The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Chronicle & Gazette (Kingston, ON), Nov. 29, 1834

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p.2 Victoria Canal and Slide at Chats Falls - opened on Ottawa River. (full column) [Montreal Gazette]

Connection of Lakes Huron and Ontario - to draw up petition to push for opening up this route. (full column) [Cobourg Star]

The attack upon Capt. Harper of the St. George by the inhabitants of Port Hope, and the refutation of this attack by the stockholders of the boat will be found below. The people of Port Hope will gain nothing by what may be justly termed their repeated persecution of a gallant and meritorious officer, and their attempt at injuring the St. George because they have a spite against her Captain, is in our opinion a very sorry revenge. There is something unaccountable to us in the way Capt. H. has been used; singled out as a mark for a whole town's indignation. The worthy Captain, however, has weathered many a worse storm than the squall from Port Hope.

[Port Hope Warder]

At a numerous meeting of Merchants, and other respectable inhabitants of the Town of Port Hope, held at the Exchange Coffee-House on Monday the 24th November, 1834 - Captain Kingsmill having been called to the Chair, and Mr. Charles Hughes appointed Secretary -

The following resolutions were unanimously adopted.

1. Moved by James Smith, Esq., seconded by John Brown, Esq., M.P.

That in consequence of various rumours now afloat, in regard to the motives that have actuated the Editor of the Journal published in this Town, in the insertion of several Editorial articles, relating to the Steamer St. George, and her Captain, Mr. Harper, it is expedient that the sentiments of the Inhabitants of this place in regard to the same, be publicly known.

2. Moved by J.D. Smith, Esq., seconded by W.H. Thompson, Esq.

That the conduct of Capt. Harper of the Steamer St. George, in carrying goods and passengers destined for this place, to Cobourg, on more occasions than one, is highly deserving the censure of this meeting and that the sentiments contained in the Editorial remarks, which have lately appeared in several numbers of the Port Hope Warder, in reference thereto, are the true feelings of the Merchants and Inhabitants of this town.

3. Moved by John Brown, Esq., seconded by Mr. Charles Brent.

That instructions be sent to the respective forwarders that no goods for this place be shipped by the St. George Steamer, while commanded by Capt. Harper....

5. Moved by Mr. H. Hughes seconded by M. Jellett, Esq.

That the reports that have been so insidiously circulated by persons inimical to the prosperity of Port Hope, relative to the state of the Harbour and Wharf, and the depth of water at this place, are as unfair as they are unfounded; that at present and during the whole season, there is, and has been, sufficient water for any vessel or Steamer navigating the Lake, that the same was proved a few days ago, by the Schooner Kingston, when laden, (after having been aground outside the pier at Cobourg and with difficulty got off) entering this Port, riding between the Piers and discharging her cargo in perfect safety...

W. Kingsmill, Chairman.

C. Hughes, Secretary.

At a Meeting of Stockholders of the Steam Boat St. George, convened by request of Capt. Harper, of that Boat, at the office of David J. Smith, Esq., the Agent, at Kingston, on the 28th of Nov. 1834


The Hon. John Kirby, Lt. Colonel Wright, R.E. Thomas Kirkpatrick, Esq., John Strange, Esq., Hilary Dupuy, Esq., David J. Smith, Esq., John Counter, Esq., Messrs. McCuniffe, Wm. Wilson, Hale and Campbell.

The Hon. John Kirby was voted to the Chair.

A letter from Capt. Kingsmill, of Port Hope, dated 19th Nov., 1834, addressed to David J. Smith, Esq., the Agent, reflecting upon the conduct of Capt. Harper, as Commander of that Boat, being read, Capt. Harper was called upon to explain the circumstances, which having done, he called upon John Brown, the second Mate, who being examined, declares, that on Sunday the 16th instant, he was sent by Capt. Harper, in charge of the Jolly Boat, to land passengers at Port Hope, who had also instructions to take soundings, which he accordingly did, and found but six and a half feet, about half the vessel's length, inside the pier; and the rise and fall of the swell of the Lake, at the pier end, was upwards of two feet, and the depth of water there was about ten feet. On going on board he reported the soundings and stated that there was not water enough for the Boat to go there with safety. Captain Harper thereupon said he would proceed to Cobourg, as he could not endanger the safety of the Boat under the circumstances; he accordingly proceeded to Cobourg, where the facility for landing was greater, and landed the goods and other things intended for Port Hope. He further states, that he never knew of any goods from the St. George having been thrown carelessly on shore - on the contrary, all care and attention were given to them on all occasions.

Robert Shea, the first Mate and Pilot, being also called, states that the evidence given by Brown, the second Mate, is correct, and he further states, that, as Pilot, he was perfectly satisfied that the Boat could not go to the pier on the 16th instant, as the Boat, when in lighter trim, struck there the previous trips, and he expressed his opinion to Capt. Harper. They both state that the vessel never passed Port Hope when they could go there with safety - in proof of the Captain's wish to do so, he once got the Boat damaged there.

