The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 11 May 1836

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p.2 Shipbuilding - in Quebec; "...The new measurement is nearly 50% more than the old; Mr. Black's vessel 746 tons old measurement, being equal to 1071, new measurement."

A few days ago, we noticed an improvement in our Canadian canal boats, which is likely to lead to still more important improvements. Instead of the common barges at present in use, we will shortly have superb canal boats, fitted up in a style equal to any in England. Thus we go. We have now pleasure in stating, that Mr. H.T. Lesperance, shipbuilder, has received orders from Messrs. M'Pherson & Co. to erect round houses in three of their largest barges, so they will not only be comfortable for passengers, but will be much safer than open boats for goods. A new boat of a similar construction, has just been finished by Mr. Lesperance for Messrs. M'Pherson & Co.. Mr. L. is now finishing four barges of the largest size for Messrs. Henderson, Hooker & Co. When we say the "largest size," we mean the largest on the St. Lawrence route - the locks being only twelve and a half feet wide, they will not admit the passage of a boat of greater beam. In addition to those Mr. L. has just built two barges for Messrs. Whiting & Co. each of twelve feet four inches beam. The boats built last year were much larger than any built previously, and have so completely superseded them, that it is not likely any more will be made under the size of those at present on the stocks. Indeed our Forwarders are allowing the smaller boats to rot on the banks of the canal. There are three barges on the stocks, nearly ready for launching, at the Current St. Mary - one for Messrs. Millar & Co. and the two others for the Ottawa and Rideau Forwarding Company. But this is not all. Mr. L. has just finished on speculation, two barges, each, nineteen and a half feet beam and ninety feet long, which are intended for the Rideau or Chambly Canal. They are much larger than the common size, being 100 tons burthen each. He is now engaged in building a centre board schooner, of 130 tons burthen, for the Welland Canal and upper Lakes. This is the first attempt that ever has, we believe, been made to build a vessel of the above description in Lower Canada. The barges in use on the Chambly and Rideau Canals, and the schooners on the Welland Canal, have been hitherto built in Upper Canada, so that the present may be looked upon as a new feature in the annals of Lower Canadian shipbuilding. Mr. L. has, we are informed, lately returned from a tour in the States and Upper Canada, where he has examined the recent improvements made in the construction of canal boats, and is now determined, provided he meets with sufficient encouragement, that our neighbours will no longer take the lead of us. The building of the above mentioned schooner is an experiment which is likely to succeed; Mr. Lesperance having made estimates of the expense of labour, materials, etc. which lead him to think that he can afford to build cheaper than Upper Canada ship-builders. As the Gazette says of Mr. Lachapelle, the above facts are "deserving more particularly of notice and favorable consideration, as being contrasted with the apathy for public improvements which generally prevails among the French Canadians." The following is a recapitulation of the number of barges building - 2 for Mr. Lesperance, 4 for Messrs. Henderson & Co., 2 for the Ottawa and Rideau Forwarding Company, 1 for Messrs. Millar & Co. Total - 12. [Herald]

Canal Navigation - N.Y. canals to open on 25th ult. [Herald quoting Albany Journal]

St. Lawrence Canal Engineers leaving for other jobs. [Cornwall Observer]

We are gratified to state to our readers that the steamboat Cynthia, Mr. Thomas McRae, Master, intends making regular trips three times a week, on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays, between this and Chatham, during the season. She is almost ready, and will commence running in about ten days. The advantages of having a regular steam communication between Sandwich and Chatham, will be duly appreciated by the inhabitants of both places, and we have no doubt that the enterprise will meet with ample encouragement. [Sandwich Emigrant]

p.3 The Launch - On Saturday morning last, the Canal Steamboat, built by the Ottawa & Rideau Forwarding Company during the past winter, was launched into her native element, amid the cheers of a numerous body of spectators. The new boat, which has been very appropriately called the Cataraqui, is, considering her size, a very handsome and substantial vessel: - her extreme length is 109 feet, with a breadth of beam of 31 feet, and is expected to draw not exceeding 3 feet of water, when fully laden. Having the greater part of her engine on board, the new boat will be ready for use by the 1st of June. Capt. James A. Chambers has taken the command. Too much credit cannot be given to Mr. Luke Sheay for the great pains taken by him in the building of the Cataraqui, the model of which was furnished by himself.

The Steamboat availed ourselves this morning of the opportunity afforded by the arrival of the Coburg from Toronto, to inspect this very superior vessel. She is of the largest class of Steamboats, inferior in size only to the Gt. Britain, and is in every respect elegant and commodious. She is propelled by two engines of 50 horse power each, upon which an additional expense of nearly £1000 has been expended during the past winter. The Coburg, being owned in Toronto and Coburg, can always command patronage, both in freight and passengers, a proof of the former she evinced this day, in being as heavily laden as she could draw; having in addition to other goods, nearly 2000 blls. of Flour on board for Prescott. She is commanded by Mr. Wm. Colcleugh, an active and gentlemanly young man, who was in former seasons, the Purser of the vessel. We have but one fault to find with the Coburg, and that is, that she cannot spell her own name correctly. Who, in the name of common sense, ever saw the word spelt Cobourg, except in Upper Canada? We recommend the owner to correct the barbarism.

As the Brockville was coming up to Kingston on Saturday morning last, she was run into by the new boat, Oneida, and seriously damaged. If we can credit the accounts given to us by persons on board, and we know no reason to discredit their testimony, the collision was any thing but accidental. The Brockville was in the Narrows at the time of the accident, and had one or more schooners in tow, and perceiving the approach of the Oneida, had got as much in shore as possible, but as the Oneida came alongside, she gave a sheer, and came stem on right into the Brockville, cutting her to the very hull. The injury sustained has not retarded the progress of the Brockville, who gallantly pursues her trips, driving the Kingston before her from port to port.

