The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Chronicle & Gazette (Kingston, ON), Aug. 2, 1834

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The New Steamboat On the Burden Principle Now Building at Prescott.

A Gentleman who has recently visited Prescott and minutely examined the Boat now building in that harbour by Mr. Sandford, upon a principle similar to Burden's, but exhibiting many important improvements, has supplied us with some information on her construction and probable powers of success in ascending and descending the Long Sault Rapids. The length of this boat is 179 feet in length by 36 feet 6 inches in breadth, supported by two elliptical cylinders 177 feet in length and 9 feet in diameter, flatter in the bottom than at the top, secured with wrought iron hoops placed 8 feet apart, and planked with 2 1/2 inch plank; the keel is formed of oak. The planks are secured to the hoops by screw bits, driven from the outside and screwed within with nuts. The two hulls are placed 12 feet 6 inches apart, and there are pine beams placed within the hulls 2 feet apart and bolted through the top of each hull with screw bolts, and braced with iron braces from the beam to the bulge of each hull, which are supported with an arch framing fore and aft, braced with diamond braces from the top of each hull to the underside of the arch, and an iron rod is pushed through at the junction of the braces, continuing to the keel and secured with screws and nuts. The wheel is placed 65 feet from the stern, and the deck extends 3 feet at each end over the hulls. The after cabin is 55 feet in length by 22 in breadth, containing 32 berths, with a removable partition which separates 3 lengths of berths for ladies. We have been informed by the Architect of this enterprising experiment, that it will require 15,000 pounds weight to sink this boat one inch. Her bearings being 60 feet in length by 18 feet in breadth, she will draw with all on board, wood and water included, 24 inches, and will be propelled by two engines of 30 horse power connected with one wheel. The shift of the water wheel is placed about 6 feet above the deck, in order to give a 25 feet wheel, and the engines are upon the deck, for the purpose of fastening them better, this produces an angle of about 10 degrees. The air pumps are within the trunk of the boat worked by a lever beam through a hole in the trunk. The boilers are built upon the railroad boiler principle: the outside of a cylindrical form of 5 feet 6 inches diameter, with 29 flues of 7 inches diameter and 13 feet long. A furnace is formed the full size of the outside of the boiler. The whole length of the boiler is 19 feet. They are placed forward of the wheel, side by side, so that one smoke pipe serves for both.

The engines are outside the boilers; and the wheel, boilers and engines, are within the space of 46 feet in length, by 20 in breadth. The whole of this beautiful machinery is worked in Mr. Hulbert's foundry at Prescott, and the skill and ingenuity of the young artist exhibits many improvements in the construction of steam engines, which have received the unqualified approbation of Mr. Avery, of Syracuse. Mr. Hulbert has also a circular engine for the use of his foundry, which makes several thousand revolutions in a minute. The machinery is simple, and by its power the several lathes employed in moving the brass, copper, and iron works of the machinery are set in motion, besides the various grinding stones necessary for the sharpening of tools, etc. The beam of this engine resembles the shape of a cigar, and is of extraordinary strength, being entirely composed of wrought iron, untouched by a file, but highly polished by the hammer alone. The number of machines engaged in the foundry alone, varies from forty to fifty, and all of the most scientific class.

The most sanguine expectation of her success is anticipated; an event which cannot fail materially to change the principle of navigation hitherto subservient, upon the waters of the St. Lawrence, to difficulties dangerous and apparently insurmountable. Mr. Sandford has secured a patent for his invention, which appears to justify the utmost public confidence. We omitted to mention that the diameter of the water wheel is 25 feet 6 inches. [Montreal Herald]

p.2 Effects of Welland Canal - the inhabitants of the western part of Upper Canada have been awakened to the importance of internal ship navigation, hence the improvements to be made to Thames River near London, and also to the Grand River near Brantford. [St. Thomas Journal]

- list of successful contractors, for work on St. Lawrence Canals. [Montreal Gazette]

It seems to have been lost sight of, that our port of Kingston is by law a free warehousing port - see "An Act to amend the laws relating to the customs," 7th and 8th Geo. IV, sec. 35 - Provincial Statutes, page 643. A quantity of goods under bond, arrived here, via the Rideau Canal, this week. It is a question, however, in what way the duties are to be paid. The fact that Kingston is a warehousing port may contribute considerably towards the trade of the place.

