A Journey From Quebec
The steamers on the St. Lawrence between Montreal and Quebec, are making money fast, and ill deserve the patronage they get. So far as I can see or hear, their accommodations are wretched, and their fare about the meanest ever placed before any passengers. Their charge is $3 1/2, state-room inclusive, and their arrivals, fog or no fog, very irregular. The Hendrick Hudson and Isaac Newton were spoken of for the St. Lawrence, but are still on the Hudson river.
Far superior is the attention paid to the passengers, and infinitely so are the steamers and their fare above Montreal, and upon Lake Ontario. The New Era, in which I took the trip downwards, and by which I returned to Kingston, is a clean, well-planned, commodious, admirably managed boat - regular in her movements, fortunate in her obliging, careful and experienced officers. Her Captain's name is Chrysler, a brother, I think, of the late Assembly man for Dundas. Never had I a more comfortable passage up. What wonderful improvements have been made on this route since those primitive times when, as a country dealer, I had to accompany my merchandise in Grant and Duff's, and Macpherson & Co's batteaux, beguiling the week's or eight days' voyage and its encampments, with the newest production of Scott, Moore, Byron or Cowper, or listening to the boat-songs of the contented voyageurs.
The fare, considering the superb accommodation, is very reasonable. I paid at Montreal $8 to Toronto, receiving a free railway ticket to Lachine, nine miles above Montreal, from whence the New Era sailed at one in the afternoon, and arrived at Kingston next day.
On my ticket I was allowed to stay a day or two on the way, by an endorsement which saves a dollar, and I took care to secure a good berth by going on board the day before and choosing an airy state-room, as far removed from the enginery as possible.
The Canadian steamers are to be preferred to the American, being free from the annoyance of custom house searches; passengers are cheaply conveyed, and with speed and comfort not to be surpassed. From Montreal to Chicago the distance is four hours less than three days. When I emigrated to Canada it would have occupied at least four or five weeks.
Oliphant's book on Russia is filled with his grievances while descending the Volga 1000 miles in a steam-tug. I am glad to perceive, from his description, that strong as his case is against Russian rule, he describes a state of things in many respects ahead of Canada when I first touched its hospitable shores. [Mackenzie's Message]
To the Electors of the County of Frontenac - Maxwell W. Strange running for Parliament. (1/2 column)
Notice - The undersigned is prepared to receive Proposals for Marine Risks from Britain to Kingston, (or vice versa) on Cargo, Freight, or Vessel, by open Policy - Voyage or Year.
Insurance - Marine and Fire risks taken by S. Rowlands, agent for the Ontario Company of Hamilton. Office opposite that of the Daily News, Princess Street..
p.3 Marine Insurance - The Undersigned having been appointed Agent for St. Lawrence Inland Marine Insurance Co. of Prescott, C.W., is prepared to receive applications for risks at his Office in King street.
Granville Moyle, Agent. March 29th, 1854.
July 19, 20 1854
(the 20th appears to have pages 2 & 3 from the 21st and vice-versa)