Descent of the Mail Steamer Gildersleeve Down The North Channel Of The Long Sault Rapid. - Those who have traveled on the St. Lawrence are aware that between Dickenson's Landing and Cornwall, a distance of from 12 to 14 miles, there is a long Rapid, called the Long Sault. The Rapid is divided into two channels by an Island in the centre. The channel on the south side being the one that has heretofore been descended by steamers, and other large craft passing down the river. Captain Maxwell, the enterprising commander of the mail steamer Gildersleeve, having some time ago become impressed with an idea that the channel on the north side of the island was not only practicable for vessels of a large class, but that it was much safer and easier of descent than the channel on the south side, made with much trouble soundings and observations for the purpose of ascertaining whether such was really the case.
Having well satisfied himself in the matter, he, with Mr. Hamilton's permission, made a descent down the north channel last Tuesday afternoon in the mail steamer Gildersleeve. The passage was magnificent. The grandeur and beauty of the rapid far surpassing even those of the Cedars, the Cascades or the Lachine. Owing to the great rapidity of the current, the water was much rougher than on the south side of the island. But the channel is straighter and in every respect better than the one heretofore adopted. And there is little doubt that ere long the north channel will be the one which the main traffic of the river will pass through.
Great credit is due to Captain Maxwell for the ability and perseverance he has exhibited in exploring this new channel. The thanks, at least, of the country are due to him for his exertion and enterprise, and the smallest tribute that can be paid to him is, that the channel which he has thus been the first to prove is practicable for large vessels, should bear his name, and be called "Maxwell's Channel."