The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), July 8, 1848

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We have much pleasure in announcing to the public, that this Line of Steamers is again in perfect order. The new and splendid Steamer Ontario, has commenced her upward trips to Lewiston, on Thursday morning last, from Oswego. The Ontario is the Largest steamer now floating on Lake Ontario, and from what we have heard of her accommodations, she is superior to any boats running on our inland Lakes. Her speed, from the authority of her worthy commander Capt. Thorp, will not, in regular running time, be under Eighteen Miles per hour - she being on her trial trip, made twelve miles within thirty-five minutes.

The Ontario will arrive, on her downward trip to Ogdensburgh, at Kingston on Saturday (this afternoon,) between the hours of one and two o'clock, when we would in the name of good feeling recommend the generous citizens of Kingston to be at Browne's Wharf to give this moving palace a hearty welcome.

The Cataract, under her able and obliging commander, Captain J. VanCleve; the Lady of the Lake, under the command of Capt. Chapman, who although recently come amongst us, is much and justly esteemed by the travelling public, and the Rochester, will in the meantime complete this splendid line; and in the early part of next month the favorite boat Niagara will, we are happy to say, be enabled to resume her place on the route, with her old and distinguished commander Captain R.J. Childs.

The Steamers British Empire, and British Queen, form from Ogdensburgh the entire Line from Lewiston to Montreal.


We are indebted to the politeness of P. Robertson, Esq., agent to Messrs. Macpherson & Crane, the proprietors of this fine boat, who was on board when it was destroyed, for a clear and full account of all the particulars attending this serious accident. It appears that the Speed left L'Orignal wharf, on her upward trip, at half-past 3 P.M., on Friday last, a stiff easterly breeze blowing at the time. At half-past 5 the wind changed, blowing almost a hurricane shortly before 6 o'clock, at which time the Engineer first discovered the smoke escaping from the main deck, near the pipe. He immediately informed Capt. Lighthall, who first attempted to get the hose down, but was prevented from doing so by the denseness of the smoke, nor could it in any way be made available, the supply of water being from below. All hands turned out with buckets, and exerted themselves in this way to quench the flames, but all their efforts proving unavailing the steam, which at the first alarm had been stopped, was again put on, and the boat headed to the shore, within about twenty yards of which, the bow grounded in between four and a half and five feet of water. The jolly boat was lowered, and all the females on board (three in number) with the passengers' luggage, brought to the shore. The remainder of the passengers and crew, about 60 in all, made their way to the shore, as best they might by swimming or wading, without the slightest injury having been sustained by any. Captain Lighthall, whose conduct throughout this trying affair is spoken in the highest possible terms by all with whom we have conversed on the subject, was the last one to leave the boat, being compelled by the flames to leap from the stern into some twenty feet of water. Seven minutes after all had left her she was one complete mass of flames. Shortly after, one of the boilers burst, and was thrown upon the shore, a distance of fifty feet, which was soon followed by one of the chimnies and which was also landed on the beach. It is not known how the fire originated, but the supposition is that it was occasioned by the heat of the boiler acting upon the wood work. Although the destruction of this fine vessel is much to be regretted, both as a heavy loss to her proprietors, who were wholly uninsured, and a serious inconvenience to the travelling community on this line, it affords subject for gratitude, that, through the mercy of a divine providence, not a life was lost, nor even a limb injured of any of those on board.

[Bytown Gazette]

Departure of the General - On Tuesday evening last Lieutenant General Sir Benjamin D'Urban, Commander of the Forces in Canada, after doing his official business in Kingston, left for Toronto, in H.M. Steamer Cherokee, Com. Fowell. This is legitimate. The Cherokee is idle in port, and it is but exercising her officers and crew to be put to do some ordinary duty. All the journey costs the Government is a few bushels of coal.

p.3 The Dallas, U.S. Navy, came down through the Lachine Canal to this port on Saturday afternoon, and the Jefferson arrived yesterday. We understand that they will remain here some weeks. They are small iron steamers, neither of them remarkably neat looking craft. [Pilot]

Grafton Harbour is to be made a port of entry and clearance; some tolls have been reduced on St. Lawrence and Welland canals. [Official Gazette]

Kingston Marine List.

Vessels Arrived in Port.

July 4th - Str. City of Kingston, Montreal, 100 passengers.

Str. Prince of Wales, Picton, gen. cargo.

5th - Str. Commerce, Port Stanley, gen. cargo.

Schr. Clyde, Hamilton, 569 bbls. flour, 25 do. high wines, 3 do. ashes, Macpherson & Crane; 160 bbls. flour, J.H. Greer & Co.; 357 bls. flour, H. & S. Jones; 6 kgs. butter, Hooker & Henderson.

7th - Brig Liverpool, Port Dalhousie, 200 pcs. oak, Calvin, Cook & Co.

Str. Prince of Wales, Belleville, gen. cargo.

Str. Passport, Montreal, passengers and freight.

Str. Canada, Montreal, passengers and baggage.

Str. Adventure, Port Sinclair, emigrants and merchandise.

Str. Queen Victoria, Belleville, gen. cargo.

Wanted To Charter - .....tenders to deliver supplies at the following Lighthouses:

Lake Ontario - Nine Mile Point, False Ducks, Point Peter, Presquisle, Gull Island, Whitby Harbor, Gibralter Point, Queen's Wharf, Toronto, Oakville, Burlington Bay Canal, and Port Dalhousie.

Lake Erie - Port Maitland, Mohawk Island, Port Dover, Long Point, Long Point Lightship, Port Burwell, Port Stanley, Rondeau and Pelee Island.

Detroit River - Bois Blanc.

Lake St. Clair - River Thames.

Department of Public Works, June 26th.

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July 8, 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 8, 1848