The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Detroit Gazette (Detroit, MI), 19 Sept. 1817, page 2

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Swift Sailing.--The schooner Erie, captain Wm. Miller, got under weigh at Buffalo at ten o'clock a.m.on Saturday, and arrived at Bar Point, at the mouth of Detroit River, at half past two o'clock p.m. on Sunday; being but 28 1/2 hours on her passage.


An article has lately appeared in several papers in different parts of the Unites States, which states the new discovery of an important Harbor on the south-east border of Lake Erie. The articles alluded to is penned in such an imposing style that some persons would draw an idea from it that Lake Erie was also lately discovered, or that its navigators were idiots, for not long ago discovering so spacious a harbor as that of DUNKIRK, which is said to be of so much importance to the navigation of the lake. The writer of the Dunkirk Harbor article does not probably know that Lake Erie has been navigated more than three hundred years, and that this "new harbour" of his was surveyed and sounded by a gentleman of this place in the year 1797, and found only fit for the retreat of small vessels in the summer season, and was not even then thought safe without a pier on the shoal to protect them from the lake winds. Every navigator of the lakes knows that to lay up his vessel to winter at Dunkirk, would be to ruin her, by exposing her to the vast quantities of ice driven in from the lake by every northerly and westerly wind during the icy season, and which has been seen piled to the height of 25 feet in the basin.

We do not know how long since this harbor was discovered by gentlemen in Albany, but we believe there is not a navigator on Lake Erie who has not known the place now called Dunkirk, as he has navigated it, and has never thought it more fit for a naval depot, a light-house, or a post of defence, that fifty others between Buffalo and the Islands.

Detroit, Sept. 16, 1817.

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19 Sept. 1817
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Dave Swayze
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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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Detroit Gazette (Detroit, MI), 19 Sept. 1817, page 2