The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), Feb. 16, 1849

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At a meeting held in this City last week, for the purpose of organizing a Company of forty persons, wishing to Emigrate to California, it was agreed that an adjourned meeting be held on Tuesday next, the 20th inst., at 7 p.m., at the Rooms of Mr. D.B. Jenkins, Ontario Street. Having noticed in the newspapers that a number of gentlemen at Belleville and its vicinity are about forming a Company for the same destination, I beg to lay before them the proposition then made, viz.: - To fit out the Schooner Sophia, 150 tons burthen, in every particular, suitable and seaworthy for such a voyage. The advantages I offer are not to be met with in any other port. Firstly, - The rate of passage is only $100 from Kingston to the River Sacremento, on the coast of California, each finding his own provisions. I bind myself to take no more than 40 passengers; will have one large cabin fitted up, with comfortable berths, and carry no freight. Each person will be allowed room for 12 months' provisions, over and above what is required for the voyage out. Secondly, - The vessel to procede direct to the River Sacramento via the Straits of Magellan; avoiding the unhealthy route by Chagres and Panama, and that tedious and boisterous part of the passage, the doubling of Cape Horn. The vessel to remain at the river for two months, for the sole convenience of the passengers, thereby allowing them time to make arrangements for settling in the country; avoiding the extravagant charges said to be made for the most humble accommodations. - The vessel to furnish fuel and water for the voyage. Two good and efficient boats will be taken, one of which will be at all times at the service of the passengers, while lying in the river. To secure a passage per the Sophia each person will be required to pay $50 on or before the first day of March next, and the balance five days before sailing from Kingston. Parties remitting fifty dollars to the agency of the Bank of Montreal, Kingston, will receive a receipt for the same, holding the vessel liable. The annexed is a copy of certificate of survey made by two respectable Ship Wrights in this City.

"This is to certify that we the undersigned were this day called upon by Capt. M.B. Cox to survey the Schooner Sophia, and after a careful examination thereof, and with due consideration, we do pronounce her to be a staunch, strong and seaworthy vessel, suitable for ocean navigation. We have pointed out as extra fastening, the necessity of bolting her Clamps and Bilges, and placing an extra Breast Hook forward which was agreed to by Capt. Cox."


GEO. THURSTON, Shipwrights

Many names are already entered; those who wish to go by this vessel, had better attend the meeting, or appoint delegates to do so, and act for them, as there will be many advantages pointed out, that would be tedious to commit to paper. A scale of the necessary provision for the voyage, will be shown at the meeting, for the guidance of those who are ignorant of such matters.

Capt. M.B. COX, Owner of Schr. Sophia.

Kingston, Feb. 15th, 1849.

The vessel to sail so soon as the Navigation is open to Quebec. I also annex a certificate, under the hand of Capt. Gaskin, of Kingston, the late owner of the Sophia, under whose directions and superintendence she was built.

"I, Robert Gaskin, of the City of Kingston, Shipowner, hereby certify, that I built the Schr. Sophia in Nov. 1844 (1841 ?), at Windsor, C.W. She was built expressly for the Ocean trade, consequently, costing 30 per cent more than would have been necessary, had she been intended for the navigation of these waters only, and to the best of my judgement, having had an experience of thirty years, as a seaman in all capacities, I consider her suitable in every particular, to perform her voyage now proposed by Capt. Cox."


Kingston, Feb. 15, 1849.



By Toptail Fluke

2nd Mate aboard the South Sea Whaler Penguine

Oh, Captain, what pernicious spirit rules thee?

Leader unblest, of hope the most forlorn;

Surely thine evil angel mocks and fools thee;

Tells thee 'tis not enough to round the Horn;

Driving thee reckless, helpless, to thy fate,

From fog and snow-storm in Magellan's Strait,

Grant, that in Navigation thou'rt as cunning

As e'er was Cook, - still, Captain thou mayst fail.

Great thou may'st be, but really without funning,

In those short seas, not very like a whale;

Or rather 'mid those shoals lee shores and rocks -

If very like one, like one in a box -

In fine - thou'lt lose thy game, but get thy rubbers,

And drown thyself, with all thy thirty lubbers.

I fain would aid thee, and if sound advice

Be welcome, thou shalt have some in a trice.

Ready about, my hearty, steer for Guinea,

There for a brace of niggers sell each ninny;

Those sixty niggers landed at Brazil,

With jingling Joes, will all your pockets fill;

Fame, too, this feat of thine shall end by crowning.

A feat that rescues thirty men from drowning.

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Feb. 16, 1849
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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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Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), Feb. 16, 1849