The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), April 13, 1837

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Prospects of an Early Western Trade.

We copy the following from the Buffalo Commercial Advertiser of March 25th. The schooner Dolphin was advertised to leave Cleaveland for Detroit on the 20th inst.

The Cleveland Gazette of that date says, "The lake above here is as clear of ice as it was in August last."

The Erie Gazette of the 23rd says, "Our harbor is now clear of ice; and the vessels on it are making the necessary preparations for sailing."

The Sandusky Clarion of the 18th says "the ice in Sandusky Bay broke up a week ago. The ship Milwaukee has lain safely at the mouth of the bay, and it is expected it will soon be got off."

p.3 Opening of the Navigation - The William the Fourth Steamer made her appearance here yesterday evening from Prescott, on her trip upwards. Our wharves still being bound up with ice, she could not enter our harbour, but received her passengers from Kingston, at Morton's Distillery, about a mile from Town. [Chronicle]

The Great Britain - This fine vessel having undergone a thorough repair, will leave this harbour tomorrow morning for Prescott, under the command of Captain Whitney, to receive her Furniture and Stores. She will leave Prescott for Kingston, on Tuesday evening next, so as to enable her to leave this place at 11 o'clock on Wednesday, being her usual time of sailing. She will call at Oswego and the usual stopping places, on her trip upwards. [ibid]





Capt. A. Smith,

Will run during the season of navigation, between Ogdensburgh and Lewiston, touching at the intermediate ports as follows:


Leaves Ogdensburgh every Thursday evening,

Kingston Friday morning,

Sacket's Harbor " noon,

Oswego " evening,

Rochester Saturday morning,

Toronto Saturday evening,

arriving at Lewiston on Sunday morning.


Leaves Lewiston every Monday evening,

Leaves Rochester Tuesday morning,

Oswego " evening,

Sacket's Harbor " night,

Kingston Wednesday morning,

arriving at Ogdensburgh in the afternoon, touching at Morristown, Brockville, Alexandria Bay, French Creek and Niagara, on the upward and downward passage.

For Freight or Passage apply to the master on board, or

E.B. Allen Ogdensburgh,

White & Hooker Morristown,

H. & S. Jones Brockville,

J.W. Fuller & Co. Alexandria Bay,

John Counter Kingston,

Smith & Merrick French Creek,

Wm. Buckley Sacket's Harbor,

Henry Fitzhugh Oswego,

Hooker & Co. Rochester,

James Brown Toronto,

James Lockhart Niagara,

Fellows & Hurd Lewiston.

By the above arrangements of the Oneida will lay over two days at Lewiston, affording passengers an opportunity of visiting Niagara Falls, and returning by the same boat, and passing the interesting scenery on the River St. Lawrence during the day time.


In making our observations concerning the wharfs, steamboats and shipping of Kingston, customary with us in the week prior to the opening of navigation, we commence with the Commercial Wharf at the foot of Store Street. This spacious and commodious wharf will be under the same management this season as last. Engagements have already been made with most of the steamboats, and a large share of the Forwarding Business is consequently expected by Messrs. Truax & Phillips. The steamboat Sir James Kempt lies at this wharf in complete fitness for the Bay and River trade. This fine old public servant will be commanded as heretofore by Capt. Baker, while her arrangements will continue to be superintended by H. Gildersleeve Esq. Tuesdays & Fridays are the days on which she will proceed up the Bay, and should the state of the navigation permit, will commence her trips next week.

Mr. Richard Scobell is going to vast expense in building a large wharf and suitable warehouses on the water lot at the foot of Brock Street, owned by John Forsyth, Esq. of which a long lease has been granted to him. This wharf, when completed, will be second to none in town. A striking example immediately affords itself, between individual and collective skill and enterprize, in examining the condition and future appearance of the new public wharf, now building by the town magistrates, and those contemplated or executed by Messrs. Scobell, Fraser and Counter. Nothing can possibly be in worse taste or be more indifferently put together than the former; nothing better, or more substantial than the latter. We allude particularly to the wretched stone walls, & still more wretched wooden palings of the town concern. Add to which - the work is progressing so slowly, as to render the time of its final completion a period of great uncertainty.

