The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Gananoque Reporter (Gananonque, ON), 21 Aug 1861

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Excursion to Ogdensburgh

To the Editor of the Reporter.


Although the inhabitants of Gananoque are pretty thoroughly acquainted with the low effusions which too frequently accompany the editorials of the British Whig, they were hardly prepared for the cool effrontery displayed in Saturday's issue, and which must have emanated from interested motives alone.

But Sir, said editor was very careful not to examine too minutely the truth of the Reporter's statement, and wished no doubt, to mystify the minds of his Kingston patrons, fully expecting that his words would produce such a powerful impression upon his Gananoque readers, that none of them would be willing to contradict them.

Why did he not call into requisition his superior mechanical genius, to invent by some chance, a new method of resting without seats, and thus be a source of profit to his employer, enabling O.S.G. to preserve the good order of his steamers furniture for the special accommodation of such a worthy friend as Dr. Barker.

In justice to the originators of that excursion it would not be amiss to describe some of the treatment received from Mr. Gildersleeve and the officers of the boat.

Previously to the Bay of Quinte leaving Kingston, there was an agreement made with its owner to keep the bar closed during the day, and the faithful manner to which he adhered to his promise was made apparent by the quarrels which frequently occurred during the trip, and the alarm necessarily created among the fair sex. These disturbances would never have arisen if the express wishes of the committee had been carried into effect; and although the captain was frequently solicited to close the bar, he preemptorily refused, and it was not until some severe injuries had been inflicted that he thought proper to accede to them.

Knowing as Mr. Gildersleeve certainly did that the pleasure of the excursionists would be marred, unless the ladies were provided with suitable accommodations, still he did not hesitate to remove as far as possible the seats belonging to the boat, and the captain even refused to allow the staterooms to be opened for their use. Such conduct in connection with the disgraceful act of detaining the boat in Prescott until the amount for hiring it had been obtained from the committee, reflects anything but credit upon Mr. Gildersleeve, and will teach the people of Gananoque that whatever may be the opinion held of the would be representative for Kingston in that city, they at least consider him anything but a gentleman, and in future will most likely think twice before soliciting one of his steamers upon another occasion.

The Ogdensburgh Excursion.

The Kingston Whig copies our article on the Excursion to Ogdensburgh, and adds:-

"The above is one tissue of falsehood and misrepresentation, and if we show that to be the case in one particular instance, the reader can judge how far the other assertions are correct. When the steamer left on the Excursion, Mr. Gildersleeve saw preparations made for selling whiskey and beer, on a large scale, in the forward part of the vessel. He remonstrated against this singular privilege at a Temperance Excursion, and ordered the temporary Bar to be taken down, and the whiskey and beer taken ashore. For the Party then to complain of his Steward's opening the Bar of the boat was an absurdity."

Now with all due respect to the Whig's evident satisfaction for anything and everything in the whiske line, we distinctly and emphatically repeat what we said last week - That Mr. Gildersleeve positively agreed to keep the bar on the Boat closed during the trip, and that, notwithstanding this agreement, the bar was kept open. And also that Mr. Gildersleeve accepted two notes, payable after the return of the Excursion, in payment for the use of the Boat, and when the party had got part of the way, the captain stated he had received a telegram from Mr. Gildersleeve, ordering him not to proceed any further until the Boat was paid for. The truth of these charges does not depend on our word, but they can be proved by witnesses who are conversant with the whole transaction.

The Whig's statement, that "Mr. Gildersleeve saw extensive preparations for selling whiskey and beer in the forward part of the vessel, and ordered the whiskey and beer taken ashore," is a deliberate lie, as Mr. Gildersleeve saw and did no such thing. It was agreed between the parties, while in Kingston, that no bar should be allowed, and consequently when the Boat reached Gananoque, the captain (with the approval of the committee) prevented the erection of a bar in the forward part of the Boat, and ordered the articles intended for sale to be taken ashore, but he took good care not to interfere with his own bar.

The Whig says, "For the party to complain of his Steward's opening the bar of the boat was an absurdity." That is, in other words, it was aburd for the committee to expect Mr. Gildersleeve to do as he agreed to. We hope Mr. Gildersleeve duly appreciates this compliment from his whiskey champion.

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21 Aug 1861
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  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 44.33342 Longitude: -76.16607
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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Gananoque Reporter (Gananonque, ON), 21 Aug 1861