The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), March 18, 1850

Full Text



Long ere the Steamers have commenced running, the wordy war of Opposition has begun. A few days ago the British Whig gave an abstract of the intended operations on the River and Lake, without remark. This has produced the following angry rejoinder from the Patriot:-

"By the arrangement proposed, it will be seen that the proprietors of the River Mail Line intend the Mail Service to be a matter of secondary instead of primary consideration, for they propose withdrawing from the River Mail Service the only boat they have, that can perform it within the limited period of 26 hours from Montreal to Kingston. By the old contract, the time was 28 hours for the delivery of the Mail at Kingston from Montreal; by the new contract, it is reduced to 26 hours.

It is well known that the slow River Boats seldom arrived at Kingston within the 28 hours; how then can they be expected to perform the service this year in two hours less time than it took them in former years? It is clear that the mail service between Montreal and Kingston cannot be performed, even in favorable weather, by the Canada and Lord Elgin within the contract time; and the question then arises, whether the Post Office authorities will permit the contractor on the River to withdraw the Passport and New Era from the River, to run an opposition upon the Lake, and to the neglect of his contract.

The time fixed by the contract for the Lake Boats to leave Kingston, is 3 P.M., and they are to deliver the Mails in Toronto within 15 hours; (in the previous contract it was 18 hours,) so that they can be despatched westward from Toronto at 8 A.M. The Lake Boats will leave Kingston punctually at the contract hour, whether the Montreal Mails have arrived or not, as the only excuse that will be received by the Post Office Department for non-delivery of the Mails within the contract time is, "stress of weather." Upon the Lake we know strong winds produce a heavy sea; but upon the River, head winds are but of little consequence, unless they are so strong as to amount to more than "half a gale." The Mail Boats are required to be of sufficient speed to deliver the Mails within the contract time, unless they are detained by "stress of weather" - not an ordinary head wind. It will therefore not satisfy the public, either of Toronto, Hamilton, or places west of us, to be told that the Montreal Mail had not arrived at Kingston when the Lake Steamer left, because it was put on board of slow boats that were unable to contend against an ordinary head wind. The performance of the Mail Service must not depend upon the chance of a fair or foul wind, if such will not amount to what is known by "stress of weather," and which every body knows to be something far removed from ordinary weather.

We have no doubt that the Deputy Post Master General will take good care that the interests of the Public are not trifled with in this matter, in order to suit the private views of any Mail contractor."

Media Type:
Item Type:
Date of Original:
March 18, 1850
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Rick Neilson
Copyright Statement:
Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
WWW address
Powered by / Alimenté par VITA Toolkit

My favourites lets you save items you like, tag them and group them into collections for your own personal use. Viewing "My favourites" will open in a new tab. Login here or start a My favourites account.

Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), March 18, 1850