The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), July 5, 1848

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[Montreal Herald]

Those who have travelled on the St. Lawrence are aware that between Dickinson's Landing and Cornwall, a distance of 12 to 14 miles, there is a long rapid called the Long Sault. This rapid is divided into two channels by an island in the centre. The channel on the south side, being the one which has been descended by steamers, and other large craft passing down the river. Captain Maxwell, the enterprising commander of the mail steamer Gildersleeve, having some time ago become impressed with the idea that the channel on the north side of the island, was not only practicable for vessels of a large class, but that it was much safer and easier of descent than the channel on the south side, made with much trouble, soundings and observations, for the purpose of ascertaining whether such was really the case. Having well satisfied himself in the matter, he (with Mr. Hamilton's permission) made a descent down the north channel last Tuesday afternoon in the mail steamer Gildersleeve. The passage was magnificent. The grandeur and beauty of the Rapid far surpassing even those of the Rapids of the Cedars, Cascades or Lachine. Owing to the great rapidity of the current, the water is much rougher on the south side of the island, but the channel is straighter, and in every respect better than the one heretofore adopted, and there is little doubt that ere long the north channel will be the one which the main traffic of the river will pass through.

Great credit is due to Captain Maxwell for the ability and perseverance he has exhibited in exploring this new channel. The thanks (at least) of the country are due to him for his exertion and enterprise, and the smallest tribute that can be paid to him is, that the channel which he has thus been the first to prove is practicable for large vessels, should bear his name, and be called "Maxwell's Channel."

We mentioned in our last, the descent of the New Channel, on the north side of the Long Sault. We have since been favored with the following:-

At a meeting held on board of the Royal Mail Steamer Gildersleeve, to unite upon some fitting testimonial for Captain Maxwell for safely navigating the North Channel, hitherto considered impracticable to the larger boats, Dr. Davis, of Montreal, was called to the chair, and Charles Smead, Esq., of Buffalo, appointed Secretary.

The following resolutions were then unanimously carried:

Resolved, - That to Captain Maxwell, of the Royal Mail Steamer Gildersleeve, the credit is justly due of fully testing, on the 27th of June, the safety and practicability of descending the North Channel of the Sault.

Resolved, - That as Captain Maxwell was the first person who ever piloted over the Channel one of the largest boats, we do respectfully recommend that this rapid be known henceforth under the name of "Maxwell's Channel," as a just tribute to the energy and intrepidity of the Captain.

Resolved, - That a vote of thanks be tendered to Captain Maxwell and his Officers for their gentlemanly and courteous treatment of the passengers on their boat, during their recent trip, and that we cordially recommend the Gildersleeve, under her present government, to the travelling public as a safe and agreeable conveyance.

(signed by 21 passengers)

Kingston Marine List.

Vessels Arrived In Port.

June 30th - Str. Gildersleeve, Montreal, gen. cargo.

Str. Highlander, Lachine, passengers.

Str. Fashion, Montreal, passengers and baggage.

July 1st - Schr. Maid of the Mill, Port Hope, 2797 bushels wheat and gen. cargo, Dickenson, Jones & Co.

Str. Lady of the Lake, Rochester, gen. cargo.

Str. City of Toronto, Toronto, gen. cargo.

Str. Farmer, Cape Vincent, in ballast.

3rd - Schr. May Flower, Oswego, 40 bbls. 200 bags salt, Rob't McCormick.

Str. Prince of Wales, Belleville, 61 bbls. flour, E. Browne & Co.

Schr. Lord Seaton, Nanticook, 93 pcs. white oak timber, Calvin, Cook & Co.

Str. Albion, Montreal, gen. cargo.

Str. Queen Victoria, Belleville, gen. cargo.

Str. Ottawa, Hamilton, gen. cargo.

Str. Passport, Montreal, passengers and baggage.

Str. Canada, Montreal, do. do.

4th - Schr. Eudore, Toledo, 5285 bushels corn, Macpherson & Crane.

Important Sale of Household Furniture, Plate, Piano, Horses, etc. at the Residence of Commander Fowell, Admiralty House, Point Frederick, on account of his leaving for England.

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July 5, 1848
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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 5, 1848