The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), April 30, 1836

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p.2 The different Forwarding Companies are now actively engaged in preparing for the summer's business. Two barges have been very neatly fitted up with cabins, as canal packets, by the Ottawa and Rideau Company, to run between Carillon and Grenville, a distance of 12 miles. They are intended only for passengers who will find them much more comfortable than the stages heretofore in use. [Montreal Herald]


Since our last impression Kingston harbor has been swarming alive with vessels of every description. On Friday morning the Kingston made the first departure for Prescott, followed on Saturday by the Great Britain, and on Sunday by the Sir James Kempt. On Sunday the William IV came up from below, followed by the United States on Tuesday, the Gt. Britain and Brockville on Wednesday, the St. George on Thursday and the Bay boats on their regular days. On Wednesday evening the Oswego arrived from Sacketts, and a whole fleet of schooners and smaller vessels have arrived and departed during the past week. Owing to the quantity of ice remaining in the Lower Gap, all the lake boats were ice bound until Wednesday morning, when with much difficulty they got away. On Thursday the St. George was detained in harbor all day, by the quantity of drift ice making its way down channel. The ice in the Bay of Quinte being permanent, (as late as Thursday,) none of the Bay boats have as yet ventured above Kingston.

Of the steam vessels that have visited the port, we have just space and time to say a few words.

The William 4th we have not yet visited. - The master of this vessel chose last season to array himself against the "British Whig," and to threaten, as the Yankees say, "almighty grand." We are not aware of any particular benefits accruing to the stockholders of a steam packet, by the Captain's squabbling with the conductor of a public journal. Probably Capt. Hillier has different ideas upon this subject.

The Brockville is a gallant vessel, and we wish she was owned in Kingston, that we might, consistently with fealty to our townspeople, espouse her interest. Her cabin is between 80 and 90 feet long and is splendidly furnished; her Ladies' apartments are equally capacious and elegant, and the whole accommodations on board are of the most superior description. She is a fast vessel, and provided she is not too large for some of the ports of the Bay, will be a decided acquisition to the Bay of Quinte. Capt. Hugh Calder, late of the Kingston, has the command this year. Of this gentleman's qualifications for his situation we need not say much. He was more than usually successful in the Kingston, and became extremely popular with all classes. His urbanity (we have some idea this is the fourth time this year we have made use of this expression in reference to Captains of Steamboats, ) and general attention to the interests of his employers, have created a powerful impression in his favor, and backed as the Brockville is reported to be by the Bay folks, we make no question, but she will do a great business. With respect to her assumption of the days of the Kingston, we have before hazarded the opinion that she is in the wrong, and we see no reason to change. One boat must give way should the ruinous contest take place, and surely it would be better to give way at once, than after a month's delay. The Brockville ought to yield.

The St. George is so well known to the people of Kingston, that it seems mere verbiage to name her at all. This safe and excellent sailing steam packet has passed into the hands of the Messrs. Jones & Co. of Brockville, and will this season make the complete tour of the Lake, leaving Prescott on Wednesdays, and touching at Brockville, Kingston, Oswego, Cobourg, Toronto and Niagara, (see advertisement) and return in the same order. Capt. Harper, R.N. retains the command, and under his able guidance, the St. George has every prospect of a busy and profitable season.

The United States although an American vessel, is so British in her management and conduct, that we always hail her approach to Kingston, with truly national feelings. She is this year in full feather, being furnished with elegant magnificence, and painted and decorated in a manner peculiar to herself. Without derogation to other steamboats, we cannot help considering the United States as one of the most superior vessels navigating Lake Ontario, and all who have travelled in her, will cheerfully accord with this opinion. Capt. Van Cleve continues in command, and the announcement is sufficient in itself to ensure the same attention to the comfort and safety of all on board, as has always distinguished the United States. A lamentable event occurred on board, on her passage to Kingston. A Mr. Rollin Church, of Ogdensburg, who was emigrating to the West with his family, was found dead in his berth on the boat's nearing Kingston. The deceased had gone to bed in his usual health and spirits, and as the body was immediately sent home to Ogdensburg for interment, the causes of his death have not been ascertained by a post mortuam examination .