The steam-boat St. George is to run hereafter twice a week from Kingston to Toronto, and, when she is finished, it is expected, the Commodore Barrie will join her on the same route. The St. George, we are informed, will start from Kingston every Saturday morning at 10 o'clock, and Wednesday morning at 8, and return here, on her downward trips on Tuesday and Friday afternoons. On her trip to Toronto, she will be able to take passengers by the River from the Britannia, and on her arrival at Kingston, her passengers may take the Sir James Kempt for Prescott. Advertisement next week.

In reference to the capacity of the route of the Rideau Canal and the Ottawa River to accommodate the public in the transportation of Produce and Goods to and from this Province, a gentleman conversant with our trade has furnished us with the following extract from a letter dated Montreal, 29th July:-

"The water in the Ottawa River is so low that the Company have been obliged to lay up the Ottawa steamer, that runs from Lachine to Grenville, and bring down the little St. Andrews. What would they do now if they had a number of Barges to tow up?"

We are also informed that there is but one steamer of sufficient light draft of water to run on the Rideau, the dry weather having materially diminished the quantity of water in the stream. This has always been considered as one of the principal obstacles to the general use of the Rideau as a line of transport. Upper Canada would consequently be in a most deplorable situation if wholly dependent on that route for conducting her trade. Under these circumstances, the proprietors of the St. George and Commodore Barrie steamers, would find it but poor business did they act on the threat held out to some of the respectable forwarders of this Town in the last Chronicle. [Brockville Recorder]

Remarks - The assertion that the Ottawa is laid up must be a small mistake, like many others made to the prejudice of the Rideau Canal. For want of more authentic information we may state, that if the water is too low on the Ottawa it is probably in the ( ) channel below the lock at Vaudreuil, and if the "little St. Andrews" has been brought down at all, she meets the Ottawa at Vaudreuil, thus at all events keeping up the line without interruption. That the Ottawa has been "laid up" cannot be correct. Our brethren on the St. Lawrence must have very inaccurate information indeed of the Rideau Canal when they state "that there is but one steamer of sufficient light draft of water to run" upon it. There are now ( ) steamboats constantly running on the Rideau, and recently five. All of these have always had an abundance of water to pass through to Bytown, except the Rideau who for the past two or three weeks only, in consequence of her drawing more water than the rest, has not been able to pass the "White Horse" above Long Island, and here, we are credibly informed, there might have been enough of water had not the lockmasters suffered too much to escape by the by-wash. At any case there is no doubt entertained but plenty of water will yet be procured, even for the Rideau, which in connection with Mr. Drummond's other boat, the Margaret, conveys freight and passengers through the line.

For the information of our St. Lawrence friends, we would mention that the Thomas McKay and Rideau arrived on Tuesday from the Canal, with 100 tons of freight and 200 Emigrants; the Margaret came in on Wednesday, also loaded. We would mention, too, that nearly all the freight and passengers of the Great Britain, on Wednesday, were shipped in Kingston - a fact that goes to prove that there is freight to be found out of Brockville and Prescott.

As the circumstance will probably be magnified, it is right to mention, on one of her late trips the Rideau was detained a day or two by the leakage of a boiler.

Great Britain and the United States - A trial of speed took place yesterday between the fine steam vessels bearing these rival names, and we are glad to state that the palm of victory belongs to the British boat, although she was robbed of it by an accident. The circumstances, as related to us by Capt. Whitney himself, are as follows. Both vessels being in harbour together at Toronto yesterday morning, a desire for a race was soon manifest, and preparations were made for it on board the United States by lightening her of heavy wood, thrown off on the wharf. It was also rumoured that at Youngstown her anchors and othe heavy articles on board had been left behind.

The two steam-boats started for Niagara from the wharf at Toronto; the United States having a start of about three minutes. The Great Britain pursued her antagonist, and gained on her till they had arrived three miles in the open Lake, when she came abreast, and after a while passed! The British boat then gradually left the American behind, and was about a mile or a mile and a half ahead, when, unfortunately for a triumphant conclusion, one of her shafts broke. Thus maimed and disabled, she still, with true English courage and perseverance, held gallantly on her way, and though hobbling on with but one wheel for 49 minutes, the United States was able to enter Niagara harbour but 6 minutes before her. If the three minutes start of the U. States be deducted, she will have beaten the Great Britain, with her broken shaft, but three minutes! We are led to believe that any doubts that may remain of the comparative speed of the crack rivals, can be removed at a future occasion. The detention of the Great Britain, in consequence of her accident, is not expected to exceed two trips. She leaves this port today for Prescott, having arrived here from Niagara in her present condition in less than 19 hours.

