The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Free Trader (Steamboat), 1 May 1848

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FIRST ARRIVAL FROM MONTREAL.---The prophecy Major Stickney made in June or July 1834, is fulfilled before the time limited.
An Atlantic steamer, the FREE TRADER, lies in our harbor. She arrived this morning from Montreal, which port she left on Wednesday of last week, stopping by the way, at Hamilton on Lake Ontario and Port Stanley and Cleveland on this lake, making the trip, exclusive of stop-overs in less than six days. The FREE TRADER is built expressely for the lakes and Atlantic trade, and will run as occasions requires, so any ports between Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Chicago, Illinois. What a world we live in ! Here is over two thousand miles of river, canal and lake navigation for vessels and steamboats of a respectable size, and the vast and increasing products of the Western El Dorados can be transported from the extreme end of lake Michigan to any part of the world, with but a single transshipment on the Atlantic seaboard.
The FREE TRADER has capacity for the storage of 3,500 bbds. flour, is propelled by a low pressure engine of 75 horse power, and her speed is 12 miles per hour. Her engine is placed in the stern, so as to enable her free passage through the Welland Canal. She is owned and was built by Messrs Hooker, Horton & Co., of Montreal, and was launched three weeks since. Success to her.-----Toledo Blade
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      Tuesday evening, May 23, 1848

      Official Number ------ 137 Port Number 10 of 1848
Type Propelled by steam
Port Montreal
Tonnage I34.92 Tons Burthen
When built I848
Where built Montreal
Builders name & date of certificate:- Augustin Cantin May 1, 1848
Date of registration at port of Montreal:- June 12, 1848
Description of vessel:- Surveyor, James Mills

Length 136 feet & three tenths
Breadth 24 feet & three tenths at midships
Height between decks 10 feet & one tenth
or Depth of hold

Decks One
Masts None
Bowsprit None
Stern Round
Figure-head None
How rlgged Not Carvel built
Masters name Neil McMullin
Admeasured Afloat, as per 3 & 4 WILL. 1V. Cap. 55 = 244.68 Tons
Length of engine room 51 feet
Tonnage of engine room 135 Tons
Subscribing owners:- Luther H. Holton of Montreal = 32 shares Francis Henderson of Kingston = 32 shares.
Holton owning the entire 64 shares dated Jan. 29, 1850 who then sold to Alfred Hooker of Prescott dated Jan. 12, 1854
Registers Notes:- Cancelled
      Port of Montreal, Shipping Register
      1832 to 1850, National Archives, Canada
      Vol. 175 Microfilm Reel #C-2465

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William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Free Trader (Steamboat), 1 May 1848