The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), Aug. 12, 1851

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Capt. James Dick - Steamer Princess Royal.

It is a happiness which none but an old and practiced newspaper writer can duly appreciate, not to know personally or even by reputation, his younger contemporaries, since it relieves him from much embarrassment in animadverting upon their conduct. In a late number of the St. Catharines Constitutional, there appears a tirade of abuse against Capt. James Dick, the much respected Master of the Mail Steamer Princess Royal. It would appear that the editor of that paper (if by "we" is meant the editor,) took a passage to Toronto on board the Princess, and chanced to have a personal altercation with Capt. James Dick; and it would also appear, that some time last year the same editor wrote and published a letter to the disparagement of Capt. James Dick. Now, because Captain James Dick took the first opportunity he had to tell his mind to the writer of that letter, this gentleman has thought proper to characterize his conduct as "ungentlemanly, uncourteous, and bullying," - to caution the public against travelling with him, and to publish nearly a column of very filthy abuse, ending with applying to him the epithet of "Jim Dick."

We shall take upon ourselves the disagreeable task of giving our young contemporary a little advice.

1st - When an editor takes up a matter personal to himself, and makes his newspaper the vehicle of self revenge, the public are sufficiently uncharitable to believe him to be in the wrong, or at any rate to state the case very partially.

2nd - When an editor takes upon himself to lecture a public servant, as in the case of Capt. Dick, he has no right to be offended if that person takes up the cudgels in his own defence, and replies by words to what the other side said in print.

3rd - Allowing an editor to have a just cause of complaint for the use of improper language, he neutralizes it by having recourse to the same line of argument. Nothing can be more fatal to our contemporary's wish to be considered aggrieved, than the vulgar appellation of "Jim Dick" applied to a gentleman in the standing and position of Captain James Dick.

The travelling community of Canada want no opinion from us, that the gentleman so shamefully abused in the St. Catharines Constitutional, is one of the most experienced, and also, one of the most popular Captains on Lake Ontario - not a purser captain, but an excellent seaman, who has spent a long part of his life in the service of the public. It has been his misfortune to come in conduct with an angry newspaper editor, who has allowed his feelings to get the better of his discretion; and who, we are sorry to say, will by all who have read his own statement, acknowledge him to have been rightly served. "He who plays at bowls, must expect to meet with rubbers."


In one of the Editor's Letters, mention was made, that Capt. Patterson, long time the popular master of the Phoenix, on the Ottawa River, would be transferred to the front, and be placed, by Messrs. Macpherson & Crane, in command of their splendid new steamer, the

Mayflower, now fitting for the Through Line at Portsmouth. Such event has taken place, and we take the advantage now presented to make the folks on the Front better acquainted with the merits of Capt. Patterson, by transferring to our columns, from those of the Ottawa Citizen, the following


On Saturday last a number of the gentlemen of Bytown waited upon Capt. Patterson, and presented him with a beautiful and valuable gold chain, ring, and breast pin, as a testimonial of their regard and esteem, on the occasion of his leaving the Steamer Phoenix, which he commanded since she was built - as he now proceeds to the May Flower, on the St. Lawrence route.

With the testimonial, an address to Capt. P., numerously signed, was also presented by Wm. Hamilton Esq., expressing the high regard entertained for him as a gentleman, their appreciation of his urbanity and kind attention as commander of the Phoenix - and stating that in consideration of what they felt to be a duty on their part, they could not allow him to depart from amongst them without an acknowledgement, and they sincerely hoped he might long be spared to wear the articles which had been presented.

Capt. Patterson stated in reply that he was unable adequately to express his thanks for the very complimentary testimonial with which he had been honored.

Though he had not been long on the Ottawa, he might say, he had felt at home upon it, having always experienced from the people, the greatest kindness and consideration.

He begged to tender his warmest acknowledgement, and to assure them that he should ever retain the liveliest recollection of their kindness, and especially of this highly valued token of their regard.

In noticing the above testimonial we feel that we would be guilty of suppressing the feeling of the general public did we not add that the regard for Capt. Patterson manifested by the circumstances above noted, is universally entertained by the people in this part of the country. Perhaps were it not for the circumstance of his leaving, such notice would not be thought of, but such an acknowledgement is due to him as an act of justice on such an occasion. Capt. Patterson carries with him the esteem and best wishes of the people of the country on the Ottawa.


11th - Str. Bay State, Ogdensburgh, mixed cargo.

Schr. Niagara, Oswego, in ballast.

Barge William Henry, Quebec, 1100 bars railroad iron, H. & S. Jones.

Schr. Mayflower, Wellington, 2522 bush. corn, 71 bush. rye, 6 casks butter, Jas. Morton.

Schr. Argyle, Buffalo, 125 barrels plaster, W. Ware; 25 bbls. water lime, Peter Schofield.

Schr. Ellen Parke, Amherstburgh, 26,114 west india staves, Calvin & Cook; 104 bbls. powder, 228 bbls. cartridges, 24 blankets, J.A. Harvey.

Schr. Sovereign, Port Dover, 12,550 West India and pipe staves, Calvin & Cook.

Schr. Royal Tar, Bond Head, 5823 bush. wheat, H. & S. Jones.

Str. England, Ogdensburgh, mixed cargo.


11th - Str. Bay State, Lewiston, mixed cargo.

Schr. William Black, Detroit, 1985 bars railroad iron.


At a meeting of Boat-owners and others, held at Mr. Perkins' Hotel, on Monday, the 11th inst., to take into consideration the propriety of having a Regatta, Mr. Hiram O. Hitchcock was called to the Chair, and after a few resolutions being passed the meeting adjourned until Monday, the 18th inst., when all parties interested are particularly requested to attend.


Secretary pro tem.

Kingston, 12th August, 1851.

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Aug. 12, 1851
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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.
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Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), Aug. 12, 1851