The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), Aug. 25, 1847

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p.2 The Late Riot - many inhabitants wish that those guilty of riot should be arrested.


Letter No. I

I left your loyal City of Kingston, on board the Royal Mail Boat Sovereign, at five o'clock on a Summer's evening, for the "Queen City" of the West. Or rather I should have said I intended to do so; for on account of the non-arrival of the Montreal boat at her usual time, we did not leave the wharf until ten o'clock. The night was rough and stormy; peculiarly trying for those who seldom plough the "vasty deep," but more so for the five or six hundred wretched emmigrants we had on board.

On getting up in the morning, completely sick from inhaling the pestilential air that found its way through the sky-lights and door into the cabin, I made my way for the deck in order to breathe the morning air; but this was a task more difficult to be accomplished than I anticipated; for every avenue to the middle and saloon deck was so choked up with boxes, beds and prostrate men and women, the effluvia from whom was perfectly disgusting, that it was by dint of squeezing I was able to accomplish my intention; and when I did succeed, I found myself, if possible, only in a worse situation; I had nothing else to do but turn back, go through the same pushing and squeezing, and confine myself to the cabin, until some change for the better should be wrought.

This is a disagreeable position for passengers to be placed in, yet the extraordinary influx of emigrants this season tenders such unavoidable.

Before leaving this subject, allow me to pay a justly deserved tribute to the kindness and humanity of Captain Twohy. About noon of the day after departure, he had all the emigrants, men, women and children submitted to a perfect ablution....

We arrived at Toronto at 4 P.M., and landed the emigrants at a wharf at the west end of the city, reserved exclusively for them. The Eclipse steamer, which had been waiting some hours for our arrival, came along side to take off those going to the "far West," and as I was for Port Credit, I got on board. A few moments, and we were under way, skirting the shores of blue Ontario.

How differently were the emigrants disposed on board the Eclipse to those on the Sovereign. All communication was cut off between the emigrants and regular passengers. The same thing could be done on board the latter if there were not such a crowd put on board.

The "fittings up" of this boat are chaste and beautiful; the Ladies' Cabin and Saloon are finished with taste; nothing gaudy, but every thing elegantly simple. Her Commander is affable and courteous, her officers obliging, and crew attentive. But enough for one letter. I am now safely landed at Port Credit. For the present, then, I bid your readers adieu, and gently squeeze them by the hand.


Township of Kingston, August 15th, 1847.

Letter No. II

Port Credit

This flourishing village is situated on both sides of the mouth of the River Credit, at its entrance into Lake Ontario. It is sixteen miles from Toronto by water. It numbers about 200 inhabitants; has two well kept taverns, a good store, several large storehouses and Post Office, two blacksmiths' shops, etc. It has a fine capacious harbor, the entrance to which is between two piers of 500 feet in length. When once a vessel is inside the piers she is completely embayed. The harbor is being rendered more capacious and of greater depth by a powerful dredge, which is now and has been for some months, at work there. Some idea may be formed of the shipping trade of this village, from there being shipped from it, up to the 10th July, 20,432 barrels of flour, an immense quantity of wheat, about 1,000,000 feet of lumber, and 10,000 feet of lumber of square timber. These returns show what extensive grist and saw mills must be built upon the Credit.......


Township of Kingston, August 16th, 1847.



Captain Twohy's Statement.

a letter to editor of Toronto Herald giving Capt. Twohy's side of what occurred, and his sworn deposition given before Mayor Thomas Kirkpatrick of Kingston. (1 1/2 columns)

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Aug. 25, 1847
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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), Aug. 25, 1847