We are no friends to the dangerous sport of steam boat racing, but we would rather see the Great Britain the victor.

To the Editor of the Chronicle & Gazette, Kingston.

Sir, - For the information of the public generally, and the Stockholders of the Steamboat St. George in particular, we think it necessary to notice an editorial in your paper of the 26th, a part of which is intended to apply to us. You state that at this place "a batteau load of emigrants that had just arrived were detained a day for the William." The barge Windsor reached this port on Friday evening in tow of the Kingston, a short time after the arrival of the St. George, having on board about 45 emigrants for Toronto. As soon as the Windsor touched our wharf, the purser of the St. George came from that boat, lying at the wharf above, to get the emigrant passengers. We persuaded them to remain till the next day for the William, giving to that, or any other boat on the Lake, a preference to the St. George, for reasons which we consider quite satisfactory. We are often pressed with freight for the Upper Country, and have invariably endeavoured to ship it by the first boat, for the benefit of our customers. To our great

annoyance, the St. George has passed our wharf, and when freight could be procured elsewhere, refused to take any from us. Captain Harper as reported, has frequently said that he should not accommodate us, when freight was to be procured from others. Whether this is true or not, Mr. Harper best knows; but this we know from an unquestionable source, which can be given when required, that the agent for the St. George at Kingston, himself stated, that he had directed Captain Harper not to take goods for us, giving as a reason, that we had written to Mr. Smith at Paris, for whom we had forwarded goods by the St. George last autumn, that the customary charge for goods at that season by other boats, was one shilling and three pence, when they had charged one shilling and six pence; and that in consequence of our so writing, they had not been able to collect the full amount of their demand. If therefore, the proprietors of the St. George consider it their interest to annoy us, and through us injure our customers, by refusing to take goods of our employers, we shall continue as we have done in the instance referred to, to send passengers by the William, or any other boat, in preference to the St. George.

With respect to the St. George conveying goods from Kingston for 2d. less per hundred than the other boats, it is what we have not troubled ourselves about. If she chooses to carry them for nothing, to demonstrate the superior advantages of the Rideau to the St. Lawrence route, she may do so; and as to your threat of forming a junction between the St. George and Commodore Barrie which, it would appear, is to look down all opposition, it gives us no uneasiness; we shall continue to manage our own little business, to the best advantage to ourselves and employers, satisfied that the proprietors of the St. George and Commodore Barrie, will at all times do that which they believe to be for their advantage, without regard to the interests of the forwarders of the St. Lawrence.

You seem not to understand what can be the inducement for other boats to charge the same price for freight across the Lake from Kingston as from Prescott. Captain Whitney, or any other steam-boat master that understands his business, will at once assure you, that he would as soon take a load from the extreme point of departure, where the boats lie upwards of 24 hours, as take a part at any intermediate port, at the same rate.

Your obedient servants,

H.&S. Jones.

Brockville, July 28th, 1834.



Will be sold by Auction, on Wednesday the 13th day of August next, at Mr. John Strange's wharf, the following Schooners, in complete sailing order, and now lying in the port of Kingston, viz.:

Lord Nelson, with Boat, Sails, Rigging etc. complete; Richard Cartwright do. do. do., and smack Robert Bruce do. do.

Terms to be made known at the time of sale. Sale to commence at 1 o'clock, P.M.

Hugh Scanlan, Auctioneer.

Kingston, 29th July, 1834.



The New Steam Boat


Capt. D. Howe,

Will, on the 23rd of July, commence her regular trips between Ogdensburgh and Niagara as follows:

Going Up

Leaves Ogdensburgh Tuesday, at 9 A.M.

Kingston Wednesday, at 6 A.M.

Sacket's Harbor Wednesday, at 12 M.

Oswego, do. at 9 P.M.

Sodus, Thursday, at 1 A.M.

Rochester, do. at 8 A.M.

Toronto (York) Thursday at 9 P.M.

Arriving at Lewiston early Friday morning.

Coming Down

Leaves Lewiston Friday, at 4 P.M.

Rochester Saturday, 8 A.M.

Sodus do. 2 P.M.

Oswego, do. 5 P.M.

S. Harbor Sunday 2 A.M.

Kingston do. 8 P.M.

Touching at French Creek, Alexandria and Brockville, on her way up and down.

June 26th, 1834.

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Aug. 2, 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), Aug. 2, 1834