The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), Aug. 17, 1850

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No. II

Montreal, August 14th, 1850.

My Dear Whig:-

I got here this afternoon at 4 o'clock per steamer British Empire, leaving Ogdensburgh at half-past five o'clock, and Prescott at 6 in the morning. This American steamer British Empire, is a most capital boat, handomely fitted up, and admirably well managed. If our steamboat owners would only take a lesson out of Brother Jonathan's book, in the management of steamboats, there would need no necessity of laying up such splendid vessels as the Passport and New Era, in the middle of a season like the present, when American passengers are so numerous, as to compel one set to fast while the other is fed. The more I reflect upon the extreme folly of dismantling these fine boats, the more I am satisfied, that it was an ill-judged measure, that can result in nothing but mischief to the owners. How can it be wondered at, that Southern tourists prefer travelling in handsome vessels with every convenience, instead of perambulating in old and slow boats, or in new ones unprovided with a single state room, that sine qua non of a modern steamboat traveller! And while this is the case on the St. Lawrence, two beautiful vessels are laid up, both the property of or chartered by the mail contractor!!....

A dispute has been going on in the Montreal papers, about a claim to the discovery of a safe steamboat route down the North or Main Channel of the Long Sault Rapids. There is some confusion about this matter, which I will attempt to explain, having made particular enquiries on my way down. About seven years ago, Capt. Marshall, in the steamer Charlotte, made the discovery of a new and excellent channel down the Cedar Rapids; and since then, that channel is known by the name of "Marshall's Channel." This discovery is undoubted. About three years ago, Capt. Maxwell, in the steamer Henry Gildersleeve, laid claim to a much greater discovery, that of a good, safe, and deep channel down the North Channel of the Long Sault Rapids. Capt. Maxwell certainly went down this new route in the Henry Gildersleeve, and is deserving of much credit for so doing. But I am credibly informed, nay I believe, that Capt. Sawyer, in the steamer George Frederick, had made several previous trips down this said channel, and that in fact Capt. Sawyer showed Capt. Maxwell the route, and taught him how to go down it. If this is really the fact, and I have no reason to doubt it, the real discoverer of the new channel is Capt. Sawyer, and the second and lesser merit is due to Capt. Maxwell, that of having taken a large vessel, like the Henry Gildersleeve, down it; an example now followed by a great many other good navigators. As the Scotchmen say, we'll let that flea stick to the wall.


Kingston Imports.

Aug. 14th - Str. Fashion, Belleville, passengers and baggage.

Aug. 15th - Str. Fashion, Belleville, gen. cargo.

Str. Cataract, Oswego, fruit and other goods, for Owners.

Aug. 16th - Str. Northerner, French Creek, passengers and baggage.


Aug. 15th - Str. Cataract, Ogdensburgh, passengers and baggage.

Aug. 16th - Str. Northerner, Lewiston, passengers and baggage.

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Aug. 17, 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), Aug. 17, 1850