The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Kingston Chronicle (Kingston, ON), June 11, 1831

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p.2 Steam Boat Great Britain - This new and splendid boat entered our harbour on Saturday morning last, and most of our citizens had an opportunity of witnessing her spacious accommodations. She has been said to be the largest steam-boat in America; and we feel ourselves warranted in saying that she is unsurpassed by any on our waters, for strength, spaciousness and convenience. Her cabins are large, airy, and handsomely furnished. She is rated at 650 tons burthen and is propelled by two engines of 80 horse power each.

Our spirited Corporation gave the Captain of the Great Britain an invitation to a public dinner, which he politely declined. We have been favoured with the following correspondence between the President of the Corporation and Capt. Whitney, on the subject:

Oswego, May 28, 1831.

Sir; -

The corporation of the village of Oswego take pleasure in manifesting their own feelings, as well as the feelings of the citizens of this village generally, by assuring you of the gratification they derive from the appearance of the magnificent steam-boat, Great Britain, in our harbour. As a small testimony of our satisfaction at your arrival, and respect for you personally, we have the honor to invite you to a public dinner at the Welland House, this afternoon at four o'clock.

We take this occasion to express our conviction that the measures of our respective governments will soon be officially announced, to authorize your free entry and departure, and that the time is not distant when we will see you arrive here from choice and not from necessity.

I have the honour to subscribe myself

In behalf of the Corporation and Fellow-Citizens-

Your Obedient Servant,

Edward Robinson, President of the Village of Oswego.

To Joseph Whitney, Esq.- Master of the Steam-Boat Great Britain .


On board the British Steam-Boat Great Britain,

Oswego Harbour, 28th May, 1831.


I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your kind letter, in behalf of the Corporation and citizens of Oswego, inviting me to dinner this afternoon. I regret that it is not in my power to avail myself of the pleasure of dining with you, consistently with my other duties.

The circumstances which induced me to call at this place, have unavoidably occasioned a delay which demands my speedy departure.

When the arrangements between our respective governments, to which you allude, shall have been consummated, it will certainly afford me much pleasure, as I believe it will be for the interest of the owner of this steamboat under my command, to stop here regularly.

Be assured that I experience the most lively pleasure in acknowledging the obligations I feel under to you, the Corporation and the citizens of Oswego generally, for their kindness and hospitality. I have the honor to be

Yours most respectfully,

J. Whitney, S.B. G.B.

To E. Bronson, Esq., President of the Village of Oswego.

[Oswego Palladium and Chronicle]

Steamer Great Britain,

Oswego Harbour, May 28th, 1831.

Mr. Carpenter;

I cannot leave this Port without tendering my most respectful acknowledgement for the polite manner in which I have been treated by my old friend and inhabitants of the village generally. I feel grateful for the expressions of kindness and good feelings so liberally offered to me, and without wishing to make any distinction, I trust I shall be excused for acknowledging the obligations of the proprietors of the Boat as well as my own, to Mr. McNair, to whose exertions I was indebted for a supply of wood, within the time allowed me by the Collector for remaining in Port.


p.3 The Rideau Canal - This magnificent work will, we are credibly informed, be finished early in the month of August next. Three of the locks at the Kingston Mills are finished, and the fourth and last is all but completed. We saw the gates hung upon one of them; they open with great ease, as the weight towards the centre rests upon a small wheel.- The contract for building the John By steamer has been given to Mr. Robert Drummond, the enterprising contractor at the Kingston Mills, who is to launch the vessel by the first of next November. The engine is to be made by Messrs. Bennett and Henderson of Montreal, and to be ready this autumn; so that we may expect to have a fine steamboat ready to commence running upon the canal on the opening of the navigation next spring.

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June 11, 1831
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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), June 11, 1831