The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Chronicle & Gazette (Kingston, ON), July 13, 1833

Full Text

p.2 Welland Canal - A letter to the Directors of the Welland Canal Company, written by Hon. Mr. Chief Justice Robinson, in which he congratulates them in completing the canal.

The arrival of the steam-boat Rideau last Sunday from Bytown may be hailed as an earnest of the great advantages to be afforded by the Canal whose name she bears. The delay which occurred in the progress of this vessel on her downward passage has given currency to rumours that there is not water enough in the Canal, and that there are many obstacles to it's free navigation: these are best answered by an account of the voyage of the Rideau. She left Kingston a fortnight ago last Thursday, and on her way to Kingston Mills, she ran aground at a place called the "Shallows" in endeavouring to pass a raft, entirely occupying the channel, which is there very narrow. After lying here two days and a half, she got off, and passed Brewer's Mills, on Sunday morning at 9 o'clock. She met with some further delay between Kingston and Brewer's Mills, but it was merely in consequence of a temporary cause - the water, being previously drawn off for the purpose of effecting some repairs, had not sufficiently risen at the time the Rideau passed. After these unpleasant delays, at the commencement of her voyage, she proceeded without further hindrance to Bytown, where she arrived on Tuesday afternoon. She left that place on her return, late in the evening of Thursday, and reached Kingston on Sunday afternoon, without meeting with the slightest obstacle. Both on her downward and upward trip she ascended the Tay River to Pike Falls, within six miles of Perth, and returning, crossed to the old Rideau Landing. A great deal of time was also lost in getting a Durham boat through the different locks (49 in number) which the Rideau had in tow both going and coming - the boats being obliged to pass through separately. Notwithstanding these causes of delay, it will be seen that the Rideau travelled a distance of 130 miles in 2 1/2 days; and if, as we believe, the Canal will continue to be available, there is no doubt that the trip from here to Bytown may easily be made in two days. The Rideau brought up 70 or 80 passengers.

We are informed by a gentleman who came passenger in the Rideau, that there are large quantities of produce at the foot of the Canal, awaiting the means of transmission to this place; and we are confident that this important thoroughfare for a rich and productive region, will, if properly kept in order, be of invaluable use for the purposes of commerce and of great utility as a means of communication. We have been given to understand that the Montreal and Ottawa Steam-Boat Company have determined to send as much freight as possible by the Rideau Canal. In this they will undoubtedly be imitated by the many enterprising individuals who only await the results of present experiments, to cover the Canal with produce.

The works throughout the line of the canal are in better order than at any time previous, and the locks work with facility. There is for the present a sufficiency of water, as the progress of Rideau has demonstrated - a boat drawing at least four feet. The channel at the Shallows, near which she was detained in her first effort, is now widening, under the direction of Capt. Bolton, R.E. We sincerely hope there will be no further obstructions to the free navigation of the Canal.

Mr. Drummond's other new steamboat, the Margaret, is expected to join the Rideau in a few weeks. By the advertisement, our readers may learn that this last boat will now make her regular trips between this port and Bytown. Success to her!

The advertisement of the Britannia, today, contains the name of Mr. Jacob Herchimer as Captain of this quick-going and elegant Steamboat - a selection that must add materially to her prosperity. We copy the following, furnished by a correspondent of the last Grenville (Prescott) Gazette:

"The Britannia, Lieut. Smart R.N., Commander, left Kingston at half past 6 on Monday evening, and notwithstanding her taking in wood and stopping at the usual places, she arrived here at half past 2 the following morning, putting her passengers on board the Iroquois, in good time. Allowing two hours for stoppages, she must have been going over the ground at the rate of 12 miles per hour the whole night. Surely greater speed cannot be desired."

The Editor of the Prescott Gazette, after noticing the completion of the Bridge across the Rideau at the flourishing village of Kilmarnock, thus describes the recent visit there of Mr. Drummond's steamboat, with true Gaelic enthusiasm. He of the Gazette grows eloquent at the sight of the kilt, but in speaking of a "sonsie lassie" (and no wonder!) he goes clean daft.

"The steamer Rideau passed this place on the 1st inst. with a Durham boat in tow on her way to Bytown, each heavily laden. On nearing Kilmarnock, the Rideau discharged a gun to announce her approach. Bonnets of Kilmarnock! what a simultaneous turning out of men, women and bonnie bairns, to view the snoring stranger! For want of a gun to return the salute, the Kilmarnocks were at a dead stand for some minutes, not knowing in what manner to express their joy, and welcome the first steamer that passed their little village. But Mr. Maitland's oldest son, a fine promising lad, with that presence of mind peculiar to great souls, ran for his Scotch bugle, "sounded the advance" in the most animating and melliferous strains. Such running and hurrahs, such leaping and skipping to be foremost at the boat, exceed the language of description. Many of them never saw a steamer before, of course all was wonder, astonishment and surprize. The Captain invited the ladies on board to show them the machinery; afterwhich he led them into the cabin. While regaling them with some of his best Madeira, on a signal being given, the engineer starts the boat; off they go, quite unconscious, the Captain entertains them there with a long description of every thing in the cabin. One of the ladies at length remarked: "Captain, we are perhaps detaining you; we better go ashore." "Not at all," replied the facetious fox of a Captain, "I am in no hurry, I assure you, make yourselves easy on that account." As soon as Kilmarnock was out of sight, the Captain led his fair guests on deck. Land of enchantment! spirits of witchcraft!! What staring looks! what long faces the merry wifes of Kilmarnock now assumed! Some declared they were enchanted; some that they were bewitched! Amazement and consternation completely seized and bewildered this lovely group of guests! However, to remove their fears, the Captain ordered the boat alongside, and landed them safe on the shore of their own lovely Kilmarnock to tell the story of the Rideau steamboat to their offspring, as a legend to be handed down to posterity."

a letter - For people who have claims against the Rideau Canal - an arbitrator has been appointed.


The Fast Sailing Steamer


Captain Jacob Herchimer,

Will leave the head of the Bay of Quinte for Kingston and Prescott, every Monday and Thursday morning at 3 o'clock, and touching at the intermediate Ports, will arrive at Kingston at 4 o'clock in the afternoon of those days, and will arrive at Prescott in time to meet the Montreal Stage on Tuesday and Friday mornings.

Upwards, she will leave Prescott every Tuesday and Friday afternoon, immediately after the arrival of the Montreal Stage; will leave Kingston at 8 o'clock every Wednesday and Saturday morning, and will arrive at the Carrying Place in time to meet the York Stage.

By an arrangement with Mr. Weller (the proprietor of the line of stages between York and the Carrying Place,) the fare from Cobourg to Prescott, and vice versa, will be the same as is charged in the Lake Boats. Passengers leaving the Head of the Bay on Monday and Thursday mornings, will arrive at Montreal on Tuesday and Friday evenings.

Kingston, 8th July, 1833.

The Steam Boat Rideau, Will leave Kingston for Bytown every Monday, and Bytown for Kingston, every Thursday on the arrival of the Steam Boat Shannon. For Freight or Passage apply to the proprietor, Robert Drummond.

Kingston, July 10th, 1833.

Media Type:
Item Type:
Date of Original:
July 13, 1833
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Rick Neilson
Copyright Statement:
Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
WWW address
Powered by / Alimenté par VITA Toolkit

My favourites lets you save items you like, tag them and group them into collections for your own personal use. Viewing "My favourites" will open in a new tab. Login here or start a My favourites account.

Chronicle & Gazette (Kingston, ON), July 13, 1833