The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Oswego Palladium (Oswego, NY), Sept. 14, 1821

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From the Niagara Democrat

It will be seen by the following depositions that the western lakes are like to engender as big snakes as the Atlantic, though the inhabitants on their margin have hitherto been prolific in the manufacture of big stories to correspond - an advantage long enjoyed by our Yankee Atlantic brethren.

The Sea Serpent Navigating The Western Lakes.

Mr. Editor, Sir - The following affidavits of John Maupin of Montreal, and James Sigler of Jefferson Co. N. Y. describes a very large and singular animal that has made its appearance in Lake Ontario, resembling that celebrated sea fish or snake, which has crowded the columns of the eastern papers for the last two or three summers. This, there is but little doubt, is one of the same species, and that which was seen ascending the St. Lawrence last spring by some boatmen. W. H.

Personally appeared before me, G. S. Keefer, Esquire, one of his majesty's Justices of the Peace in and for the District of Niagara, John Maupin and James Sigler, and deposeth as follows:

-- That on the morning of the 25th July, 1821, about one hundred miles from Niagara and about 20 from land, aboard the Canoe Light-foot, on our passage from Montreal to Mackinac, in company with eight voyagers, we discovered at the distance of five or six hundred yards a large body floating on the surface of the water, very much like a burnt log from 20 to 25 feet length; but on approaching it three or four hundred yards closer, it proved to be an animal motionless and apparently asleep. We continued to advance towards it until within 30 yards, when the animal raised its head about 10 feet out of the water, looking around him in the most awful and ferocious manner, and darting forward with great velocity, making the water fly in every direction, and throwing columns of it at a vertical height of seven or eight feet with his tail.

After having gone in a western direction about one or two miles, he appeared to resume his former state, we then resolved to attack him, and accordingly loaded our guns for this purpose, and moved slowly toward him within gun shot. We here had a good view of the animal, he is at least thirty-seven feet long, two and a half feet in diameter, (if measured through the thickest part of the body) is covered with black scales which appeared to create consternation only, he disappearing as before - he has a tremendous head and similar to that of a common snake - frequently thrusting from his mouth a large red and venomous looking tongue. After the animal disappeared we continued our course with a lively oar as may well be imagined. His figure when in motion is serpentine. - Sworn to, signed, &C. in due form.

The editors of the Boston Gazette offer a reward of $10,000 for the Sea Serpent, dead or alive. His snakeship was seen at Nahant; his head was raised about thirteen feet out of water, and is shaped like that of a horse; he is about the thickness of a barrel and is 60 feet long.

John Rose,
Marysburgh, UC.
Sept. 16th, 1839.

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Sept. 14, 1821
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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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Oswego Palladium (Oswego, NY), Sept. 14, 1821