The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Chronicle & Gazette (Kingston, ON), June 7, 1834

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Extract of a Private Letter.

Steamer Rideau,

Rideau Lake, May 20th, 1834.

I left Bytown in the Enterprise, of Perth, on Thursday night, and you may suppose how much this route is now travelled, when you learn that we had upwards of thirty cabin, and about one hundred steerage passengers; also about seventy-five tons of goods. The boat was completely crammed, and being so heavily laden got on very slowly, and only reached Perth Landing at two o'clock on Saturday. Being obliged to go to Perth upon business, I had to remain there until today, waiting for the arrival of this boat, (the Rideau) and I find it almost as much crowded as the former one was. There were seven cabin, and upwards of 150 steerage passengers, besides nearly one hundred tons of goods. The boats are all of them quite too small, and not of sufficient power to carry the quantity of goods they do, besides towing a large barge; they cannot possibly reach Kingston from Bytown in less than three days, which with the two days in coming up to Bytown, will make five days in reaching Kingston. It is by far the best route for Emigrants; being in a covered barge, they are quite independent of the weather, and are not subject to such delays and fatigue as in coming up the St. Lawrence. As they have lowered the freight of goods to 2s. 9d., it is by far the cheapest and easiest way of getting them up, and they must arrive in much better order than by the river. The route by the Rideau is a most interesting one - the sail up the Ottawa, to any person who has not seen that noble river, is most attractive, and with the fine scenery about Bytown he will be delighted. As far as I have proceeded along the Rideau Canal, I have been very much pleased with it - the locks are the finest and most substantial I have ever seen - the Canal is generally two hundred yards in width, and looks more like a navigable river than a Canal; we having only passed through as yet about a mile of excavation, the rest having been formed by damming up the Rideau river. While at Bytown, I visited Mr. McKay's mills near that place, and I certainly think they are the finest in Canada. [Montreal Gazette]

Hurricane and Loss of a Schooner - A rumour of a Schooner having foundered on Saturday week last, near Port Hope, (and all hands perished) reached us a few days since; but, in the absence of any particulars, and no notice being taken of the accident by either of our contemporaries, we hoped it would prove without foundation. Later intelligence, however, we are sorry to say, destroys this hope, and the following facts are but too surely confirmed: - On the day in question, two men in the employ of J.T. Williams, Esq. of Port Hope, who were at work in a field commanding a view of the Lake shore, observed a topsail schooner, seemingly heavily laden, coming down under easy sail and a light breeze. She lay near in shore and the men watched her for some time, admiring her appearance. Suddenly they saw her forced through the water with extraordinary velocity for a short distance and then give two or three most violent pitches, the last of which fairly capsized her, and she almost instantly afterwards went down, keel uppermost. The men hastened immediately to the Town for assistance, when it appeared that Capt. Kingsmill and his servant, who had a short time before, been looking at the same vessel through a telescope, had also noticed her sudden disappearance, but thought she had gone off on another tack merely. No vestige of either boat or men, we believe, has since been discovered, and, consequently, her name remains unknown; but it is thought, from her sinking so readily, she was probably loaded with wheat, and being so near in shore, she would perhaps be from Whitby, or some place this side Toronto. About the time of the accident, and which will probably account for it, a hurricane is said to have passed over that part of Darlington towards the lake, in the direction of the unfortunate vessel, and sweeping every thing before it. [Cobourg Star]

- by a proclamation in the last Gazette, Rideau Canal has been divided into 3 divisions, for purposes of charging separate tolls - gives rates.

To the Editors of the Chronicle and Gazette, Kingston.

Oswego, 2nd June, 1834.

Gentlemen, - Puffing steamboats on Lake Ontario has become of late so customary, that it has lost its effect on the Lake Shores. Inordinate ( )dity has therefore, of late, changed its ( ), by assuming near home the garb of modesty, and at a distance causing the most impudent puffs to be inserted in the newspapers.

