The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), 25 April 1859

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Spring Walk
"The River and Lake Line of Mail Steamers"

As the several Boats belonging to this well-known line are now on their respective trips, the opening of the Lachine and St. Lawrence Canals having set them in motion, it may be as well to refresh our readers' memories with the names and descriptions of the various Steamers composing this line. The whole of the Boats are owned in Kingston, where during the past winter they have been put in a most efficient state of refitness for the summer's business. They are five in number, the two Iron Steamers belonging to the Hon. John Hamilton; Mr. W. Bowen's two vessels, and Mr. Gildersleeve's New Era. All last season these five fine Steamers kept up a Daily Line between Montreal and Hamilton which was not interrupted, except by severe weather, for a single day. And, although the badness of the times and the opposition of the Railroad may have reduced their usual profits, yet we are happy to say that they more than paid expenses. This was owing to their punctuality, regularity, and the extreme attention paid by their respective captains to the wants and comforts of the Travelling Public.

The Iron Steamboat Passport, Capt. Harbottle. This fine vessel is the great favorite of the Lake, being safe, swift and commodious. Her Captain has been long in Mr. Hamilton's employ, and is one of the best seamen afloat.

The Iron Steamer Kingston, Capt. Kelly. This fine vessel is newer than the Passport, and faster. She is an excellent sea boat, and in the roughest weather never fails to make her passage good. Like Capt. Harbottle, Capt. Kelly is an old employee of Mr. Hamilton. Both the Passport and the Kingston stop at the Commercial Wharf.

The Banshee, Capt. Thomas Howard. This is one of Mr. Wm. Bowen's boats, and a very fine vessel she is--almost new. She has been put in complete repair, and she is commanded by one of the most popular gentlemen on Lake or River. Good luck attends some craft, and the Banshee has been a most fortunate vessel ever since she was launched.

The Champion, Capt. William Smyth. This is the other of Mr. Bowen's boats. During the past winter, she has been most thoroughly overhauled, both vessel and engine, and she is now in as good condition as when on her first trip. Her Captain commands her for the first time; he is a thorough seaman, one of the Brothers Smyth, of Kingston, and has worked his way up to the command of this fine vessel by perseverance and industry. The Banshee and Champion make their stopping place at Kingston, at the St. Lawrence Wharf, of which Messrs. Anderson and Ford are the new Wharfingers.

The New Era, Capt. P. G. Crysler. This is Mr. Gildersleeve's boat, which completes the Line. The New Era and her gallant Captain are too well known to need eulogy at our hands--suffice it, that the one knows his duty, while the other is passive in his experienced hands. The last on our list, the New Era, will be found foremost in the Line. The stopping place of this fine steamer is the Atlantic Wharf, recently leased by our old friend, Mr. Joseph Doyle, late of the St. Lawrence Wharf.

The times of arrival at and departure from Kingston, on their upward and downward Trips are not definitely fixed, but in all likelihood, they will be the same as last year. Arriving from Montreal early in the afternoon, and leaving for Toronto and Hamilton at five o'clock, p.m. And in going down, arriving at and departing from Kingston, very early in the morning, to enable the vessel to chute all the Rapids in daylight. As all the Boats lie over a long while at Montreal, one day doing nothing, it has been deemed advisable for the Boats to make a weekly Trip to Quebec, to meet the European Steamer.

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25 April 1859
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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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Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), 25 April 1859