The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), 12 Mar 1853

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We copy from the Toronto Leader the Steamboat arrangements for the present year. We know that a great portion of what we publish is positively erroneous, and a great deal of what is true is wholly omitted; but what can we do? The Forwarding gentlemen of Kingston have considered it necessary to keep the Kingston Press in darkness on the subject, and as the public are craving for information, we give the best in our power. One or two corrections we shall take upon ourselves to make. Although the people of Watertown and Rome have taken an interest in the steamers Highlander, Mayflower and Champion, yet Messrs. McPherson & Crane, and Messrs. Hooker & Holton still hold a sufficient portion of the stock to control their movements. No mention is made of the River Boats, but we believe it certain, that while the Lake Mail Steamers descend as far as Prescott, the River Mail Steamers will come up as far as Kingston. At least we heartily trust that such will prove the case. In the meanwhile our readers will peruse the Leader's article, and pay as much attention to it as they choose:-


At a time when the navigation of Lake Ontario is about to open for the season of 1853, it will be interesting to the public to know the arrangements of the different lines of boats, passenger and freight, that will navigate its waters. There will be three daily lines of boats running east of this city. The Royal Mail Line will this year consist of four instead of three boats, as heretofore; and run from Hamilton to Prescott, instead of to Kingston only, as in former years. This line will consist of the Maple Leaf, (which was last year one of the Through line) the Magnet, the Arabian, (also one of the Through line last year), and the Passport. One of these vessels will arrive in Prescott every morning, about eight o'clock, and lay over till the next morning; which arrangement renders necessary four instead of three boats.

The British Through line was found a losing speculation last year; and has for that reason been withdrawn.

The daily American Express line of steamers will commence on the 1st June, and run till the 1st October. The route is from Ogdensburgh to Lewiston. The vessels will call at Toronto at 7 in the morning, on their way up, and at three in the afternoon, on their return.

The daily line from Toronto to Rochester will consist of the Princess Royal and Admiral; and will call at the intermediate ports between Toronto and Cobourg. A new Express, from Toronto to Rochester and New York, is to be run three times a week on this line, by Mr. Maitland of this city. We have called it a new express, but we believe it is a continuation of Wilder's.

The Cape Vincent Railway Company have purchased the Mayflower, the Champion, and the Highlander, to form a daily line from Hamilton to Cape Vincent, calling at Toronto and the intermediate ports. This line will run in the name of McPherson and Crane; an arrangement which shows in a remarkable manner the value of the laws affecting the coasting trade. The Americans cannot, in their own name, carry on a coasting trade on the British shores; but they can do equally well through others what they cannot do directly in their own name. This line will commence on the opening of navigation.

The City of Hamilton is to run between Toronto and Hamilton daily, as usual, completing the daily line from the head of the lake to Rochester, in connection with the Admiral and the Princess Royal. She commences her trips on the 20th of March. The Queen of the West, it is said, will attempt to make two trips a day between Toronto and Hamilton. Her time of starting is not fixed. It is understood that the rate of passage on the City of Hamilton will be 7 1/2d and 2s 6d. For any thing that is at present known to the contrary, the Queen of the West will adhere to the old rates of 2s 6d and (5s?).

The new iron steamer Peerless is to make two trips a day between Toronto and Lewiston; starting from Toronto at seven a.m. and at one p.m.

The extension of the Erie Railroad to Youngstown is nearly completed; and it is understood that the railroad company contemplate running a boat this season twice a day between Toronto and Youngstown. The boat to be selected for this service it is conjectured will be the Northerner, a "crack" American boat.

It is not at present quite certain whether the Mazeppa will this season run between Toronto and St. Catherines; but if not, the Ottawa Chief will take her place. The Mazeppa has been bought by Capt. Maxwell; who, if he does not like his bargain, will be allowed to give it up on the payment of $1000. It depends upon the carrying out of this sale, whether the Mazeppa will run between Toronto and St. Catherines. The people of St. Catherines have offered to take sufficient stock in the Great Western railroad to construct a branch from Port Dalhousie to St. Catherines, whence the Great Western railway will take passengers to the Falls. This will be a rival to the road from Niagara to the Falls. The branch will probably be completed in the fall of this year.

The steamer America has been sold for £2,500. She is hereafter to be used as a tow boat on the Bay of Quinte. The City of Toronto is also said to have been sold for the same purpose; and her route will be between Kingston and Prescott.

The Chief Justice will be laid up from the 1st May; to be kept in readiness for a winter boat between Toronto and Niagara, when the Peerless will lay up.

There are, besides the above passenger boats, several lines of freight steamers on the lake. The Britannia, the Lord Elgin, and the St. Lawrence the property of M.W. Brown, of Hamilton, will run from the head of the lake to Montreal.

The Scotland, the Western Miller, and the Ottawa, the property of McPherson and Crane, will take the same route.

The England, the Hibernia, the Ontario and the Free Trader, the property of Hooker and Holton, will be on the same route.

The Dawn, the Protection, and a new boat, the name of which we forget, built this winter in Canton's shipyard, Montreal, the property of H. Jones and Co., will be on the same route.

These are all the freight steamers to run between Toronto and Montreal.

The Montmorenci will run from Hamilton to Quebec; and the Reindeer from Quebec to Port Stanley. These are freight steamers.

The propeller Brantford will run between St. Catherines and Montreal.

It is difficult to form an accurate opinion as to the prospect of freights on the Lake during the season; because but few contracts have yet been made. Contracts for flour have been made at 1s 6d a barrel to Montreal; but it is expected that this figure will be reduced when the Towing Company gets fully organized and into operation. The vastly increased amount of business to be done forbids the idea of low freights this season on Lake Ontario. The progress of the railways considerably augment the amount of freight, by the demands for iron and other materials; and the stocks of lumber in Upper Canada awaiting shipment to the United States are far greater than on any previous occasion. The Ogdensburgh and Boston Railroad Company are chartering all the schooners that they can obtain on Lake Ontario. They took the same course last year, and found it to answer their purpose. They have agents now visiting all the Lake ports to charter schooners. They have succeeded in obtaining nearly all the St. Catherines vessels. By resorting to this policy they are enabled to keep up lake freights, and to secure a very large business for their railroad. Last year the freight on goods to Ogdensburgh, Cape Vincent, and Oswego was $2 a ton, and 7'/4d the bbl. of flour. There is no reason to believe that freights will rule higher this season; for the same monopoly of schooners existed last year that is taking place now. But, as we have said, no contract for freight to those places have yet been made. The Ogdensburgh and Boston Railroad Co. will have a weekly line of steamers, consisting of the Ocean Wave and the Boston, running between Ogdensburgh and the head of Lake Ontario. Part of the time, these steamers will be employed in tugging the fleet of schooners chartered by the company from Ogdensburgh to the foot of Lake Ontario. Freights from Toronto to New York are 45 cents for flour.

Mr. John Quinn, for some time favorably known as Steward of the Maple Leaf and the City of Hamilton, has built a steamer to run across Toronto Bay in opposition to Mr. Privat's steamer. She is called the Citizen. We believe the one boat lost money last season. What then is the prospect for two?

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12 Mar 1853
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  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 44.22976 Longitude: -76.48098
Rick Neilson
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
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Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), 12 Mar 1853