The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Kingston Chronicle (Kingston, ON), May 26, 1838

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For the Chronicle and Gazette,


Mr. Editor,

On Wednesday the 16th instant, the Sir Robert Peel arrived from Prescott fully prepared for a trial of speed with the Britain; the Peel started at 8, instead of half-past 9, her usual hour, without giving any notice of the situation; the Britain was preparing for half-past 9, her hour of departure, neither seeking nor shunning a contest. Captain Whitney, already annoyed by some unhandsome advantages attempted to be taken of her by the Peel, determined to start, unprepared as he was, with but just steam enough to give his boat steerage way, and using only the ordinary description of fire wood with a few coals; while the Peel used turpentine and other dangerous combustibles, by which she was set on fire , and so imminent was the danger that her Commander had given directions to all hands to look out for their own safety; and had not the Britain come to her assistance, there is no telling what the consequence would have been. The Britain, notwithstanding all the disadvantages she laboured under, arrived first at Oswego.

On Wednesday last Captain W. was prepared at an early hour; he had her steam fully up, when the Peel arrived from Prescott; finding this to be the case, they made many excuses, and declined running on any thing but fair terms. The Britain waited at Nine-Mile Point until the Peel was a long way ahead, then passed her and arrived half an hour before her at Oswego. I am not a little surprised at the want of judgment of the managers of the Peel in thinking that an unseemingly smoke box like her, could by any probability cope with the Queen of the Waters. It is thought by many good judges that the Britain can run round the Peel twice between this and Oswego, and arrive before her.


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May 26, 1838
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Richard Palmer
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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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Kingston Chronicle (Kingston, ON), May 26, 1838