The Oswego having left the Wharf before we could hasten on board, we must defer our notice until next week.

Several of the barges belonging to the Ottawa and Rideau Forwarding Company have left this place for Montreal, via the St. Lawrence.

So long a time often occurs between the writing and the publishing of articles on the weather, as to need correction in their details. The ice in the Bay of Quinte has come down in sufficient quantities to admit the passage of steamboats. The Kingston and Sir James went upwards on Friday.

p.3 The Rideau Canal - According to the latest accounts, this Canal will be opened for the public accommodation in the course of next week. The ice is out of the great Cataraqui as far as Bell's Island and probably further up. The works along the line are in excellent order, and we know of no interruption in the navigation. Some difficulty occurred last week at the Kingston Mills Locks, which was overcome by the prompt and kind assistance of James Matthewson, Esq., of Brewers Mills, who with a gang of 50 of his lumberers came down expressly to Kingston Mills. We have not heard the nature of the difficulty, although, probably, it was to pump the water out of the locks. Speaking of Mr. Matthewson puts us in mind of stating to the freeholders of Frontenac, that it will be to that gentleman they must look up, as a faithful constitutional representative, in the place of Mr. Shibley.

Novel Mode of Obtaining Health - exercise in pully-hauling the Barges of the River Forwarders over the Rapids in the River St. Lawrence is touted as being good for restoring health. The Whig editor thinks it is a trick to coerce emigrants to labor in the forwarder's vocation. (refers to article in Montreal Gazette. )

We were in error in stating, that the steamboat Commodore Barrie is to be greatly patronized by the Ottawa & Rideau Forwarding Company. She will receive, in turn with other boats, her fair share of patronage but no more. It is not the intention of the Company to create enemies, by any unfair preference of the interests of any particular vessel.

The steamboat Canada is purchased for the Oswego and Kingston waters. She will ply between the two towns making a trip to each every day. Arrangements are not yet perfected, although it is said she will be half-owned in each place.

The Black Hawk has been newly named the Dolphin, and sold to the Messrs. Jones, at Brockville. She will ply this season between Prescott and the head of the Longue Sault.


The Steam-Boat


Capt. J. Van Cleve,

Commencing on the 18th of April, will until 1st June,

Leave Ogdensburgh every Monday evening.

Leave Sacket's Harbor every Tuesday noon, for Lewiston and Niagara, touching at the intermediate ports as heretofore.

N.B. Horses and freight taken upon as reasonable terms as by any other Boat.

Superior accommodations for deck passengers.


Lake Ontario.

The Steam-boat


Lieut. Harper, R.N. Commander.

Propelled by a low pressure engine and Schooner-rigged, will on the opening of Navigation commence her regular trips, from Prescott to Oswego, Hamilton and Niagara as follows, viz.:-


Will leave Prescott for Niagara on Wednesday evening, after the arrival of the Steam Boat Dolphin, connected with the Montreal line of Steam Boats and Stages, touching at Brockville and French Creek.

Kingston, Thursday Morning.

Oswego, Thursday evening, after the arrival of the Canal Boats.

Cobourg and Port Hope, Friday Morning.

Toronto, Saturday Morning, at 6 o'clock.

Hamilton, on Saturday afternoon and arrive at Niagara on the same evening.


Will leave Niagara, Monday morning at 2 o'clock.

Toronto " " at 9 o'clock.

Port Hope and Cobourg, Monday evening.

Kingston, Tuesday morning, touching at French Creek and Brockville and arriving at Prescott the same day.

Passengers leaving Niagara on Monday morning, will arrive in Montreal on Wednesday evening, passing through the Thousand Islands in the day time.

