The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), Aug. 31, 1850

Full Text




....This fact may be illustrated by the sudden orders from Washington to the different Customs Officials, along the northern frontier; our vessels are forbidden from entering any American port, excepting a Port of Entry, whereby our shipowners are without any forewarning deprived of the growing import trade, by the St. Lawrence to the border States, just as the same began to develop itself with promising advantage to them. This latter step is taken, no doubt, for the three fold purpose of securing the American shipowner the Exclusive benefit of such trade - of forcing us to grant him the freedom of our river navigation - of showing us, practically, how impossible it is for us to prosper otherwise than in the bosom of the Union.

Let us consider for a moment how we deal on the other hand with our friendly neighbors in such matters. We concede to them a direct telegraphic correspondence with Halifax, the nearest point of communication with Europe. We grant them liberty not only to trade with every port along our frontier, but to penetrate into the very heart of our country for commercial purposes, their craft being at this moment engaged in transporting boards, etc. from Bytown to Whitehall, and in the trade of the St. Lawrence, between our inland Lakes and Montreal. Surely this is a "jug-handle" kind of reciprocity....

As a preliminary step, we would recommend the immediate closing of the Welland Canal against American shipping and its exclusion from the Canadian waters, saving to the like extent as ours are privileged in the American; and afterwards, the imposition of a heavy duty on all goods entering the Colony, excepting such as are imported via the St. Lawrence, the same to be admitted at the existing, or a lower impost, and the Canal tolls thereon reduced to meet the increase of freight, if any, consequent on the change of route such a policy would occasion.....



It seems that opposition is going it hot and heavy on the other side, between the two rival lines, and everything is seized upon with avidity by both parties, to attract the passengers towards their own boats. Amongst other things it seems that the runners for the American boats have re-published a letter from the Editor of the British Whig, in which some allusions are made to the bad policy of the contractors laying up their new and fast boats, and keeping on their old and slow concerns, to their own great detriment, and the advantage of their Yankee opponents. They also publish in the same placard one or two other letters from a few querrulous and discontented individuals, reflecting upon the British line, all which are intended to deter American travellers from taking passage in the British boats. Of course everything is fair in love and war; and in this war of interests our steamboat proprietors have no right to complain if their opponents take advantage of everything which which occurs to draw the custom towards their own boats. One thing only, however, is clear to my mind, and one alone which will secure the victory to our side, and that is that our steamboat proprietors must immediately adopt the advice of the Editor of the British Whig, and put their splendidly fitted up and swift boats upon the lines, instead of their present worn out old tubs, and the whole discussion will be ended, as the superiority of the boats, added to the superiority of the route, will soon end the question as far as the travelling public are concerned. In justice to the British Line, please re-publish the following, which has been circulated in the form of a hand-bill on the other side, and which certainly speaks highly of the British Line:-

A perusal of the following letters from individuals of the highest standing, contradicts in language too plain to be misunderstood, any gross deception or misrepresentation that may be practiced by those in the employ of the American Line:-

Steamer Ottawa,

River St. Lawrence, June 18th, 1850.

S.D. Hamelin, Esq., Niagara Falls.

Dear Sir:- Having enjoyed a beautiful trip from Niagara to Montreal, we desire to express our approbation of the manner in which your line is conducted, and take pleasure in recommending it to such of our friends as may desire an opportunity of viewing the Cities and towns on the Canada shore. We could not desire more comfortable accommodations, or better fare than we found on board the steamers Magnet and Ottawa, or more kind and gentlemanly treatment than we received from their accomplished commanders, Captains Sutherland and Maxwell.

Yours respectfully,

Richard Levick, Boston.

C.W. Hallowell, Philadelphia.

T. Morris Perot, do.

J.W. Bray, do.

Edward Wyman, Boston.

J.P. Townsend, do.

Charles Gensal, New York.

Albin Wickler, do.

Montreal, June 27th, 1850.