This reminds us to say, that the ridiculous contest between the Kingston and the Brockville must be given up. We have said, and we re say it, the Brockville is in the wrong; but if the owners of that vessel will not give way, the people of the Kingston must. Enough has been shown to convince all parties, that the latter vessel can make her trips in less time than the Brockville. Honor being satisfied, it is the duty of the managers to make their private squabbles yield to the public convenience, and the concession will come with a better grace from them, inasmuch as they have right on their side, and have already proved that they cannot be driven off their route. We publicly recommend the Kingston to assume the vacant days of Monday and Thursday, for leaving this town for the head of the Bay, and to leave the merits of their action in the hands of a discriminating public.

Garden Island - To be let on this Island, two miles from the town of Kingston, a new and handsome Frame House, (well situated for a Tavern) with commodious outhouses, and about 60 acres of improved land attached.

Garden Island being the depot of the Kingston Stave Forwarding Company, an excellent opportunity now offers itself to the acceptance of an enterprising and industrious man. Apply to Rose & Cameron

Kingston May 9th, 1836

A Card - Mr. Angus Cameron, having commenced the business of Auctioneer and General Commission merchant,... has leased the extensive warehouse in Store St., lately occupied by Messrs. Parker and Benson.




At Kingston Dock Yard, Upper Canada.

Notice is hereby given, that on Monday, 27th of June next, and following days, there will be offered for sale by Public Auction, All the Naval Stores, Ships and Vessels, Sloops, Schooners, Gun-Boats and Boats remaining at that Station, viz:

Anchors from 2 Cwt. to 14 Cwt., 40 in Number; 900 Tons of Iron Ballast, a large quantity of which was cast at the Marmora Iron Works in Upper Canada; Axes, Felling, Junk and Pick; Awnings for Boats; Blocks, single and double of various sizes 2000 in Number, Chain Cable equal to 5 and 5 1/2 inches, 400 Fathoms; Cables Hempen Worn, from 5 inches to 13 inches, 9 pieces; Cordage Cable laid, Hawser laid and Small Rope 200 coils and remnants, Log Line, Spun Yarn, Canvass 14 bolts and remnants from No. 2 to No. 8; Twine, Ships Sails and Boat's Sails new and worn, 20 in Number; Canvass Buckets, Old Hammocks, Compasses Azimuth and Steering; Tar and Pitch, 100 Barrels; Oakum; Coal Tar; Paint, Putty, Paint Mill and Muller; Chalk, Stoves Canadian, Gumford and Brodie, Stove Pipe, Fire Irons, Lead in Pigs, Old and Scupper, Nails of Sizes, and Spike and Deck Nails making together about 20 Tons, Grind Stones, Saws Whip, Hack, Mill and Cut; Mauls Double headed and Pen; Gouges; Crow Bars; Handspikes; Oars for Boats; Capstern Bars, Lanterns Hand, Poop and Top.


Three in use with gear, and three without gear repairable.

Jack screws Jack in Box screws, Bells Watch, Bell metal iron new, round, square and flat various sizes 24 Tons; Iron old, Brass old, Steel, Old Rope, paper Stuff, Pump gear, Scales Beams and Weights. A quantity of Oak and Pine Timber and Spars, lying in the Mast Pond and about the Dock Yard, Kettles Iron and Copper at the Steam Kiln, with numerous articles of Stores and old Stores in use about the Dock Yard and Work Shops.


in Frame, 56 guns. One Ship in frames, 22 guns. One Brig in frame, 14 guns, and one Schooner in frame of 4 guns.

The Timber of the Ships and Vessels, in frames could be rafted down the St. Lawrence, reduced, and using for building Steam Vessels or small Ships. Also, the

Cockburn Schooner,

70 Tons, paid off in 1834, with her masts and spars. Also,

The Bullfrog Tender,

of 60 Tons, with her Sails and rigging, in store; the Bullfrog is constructed to pass through the Welland Canal, she is broad and deep and could be converted fit for carrying staves across the Lakes. Also, ten


in good condition & of the best Timber as far as they are finished, some in frames and some partly planked they will when completed draw less than 2 feet water could be readily fitted for Lighters or Tow Barges for the Rideau Canal. Also, one Old Schooner laying at the wharf and four old Ships of War laying aground on the mud in the harbour. Also, 12 Boats new and in use, from 32 feet to 14 feet.

The Boats are chiefly built of the best Rock Elm.

At the Surgery - a quantity of Medicine, and old Medical Stores, Lime Juice, Bottles, Cases, etc., etc.

Sale to commence at 10 o'clock A.M. and to continue every working day till the Sale is closed, the biddings to be in Sterling Money Dollars at 4s. and 4d.; a deposit of 25 per cent to be paid at the time of purchase, or the lot will be resold, on any doubt as to who is the bidder the lot to be immediately put up again; the Stores to be removed and the purchase money paid within one Month after the sale or the deposit money will be forfeited to the Crown, with the exception of the Ships, Vessels, and Timber, which must be paid for in the limited time, but may be removed at the convenience of the purchasers, no part of the Stores to be removed until paid for.

J. MARKS, In Charge.

Kingston Dock Yard, U.C., 23rd April, 1836.


Departures - May 6th - The barge Emigrant, via St. Lawrence, beef, flour, potatoes, peas (consignees listed.)

May 8th - The steamer Bytown, Capt. Bowen, via the Canal, (long list of freight and consignees.)

May 10th - The steamer Margaret, Capt. Drummond, via the canal (freight and consignees.)

The Rideau, Capt. McGreer, will leave on Thursday morning at daylight.

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11 May 1836
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  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 44.22976 Longitude: -76.48098
Rick Neilson
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British Whig (Kingston, ON), 11 May 1836