Alexander Hutchinson and George Moran, both helmsmen, having heard the evidence of the first and second Mate, declare that their statements are correct. Hutchinson, who was helmsman when the Boat struck the previous trip, states she struck at the distance of half the Boat's length from the Pier, in backing out.

Henry Cassady, Esq., being a passenger landing at Port Hope on the 16th instant confirms the account of the soundings, given by Brown, and states that there was a considerable swell at the time off the end of the Pier, and further, that had they attempted to come in, she would have grounded at the Bow, and thereby have exposed the stern to the swell, and endangered her safety. He is also certain that Capt. Harper would have landed at Port Hope on this occasion, if he could do so with safety; judging from the Captain's intention then, as well as from a previous conversation, in which he said he thought the Piers better adapted for landing, and he would rather land there than at Cobourg.

The men now present, and under examination, being asked if the statement made by Capt. Harper, in his letter to the Editor of the Cobourg Star, and published therein, is correct, declare it is so, and that they have suffered great inconvenience from persons not attending to receive goods, or take a line when approaching the piers.

Thomas Kirkpatrick, Esq., who was a passenger on board the St. George, being called upon, states, "that he was on board the St. George, as a passenger, on the 16th instant, and he thinks Capt. Harper acted prudently in not going to the Pier at Port Hope. There appeared to him to be a considerable swell at the time, although the wind was subsiding. He heard Capt. Harper mention to Mr. Ives of the schooner Kingston, at Cobourg, that his second Mate had sounded, and found six and a half feet water inside the pier at Port Hope. Capt. Harper advised him to go to Port Hope, and anchor off the pier, and land his goods in a scow in case the swell should not have subsided sufficiently to allow him to go alongside the pier. Capt. Harper advised him not to land his goods at Cobourg but to proceed to Port Hope, and land them there."

Thereupon it was moved by John Strange, Esq., and seconded by Walter McCuniffe, Esq., that in the opinion of this meeting, the evidence above produced by Capt. Harper, sufficiently disproves the statement made in Capt. Kingsmill's letter to Mr. Smith - and the opinion expressed in the resolutions passed at the Port Hope meeting; which being put, was carried unanimously.

Moved by Mr. Counter, and seconded by Mr. Wm. Wilson, that the Stockholders highly approve of the general conduct of Lieut. Harper, R.N., Commander of the Steam Boat St. George, not only as to his ability as Commander, but also as to his attention to the interests of the Stockholders at large; which being put, was carried unanimously.

Resolved, That these resolutions be published.

John Kirby, Chairman.

The Chairman having left the Chair, John Strange, Esq., M.P.P., was called thereto, whereupon the thanks of this meeting were voted to the Chairman for his impartial conduct in the Chair; which was moved by Col. Wright and seconded by Mr. Wm. Wilson.

A. Manahan, Secretary.

p.3 Steam-Boat Accident - On her passage up the Bay, and while entering the port of Belleville, on Thursday morning about 4 o'clock, the steam-boat Kingston ran against a cake of ice, and sunk in 12 or 15 feet-water. After this boat was launched, false sides of one and a quarter inch boards were added to her hull, in order to steady her. A hole being made by the ice in one of these sides, it filled, and the vessel careening, the water entered the scuppers, etc. and she sunk. The passengers were all saved by gaining the higher parts of the boat. The cargo, which was a heavy and valuable one, and principally intended for the Belleville merchants, is much damaged. If the vessel had struck a few yards further from the shore, passengers, boat, and cargo, would, no doubt, have been lost. Capt. Ives' conduct on this occasion is highly spoken of. He is exerting himself to raise the vessel.

Notice - The Stockholders of the Steam Packet St. George are requested to meet on board the Boat, on Monday the 1st December next at noon, on particular business of the boat.

David John Smith.

Kingston, 24th Oct., 1834.

The above Meeting is postponed for Monday the 15th December next, to be held at the office of D.J. Smith, Esq. 28th November, 1834.


Steam Boat


Capt. Paynter, late of the William IV Steamer, begs to inform the public, that having resigned the command of that Boat, he will during the ensuing season, command the new and splendid steamer


This Boat which was built during the summer of 1833, is now undergoing such alterations and improvements in her Engines, as will place her in point of speed, on an equality with any Boat on Lake Ontario. While the arrangement for passengers will be so improved in comfort and convenience, as to render her in that respect inferior to none.

The Cobourg will be Ready to commence her trips, at the opening of the Navigation, of which due notice will be given.

Port Hope, U.C., 19th November, 1834.

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Nov. 29, 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), Nov. 29, 1834