The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Telegraph (Steamboat), attacked, 1 Jun 1838

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REPORTED OUTRAGE. -- The Buffalonian of yesterday, reports that the American Steamboat TELEGRAPH has been fired upon by the British at Brockville. It is probably not true.
      Cleveland Herald & Gazette
      Tuesday, June 5, 1838; 2:5
The rumor of the Steamboat TELEGRAPH having been fired into by the Canadians is confirmed today by the statement of passengers from below.
      Cleveland Herald & Gazette
      Wednesday, June 6, 1838; 2:3
From the Rochester Democrat of the 4th, we have only time to give a few items in relation to Canadian affairs. The outrage on the American steamboat TELEGRAPH, was committed at Brockville on the 28th ult. The Captain suspicious of foul play, refused to come up to the dock when ordered to by the Canadians, and on moving off while near the landing, some twenty muskets were discharged into her, four of the balls entering the Ladies' cabin. One passed near the chambermaid, and two struck very close to the Captain. It is said that the shots were given by the guard, called out by the public authorities.
The burning of the PEEL has produced an intense excitement at Toronto, and other ports on the Lake, large patrols are stationed on the wharves, & other public places. A letter
received in Rochester from Toronto, states that rumor was rife of an immediate attack upon that place, by a large body of patriots. The rumor is doubted. The Cobourg Star however
alluding to the said rumor says -"Great preparations are making accordingly. A large guard is on the wharf, and Col. Chewitt has been instructed to arm 100 men of his regiment."
Four regiments of infantry, and three companies of city guards were under arms at Toronto. Some 200 militia have also been armed, and a regiment of blacks is organizing on the
Niagara frontier. Armed schooners to protect the Lake trade are talked of. So says a letter from Toronto dated June 1st.
Gov. Marcy has repaired to Watertown, and the citizens of French Creek have called for a force to protect that place from being burned.
The SIR ROBERT PEEL - We gleaned some additional items, in relation to this melancholy affair:
The Toronto Patriot says, the cries of murder were heard after the boat was cut loose, and that three or four persons are missing. This is doubtful.
A Mr. Holditch says he lost L500 in notes of the Bank of England, and between 80 and $100 in the U.S. Bills.
The Patriot says: "Those in command of the gang were above the common, and had delicate slender fingers more used to picking and stealing than to honest labor. The men were armed with United States muskets. Some pretend to have recognized the voices of Wells, Hugh Scanlan, and Bill Johnson. Some of the passengers were known to the pirates, and were called by their names. Col. Richard D. Frazer, of Brockville, lost about L300 in money. This gentleman estimates the plunderers at about 150 - about 50 boarded the vessel, and 100 reserved. Mrs. Sampson, the lady of Doctor Sampson, of Kingston, and daughter were passengers, and lost all their apparel, and were brutally insulted. The Boat was principally the property of Judge Jones, and was worth about L8000. Despatches have been sent to Quebec, Albany, and Washington.
      Cleveland Daily Herald & Gazette
      Thursday, June 7, 1838; 2:5

      . . . . .

      The Kingston Chronicle of the 2d inst., thus complacently announces the recent outrage on the American steamboat TELEGRAPH:
      We learn that one of the regular militia, at Brockville, who was on sentry, and had orders to fire over any boat he might see in the river, to bring it to, had mistaken his orders, and fired into the steamboat TELEGRAPH, but fortunately with no damage.
      Cleveland Herald & Gazette
      Tuesday, June 12, 1838; 2:2

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Reason: attacked
Lives: nil
Remarks: Uninjured
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 44.58341 Longitude: -75.68264
William R. McNeil
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Telegraph (Steamboat), attacked, 1 Jun 1838