The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), May 20, 1834

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To the Editor of the Montreal Gazette.

During the past week the character of this interesting place has begun to develop itself. Our steamers have commenced their summer work; and other signs have shewn themselves clearly demonstrating the fallacy of that prediction so industriously spread by some, namely, "that Bytown would cease to be a place of importance when the Rideau was completed," and clearly shewing it is from its locality, fitted to be the centre of a great and important trade.

Our old friend the Shannon, under the command of the public favourite Capt. Kains, has made several trips from Grenville to Bytown. In one of the last she brought two loaded barges in tow, which had passed through the locks of the Grenville Canal. The public are indebted to the exertions of Capt. Haynes, who has been in charge of the works on this last place, for the removal of this obstruction, so long an impediment in the route between Montreal and Bytown.

On the 1st, the steamer Rideau, with her enterprising proprietor, Robert Drummond, Esq. on board, a full cargo and two barges heavily laden in tow, reached this place from Kingston, via Rideau Canal. Previous to opening this canal to the public it had been inspected by Captain Bolton, Commanding Engineer, and from his report, as well as that of others who have passed through it the whole works on the line are said to be in excellent condition for service. Besides several passengers in the cabin of the Rideau, there were a number of families on deck, who disembarked at different points on the line, for settlement or to join their friends already settled in the interior. Her cargo among a great variety of articles, comprised 95 bbls. potashes, about 90 bbls. containing beer cider and whiskey, a number of barrels of pork, hams, cheese, and other articles in the provision line. The two barges in tow contained above 3000 bushels of wheat for Mr. McKay's mills at New Edinburgh. It deserves to be further noticed that the steamer left Bytown on her return to Kingston, with a cargo of merchandize for that place and the intermediate stations on the line.

It is stated there will be no less than five steamers on this Canal during the present season, and now that the obstructions at Grenville are removed, when the lower rate of freight, superior accommodations and greater expedition which this route possesses over that by the St. Lawrence are taken into consideration, there can be no doubt there will be sufficient employment for that number of boats. The proprietors are confident of their expectations in this way being realized, and are using every exertion to prepare for the coming emigration season, and to direct a share of the carrying trade by this line. It was to make arrangements to this effect that Mr. Cushing, an agent for the Ottawa line, had a late meeting with Robert Drummond, Esq. in the same character for the Rideau line, at Bytown.

Among the numerous superior advantages the Ottawa route holds forth over that of the other, the following are not the least important. An examination of their different advertisements, will at a glance show the lesser freight by the Ottawa. The merchant has here another advantage, the total absence of risk on the latter line (there being no rapids) supercedes the necessity of insurance and saves him that. Now that no delay occurs at Grenville, they propose to run from Montreal to Kingston and the Rideau Canal in four days. Expedition in consequence is always a main object to the carriers of freight or passengers, and when the latter takes into consideration that by the Ottawa route, there are none of the vexatious detentions arising from shipping and re-shipping, they will not hesitate to give it the preference. To those engaged in the lumber trade this route has many advantages, while the Quebec and Montreal merchants can bring their provisions by the Rideau Canal in summer, have them stored at Bytown, and from thence issued to the shantees above in winter. The freight from Montreal is thus saved to the consumer; and the risk and insurance down the St. Lawrence is saved to the merchant, admitting the freight from Kingston down by this last route was equal to that by the Rideau Canal to Bytown. An equal saving to the lumber-man will be made upon the flour he uses. The extensive mills at New Edinburgh near Bytown, the property of Thomas McKay, Esq. will manufacture an abundant supply of this article for the trade, and from these the lumber-man can get his supplies without paying the freight from Montreal to that place. Under all these circumstances, added to Bytown's local position in the centre of a country rapidly settling, and so forming the only market for the disposal of the surrounding settlers' industry or the purchase of their wants, no one acquainted with it will withhold their assent to its promising fair to be at no distant period, a city second to none in Canada in point of commerce. Yours, etc.

