The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), June 21, 1849

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Of a good thing there may be occasionally too much. The Steamboat opposition of the early part of the present season, which most people looked upon with some degree of complacency, as tending to the reduction of the high fares hitherto collected on both river and lake, has now degenerated into a fierce, savage and wholly useless warfare, sadly injurious to the proprietors, and personally disagreeable to the public. The novelty of low fares has worn off, and "the cheap and nasty" is hourly becoming more apparent and more revolting. The prices now charged for passage - cabin and deck - from Quebec to Hamilton, are wholly inadequate to the maintenance of clean and comfortable vessels, and the consequence, which must have been foreseen, is now very glaring. Steamboat excursions are no longer a pleasure, but a pain. The travelling public pant for clean and quiet boats, and look with longing eyes to the splendid line of American steamers which daily visit our ports, on board of which there are cleanliness, comfort, and health, because the selfish intention of one party's destroying another for the purpose of rising upon its ruins, has there no existence.

It is, therefore, high time for the rival steamboat proprietors to come at once to some mutual understanding. It is a folly to fancy that one line can drive the other off, backed as each rival line is by the wealth and influence of a bank. That there is business enough to support two lines, is asserted by many, and affirmed by the assurances of the contending parties, that up to the present day, no pecuniary loss has been sustained. These assurances we look upon as apocryphal; but if founded on truth, the cause lies in the great immigration of this year, and the vast number of persons going down to Montreal with addresses to the Governor General. These sources of revenue are now cut off, and it would be well for the oppositionists to come to an immediate understanding, instead of waiting until mutual poverty brings them together.

In order to aid these gentlemen to the establishment of a proper steamboat tariff, we shall jot down a scale of prices, with which the public would be satisfied, and which would have the effect of encouraging persons of all classes to travel more frequently than hitherto has been the wont in Canada.

Proposed Steamboat Tariff.

Montreal to Kingston, Cabin $4 Deck $2

Kingston to Montreal, do. $3 1/2 do. $1 1/2

Kingston to Coburg, do. $1 do. $ 1/2

Kingston to Toronto do. $2 do. $1

Kingston to Hamilton do. $3 do. $1 1/4

And the same rates back to Kingston.

These prices would enable the proprietors to keep clean and comfortable vessels, and in course of time to build such steamers as now form the line on the southern side of the lake.

For the British Whig.

My Dear Whig, -

Your valuable journal has more than once been the instrument of giving publicity to the feelings of the merchants and inhabitants generally of this section of the country, relative to the monopoly and injustice done them by the steamers who profess to run to the head of the Bay of Quinte. It has partially had the desired effect, inasmuch as the proprietors of the Prince of Wales came to the conclusion to visit our wharves twice a week, viz.: Tuesdays and Thursdays, and even Saturdays, should occasion require it, which determination they have maintained to the satisfaction of all parties. Alike regularity and a desire to accommodate the public have not, however, been pursued by the proprietors of the Queen Victoria, and consequently they have brought upon themselves the disapprobation of all whom steamboat accommodation concerns, and forfeited that support or patronage that otherwise they would have shared with the Prince of Wales. The days apportioned to the Queen Victoria to visit the head of the Bay were the alternate days to those of the Prince of Wales, viz. Mondays and Fridays. As the travelling community and public generally are under this delusion, I consider that I am in justice bound to make mention of the very great inconvenience, expense and loss I have sustained while laboring under the same. On Thursday evening, the 14th inst., I went on board the Queen Victoria, while laying at the wharf in Kingston; had also a number of packages of Merchandise marked for the Trent. Knowing Friday to be her day to visit that place, I did not ask the captain if he was going up, but shipped my goods in the usual way, and went on board with several others, expecting, of course, to be landed at the Trent. On approaching Belleville I was informed that she would go no further; and on remonstrating with the captain for his unaccommodating conduct - having both passengers and merchandize for the Trent, as well as several ladies who were waiting for the boat to proceed there also - he replied that the Trent people did not patronize them enough to remunerate them. The consequence was, I was obliged to hire a conveyance to proceed to the Trent, and afterwards to send a team for a portion of my goods, or otherwise have to wait till the following Monday, and even then submit to have a portion of them left behind, which is a common occurrence; the natural consequence arising from the re-shipment at Belleville. To say nothing of the inconvenience and loss I sustained from the delay of my merchandise at this season of the year, the hiring of a conveyance to the Trent, and afterwards the team for a few cases of goods, it was necessary it should cost me 25s.

I think it is really the duty of the proprietors to apprize the public that they do not intend any more to run to the head of the Bay; or if only once a week to state the fact, and on what day. I therefore desire you to give this publicity, for there are many of your subscribers residing in Consecon, Carrying Place, Colborne, Brighton, Frankfort, etc. who are not aware of it, and are likely to fall into the similarly awkward position that I was placed in.

The Prince of Wales regularly visits the head of the Bay on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and if the proprietors of the Queen Victoria will not afford the people of this section of the country the same accommodation, we shall either select Capt. Chambers of the Farmer to extend his trips hither, or give the Prince of Wales our individed support.


River Trent, June 18th, 1849.

Port of Kingston.

June 19th - Schr. Sarnia, Port Sarnia, 2 bbls. pot ashes, 1 box bees wax, Macpherson & Crane; 2 bbls. pot ashes, H. Henderson & Co.; 33,639 West India staves, Fowler & Esselstine.

Str. Cataract, Ogdensburgh, gen. cargo.

Str. Bay State, Oswego, gen. cargo.

June 20st - Barge Buckeye, Montreal, gen. cargo.

Schr. George Moffatt, Oakville, 938 bbls. flour, Macpherson & Crane.

Schr. Liverpool, Port Dalhousie, 197 pieces oak timber, Calvin, Cook & Co.

Str. City of Toronto, Hamilton, 100 bbls. pork, 5 boxes soap, T. Ahern.

A Long Canal Voyage - 6 canal boats travel from Whitehall to Bytown to load lumber for Troy. [Plattsburgh Whig]

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June 21, 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), June 21, 1849