The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Kingston Chronicle (Kingston, ON), March 17, 1832

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Tuesday last being the day on which Colonel by accepted the invitation of the principal inhabitants of Kingston to a public dinner, upwards of 70 persons including the military heads of department, Commodore Barrie, and several others, who were invited to meet the Colonel, sat down to a most sumptuous dinner prepared in Mr Carmino's best style. The rooms were embellished with various appropriate paintings and transparencies representing the Chaudiere Bridge, the John By steamboat, passing the Canal, and other devices explanatory of the great work of which Colonel By was the founder and finisher, and in commemoration of which, together with his private worth and professional exertions for the province this was intended as a lasting testimony.

After the cloth was removed, the president the Hon. John Kirby, who filled the chair with his usual good temper and honest beneficence proposed the health of the King and Queen; both of which were received with an enthusiasm the deafening effects of which are still resounding in our ears. The next one, which was received with an equal exhibition of feeling was "Our distinguished guest, Colonel By," when silence was with difficulty procured the Colonel in a short, manly, and spirited style, returned his sincere thanks for the honor conferred upon him, and although evidently labouring under the influence of those feelings which occasionally stifle all human utterance, proposed prosperity to the town of Kingston to which every glass was filled to the brim by the happy multitude, who appreciated his unwearied exertions to promote the object of his toast by several years of unparalleled difficulties and most disheartening obstructions.

Several other toasts elicited the oratory of those either directly or indirectly identified with them and it was not until a very early hour that the happiest, most convivial and harmonious assemblage that has ever been remembered of the inhabitants of Kingston, separated from this scene of affection and social enjoyment. The occasion, combined with the stimulating influence of copious Champaigne [sic] libations, rendered many a tongue loquacious, which only through that medium was taught to believe it possessed the powers of eloquence. "For those who never spoke before now spoke ten times more," and as a proof that all was uttered upon the spur of the occasion, only one speech was delivered to us for insertion. Upon questioning the orator we discovered that it was the one he intended to deliver but neither himself or his friends could recollect whether in the [ ] of the occasion, he had not forgotten the most necessary ingredient. However we give it as he furnished it to us and have no doubt it would have been most suitable and appropriate had it not heen unluckily called for after the bewildering influence of a few bumpers of champaigne and madeira had rendered the recollective faculties rather imperfect.

The band of the 66th attended, and echoed the toast by tunes expressive of their object. The evening was such as to afford a stranger a specimen of Canadian hospitality, of which all the enemies of our constitution and our happiness never can and never shall rob us of the free and cheerful enjoyment. It will be remembered as long as the waters of Ontario and the Rideau are united and will form an era in the hospitable history of Kingston which never yet was backward in appreciating merit and rewarding the exertions of those who contribute to the success and prosperity of her enviable position.

We cordially wish Colonel By all future felicity and congratulate him upon the triumph of virtue over the infamous attempts to sully his irreproachable reputation.

Speech of Lieut Colonel Raynor upon the health of the "Militia of the Upper Province," being proposed.

Sir-- I feel highly flattered by the honor you have done me in associating my name with the militia of Upper Canada. To His Excellency Sir John Colborne I am indebted for the honor of my commission as Lieut. Colonel of militia. I wish, Sir, more able person had been selected to return thanks for I feel myself inadequate when speaking of so highly respectable and formidable a body as the militia of Upper Canada, to do them justice. I do not style them formidable from their numbers, but for their valour and devotedness to their King and country. The late war proved their valour, their King acknowledged it, and their countrymen experienced the advantage of their courageous exertions. To use the expression of one of His Majesty's secretaries of state, "They fought, they bled, and they conquered."

I have now to return thanks for myself and on behalf of the militia of Upper Canada. Suffer me, Sir, to trespass a little longer on your patience by digressing from the militia to His Majesty's regular forces. While listening to the song of the "Death of Abercrombie," ably sung by Lieut Crawley, I must confess I was deeply affected. I experienced a sort of pleasurable melancholy, if may so express myself. lt brought to my recollection days long gone by, and that I once was a soldier.

Perhaps, Sir, it may not be known to many at this happy meeting that this is the anniversary of day glorious to British arms. The battle of the 13th of March was fought thirty one years age this day in that once highly favoured country, Egypt, under circumstances most difficult and trying. It will be remembered that the gallant and veteran Abercrombie commanded the expedition. He was sent to overthrow the french army and restore Egypt. The enemy was composed of the flower of the French troops. It was the army of Italy, the pride of Bonaparte, and the conquerors of that country. Never was British valour more conspicuously displayed both by navy and army, than in the landing at Abukir and the battles of the 13th and 21st March, Briton's sons ultimately prevailed, and "tore Italia's laurel from Gallia's brow." The conquest of Egypt was not accomplished without heavy and afflicting loss. The immortal Abercrombie fell and with him many a brave and gallant soldier. I would now, Sir, propose a toast in respectful silence: "To the memory of Sir Ralph Abercrombie and the brave fellows who fell in the conquest of Egypt."

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March 17, 1832
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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), March 17, 1832