The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Chronicle & Gazette (Kingston, ON), May 24, 1834

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To the Editor of the Montreal Gazette.

During the past week the character of this interesting place has begun to develop itself. Our steamers have commenced their summer work; and other signs have shown themselves clearly demonstrating the fallacy of that prediction, so industriously spread by some, namely, that "Bytown would cease to be a place of importance when the Rideau was completed," and clearly shewing it is from its locality, fitted to be the centre of a great and important trade.

Our old friend the Shannon, under the command of the public favourite Capt. Kains, has made several trips from Grenville to Bytown. In one of the last she brought two loaded barges in tow, which had passed through the locks of the Grenville Canal. The public are indebted to the exertions of Capt. Haynes, who has been in charge of the works on this last place, for the removal of this obstruction, so long an impediment in the route between Montreal and Bytown.

On the 1st, the steamer Rideau, with her enterprising proprietor, Robert Drummond, Esq. on board, a full cargo and two barges heavily laden, in tow, reached this place from Kingston, via Rideau Canal. Previous to opening this canal to the public it had been inspected by Captain Bolton, Commanding Engineer, and from his report, as well as that of others who have passed through it, the whole works on the line are said to be in excellent condition for service. Besides several passengers in the cabin of the Rideau, there were a number of families on deck, who disembarked at different points on the line, for settlement or to join their friends already settled in the interior. Her cargo, among a great variety of articles, comprised 95 bbls. pot ashes, above 90 bbls. containing beer, cider and whiskey, a number of barrels of pork, hams, cheese and other articles in the provision line. The two barges in tow contained above 3000 bushels of wheat for Mr. McKay's mills at New Edinburgh. It deserves to be further noticed that the steamer left Bytown on the evening of the same day, on her return to Kingston, with a cargo of merchandize for that place and the intermediate stations on the line.

It is stated there will be no less than five steamers on this Canal during the present season, and now that the obstructions at Grenville are removed, when the lower rate of freight, superior accommodations, and greater expedition which this route possesses over that by the St. Lawrence are taken into consideration, there can be no doubt there will be sufficient employment for that number of boats. The proprietors are confident of their expectations in this way being realized, and are using every exertion to prepare for the coming emigration season, and to direct a share of the carrying trade by this line. It was to make arrangements to this effect that Mr. Cushing, an agent for the Ottawa line had a late meeting with Robert Drummond, Esq. in the same character for the Rideau line, at Bytown.

Among the numerous superior advantages the Ottawa route holds forth over that of the other, the following are not the least important. An examination of their different advertisements will at a glance show the lesser freight by the Ottawa. The merchant has here another advantage, the total absence of risk on the latter line (there being no rapids) supercedes the necessity of insurance and saves him that. Now that no delay occurs at Grenville, they propose to run from Montreal to Kingston by the Rideau Canal in four days. Expedition in consequence is always a main object to the carriers of freight or passengers, and when the latter takes into consideration that by the Ottawa route, there are none of the vexatious detentions arising from shipping and reshipping, they will not hesitate to give it the preference. To those engaged in the lumber trade, this route has many advantages, while the Quebec and Montreal merchants can bring their provisions by the Rideau Canal in summer, have them stored at Bytown, and from thence issued to the shanties above in winter. The freight from Montreal is thus saved to the consumer; and the risk and insurance down the St. Lawrence is saved to the merchant, admitting the freight from Kingston down by this last route was equal to that by the Rideau Canal to Bytown. An equal saving to the lumber-men will be made upon the flour he uses. The extensive mills at New Edinburgh near Bytown, the property of Thomas McKay, Esq., will manufacture an abundant supply of this article for the trade, and from these the lumber-man can get his supplies without paying the freight from Montreal to that place. Under all these circumstances, added to Bytown's local position in the centre of a country rapidly settling, and so forming the only market for the disposal of the produce of the surrounding settlers' industry or the purchase of their wants; no one acquainted with it will withhold their assent to its promising fair to be at no distant period, a city second to none in Canada in point of commerce.

Yours etc., etc.;


Bytown, April 3rd, 1834.

Steamboat Canal from Oswego to Utica - [N.Y. Evening Star]

p.2 We are gratified to be able to state that the fine steam boat Oswego, lately stranded on the American Coast of the Lake, and for the safety of which many fears were entertained, has been got off with but little injury, and will be ready to resume her route in about a fortnight. The Oswego Democrat of the 16th inst. contains a card from the passengers complimentary to Capt. Macy for the "coolness, energy and attention" manifested by him "during a gale seldom witnessed on Lake Ontario, of 15 hours without intermission."

The success of the Rideau Canal is daily increasing. Mr. Hardy, ironmonger of this town came passenger in the Enterprize on Sunday, four days from Montreal, bringing some of his goods with him, bro't from Liverpool on the 7th April - thus arriving at Kingston from England in 41 days. The Rideau steam boat arrived on Wednesday, with two barges in tow and 160 passengers, (Emigrants who were pleased with the route of the canal,) and sailed for Bytown on Friday morning with the same barges heavily laden for Montreal.

The new steam boat Thomas McKay arrived at Kingston Mills yesterday, after making a very successful trip.

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May 24, 1834
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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), May 24, 1834