The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), 7 Apr 1853

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p.2 -The First Arrival - steamer Magnet; Passport and New Era leaving.

Spring Walk no. III

How dull the town, how miserable the weather! How cold, sloppy and disagreeable the streets! Who would leave the fireside, who could stay by it? Who would not prefer lounging on a sofa, with an uncut copy of "Villette", unpleasant, though exciting, as "Carrer Bell" always is, to ranging the streets of Kingston, asking all kinds of impertinent questions? Who indeed? Of all the months in the Canadian year, April is the most miserable. Never sufficiently warm to be pleasant, it is more generally ungenial than even dreary November. Nothing but the hope, nay the certainty of the fine weather soon to come, sustains the mind, and nothing but patience can live through it. Canada has no spring; one day, even in "balmy" May, the Thermometer is down to zero, and the next afternoon it may stand at 75 . One day the fruit trees are in full bloom, and the next morning tells a cruel tale of the frost having killed off every bud. But what has all this to do with "Our Walk"? A great deal, gentle reader, for the recollection of yesterday nasty yesterday, chills one, and it becomes as occasionally necessary in a newspaper writer to get rid of ill temper, as it is for an over loaded boiler to blow off steam. Now, we shall jog on better together.

THE UNITED STATES AND BAY OF QUINTE WHARF. - With whatever degree of truth a good word may be said of other Kingston Wharves, and the Wharves of Kingston are by far the best of any in the Province, a great deal better word can justly be offered in behalf of this well-known place of business. No only are the warehouses large and excellent, but they are fire-proof; and as this circumstance gives them a decided preference, it becomes needless to talk of the admirable location, large size, and convenience of this Wharf, "Good wine needs no bush", and these things speak for themselves. The United States and Bay of Quinte Wharf this year passes into fresh management: for Mr. Kinghorn, late Book Keeper to Messrs. McPherson & Crane, has leased the Establishment for a term of years, with the intention of carrying on the business of Wharfinger, Warehouseman, and Forwarder. His long experience with the greatest House in the trade fits him for the avocation, which we trust he may find agreeable and remunerative. The arrangements Mr. Kinghorn has made for the season's business, include what follows, and much more than we can now recollect.

The American Line of Lake steamboats will stop as usual at this wharf. The Line will consist of four first class Steamboats, of large size, affording a vessel up and down each day. The first vessel of the season, the "Cataract", is expected daily.

The Bay of Quinte Steamer, the "Canadian", Capt. Chrysler, will depart from and arrive at this wharf. This boat having undergone a complete state of repair and refitment, has had her name changed, whether for good or evil, the reader can judge! The "Canadian"used to be called the "Prince of Wales", and as the "Prince" was one of the most fortunate vessels that ever ran on any route, the policy of altering her cognomen is not very transparent. But that's the business of her owners. By the way, it may as well be mentioned here, that the steamboats known as the "Gildersleeve Line", now in consequence of the sale of the "Henry Gildersleeve" to Capt. Maxwell, of the Tug Line, reduced to two vessels, the "Bay of Quinte" and the "Canadian", have been chartered by Mr. Overton Gildersleeve, whose family owns much stock, and who, we believe, intends to leave the legal profession for the more congenial occupation of Steamboat Manager. At least, such is the general gossip. The fact is, the high days and holidays of the lawyers are gone in Canada, never we hope to return, and as rats are known to desert a sinking ship, so do we daily see professional gentlemen, that is young men, leave the Law and take up some more honest and useful employment - that pays better.

It is expected that the new Cape Vincent and Canada Steamboat Company's vessels will make the United States Wharf their regular stopping place, for the convenience of its Bonded Warehouse; but the arrangement is not definite. Messrs. McPherson & Crane will be local Agents of the new Company, but it is not arranged, at least the arrangement is not made public, at what hour the boats of this Line will call at Kingston. Come here they must, if it be only to bring hither and take away the flood of passengers going and coming between Canada and the United States, via the Rome and Watertown Railroad.

Alongside this wharf is lying and refitting that noble steamboat "Arabian", Capt. Colcleugh, one of the Lake Mail Line of Steamers. Owing to an accident to her machinery late last Fall, the "Arabian" wintered at Kingston, where the ship remains, ... (13 words indecipherable) down from Niagara (where the engine was originally manufactured). The "Arabian" lacks only a few days ere she be ready for her season's work. In every other respect, this fine vessel is in apple pie order, and under the command of the able and experienced Capt. Colcleugh, it is to be hoped that she will prove as fortunate as she deserves, which is speaking whole libraries; for a finer, stronger, swifter, better built, or more powerful steamer than the "Arabian" does not float on Lake Ontario.

The steamer "Bay of Quinte", Capt. Chambers, is also lying at this Wharf.- An Upper Saloon has been put on her during the recess, and in other respects she has been thoroughly finished, having been set to work last season ere all her intended arrangements were perfected. She is by far the finest vessel on the Bay of Quinte route, and must command the passenger trade, should she persevere in her contemplated intention of running as a Day Boat between Kingston and Belleville. Her commander, Capt. Chambers, is also the most popular man on the Bay, and the vessel and her master are well matched. The steamer "Passport", Capt. Twohy, was brought down yesterday to her old location, the Commercial Wharf. This elegant boat will form one of the Lake Mail Line between Hamilton and Prescott, touching at Kingston up and down. Her owner, the Hon. John Hamilton, will attend to her interests here, and all persons engaging passage or freight, will do well to apply at the office on the Commercial Wharf. This is imperatively necessary, as the other Boats of the Line have different stopping places. The "Passport" refitted this season, is well officered, and must command a large share of the public patronage. She leaves Toronto this afternoon.

Enough for to-day is the evil thereof:- to-morrow we intend to leave wharves and steamboats for a while, and "walk" into other matters equally interesting to the man of business as well as the general reader.

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7 Apr 1853
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  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 44.22976 Longitude: -76.48098
Rick Neilson
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pd [more details]
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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), 7 Apr 1853