The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Kingston Chronicle (Kingston, ON), Dec. 31, 1831

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p.2 a letter to the editors of the Chronicle and the York Courier dealing with distances between Montreal and Bytown, Bytown and Kingston, and Kingston and Montreal; also discusses number of locks, etc.

(part) ....It is confidently asserted that the steamer John By, of about 210 tons, with an engine of 80 horsepower, will be propelled at the rate of 12 miles per hour; and I have been credibly informed that Mr. Jesse Wood, the builder of the William the Fourth, has expressed his opinion that he can build a boat to navigate the canal at the rate of 14 or 15 miles per hour, and which will take a barge in tow carrying 3000 barrels of flour, at the rate of 11 or 12 miles per hour. "What think ye of that, Master Hanks."

We all know that the steamer Sir James Kempt, of about one half the power of the John By, has frequently towed two or three large schooners, drawing six feet water, at the rate of six miles per hour, from Prescott to this place. And surely a boat of nearly double the power, will be able to tow one barge, drawing less than four feet water, ten miles per hour. It is a great mistake to suppose that the tow boat should be large. Mr. Wood, of whom I have already spoken, says that he built and sailed a small steamer at New York, of about two hundred tons, drawing about five feet water, with an engine of sixty horse power; and that he used to take the packet ships of five hundred tons burthen, and drawing upwards of twelve feet water, against a head wind, with this boat at the rate of seven miles per hour.....

...Now for the time a steamer will take to go from this to Lachine, a distance which will not be more than 234 miles. The steam boat Union, which navigated the canal between By Town and Merrick's Mills this last autumn, went at night as well as by day, although it was during a period when the nights are very long; she passed through each lock with all ease in 12 minutes, although there were no regular lockmen appointed, and the business arranged by raw hands. It has been ascertained that a lock will fill in rather less than three minutes; and surely, experienced lockmen and a good crew, can draw a boat 130 feet (supposing the wheels not to be used) in five minutes; this will be six locks per hour, and something less than nine hours to pass through all the locks. Suppose a boat to go at the rate of 10 miles per hour, with one (not two) barges in tow, she will perform the distance in about 24 hours; add to this the detention of the steamer at locks 9 hours, and six hours for the barge, we have 39 hours; then add for taking in wood five hours, (a large allowance,) the total is 44 hours; and if she is detained four hours at night, it will be owing to a fog, or some very uncommon weather, when a boat could not ply on the St. Lawrence. I have made the allowance for the detention of the barge in passing the locks, less than for the steamer, and the reason is obvious; while the steamer is passing the lock, the barge follows immediately after, so that there need be only one lock between them. Now have I not shown that a fast steamer can go from this to Montreal in less than 48 hours or two days? But suppose it took 12 or even 24 hours longer, can you calculate for a boat's leaving Lachine and arriving at Kingston in any thing like that time?....

signed TRUTH

Steam Boat on Lake Simcoe - the project on the point of being put into execution, also refers to advertisement about same. [York Courier]

a meeting of merchants at Montreal is requested for 19th to frame regulations respecting the receiving and delivery of goods, from sea-going vessels, Steam Boats and their barges, and Durham Boats, and other inland craft, at this port of Montreal - Geo. Auldjo, Chairman, Committee of Trade.

Acts Passed - #2 - An "Act to remove doubts respecting the jurisdiction over offenses committed upon the Lakes and rivers in this province." [Herald]

The Bill for the improvement of the Grand River as far as Brantford for Steam vessels and Galt for Boats, has passed the House. [York Courier]

We learn from a correspondent in Upper Canada that the schooner Kingston Packet, Capt. Mayo, with a valuable cargo of merchandise destined for York was wrecked on Long Point, on Tuesday night the 6th instant. The cargo was shipped by Mr. M'Cutchon at Prescott, and the principal sufferers are understood to be Messrs. Stegman, Ridout, Bergin, and Roddy of York. [Montreal Gazette]

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Dec. 31, 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), Dec. 31, 1831