STEAM NAVIGATION WITH THE UPPER LAKES
The new steam vessel, the Vandalia, owned by Messrs. Bronson & Crocker, S. Doolittle and J. Van Cleve. returned to this port on Friday last, after a trip to the Niagara river and Burlington By. This is the first trip of this new steamer, and it is with very high gratification, we state, that her performance fully equals the expectations of her owners, and the experiment has proved altogether successful.
The Vandalia is of the largest size of our lake craft which can pass the Welland Canal, and is furnished with a steam engine and propellers according to the Ericsson patent. as we have had some of our worst November weather since the steamer left the port, her owners have been able, on this first experiment, both to test the capacity of the engine, and her qualities as a sea boat.
From information obtained from them, and her master, Capt. R. Hawkins, there is no doubt she is a capital craft for all weather. From her performance on this trip, it appears that she can make from six to seven miles an hour in ordinary weather, without canvas. She has made nearly five miles per hour against wind and sea; and on her return, ran the hundred and fifty miles between Niagara and Oswego in 18 1/2 hours, having a light fair wind and using canvas in the first 30 miles, and making the test of the course without canvas and the wind ahead. This is rather more than eight miles an hour, and as she improved after every firing up, it may be safely inferred that she has not yet done all that she is capable of. in point of safety, she seems to be all that human things permit. The captain considers her the safest vessel he has sailed in, and that the great danger of our lake navigation - a lee shore - is effectually provided against.
The successful of this experiment, we consider the most important event in relation to the interests of this port and the trade of Lake Ontario, which has occurred since the completion of the Welland Canal. The great desideratum of a steam communication with the Upper Lakes is now assured to us, As the Welland Canal now is, our forwarders can compete for the western trade at a great advantage over the inland route. When this enlargement is completed, and steam vessels of 250 tons can trade between the Upper and Lower Lakes, we cannot comprehend how the inland route is to compete with the hundred and twenty five miles of free navigation on the Ontario route. We apprehend the difference of expense would make a fair profit for the Oswego forwarder.
The incapacity of the Welland Canal for steam navigation, and the imperfections of that work, have hitherto prevented the full development of the advantages of the Oswego route for the western trade. The certainty and despatch which attends steam navigation have overcome all considerations arising from the greater cheapness of our route. But hereafter, when economy will be allied with speed and certainty, the rights of the natural route will be vindicated. Our citizens have waited the result of this experiment of Messrs. Bronson & Crocker, &c., with no little solicitude, for they almost felt themselves partners in the enterprize. The enterprize is as honorable as the result is gratifying, and we sincerely hope the Vandalia may contribute as large to forward the interests of her owners, as she is expected to advance the interests of the port to which she belongs. We are firmly persuaded that this enterprize marks an epoch in the progress of the western trade.
A steamboat of the largest class is now being built in this village, and to be completed early in the spring. It is designed the next season to have two daily lines of steam boats between this and Lewiston, and this new boat will be put upon that route. The great increase in travel upon this route, as well as the favor it is gaining with the public, will, we believe, fully sustain this enterprise.