The Ottawa & Rideau Company's Warehouses this season, consist of the Warehouse & Wharf, built by the late R. Drummond, Esq. now owned by Mr. James Fraser, who has considerably enlarged the wharf, by adding to it half the space of the lot purchased by him from Mr. Hagerman last summer, the whole being rented to the Company. The Company also rent the adjoining large wharf and warehouse belonging to John Counter, Esq. who has this winter very materially increased the depth of his water premises, by running them into the harbor a distance of twenty-five feet, making his wharf almost equal in spaciousness to that of Messrs. Truax & Philipps. The Company also occupy, for this summer only, the wharf and warehouse belonging to J.S. Cartwright Esq. who it is said, has already engaged them to Messrs. McPherson & Co. of Montreal, for the next three years. The Company's four Canal steamboats are in prime order, and ready for the first start. - The Bytown, Cataraqui and Rideau will again be commanded by their former able masters, Captains Bowen, Chambers & Drummond, while the Margaret falls to the care of a smart young man, named Hunter, from the Ottawa steamboat, the Shannon.

We have been living in expectation for some time past, that a great change would shortly take place in the manner in which the Montreal forwarding trade would be carried on in Kingston, but although we feel assured that something important is on the tapis, we are, as yet, unable to gratify the public curiosity - and our own. A difficulty in arranging the details of the contemplated change is the probable cause for the procrastination in the announcement. A material increase in the tariff of freight has been already published. John Counter, Esq. will continue his Forwarding business this year, at the same wharf as that on which the 0. & R. Company do their business.

In leaving Mr. Counter's premises we approach those of Mr. Cartwright, where a whole host of steamboats and schooners are lying. The noble Gt. Britain is in fine fig - handsomer in her decorations than ever. Captain Whitney has spared neither time, labor nor money, in getting her ready for sea, and her truly elegant and splendid appearance amply recompenses him for the expenses incurred. She will depart (perhaps is gone,) the very moment the ice permits, and it is nothing hazardous to predict, that her usual triumphant career of success will be re-experienced.

The beautiful steamer, Commodore Barrie, has recently changed managers, the Honorable John Hamilton having chartered her for a limited period. In consequence Capt. Patterson vacates the command, and Capt. Herchmer, late of the Britannia, assumes it. The Commodore will not trade to Oswego, as announced by some of our contemporaries, but will continue on her old route to Toronto twice a week, touching, going and coming, at Bath and Port Windsor, in addition to the other usual stopping places.

The fast sailing Kingston has partly changed proprietorship this season, J.G. Parker, Esq. having disposed of a great portion of his stock to individuals more immediately connected with Kingston & the Bay of Quinte. This will considerably enhance the boat's interest, and make her seasons more profitable than heretofore. She will be commanded this year, by Capt. Wm. Lawless, late purser of the Brockville, and continue on the Bay & River route, going up from hence every Monday & Thursday. A meeting of the new stockholders will take place today at the Commercial Hotel, at which Douglass Prentiss, Esq. will probably be again selected as manager. The necessary repairs to the Engine have been made, and the Kingston is in first rate condition.

The elegant Bay Boat, Brockville, which somehow or other, we overlooked at the other end of the harbor, is also ready, and waits only the glad tidings of the Bay and River's being free from ice, to leave Kingston on her Wednesday & Saturday excursions. Capt. Calder again takes the command, and as there will be no squabbling this season about the days of sailing, will assume that lead in the passenger trade, to which the extensive accommodations of his vessel, his extreme suavity of manners, and his obliging disposition entitle him.

The only steamboat unnoticed by us is the Queenston. This useful vessel, under the charge of one of the young Ives', will employ herself during the summer in towing rafts between the head of the Bay and Prescott. Several fine schooners are also ready for sea, among which Capt. Patterson's Union, Capt. Burn's Wellington and Mr. Ive's three fine schooners, stand conspicuous for size.

We take shame to ourselves for not having ere this noticed the substantial Marine Railway, erecting by Mr. McIntyre, for a company of gentlemen connected with the trade of Kingston (alongside the small Railway built by Mr. M. last winter.) The Railway is erected upon the same model and extends in length three hundred feet. - Its strength and capaciousness are such, that the largest sized steamboat, (save the Gt. Britain) can be hauled upon it and repaired; and the length of the carriage is such, that two moderate sized vessels can be hauled up at once and the same time. The Railway Company have erected Breakwaters & Piers alongside the Railway, and every thing is done to ensure the future effectual operation of the spirited undertaking. Connected with the Marine Railway is to be a Dock Yard, where vessels may be built, or repaired, and every accommodation furnished to the shipping interest. The expenses of the Railway will not exceed Three thousand pounds.

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April 13, 1837
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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), April 13, 1837