The St. George is beautifully fitted up with State-rooms in the Ladies' Cabin, and besides the power of Steam, has the advantage of Masts and Sails. Her accommodations are in no respect inferior to those of any other boat upon the Lake.

For freight or passage, apply at the Post Offices at Prescott and Brockville, or to D.J. Smith, Esq. and B. Phillips, Kingston; Mr. H. Fitzhugh, Oswego; Mr. H.E. Nichols, Cobourg; Harbor Co., Port Hope; Mr. J. Brown, Toronto; Mr. D.C. Gunn and Mr. A. Land, Hamilton; Messrs. J. Niven & Co., Niagara; Mr. W. Wynn & Mr. W. Duff, Queenston; or to the Captain on Board.

All Freight payable on delivery to Consignees. Parcels and Luggage at the risk of the owners, unless given to charge of the Purser and booked.

Brockville, 15th April, 1836.


The Subscriber having been engaged in the above business for nearly Thirteen Years, wishes respectfully to inform his friends and the public, that he continues at his old stand known by the name of McGuires Wharf, where he will be at all times ready to receive such property as may be entrusted to his care; and he has determined that all Steam Boats shall lie at his wharf free of wharfage.

N.B. Steam Boats may be supplied with Wood on the lowest Terms.


Kingston, 27th April, 1836.

The Ottawa & Rideau


Take leave to notify their friends, and the public generally, that they will be ready at the opening of the Navigation, to transport MERCHANDISE and PRODUCE of all descriptions, up and down, between Montreal, Bytown and Kingston, via the Rideau Canal.

The extensive preparations made by the Company to render their Line efficient, (being able, unless by some accidental detention, to despatch Barges, sufficient to carry 500 tons of Goods per week, if required) warrant them in stating that the utmost reliance may be placed, by those who employ them, that property entrusted to their care will be forwarded with the greatest possible safety and expedition.

For "Up Freights," they need only state that the Goods are put into large covered Barges at Montreal, (exept such way freight as may not be liable to damage, smaller boats being found more convenient for this purpose) and towed by Steam Boats from Lachine to Kingston. The risk of damage is so small, that Merchants sending their property by this route, have hitherto scarcely deemed it necessary to insure.

The time for performing the trip to Kingston is generally about four and seldom exceeds five days, and Goods can be forwarded on immediately from thence, by Steam Boats or Schooners as may be required.

For "Down Freight," their Barges contain upwards of 500 barrels below decks, and descend either by the Rideau or St. Lawrence, as circumstances require - navigating the Lakes in the most boisterous weather, with the greatest safety.

For Emigrants this line of communication is particularly advantageous, as they can embark with their luggage on board of decked Barges, which are towed through to Kingston by Steam Boats, as above mentioned, without being subjected to the great inconvenience of landing and walking past the Rapids, as is the case with the St. Lawrence route. Provisions are abundant at the different Stations along the Line.

The Company further beg leave to intimate that, on account of the large amount of their cash disbursements, they will invariably require payment of Freight on delivery, except in those cases, at the principal stations on the Line where the parties have heretofore been ready to settle their accounts whenever called upon.

The great difficulty the Company have hitherto experienced in collecting small parcels of Way Freights on the Line of the Ottawa and Rideau (where there are no Agents) renders it necessary that such Freight should be paid before shipment.

Agents will be appointed at the different stations along the Line of the Ottawa and Rideau, of which due notice will be given. Rates of Freight will be moderate, and will not exceed to and from Kingston, the regular charges by the St. Lawrence boats to and from Prescott.

For further particulars apply to the undermentioned Agents.

E. Cushing, Montreal.

E. Brush, Kingston.

E. Routh, Bytown.

J. Frothingham, Chairman of the Committee.

Montreal, 21st April, 1836.

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April 30, 1836
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Rick Neilson
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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British Whig (Kingston, ON), April 30, 1836