The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Chronicle & Gazette (Kingston, ON), Dec. 28, 1833

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p.1 Welland Canal Report - report of Commissioners gives account of what they have been doing to get Welland Canal in good order. (5 columns)

p.2 Public Meeting at Oswego - about need for American canal around Niagara Falls. [Oswego Palladium]

Internal Improvements - editorial in favor of building canal to join Lake Ontario by way of Bay of Quinte, Rice Lake, Trout Lake, Balsam Lake, the Talbot River, Lake Simcoe, and North River with Lake Huron. [Montreal Herald]

Port Hope and Rice Lake Canal - editorial in favor. [Port Hope Warder]

Improvement of the St. Lawrence - looking for gov't help in building canal on south side of river, so as not to be under Upper Province's laws. [Ogdensburg Republican]

Navigation of Lake Erie - A fine large schooner, built and owned by Wilkeson & Sons, of Buffalo, was a short time since launched into the waters of Lake Erie. She is called the John C. Spencer. The Buffalo Journal gives the following compendium of the navigation of the lake.

The first vessel navigating Lake Erie under the American flag was the sloop Detroit, purchased by the Government of the British North West Company, in 1796. She was of about 70 tons burthen, but was old and scarcely sea-worthy when purchased, and soon after was condemned and laid up at the River Rogue. In the same year '96, a small schooner called the Erie Packet was built in Canada, to run between Fort Erie, and Presque Isle. She was lost in '98 by drifting out of Erie harbour. In 1797, the schooner Wilkinson, of 80 tons, was built at Detroit by Abbots and Connelly, and sailed for two years old by Connelly as master. In 1810 she was thoroughly repaired and her name changed to the Amelia; and in 1812 was purchased by the government and armed, and had the honor of belonging to Commodore Perry's squadron, and of participating in his victory. The Good Intent, of 35 tons, was built by Captain Lee, in 1799, and navigated the lake until 1806, when she was run onto Point Abino and was lost, together with her cargo and crew. The same year '99, the Brig Adams, and schooner Tracy were built by the Government. The former was captured by the British the first year of the war, afterwards retaken at Fort Erie, and run upon Squaw Island and burnt. The latter was sold to Porter, Barton & Co. and afterwards lost on the reef near Fort Erie. In 1805, the War Department, possessing, it would seem, no very accurate notion of our localities, directed the commanding officer at Fort Niagara to construct at that post a vessel of suitable size to transport the Indian presents from Niagara to Fort Wayne. The commanding officer anticipating some difficulty in navigating up the Falls, ventured to depart so far from his instructions as to cause the vessel to be built at Black Rock. She was called the Nancy, and was of about 50 tons burthen. The Contractor, a fine vessel of about 80 tons burthen, was built at Black Rock, in 1806, by Porter, Barton & Co., and was sold to the government in 1812. The Catherine, another line schooner, was built by Sheldon Thomson and others, at Black Rock, in 1808. Several other vessels were built about this time at different places on the lake, but our recollection does not serve to give their names.

We are informed by a gentleman well acquainted with the site of the natural canal at Long Point, Lake Erie, that an attempt to secure the channel, which the strange freak of nature has created, during the late gale, at a particularly exposed part of that peninsula, would be attended with injurious consequences to the interests of the Province, if it should lead to an abandonment of the scheme of improvement suggested by the Civil Engineer, employed by His Excellency Sir John Colborne, and whose plans and estimate amounting, we believe, to the sum formerly stated, are now before the Upper Canada Assembly. Indeed, until the effect of the spring storms are experienced, and the consequences of other freaks of nature ascertained, no certain conclusion can well be arrived at, as to the advisability of securing the cut as a permanent work. Besides, by adopting the natural canal, a great additional benefit by the execution of the cut as planned, in the opening up the navigation of Big Creek, would be lost sight of. This stream, running into the interior of the District, would be navigable for several miles, for the largest size craft, by the mere removal of drift timber and other slight obstructions at its mouth, rendering easily accessible a country abounding in timber and produce. We believe that Sir John Colborne is fully impressed with the manifold advantages that would arise from the adoption of the proposed plan, as the whole of the creek, three miles in length, averaging upwards of a hundred feet in width, by ten feet depth of water, would form an excellent harbour for the surrounding country. [Montreal Gazette ]

The Steam Packet Canada - This long established and favourite Packet was hauled up on the railway at the Dry Dock at Niagara on Monday last, the 16th instant, for the purpose of undergoing a complete repair. On examination she was found to require much less repair than was expected, nearly the whole of her timbers being as good as when the boat was first launched. Every thing that is necessary to render her as sound and as good as new however, will be done before she is launched again in the Spring to resume her wonted trips across the Lake. - This is the first vessel that has been hauled up to the new Dry Dock, and it was effected with ease and facility. The Dock Company gave a dinner to Capt. Richardson on the occasion, at Farrington's Hotel, at which a number of the Gentlemen of Niagara were invited. Great numbers of respectable persons were assembled to witness this first experiment of hauling up a vessel from the New Dry Dock. [York Courier]

Late Navigation - On the 16th inst., four vessels left this port for different ports on the lake; and by present appearances we should not be surprised, if the navigation should continue for a fortnight - so much for the difference between lake and canal navigation. [Oswego Free Press]

Sea Serpent Steam Boat; Experiment - 2 articles giving details of early pontoon boat built by Burden. [New York paper]

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Dec. 28, 1833
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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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Chronicle & Gazette (Kingston, ON), Dec. 28, 1833