As long as the puffs were merely per se, and not at the expense of other boats, I, as a steamboat owner, had no inclination to meddle with them in any way, but when I saw, the other day, the following impudent puff in the Albany Evening Journal, namely:

"Steam Boat United States - The tremendous gale on the lake in which the steam boat Oswego was wrecked, was safely ridden out by this boat, which has proved itself every way worthy of the name which it has sustained as a safe sea boat, being perfectly manageable in the most severe part of the heavy blow. On her last trip down the river, she ran from Niagara to Ogdensburgh (325 miles) including stoppage at seven places, in 35 hours 30 minutes. The last 36 miles were accomplished in ( ) hours 49 minutes. Her hour of departure at Ogdensburgh has been changed from 5 P.M. to 9 A.M. on Sundays."

I considered it my duty to take notice of it, and therefore request the favor of you to state in your paper, "that so far from the United States Steamboat riding out in safety the tremendous gale that wrecked the Steamboat Oswego, etc., etc., on the lake - the Commander and Pilot of that Vessel (the United States) thought it most prudent to remain in harbor, and very judiciously and properly kept her snugly fast alongside of the wharf at Sackets."

It being neither my inclination nor interest to take from the fame the United States Steamboat enjoys, I shall not retort by saying any thing against her that might be said compatible with truth, much less resort to falsehood, but confine myself to observing that there are other very fine boats on Lake Ontario besides the United States, some of which pay us a weekly visit, so that we have now a daily boat for Toronto and Niagara, and one for Sacket's, Kingston, Brockville, Prescott, Ogdensburg, etc. - and that it is not handsome on the part of the Ogdensburg owners to allow the United States to be puffed at the expense of other boats - it is particularly unjust in this case as the United States would never have been built but for the shares taken and paid for in Cash by the people of Oswego.

The Oswego has sustained very little injury indeed, in her hull none whatsoever, and after having undergone an examination on the railway at Niagara (which the owners deem necessary in order to satisfy public opinion after all the extravagant stories so industriously circulated about her) she will probably on the 10th or at furthest on the 15th instant, resume her regular trips in better style than ever, under a new Commander and Pilot, and I trust the Public will not only be pleased with the boat, and her new officers, but will soon be convinced, that besides her extraordinary strength, she is in other respects ( ) a very fine boat, and extend to her a little of that patronage which it has hitherto so lavishly bestowed on the United States of Ogdensburg.

I am, Gentlemen,

Your most obed't servt. and friend,





The Steam Boat


Capt. D. Howe,

Will run between Rochester and Kingston, U.C., via Sodus, Oswego and Sacket's Harbor as follows:

Going Down.

Leaves Rochester, Friday, 10 P.M.

Leaves Sodus, Saturday, 4 A.M.

Leaves Oswego, Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday, at 6 o'clock P.M., after the arrival of the packet boats and stages.

Leaves Sacket's Harbor Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, at 2 o'clock A.M. after the arrival of the stages from Utica, arriving in Kingston about 6 o'clock, A.M.

Going Up.

Leaves Kingston, Sunday, 8 o'clock, A.M., Tuesdays, Thursdays, half past 1 P.M.

Leaves Sacket's Harbor Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, 12 o'clock at night.

Leaves Oswego, Friday, 8 A.M.

Leaves Sodus, Friday, 12 o'clock, at noon, arriving at Rochester, before dark.

This boat is equal in speed to any on the Lake, and connects with the Packet Boats and Stages at Rochester, Oswego, and Sacket's Harbor, and Steam Boats at Kingston, running directly through to Ogdensburgh and Montreal, and with the Lake Boats at Kingston running daily to Toronto (York), Niagara and up the Bay of Quinte.

Passengers taking this boat will arrive at Montreal the 3rd day from Rochester, and 2nd day from Oswego and Sacket's Harbor - passing the Thousand Islands in the River St. Lawrence by day-light.


Cole & Wright, Walton & Willey, and Bronson and Crocker, Oswego.

p. Butterfield, E. Sacket - Sacket's Harbor.

Barton Philips, Kingston, U.C.

C.H. Green, Genesee River.

Edward Sacket, Managing Owner.

June 2nd, 1834.

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June 7, 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), June 7, 1834