The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), May 27, 1834

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p.2 Trade of Detroit - From the 29th of April to the 5th of May, inclusive, there were ten arrivals at Detroit, of steamboats, laden with every species of merchandize, besides 10 schooners and sloops. Among the steam-boats, we observe the Major Jack Downing, and another called Andrew Jackson. [N.Y. Comm. Advertiser]

Steam-Boat United States - Without disparagement to the numerous boats which float upon the waters of the St. Lawrence and Ontario, it is but justice to the enterprising proprietors and urbane commander, as well as the other officers who are connected with in the management of this splendid vessel, to say that she has no superior on these waters, either as a safe sea boat, for speed, or in her accommodations afforded to passengers on board. If any further evidence of the truth of these assertions was required then the high character she attained during the last season, it would be found in the circumstance that transpired during the last trip of this boat. Though out in more boisterous and rough weather than is often experienced on the lakes, she was as perfectly manageable and secure as heart could wish. The most timid felt themselves as safe as in their own dwellings, and exposed as they were to the same dangers, their anxiety was felt alone for those who were embarked on the more frail vessels on the lake.

On her downward passage she left Lewiston on Friday morning at 2 o'clock, and arrived at Ogdensburgh on Saturday afternoon at half past one o'clock, making the whole voyage, a distance of 325 miles including stoppages at Genesee River, Oswego, Sackett's Harbor, Kingston, French Creek, Alexandria Bay and Brockville, in thirty-five and a half hours. She was but two hours and forty-nine minutes in running from Alexandria Bay to Ogdensburgh, a distance of 36 miles.

As a fact illustrative of the comparative speed of the United States with some of the boats on the Lake we might mention that the William Avery left Alexandria Bay nearly or quite half an hour before the United States, but that she was more than a mile from Brockville when the States arrived there; showing that the States must have gained on the Avery at least five miles in going twenty-four. [St. Lawrence Republican]

p.3 Rideau Canal - Since our last, nearly two hundred emigrants have arrived from Montreal via Bytown. The Thomas McKay arrived on Friday fully loaded, and two barges in tow of the Enterprize as far as Long Falls, came on Monday. The latter in consequence of some accident to the machinery of the steam-boat, came from the falls by themselves without difficulty. The Thomas McKay, fully loaded and having barges in tow, left for Bytown on Monday.

By private letters we are given to understand, that the most industrious means are being daily used in Montreal to prejudice the minds of passengers against the Bytown route. We trust that efforts of the press will be made to counteract the designs of interested individuals.

Since the above was written, we have seen the Montreal Gazette of the 22nd ult. containing a letter apparently written by some one connected with the St. Lawrence forwarding route, signed a "Friend to fair competition," reflecting heavily upon the British Whig for having stated as a fact, that Mr. Yarker of this town, received 15 tons of goods via the Rideau Canal, five days from Montreal. We quote the following:

"The paragraph in question is evidently calculated to mislead, and I have the authority of a highly respectable merchant recently from Kingston, for stating that the Editor of the Whig knew it was not true, that goods had reached Kingston, per Rideau Canal, in "five days from Montreal," and that he stated, in presence of my informant, that it was necessary to bolster the Rideau route by lessening the time."

We feel not the slightest hesitation in pronouncing the whole of the above, a wicked and deliberate falsehood. We gave the fact precisely as it was related to us by Mr. Yarker, and have no recollection of having alluded to the circumstance in any conversation, either before or after publication. The Rideau Canal wants no bolstering. If in our accounts of its trade, we have made errors, we have been unconscious of the same until after publication, and have never stated upon any occasion as facts, matters upon which we had any doubt. The Gazette's informant must therefore have told a wilful falsehood, or was grossly imposed upon by his "highly respectable merchant from Kingston." With respect to the time these goods of Mr. Yarker's were on their passage, we have reason to believe that we stated the truth; that gentleman however being temporarily absent, we have not yet communicated with him upon the subject. We have however the authority of Mr. T. Hardy, another Hardware merchant, to say, that he left Montreal on the Wednesday before last, and arrived in Kingston, on the Sunday following, bringing with between two and three tons of heavy goods. Mr. Drummond, the Agent, also has commissioned us to state, that he has repeatedly during the present season delivered goods in this town, that have been considerably less than five days on their passage from Montreal. We trust the Montreal Gazette will notice this explanation.

Steam-boat Accident - We last week mentioned that the Cobourg broke her shaft. Today we have to record the same misfortune happening to the William IV shortly after leaving the port of Kingston on Sunday evening. She returned during the night, and most of her passengers (of which she had on board nearly 400) proceeded next morning on their journey in the United States.

The Steam Boat Kingston left this harbor on Friday morning at 10 o'clock for the Head of the Lake, filled with emigrants, and proceeded to Cobourg, Toronto, Hamilton, Niagara and Lewiston, and returned to this port on Monday afternoon about three o'clock, making one of the speediest trips round the Lake ever yet performed. She left Kingston this morning for the same route loaded as before with emigrants.

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May 27, 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 27, 1834