An Ottawa Settler.

Bytown, May 3rd, 1834.

Port Hope and Rice Lake Canal - a railroad might be cheaper. [Reformer]

Steamboats - We are sorry to hear that a rivalry among our steam-boats is taking a very dangerous direction. Heavy sums, we learn have been put down as a stake between the Great Britain and Brockville; and that a second race is expected to take place. We are only desirous of knowing which is the winner, as a very good reason for shunning the boat, - when proprietors of boats hope to obtain public patronage by exposing their passengers to the loss of life and property - they should be taught a bitter lesson. Every prudent person must set his face against a practice which in the United States has produced so much danger and damage. As we are on the subject of steam-boats, we are glad to find that the unhappy dispute among the proprietors of the Cobourg steam-boat has been adjusted; and that this beautiful vessel for the first time made her appearance at our wharf on Tuesday last. We wish her enterprising proprietors all possible success. [Reformer]

p.3 Steam Boat Thames - Our readers will perceive that the Steam Boat Thames is advertised to run between Port Stanley and Chippewa, during the ensuing Season. As she is an excellent Sea Boat, has first rate accommodation for passengers, and Capt. Van Allan is well known for his urbanity of manners and attention to the convenience of his passengers, travellers and others who wish to visit this part of Canada, will no doubt prefer her to any other mode of conveyance. [The Liberal]

By the latest accounts from Oswego, we are sorry to learn, that the steamer Oswego has not been got off the sand bank.

more on detention of steam-boat United States at Kingston - opinion of [N.Y. Comm. Advertiser]

The resources and advantages of the Rideau Canal are more and more developing themselves to the inhabitants of Kingston, who at last begin to appreciate the benefits that must accrue to the town from proper encouragement being paid to its trade. On Sunday, the Enterprize arrived from Bytown having one or more barges in tow, full of Emigrants and goods, and bringing herself 24 cabin passengers. Mr. T. Hardy, ironmonger of Kingston, who came by her, left Montreal on Wednesday with goods which came from Liverpool by a vessel that sailed on the 7th ult. which goods being delivered in Kingston on the 18th, gives only 40 days passage to Upper Canada. He speaks in high terms of the excellency & safety of the route throughout the whole distance, and describes the conduct of the conductors of the Steam Boats and Barges, as most accommodating and obliging.

Of the superiority of the Rideau Canal, as a means of conveyance to this Province, over the St. Lawrence no doubt can now be entertained. Emigrants can come all the way in decked and covered barges, without being obliged to walk part of the way as is too often the case on the other route. They also come much quicker, and therefore at less expense. Goods by the same mode of conveyance are brought in packages entire, without bulk being broken, and without risk of damage or loss, whereby the expense of insurance is avoided. And as the rates of freight are now reduced, (see advertisement) they also come cheaper than by the St. Lawrence. We have copied an article from a Montreal paper on this subject, to which we invite the attention of our readers.



The Steam-Boat


(Propelled by two powerful low-pressure Engines,)

W.W. Sherman, Master,

Having had her Cabins and accommodations altered and improved during the winter, will, during the season, (unless notice is given to the contrary) (sic) Ogdensburgh to Rochester, (Genesee River) leaving the different Ports as follows:


Ogdensburgh, every Saturday at 5 a.m.

Kingston, " Sunday at 7 a.m.

Sacket's Harbor do. 2 p.m.

Oswego, do. 9 p.m.

Arrive at Rochester 8 o'clock Monday morning.


Rochester, every Monday at 9 p.m.

Oswego, " Tuesday at 5 p.m.

Sacket's Harbor, Wednesday 2 a.m.

Kingston, do. 7 a.m.

And arrive in Ogdensburgh the same evening.

Touching at Morristown, Brockville, Alexandria Bay and French Creek, on her trips both up and down.

May 12th, 1834.

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May 20, 1834
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Rick Neilson
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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British Whig (Kingston, ON), May 20, 1834