The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
R. H. Harmon (Schooner), 18 May 1860

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      ( Special Correspondence of the Plain Dealer.)
      On board the Schooner J.F. WARNER,
      Below Quebec, May 18, 1860.
      Dear Dealer: - It seems to be natural as well as expected that all rambling Clevelanders, will write back to the Plain Dealer, whether they were patrons of the paper before or not. Rather than be eccentric in this particular, I will drop you a line. April 27th the J.F. WARNER took out clearance papers from Collector Parks for Glasgow in Europe, laden with staves, and on board of which was your hunble servant. The sail over Lake Erie was at least a change of the monotonous life of a store and circumscribed business limits of a city life. Through the Welland Canal, varied scenes gave an interest to the journey. The crops seem to be promising. There were no particular incidents to relate in our sail over Lake Ontario except the often described, still beautiful " Thousand Islands," passed in leaving the lake and entering the river St. Lawrence. The Panorama presented as we dropped down this, the greatest river in the world, was beautiful beyond description. We never lost sight of village or town, and our progress was so rapid that those tows, villages, and cities seemed to fly by us for our especial entertainment till we halted at Montreal, two weeks out of Cleveland.
      We left Montreal Friday, May 11, P.M., about 4 o'clock, in tow of the steamer McKENZIE with the HARMAN.
      The view of Montreal from the river is good. I believe the best that can be had of that city.
      The splendid towers of Notre Dame loom up as you pass down, in one of which there is I believe the largest bell in America, weight, upward of 24,000 pounds As you pass further on the tall spires of Christ Church, and St. Patrick's Church appear in full view, and last but not least is the magnificent Bonsecourt Market.
      The Mountain back of Montreal, Mount Royal, after which the city is named, also affords a fine view of the city and country adjacent. The summit is reached by a pleasant drive over a McAdized road. There are many very handsome private residences on the road. From the top you can see the mountains of Vermont, the windings of the St. Lawrence, with a vast amount of shipping, and level and fertile country stretching for miles on either hand.
      The streets, especially in the District, built by the early French resident are very narrow, and consequently rather dark on a day when the sun forgets to shine.
      The Victoria Bridge is a stupendous piece of architecture. The tube through which the train passes is iron, all the rest stone work. It has 25 arches, the span of each is 242 feet. There are stone piers projecting into the river from each side one-fourth of a mile, or a little more.
      After leaving Montreal you pass to the left of St. Helen Island, which is strongly fortified.
      The population of Montreal is about 80,000.
      We came to at Sorel, situated at the junction of the Richelieu River with the St. Lawrence. Richelieu River connects Lake Champlain, thereby affording direct water communication with New York to consumers in the Canadas.
      We arrived at Quebec at noon, came to anchor in the river. Half-way up an almost perpendicular cliff from where we are is a slab showing where Montgomery fell.
      Quebec is situated at the junction of the River St. Charles with the St. Lawrence. The lower town stands at the base of the mountain on a narrow strip of land, made mostly by filling in. This is a very uninteresting part of the city, streets narrow and dark. About half-way up the road leading to the upper town is a gate guarded by the red coats, with cannon to back them, and called Prescott Gate; there are many other guarded gates in different parts of the City.
      The Citadel on Cape Diamond is a very solid fort, bristling with cannon on every side. In the public garden is a monument to the memory of Wolf and Moltcalm. It is very plain but suitable, and is about 78 feet high. The view of the lower town and the St. Lawrence is very imposing from Durham Terrace. The WARMER and HARMAN left Quebec together on Sunday noon, and we are now far down the Gulf. Our pilot is about to return and will take this with my "adieu" to America for a time, for I feel that really
      "I'm afloat. I'm afloat, on the wild rolling sea."
      Yours, &c. G. W. S.
      Cleveland Plain Dealer
      Friday, June 1, 1860

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ocean voyage
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William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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R. H. Harmon (Schooner), 18 May 1860