From the Montreal Gazette.
We lately had much gratification in directing our readers attention to the increased facilities in the travelling to Upper Canada, proposed by Mr. Dickinson, the proprietor of a line of stages and steam-boats between this city and Prescott, and we have no less pleasure now in noticing the important additions and improvements to our means of intercourse with Quebec. No less than five new steamboats will then be added to the number which plied between the two ports, giving greatly increased facilities for the transport of property, as well as adding materially to the convenience of the travelling community. As the season of navigation is fast approaching, a short notice of the different steam-vessels which will be for the first time in operation, as well as of those which have heretofore been employed in the Quebec trade may not be unacceptable.
The St. PATRICK, now building at the yard of Messrs. Shea & Merritt, at the foot of the Current, is expected to be launched at the opening of the navigation. This very beautiful boat we learn, is the joint property of the St. Lawrence and the Tow Boat Companies. It is expected that the St. PATRICK will be one of the swiftest steam-vessels on the river, and to our inexperienced judgment, the appearance of her bow seems to afford ample reason for entertaining this opinion.
The new boat's extreme length is 175 feet, breadth of beam 28 feet 6 inches and depth of hold 10 feet 4 inches. Her engines, which are of 160 horse power, with an eight foot stroke, are expected out by the earliest spring vessels from England; they are from the establishment of Messrs. Fawcett & Co. Of Liverpool, the manufacturers of the admirable engines on board the VOYAGEUR.
The St. GEORGE, launched last fall from the same ship yard, and now at Boucherville, will be ready to commence running to Quebec, by about the middle of May. This steamer is 160 feet in length, and her breadth 28 feet. Her engine of 150 horse power, and of 8 feet stroke, from the foundry of Messrs. J. D. Ward & Co. of the city, is now fitting up; and joiners are actively employed in completing her cabins, which will be finished in a similar manner to those of the JOHN BULL. The St. GEORGE is owned by the Tow Boat Company, and will be commanded by Captain George Brush, long and favorably known as the master of different steam-vessels on this river.
The CANADIAN EAGLE is to be the name of a very elegant boat, building also by Messrs. Shea & Merritt, for James Greenfield, the owner of the LADY OF THE LAKES. She is in our opinion a very fine model, and we doubt not that both the St. PATRICK and the EAGLE will reflect as much credit upon their builders, and add to the reputation they already enjoy as tradesmen, as the different vessels which have already been launched at their yards. Mr. Greenfield's new boat is to be 137 foot 6 inches in length; her breadth will be 24 feet 6 inches, and adding the wings 44 feet 6 inches; depth of hold 8 feet 4 inches. Her engine, which is now manufacturing by Messrs. Bennett & Henderson, of this city, will be of 75 horse power. The EAGLE is intended for passengers only.
The EMIGRANT, building at Quebec by Mr. Black, for Sir John Coldwell, Bart., is represented to be a very fine boat. We are sorry we are not in possession of the dimensions of this steamer, that we might give them at the same time with the others. The engines to be placed in the new vessel are to be the two formerly on board the SWIFTSURE, of 60 horse power, and that of the LAUZON, of 30 horse. The EMIGRANT, we are informed, is to be fitted up for steerage passengers exclusively. She will be launched about the first week in May.
The VOYAGEUR steamer, which plied last summer between this port and La-prairie, has been purchased of her owners, Messrs. John Torrance & Co., by the St. Lawrence and Tow Boat Companies jointly, and will be employed by them in the Quebec trade, passing by the Berthier channel. She is fitting up in a very neat manner, and berths and state-rooms will be provided on board for about forty-five cabin passengers; her accommodations for steerage passengers will be the most comfortable and extensive of any on the river. The VOYAGEUR is already known as an exceedingly swift boat, and from her being commanded by Captain Moria, who is generally liked by all classes, she is likely to attract the preference of many of the public.
Having thus taken a survey of the new steamers, we will, in conclusion, devote a few words to those which were in operation last year.
The JOHN BULL may well claim precedence, a possessing a power unequalled by any boat in America. She made but few trips last season, owing to several parts of her machinery being found unequal to bear the force of her engines, which are of 260 horse power. Numerous improvements and alterations have been made during the winter, and there is every reason to expect a full display of her might and power next spring. She will be commanded as last year by Capt. J. D. Armstrong, one of the most experienced and popular masters between this and Quebec.
The BRITISH AMERICA will have her former commander, Capt. C. L. Armstrong, and upon her and the JOHN BULL the towing will entirely devolve, till the St. GEORGE and St. PATRICK take their places in the line.
The JOHN MOLSON, Capt. C. W. Douglas, and HERCULES, J. B. Clarke, Lieut. R. N. Commander, will be employed next season as passenger boats. The formers accommodations have been considerably extended, by making a number of state-rooms in the space formerly occupied by her hold. These boats will, we are convinced, be much liked by passengers generally, as they are so entirely free of annoyance produced by the jarring of the machinery; the JOHN MOLSON in particular, has been frequently remarked for the stillness and quietness of her motion.
The RICHELIEU, which is to be under the command of Captain Richardson, will be employed throughout the season on the River Richelieu, between Chambly and Sorel. As this boat, however, requires to proceed to Quebec for some repairs, her place on the Richelieu River will be filled at the commencement of the season by the CHAMBLY steamer, Capt. Nickless.
The St. LAWRENCE will be commanded by her former master, Capt. J. B. Armstrong, and the LADY OF THE LAKE, Mr. Greenfield's boat, will also continue to run; so that, excluding one boat employed on the CHAMBLY, we shall have twelve steamboats constantly employed between Quebec and Montreal.