The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), Nov. 25, 1834

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No. 2 (part)

....We had barely got on board the steamboat, moored safely at Drummond's Wharf. This was about six o'clock in the evening, on the 6th inst., and the third bell was ringing.

One of the most exciting scenes in a quiet Canadian town or village is the arrival or departure of a large steamboat. The crowds of passengers anxious to get on shore, the crowds of men of business and of idlers anxious to get on board, the shipping and unshipping of goods and luggage, the carters attending with their teams, the runners from the various hotels attending with their impertinent officiousness, the noise by blowing off steam drowning the exclamations, vociferations and oaths of the happy and disappointed - together joined, form a scene of tumult and rudeness, to be surpassed only in Bedlam or Billinsgate. There was the usual proportion of bustle and business in the St. George's departure from Kingston on this memorable occasion; the last bell had done ringing; the last rope was cast off, the engine had already made several revolutions, when a piteous cry was heard from the wharf. It proceeded from a middle-aged man, evidently from the land of cockaigne, loaded with a basket of provisions and a suspicious looking bottle under his arm, who though almost exhausted by over exertion, still made shift to bawl with all his remaining force - "Stop the engine, I vants to come on board." "Too late," was the pilot's laconic reply. "But my vife's on board," shouted the Londoner. "You must follow her," answered the pilot. "I arn't got no money, my vife keeps all the cash," was the desponding response of the unfortunate wight. There was no withstanding this appeal, so the Captain taking compassion upon his forlorn condition, put back the vessel and took the applicant from the wharf, who the moment he got on board, received a lesson of another kind from his meek helpmate, rendering it highly problematical whether or not, a benefit had been conferred upon him by his admission.

When a vessel leaves port, it is fashionable for all passengers, who aspire to be 'comme il faut,' to be seen pacing with rapid strides, its promenade or quarter deck, as the case may be. 'Out of the fashion, out of the world' is a maxim as applicable to the woods and wilds of Canada, as to the 'salons' of Paris, or the drawing rooms of London. No wonder then, that we speedily found ourselves ambulating by the side of a gouty though intelligent fellow traveller, on the deck of the St. George. Amusing ourselves by responding to his interrogatories, time insensibly passed, and the shades of night fell thickly while the swift vessel dashing the billows from her bow, and cleaving the troubled lake, had already made the town loom in the distance like a mighty monster of the imagination. Before the receding shores were totally obscured by darkness, the eye of the stranger rested for a few seconds upon the lofty Penitentiary, which embossomed in the woods like the horrid Upas Tree, is doomed to spread its baneful influence over the surrounding country. Ten minutes put him in possession of the facts of this nefarious scheme to annihilate the wealth and commerce of the second town of the province, and no sooner was the slight narration ended, than abruptly ending the conversation, he hobbled down the stairway, exclaiming as he went, "be these your Canada tricks, I'm for the States."

The land excavation of the Desjardins Canal is now completed, basin and all. The future operations to render it navigable will be directed to dredging a channel through the marsh or shallow water between Burlington Heights and Coot's Paradise, which under the exertions of the spirited President will, in all probability, be completed next season. [Hamilton Free Press]

p.3 Notice - The Thomas McKay steamboat did not arrive, as was expected, and consequently was not sold, as advertised, on the 21st. inst. There will be due notice given of her arrival, and the time of sale. Kingston, 22nd November, 1834.

An accident occurred on board the Steam-boat Thomas McKay at Bytown, on the 17th inst. In returning from McKay's Mills, to the place where the steamboat now lies moored outside the Locks, one of the hands by name Charles Flood, fell overboard, and before assistance could be procured, unfortunately sunk to rise no more. His remains were found the next day.

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Nov. 25, 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), Nov. 25, 1834