The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Kingston Chronicle (Kingston, ON), July 31, 1830

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New Steam Boats.

John Hamilton, Esq. is at present building a steamboat at Prescott, of 200 horse power, to ply on Lake Ontario. She will perform the trip from Kingston to Niagara in 13 hours. It is supposed she will be launched about the latter end of September. We wish the enterprising owner every success in his spirited undertaking.

A Steam-boat of 100 horse power is about to be built also at Prescott, which is intended to ply between that place and the head of the Bay of Quinte. The stock, we learn, is very nearly taken up.

The Queenston Steam-boat, Capt. Whitney, arrived in this port yesterday forenoon, from Niagara, on her regular trip to Prescott - having about 40 passengers on board, principally travellers from the U. States. On seeing such a formidable phalanx of our neighbors marching up our usually deserted streets - we had almost supposed that the universal Yankee nation was about taking us by storm.

We are indebted for the following circular to a friend in Oswego, to which we beg leave to draw the attention of our readers.

To Seamen, and Friends of Seamen:-

The abundant success which has crowned benevolent efforts among sea-men in many seaports of Europe and America, encourage the hope that the same efforts may do good among the same class of persons upon our great Western waters. With that view this circular solicits your attention.

It is proposed that a meeting of seamen, and their friends be holden on the 18th of August next, in as many ports bordering on Lake Ontario and River St. Lawrence as possible, to take into consideration the expediency of forming a

Lake Ontario Seamen's Friend Society

and, if deemed expedient, to appoint a delegate from each port to meet at Oswego on the 18th of September, to organize a General Society, choose officers, and attend to necessary details.

It is presumed any attempt to throw light and knowledge among lake mariners, will meet the glowing approbation of Christians and philanthropists; and that their active co-operation may be depended upon. While the angel of Mercy, commissioned by God, hovers around, and offers blessings to almost every class of persons, those persons thus blessed, should in turn remember the Saviour's precept, "freely you have received; freely give;" and the most direct way of doing what it is presumed every benevolent heart wishes, seems to be through an efficient society. That seamen, as a body, need the restraints of religion and virtue, and the blessings of instruction, is obvious from the slightest acquaintance with them. Unaccustomed to share the bland courtesies enjoyed by those whose lots are cast on shore - driven almost by necessity from attendance upon regular means of grace - and beset by peculiar temptations, no wonder we find them as they are. Greater is the wonder that they have not fallen lower; and to give opportunity for the interchange of these chastening courtesies - furnish regularly these means of religious instruction - offer, in inviting forms, incentives to resist temptation - and lead them to the Saviour, are the objects, and only objects of the contemplated society.

The general plan of operation is as follows:-

First - To raise funds for supplying seamen with Bibles and tracts at cost, or, if necessary, gratuitously.

Second - To employ a Missionary, who shall alternately labour in ports where branches of the general society shall be formed.

Third - To introduce temperance among this class of our fellow men.

Fourth - To aid the funds of the British or American Seamen's Friend Societies, according to the wish of donors.

These objects are of no trifling importance.

The first would seek means for the rational employment of their leisure time, of which they have much; And what better can be offered, than the simple and touching narratives, and saving truths of the blessed Bible, a book whose beauties the profoundest infidel in vain attempts to shroud?

The second would introduce to them a teacher and a friend - one who would feed them with the bread of life. A suitable Missionary might be particularly acquainted with every seaman on Lake Ontario, and be to each, what a devoted minister is to an attached congregation; and, with the blessings of the Father of Mercies, such confidence might be inspired as would lead to the happiest results - results only to be estimated when his floating congregation shall meet him in eternity.

The third would lift his voice and efforts against the deadly stream of drunkenness - a stream more appalling than the gulfing billows of the tempestuous ocean, and upon which, if once the hapless victim launches, hope must almost for ever retire.

The fourth is simply to "do for others as we would be done by."

With this statement the subject is left for your consideration. Let seamen and their friends resolve upon an attempt, and let the prayer of faith go up from the bosom of every Christian for the Divine Blessing.

Oswego, June 1830.

p.S. Persons living on or near the lake ports who receive this circular, will please address "The Agent of the Sailor's Magazine, Oswego," and be pleased to state if the co-operation of themselves and their friends may be expected.

Seamen will please circulate information concerning the subject wherever they may go.

*It is desirable that the efforts of friends in British and American ports on Lake Ontario, be united.

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Date of Original:
July 31, 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), July 31, 1830