Mr. S.D. Hamelin, Niagara Falls.

Dear Sir, - I beg leave to write you a few lines acknowledging my obligations to you as Agent of the English Line of Steamers thro' Lake Ontario to this city.

I have travelled all through the United States and other places, and must say that I never have met with more attention than was conferred on myself and party, which were eight ladies and about as many gentlemen, particularly by Capt. Dick of the steamboat City of Toronto, and Capt. O'Connor of the Canada, as well as by the waiters in each of the steamers. We fared well both as to the table and accommodations, having fine State Rooms for all our party. At any rate we are all perfectly satisfied, and consider the charge low, when we consider we had no waiters or porters to fee, which is too much the custom.

My opinion of the English Boats is much altered since our trip; you do not praise the line half enough.

I remain your obedient servant,


Firm of A.J. & Wm. G. Lewis,

45 & 46 Commercial Wharf, Boston.

Boston, Mass., July 30th, 1850.

Mr. S.D. Hamelin, Niagara Falls.

Dear Sir, - We were much pleased with the Canada route to Montreal, and found most of the stories told by the other side "fibs." We were quite unfortunate in the day we left, as we had a greater number of passengers than they had had the present season. We however on the whole were much pleased with the route, particularly the passage through the Lachine Rapids, which we understand is not undertaken by the American boats. The politeness and attention of the captains, clerks and servants of the different boats, together with the substantial fittings of the table, we have not seen surpassed by any other Lake or River Boats we were ever in.

You recollect a deal was said about the hour we should arrive at Montreal. I won a bottle of Champagne with one of our party who bet we should not arrive till past 8; we were there by half past seven. You have just our impressions of the route.

Yours respectfully,

C.E. Statton, for the party.

[Rochester Daily Democrat]


Capt. Twohy, Str. Princess Royal.

We, the undersigned, passengers by the steamer Princess Royal, from Toronto to Kingston, cannot bid you farewell, without expressing our appreciation of the kindness we have experienced, and the pleasure we have derived from the last passage just now ended. Though we feel confident that in doing so, we but add one meed of praise to those already recorded, etc., by the travellers equally favored in having the good fortune to be wafted over the bosom of the Ontario, in so excellent a steamer, and commanded by a gentleman, comprising such rare knowledge of his profession and perfection in all those qualities which give the fortunate possessor the power of so largely contributing to the happiness of others.

We request you will convey to the officers of the boat our sense of their attention to the comforts and wants of the passengers on board, and admiration of the excellent order, that universally prevails, by assuring you that we shall ever retain among the pleasant reminiscences of life, a lively remembrance of the happy hours passed on board the Princess Royal, we regret our farewell.

Brighton, July 4th, 1850.

John Avery, Lowell, Mass.

James H. Weeks, Boston, Mass.

Charles Lowther, New York.

George N. Faxton, Boston.

R.W. Scott, Bytown, C.W.

John Avery, Jr., Lowell, Mass.

Thomas Tapsling, London, England.

We understand that representations are being made to the American Government, at Washington, with a view to the attainment of the re-opening of the Ports on Lake Erie, lately closed to Canadian vessels by the Custom House authorities. [Montreal Herald]

Kingston Imports.

Aug. 29th - Schr. Amherstburgh, Port Sarnia, 58 bbls. potashes, E. Hooker; 8 do., Macpherson & Crane.

Aug. 30th - Str. Northerner, French Creek, no lading.

Schr. Canton, Cleveland, 1169 bbls. flour and 6205 bushels wheat, Macpherson & Crane.

Barge W. Henry, Quebec, 1200 bars railroad iron, H. & S. Jones.


Aug. 30th - Str. Northerner, Sackets Harbor, gen. cargo.

Schr. Elizabeth, Oswego, 57,000 feet lumber, W. Beamish.

Media Type:
Item Type:
Date of Original:
Aug. 31, 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), Aug. 31, 1850