time for the Steam Packets for Montreal, via the St. Lawrence and Rideau and Ottawa Canals.
Agents and References.
Gunn & Browne, Hamilton,
James Brown, Geo. Urquhart, Toronto,
John Welsh, Whitby,
W. Mitchell, Port Darlington,
F. Clarks, Bond Head Harbor,
W. Henderson, Port Hope,
W.H. Kittson, Cobourg,
A. McFaul, Thos. McKeever, Wellington,
Bronson & Crocker, Oswego,
John H. Greer, Kingston.
Kingston, May 5th, 1843
Royal Mail Steamers
The Public are informed that the following are the Arrangements for this Season:
Between Kingston and Toronto
Princess Royal, Colcleugh; Sovereign, Elmsley; City of Toronto, Dick:
From Kingston, at 7 o'clock Evening - Monday and 8 Thursday, Princess Royal,
From Kingston, at 8 o'clock Evening - Tuesday and Friday, Sovereign,
From Kingston, at 8 o'clock Evening - Wednesday and Saturday, City of Toronto,
- and arrive at Toronto early next day.
From Toronto, at 12 o'clock Noon - Monday and Thursday, Sovereign,
From Toronto, at 1 1/2 o'clock P.M. - Tuesday and 12 o'clock Noon Friday, City of Toronto,
From Toronto, at 12 o'clock Noon - Wednesday and Saturday, Princess Royal,
- and arrive at Kingston, early next morning.
The above Steamers call at Cobourg and Port Hope each way.
Kingston, May 1st, 1843.