The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), July 4, 1838

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p.1 much on burning of Peel - trials of accused, searching for culprits, rumors, etc.


The steamboat North America is just in, with the particulars of a most heart rendering calamity - the destruction of the new and elegant steamboat WASHINGTON, by fire, off Silver Creek, about 3 o'clock this morning, with the estimated loss of FIFTY LIVES.

The Washington passed the North America, while the latter lay at Erie, in the early part of the night, and was not again seen by those on board the North America, until when within about three miles of this city, a bright glare of light was discovered by the helmsman, in the direction of Silver Creek, and the North America was instantly put about for the scene of apprehended disaster.

On nearing the spot, about 9 o'clock, the burning hull of the large and noble boat was found drifting over the waters, three or four miles from the shore, with not a living human being on board. The lake was literally covered with hats, bonnets, trunks, baggage and blackened fragments of the wreck.

The ill-fated Washington was built at Ashtabula, last winter, and had made but one trip previous to her destruction. The fire caught near the boilers, and had made such progress when discovered, as to defy all attempts to extinguish it. The helm was instantly put about, and the boat headed for the shore, but in a few moments the wheel ropes were burnt off, and she was rendered an unmanageable wreck. Had iron rods been substituted, as melancholy experience has taught on the Mississippi, this appalling loss of life might have been averted.

We hear that the surviving passengers of the Washington unite in stating that no blame was attributable to Capt. Brown, the commander.

We hope and expect that the reported loss of life, as stated above, may prove exaggerated. We have heard since commencing this article, the loss variously estimated from twenty to sixty. Many of the survivors were badly burned before they left the boat.

[Buffalo Commercial Advertiser of Saturday Evening, June 19th]

Her Majesty's Coronation Day Celebrations - (part) ...In the afternoon the inhabitants of Kingston and Barriefield congregated very numerously on the same ground in order to witness the annual Barriefield Regatta, which we regret to say, was this year a comparative failure. The whole of the candidates for the Wherry Race seemed paralyzed at the swift boat and stout appearance of young James Eccles, (the winner of last year,) and would not start; with the exception of one man, who was permitted by Eccles to win the second heat for the sake of a few bets. James Eccles is unquestionably a splendid oarsman; but we make no doubt that there are plenty as good as he, could they muster up pluck to try. For the Fisherman's Race, there were no candidates, each man being afraid of his own shadow. The Boy's Race was won by a French lad living at Green Bay....





Two of the vessels equipped in Her Majesty's Dock Yard, the Brock and the Bullfrog, well armed and manned, left Kingston on Monday morning, to pass through the Welland Canal into Lake Erie, for the purpose of protecting British Commerce, and to lend their assistance to put down the rascally gangs of Yankees who infest the shores of that lake.

The Experiment a steamboat lately hired by the Government, is also armed and manned, and employs itself in making frequent excursions among the Thousand Islands and other places, in search of Bill Johnson and like vagabonds.


Arrangements for 1838.

The Steam Boat


Capt. Whitney,

Will ply between Kingston, Queenston and Lewiston, twice a week, as follows, viz.:


Leave Kingston every Wednesday morning at 10 o'clock.

Leave Oswego every Wednesday after the arrival of the evening Canal Packets from Utica, and arrive at Queenston and Lewiston on the following morning in time to take the Rail Road Cars and Stages for Niagara Falls and Buffalo.


Leave Kingston every Saturday morning at 10 o'clock.

Leave Oswego every Saturday after the arrival of the evening Canal Packets from Utica, and arrive at Queenston and Lewiston on the following morning in time to take the Rail Road Cars and stages for Niagara Falls and Buffalo.


Leave Lewiston and Queenston every Thursday evening at 6 o'clock.

Leave Niagara every Thursday evening at 7 o'clock.

Leave Oswego every Friday morning at 10 o'clock, and arrive at Kingston same afternoon.


Leave Queenston and Lewiston every Monday morning at 9 o'clock.

Leave Niagara every Monday morning at 10 o'clock.

Leave Toronto every Monday afternoon at 4 o'clock.

Leave Oswego every Tuesday morning at 10 o'clock, and arrive at Kingston same afternoon.

The Great Britain performs the trip between Oswego, Niagara and Lewiston in 12 hours, which makes her the most expeditious conveyance for travellers to and from the Falls of Niagara and Buffalo.

The accommodations on board of the Great Britain are not surpassed by those of any boat on Lake Ontario; the Gentlemen's and Ladies' Cabins being fitted up entirely with roomy and airy State Rooms, with 2 berths in each.

The hours of arrival and departure at Oswego and Lewiston, are so arranged as to meet the Canal Packets, Rail Road Cars and Stages at different places; and there is a daily steam boat conveyance between Kingston and Montreal, by the River St. Lawrence, passing the Thousand Islands and Rapids by daylight, in connection with the Great Britain, which will enable passengers to proceed without delay.

Kingston, May 1838.

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July 4, 1838
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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), July 4, 1838