The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), May 18, 1836

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To The Editor Of The British Whig.

Sir, - From the interest you seem to take in the idle contest between the steamboats Kingston and Brockville, I feel inclined to trouble you with this.

The proprietors of these two boats appear to have forgotten the Public, in the prosecution of their party squabbles. This day I had pressing business up the Bay, and knowing that both vessels were lying at the wharf, I felt nowise apprehensive concerning my passage, but went about doing my business. I intended to go up in the Kingston, but seeing she went off about 8 o'clock, I changed my mind; when to my infinite mortification, just as I was ready to descend to the wharf, the peculiar ringing of the Brockville bell told me I had lost my passage for the day. The fact was, no sooner did the Kingston leave, than the Brockville ceased taking in wood, fired up, and was off like a shot after her. Now, as there is no boat up on Monday, I shall have to stay until Tuesday next, or be jolted to death by a journey on land.

This is one of the public benefits of a senseless contest between two steamboats, that might each do well could they but agree as to their days of sailing.


May 14th, 1836.

Editors Note - There is much reason in the above complaint. We have spoken upon this subject, both publicly and privately, at the risk of offending each party, until we are actually sick. We wish the proprietors of both boats well, but we cannot help considering them great jackasses, in thus letting the Sir James Kempt reap the cream of the Spring harvest.

We are happy to learn that the Custom House Officer at this Port has adopted such liberal arrangements as prove satisfactory to the different Forwarders, and will have a favorable effect upon the trade between here and Ports on the other side of the St. Lawrence. American Goods may be received at other wharves as well as that belonging to the Custom House, and the question upon this subject that has been agitated among our trading friends is thus favorably put at rest. [Chronicle]

Sad Accident - In the Narrows, on Tuesday morning, about 1 o'clock, the weather being foggy, the United States unfortunately came in collision with the schooner Eliza of Belleville, loaded with wheat, and striking her heavily amidships, sunk her immediately. The persons on board the schooner, consisting of the owner, Mr. Smith, the master, a man and a boy, took to the jolly boat, then towing astern, cut the painter by the help of a jack-knife in the boy's pocket, and thus narrowly escaped a watery death. The wheat belonged to Mr. Billa Flint of Belleville.

On Thursday night in the Rideau Lake, during the storm, the Bytown and Rideau came into contact and broke each others' noses. More frightened than hurt.

The steamboat Canada, Capt. N. Johnston made her first trip between Oswego and Kingston on Monday last. She will make four trips per week for some time to come, and the restrictions having been removed against landing dutiable goods elsewhere than at the Custom House Wharf, the Canada will not touch at Bath, as at first contemplated.

High Pressure - A race between the two rival steamboats took place on Saturday last from Kingston to the head of the Bay. Accounts are contradictory, but these we believe are the facts. The Kingston left two minutes before the Brockville, and they arrived at Bath at nearly the same time, the Kingston ahead. The race continued, and the Brockville, got in at Belleville, and made fast at Flint's wharf, while the Kingston was approaching Covert's Wharf. At the River Trent the Kingston was again ahead, and she got down to Kingston two hours before the Brockville. We have not heard of any accident resulting from the race, but we notice that Mr. Munro had established a line of Stages (advertised in this day's Whig) to be in readiness for the blowing up of the two boats. If the proprietors of these vessels will not cease the contest, they deserve losing public support, besides being "whigged."

To afford them an opportunity to do so, we have authority to make the following proposition. Let the Committee of the Brockville select three gentlemen, wholly uninterested in the dispute, and stockholders in neither boat; one from Kingston, one from Belleville and one from Brockville - to whom be referred the matter, and let their decision settle the controversy. If the Committee of Brockville refuse to make the selection, that of the Kingston will. The above proposition is just, and offers advantages to the Brockville she has no right to expect.

Freight to Montreal - We beg leave to point out to the shippers of produce on Lake Ontario & up the Bay of Quinte, that Flour can be delivered in Kingston, at from 2d to 3d less per barrel than if carried on to Prescott, and other produce in the same ratio, while the Ottawa and Rideau Forwarding Company's charges are the same, from Kingston to Montreal, as the charges of the St. Lawrence Forwarders from Prescott to the same place.

The Ottawa & Rideau Forwarding Company received this morning the barge Trader, Myers, from Montreal via the Rideau Canal, being the 1st arrival from that city this season. The Kingston towed up the 1st bateau with merchandise from below, but arrived two hours later than the Trader.

We have every reason to fear, that the Commodore Barrie has been sold to the Rochester people, and will leave her native waters for ever. The price said to have been paid for her is £6,500, with liberty for the stockholders to retain their stock, if so minded. The Commodore Barrie is purchased to ply between Rochester, Cobourg, Port Hope and Toronto. She is the second British steamboat sold to the Americans this season. Capt. Patterson and the crew on board are engaged for the present year.

Ottawa & Rideau Forwarding Company


May 14th - The steamer Bytown, Capt. Bowen, from Bytown, with barge Hope in tow, 109 passengers.

May 18th - The steamer Rideau, Capt. McGreer, from Bytown, with barges Trader and Mayflower in tow, 47 passengers. (consignees listed.)


May 12th - The steamer Rideau, Capt. McGreer, for Bytown, sundries, way freight, 21 passengers.

May 15th - The steamer Bytown, Capt. Bowen, for Bytown, whiskey, sundry way freight, 21 passengers.

May 14th - The barge Hope, for Gananoque, to load 800 bbls. flour for Montreal.


Welland Canal Office,

St. Catharines, 1st May, 1836.

A Meeting of the Stockholders of the Welland Canal Company will be held at the Office on Wednesday the first day of June next at 12 o'clock Noon for the purpose of Electing Directors for the ensuing year agreeably to Act of Incorporation.

By order of the Board.

JOHN CLARK, Secretary.

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May 18, 1836
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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.
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British Whig (Kingston, ON), May 18, 1836