The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Chronicle & Gazette (Kingston, ON), May 2, 1838

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From the Bytown Gazette.

To the kindness of one of our Commercial friends we are indebted for the following extract from a letter from Kingston, and as it contains several valuable hints, which if acted on would very materially benefit this section of the country, we lose no time in laying it before our readers, in hopes they will give it that attention its importance deserves. We would further add, that it appears from the arrangements they are making, that it is the design of the Ottawa & Rideau Forwarding Companies to direct the trade, as far as possible, by the Ottawa and Rideau Canal; and we are convinced, as every one else must be, that nothing but a small share of public spirit among our merchants and monied men would be required, to secure effectual service to the public by this route:-

To the Editor of the Bytown Gazette.

Sir - Annexed I send you an extract from a dispatch from home, respecting the St. Ann's Lock. It is to be regretted that it is not more conclusive; yet it shews that the present state of the Rideau navigation is now known at home, and something I am certain will be done, which will be the means of adding to the Rideau trade, and of course to Bytown and Kingston. I send you a copy of the extract to Capt. Bolton, at the same time suggesting the propriety of having the Lock at Vaudreuil bought out by the Military Government and thrown open to the public by paying a toll. I wish those connected with the opposite line would wait on the Captain, and request him to address Sir John Colborne on the subject. I need hardly observe, that in the transport of military Stores the Government must be gainers, in the event of the Canal being properly open, in consequence of having numerous forwarding establishments on the line; as respects the public, the transport will be done lower than if held by one company.

Messrs. Jones of Brockville are anxious to establish a line on the canal, but are not prepared with steamers. Could they not form a connection with your Company - I wish something could be done in your quarter, and let me know and I will correspond with them on the subject. Your merchants ought now to exert themselves and secure the whole U.C. trade per Rideau; the most of the Lake Boats are not to go further down than this during the summer.


"With regard to the address for the construction of a Canal at the St. Ann's Rapids, the Queen has commanded the Lords Commissioners of Her Majesty's Treasury to consider and report to Her Majesty, whether there are at Her Majesty's disposal any funds applicable to this service, and which might properly be so applied - and if not, whether it would be proper that application should be made to parliament for such funds. When the question will have been considered by the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury, the Queen will give such further commands to Her Majesty's Secretary of State having the department of the Colonies, as may be necessary for your information and for that of the House of Assembly of U. Canada."

Answering to the call of our correspondent "M." and conceiving it to be a duty to notice the matter favorably, we take leave to bring under notice of His Excellency Sir George Arthur the just claims of Capt. Sutherland, of the Steamboat Traveller, Capt. Richardson of the Transit, Capt. Colcleugh of the Britannia, and the Captain of the Steamer Experiment, whose name we do not at the moment recollect, and their officers and men who, despite the dangers incident to the navigation of the Lake in winter, stuck to their posts as brave fine fellows - and by their so doing contributed more than any other means employed to the successful repulsion of the combined rebels and sympathizers on Navy Island, if not to the speedy termination of the rebellion in the Home and London Districts. Those who are acquainted with the inclemency of a Canadian winter only can properly appreciate the dangers, hardships and privations Captain Sutherland must have incurred and endured in the several trips he made between the 7th December and the 27th January, from Toronto and Niagara to Kingston and Prescott - and scarcely less severe were the duties of the commanders of the other boats plying during that time, and even later, from Toronto to Niagara. Rank in the Provincial Marine, proportioned to each man's services and grade on board, would confer honorary rewards for those eminent services, and although at present not availing them lucratively, it might so happen that Her Majesty would graciously deem their services of that importance to entitle them to a grant of land, which would be conferred according to each man's rank. To the early volunteers from Kingston who accompanied the armaments to Niagara and other places in those perilous times the country owes deep obligations, and we trust they will be rewarded accordingly; and we cannot close these observations without giving the praise, their due, to Assistant Commissary General Clarke, and Thomas Gurly, Esquire, Acting Ordinance Storekeeper, for their untiring and zealous efforts in the discharge of their respective duties, rendered difficult, laborious and troublesome by the pressure of the times - in fact we deem some departmental act of favor to these gentlemen eminently their due....

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May 2, 1838
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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 2, 1838