The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), April 4, 1850

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No. IV

The American Line of Steamers - Of the numerous steam vessels which navigate these inland waters, the American Line of Steamers, whether on the Lake or River, are not of the least importance. They are the largest vessels of their class, infinitely the most costly, and unquestionably the most superb. The loco-motive habits of the people on the south side of Lake Ontario, are so much more prevalent than those of Canadians, as to afford encouragement to build steamboats, and to make them a certain source of revenue to all engaged in their navigation. If therefore the American Boats are larger, and finer vessels than those on this side, the cause lies in the universal travelling propensities of the American people, and not from want of enterprise on the part of Canadian owners. There is now more steamboat capital afloat in Canada than pays a fair interest; and it would be madness to create more, until a disposition to use steam more generally, is created in the minds of the Canadians. The time is approaching when this difference will be no longer visible, but how soon - quien sabe?

The American Line of steamboats when fully in motion, on or about the 1st of May, will consist of eight vessels, all working into each other's hands, viz, the Northerner, Capt. Childs, the Bay State, Capt. Van Cleve, the Ontario, Capt. Throop, and the Cataract. Capt. Chapman. These four and elegant vessels will form the Daily Line, from Lewiston to Ogdensburgh; touching at Niagara, Rochester, Oswego, Sackett's Harbor, Kingston and Brockville on the way down, and connecting with the American Line of River Steamboats, running down daily to Montreal, and consisting of the British Empire, Capt. Moody, and the British Queen, Capt. Laflamme. A Third Line, viz., the Lady of the Lake and the Niagara, both sound and safe seagoing boats, will make a Daily Trip between Oswego and Toronto; connecting the capital of Canada with the capital of New York more expeditiously and pleasantly than via Rochester. These are the present arrangements, but they will not be carried into full effect immediately. The Americans are a canny people, and they see no profit or fun in running vessels without business to do; and consequently, until the State Canals are open, and goods and passengers are forwarded in sufficient numbers, such boats will but gradually be placed on the several Lines, as may be needed for the way trade, no small matter however. After the 1st of June, when the Southern Travel may be looked for, some other arrangements will be made, expediting the transit of passengers, but of the precise nature of these arrangements we have not been made acquainted - "Good Wine needs no bush." The several boats, and captains, (save the Northerner) mentioned above, are well appreciated in Canada; and nothing we can say of them will enhance them in public opinion. The Northerner has never yet made a trip, having been laid up in Oswego Harbor since the day she was completed. She is to be commanded by that able seaman and gentlemanly man, Capt. Childs, late of the Niagara, who, from his long standing and experience, may with propriety be called the Father of the Lake. - Eighteen years ago he brought the writer of this notice and his family across from Oswego to Kingston, in a small schooner; and to-day he is Captain of the finest steamboat afloat on Lake Ontario, of which he is probably, a large stockholder. May good luck attend him! It is said, but we have no positive knowledge of the fact, that of this Line, the first vessel, the Niagara has already commenced running; having passed down the main branch of the St. Lawrence to Ogdensburgh, on Monday last. When the ice is out of Kingston Harbor, now daily expected to take place, these fine boats will be seen making their customary stoppages at Browne's Wharf, of which more anon.

Browne's Wharf - This, the largest, safest, and most commodious wharf in Kingston, will again be under the charge of Mr. Edward Browne, (Messrs. W. & E. Browne of Hamilton and Kingston) who also remains the general Agent of the American Line. The Stone Warehouses with their iron roofs make this wharf the favorite depot for bonded goods and merchandise; (the Queen's Warehouse is on the Wharf,) and the Centre Warehouse and Slip admirably adapt the same wharf for the Bay of Quinte business, of which steamers Mr. E. Browne is also Agent. Mr. Wm. Ware, Customs House Broker, intends to keep an office on this wharf, all the coming season; and Mr. Searle, Passenger Agent for the American Line, has also an office on Browne's Wharf.

The British Line of Mail Steamers - This Line will consist of the same excellent vessels as last season, viz., the Princess Royal, Capt. Twohy, the Magnet, Capt. Sutherland, and the City of Toronto, Capt. Dick. These vessels are too well known to need any description. The Princess Royal has undergone extensive alterations and repairs; and it is said, will turn out quite a new boat. The Sovereign will remain, as last season, in reserve. Of these vessels, the Magnet, is the first expected down, (expected to-morrow,) then will follow the City of Toronto, and afterwards the Princess Royal. This Line will make Counter's Wharf, (now in the occupation of Mr. Hugh McLennan) their Head Quarters for the season. In all human probability a fierce opposition will take place on the lake during the coming season, between this Line and the Through Line from Montreal to Hamilton; an opposition in which all parties must lose money. How much wiser would it be for the interested steamboat owners to have a mutual understanding, keep up rates and prices, and let each boat do the best it can!

Counter's or McLennan's Wharf - It is exceedingly inconvenient for a well known wharf to change its wharfinger - the public get confused, and they know not how. This wharf has been in the several occupation of Messrs. Counter, Greer, Browne, and Glassford, and this year the Lessee is Mr. Hugh McLennan, formerly Purser of the Canada. Mr. Hugh McLennan is a young man exceedingly well liked, popular in his manners, and well acquainted with the Forwarding Trade, and being Scotch, is sure to be strongly backed by his countrymen. His wharf is very commodious, and the storehouses are large and easy of access, (the Queen has also a Bonded Warehouse on this Wharf,) and as it will be the general Rendezvous of the Toronto Mail Steamers, a very large business is sure to be done on it. Some of the Bay of Quinte boats will also stop here; but arrangements are not definitely concluded. The wharf and warehouses are now undergoing a thorough repair. and preparations are being made for the resumption of business. Messrs. J.S. Smith & Co. General Merchants and Importers have their warehouses on this wharf, and the Customs House is on the main street immediately in rear of it.

Navigation Open - Kingston Harbor is open, and steamers can arrive and depart at will. A schooner from Oswego arrived last night.

Customs Regulations - the regulations which gave so much annoyance to the Shipping Interest have been withdrawn by the Government, and changes made. (2 columns) [Globe]

p.3 The Steamer Canada, Capt. A. O'Connor, will Positively leave Kingston for Montreal on Saturday Morning next, April 6th. Kingston, April 4th, 1850.

The Steamer Commerce will leave Messrs. Macpherson & Crane's Wharf for Oswego and Port Stanley this afternoon, at two o'clock. April 4th, 1850.

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April 4, 1850
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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), April 4, 1850