The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Kingston Chronicle (Kingston, ON), May 15, 1830

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p.1 Rideau Canal Tour - (concluded) - Dow's Swamp, Bytown, general remarks. (2 1/2 columns) [Canadian Courant]



Captain Gilderslieve in attempting to do away with the public feeling excited against him, for his attempt to render the Toronto a losing concern to her owner, as well as useless to the public, has, by mention of my name and conduct in relation to the route of the Bay steam-boats, afforded me an opportunity of explanation, without the risk of being charged with unnecessarily obtruding myself or my affairs on the notice and patience of the Public.

As I am about to contradict in the most explicit terms the only circumstance advanced in Captain G.'s statement, which if true, would affect my credit with the public, and give my conduct every appearance of inconsistency, if not of bad faith; the conclusion at which those who think the subject worthy of attention, will arrive, must depend on the estimation in which may be held, the character for veracity, power of self-recollection and retentiveness of memory, which belong to Captain Gilderslieve and myself. Captain Gilderslieve states that he proposed running the same days that the boats did last year, that I did not like the days the Toronto ran the last season, and wished to change them; and that I put on a slip of paper the days on which I wished her to run; that he consented to this arrangement, although he did not consider it so good an arrangement for the public, but was led to suppose the change he proposed was determined on. That he shortly after saw me and that I "wished to make another change, and named the days on which I should run. That he objected to them strongly etc. etc." It is perfectly true that Captain Gilderslieve expressed a strong desire that the Toronto should this year, continue the disadvantageous and unequal route of last year, and allow his boat to be always a day before her. It is equally true that as soon as I chartered the Toronto, I dared to think of using my own property in such a manner as I conceived most likely to advance my interests, accommodate the public, and not in the least interfere with the Sir James.

Captain Gilderslieve aware, how ungracious and arrogant his conduct would appear to the public, in leaving the Toronto no other alternative than the route of last year, or a change, subject to his high displeasure; tries to get rid of the difficulty, by asserting that he agreed to a new route proposed by me, and that it was only when I insisted on another change, that he opposed it. With a full recollection of all that passed between Captain Gilderslieve and myself on the subject, I declare positively that in the latter important particular he states an untruth. In saying this however, I disclaim any intention of imputing to him a wilful departure from truth, and can account for it only from some erroneous impression.

The facts are these - shortly after I chartered the Toronto, Captain Gilderslieve called at my place several times to know what days I intended to run the boat, on these occasions I expressed my desire to preserve a good understanding with the Sir James, and my wish not to interfere with her route, at the same time stating my determination not to run the same days as last year, - several routes were mentioned, and were put down on a slip of paper, but none agreed upon - Captain Gilderslieve never expressed his assent to any route whatever, and I distinctly told him I had not determined what route to take, but when I did decide, I should not fail to inform him. Accordingly two or three days after, I informed him that I should run the Toronto the following days, leave Carrying Place on Monday for Kingston, leave Kingston for Prescott on Tuesday, leave Prescott for Kingston on Wednesday, leave Kingston for the C. place on Thursday, leave C. Place for Kingston on Friday, leave Kingston for C. Place on Saturday, and remain there during Sunday. To this he replied in a very high tone, "if the boat would take them three days, he should oppose her in every way he could." I answered that if he considered that the Toronto had the slightest advantage in the route laid down for her, that I was perfectly willing that the Sir James should take that route, and permit me to take hers. But no, this plan would not give a decided advantage to the Sir James, and such an attempt to equalize the routes and give the Toronto fair play, was little short of Treason against the sovereign authority of one who had reigned so long on the Bay.

Captain Gilderslieve says that he was ordered to run the same days as last year, unless he was interfered with. Now I defy him to show one instance in which the Toronto has interfered with him since the commencement of this season. The Captain seems to be aware that the tide of public sentiment (that moral force to which all must yield) has set in against him, and conscious that the fair offer I made him of giving him his choice of the two routes, must satisfy every candid mind that he wished some undue advantage; he would have it believed, that his only reason for refusing was that it would accommodate the public. Unfortunately however for the correctness of this opinion, I have learnt from various quarters of the Bay, that the route adopted accommodates the public more than ever, and that it only remains for the Sir James to take her old route to render the arrangement in every respect satisfactory - more particularly since the Toronto has ceased going to Prescott, and makes an additional trip up the Bay.

I doubt if many will place much reliance on his wish to accommodate the public, when his actions square so little with his words. Without denying his right to run the Sir James when and where he pleases, to keep up a vexatious and insulting opposition to the Toronto, (the Sir James ringing a bell when the Toronto does, leaving Port when the Toronto does,) still people must be permitted to doubt his anxiety to accommodate the public; or was it his anxiety to accommodate the public, that led him to offer so largely for the Toronto at the sale? I have heard from good authority, that he had no instructions from his employers to charter the Toronto; and as I am far from imputing to him the treacherous design of chartering the Toronto for the purpose of running her for his own private advantage, against the respectable company who employ him, I can only think, that out of his desire to accommodate the public he would lay up the Toronto high and dry, and leave the public with but half the means of accommodation they had before.


Steam-boat Disaster - A new steam-boat owned by E. B. Dodd, and others, of Brownville, Jefferson County, called the Brownville, was burnt to the water's edge last Sunday, about thirty miles above this place, while making her first trip on the river. She left Brownville for this place loaded principally with ashes, pork, beer and whisky, and when within a few miles of Alexandria Bay, the fire communicated to the wooden materials under the furnace, and from thence spread through the lining on both sides. When the fire had made such progress as to preclude the hope of saving the boat, she was run into Alexandria Bay, and as much of the cargo as it was practicable to come at was thrown overboard. We have not learned that any lives were lost. The loss of the boat is a serious calamity to individuals; some of the proprietors of which we understand, are men who had embarked their whole property in the laudable, but unfortunate enterprize. [Ogdensburgh Gazette]

We are gratified to learn from Hawkesbury, that the new steam-boat, built at that place during the winter under the superintendence of George Hamilton, Esq. was safely launched on the afternoon of the 3rd. instant. This boat, which is of larger and superior power to any other on the Ottawa, is described to be a most beautiful model, and her construction reflects much credit on the master builder, Mr. Fleming. She was expected to be in operation in about ten days. [Montreal Gazette]

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May 15, 1830
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Rick Neilson
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Kingston Chronicle (Kingston, ON), May 15, 1830