The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Chronicle & Gazette (Kingston, ON), May 30, 1838

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To Captain Smith, Steamer Oneida.

We, the undersigned, Cabin Passengers on board the Sir Robert Peel, Steamer, which was destroyed this morning by a band of Pirates, (calling themselves Patriots) at Well's Island, within 7 miles of French Creek, avail ourselves of the earliest opportunity of thus testifying to you the deep obligation we owe you for the very kind and handsome manner in which you so promptly assisted in relieving us from a situation at once trying and unpleasant, occasioned by the unfortunate occurrence just alluded to, by receiving and carrying us on board the Oneida Steamer, (then on her way to Ogdensburgh) to Kingston, the nearest British Port. Such disinterested conduct on your part cannot fail to secure to you not only our lasting gratitude, but also the approving acknowledgements of a well disposed community.

We beg also hereby to tender our thanks to the passengers then on board of our boat, who doubtless at some inconvenience to themselves simultaneously assured us, that no objection existed on their parts to your returning with the Oneida to Kingston again.

Eliza Sampson, Kingston

Madeline Sampson, do.

Janet Fisher, do.

Theresa Robertson, Montreal.

Harriet Fraser, Brockville.

R.D. Fraser, do.

A. Choate, Hamilton, U.C.

George Auldjo, Montreal.

J.R. Auldjo, do.

J.S. McDonell, Toronto.

James Holditch, Port Robertson.

D. McIntosh, Prescott.

Wm. C. Pari, Island of Madeira.

C.B. Knapp, Bytown.

Colin Robertson, Jr., Montreal.

A. Macdonald, do.

G. Halce, do.

R.K. Bullock, Capt. Steamer Neptune.

F. Tegm, and Brother, Switzerland.

Kingston, 30th May, 1838.

Capture and Burning of the Sir Robert Peel, by Yankee Pirates.

About one o'clock this morning the British steam boat Sir Robert Peel was seized by an armed band of Ruffians, between 30 and 40 in number, whose faces were blackened and otherwise disguised for the purpose, and after plundering the boat, and ill-treating the passengers, among whom there were several ladies, many of whom had not time to get their wearing apparel, before they were landed on shore at Well's Island, about six miles below French Creek. They took the boat out into the river and set her on fire and burned her to the water's edge. There were about 80 passengers - and scarcely an article was saved. The loss of individual property on board is very considerable. Messrs. Auldjo of Montreal, Mr. R.D. Fraser, of Brockville, a Mr. Holditch, of Port Robertson, then on his return from Devonshire, England, who lost £1,500, and Captain Bullock, of the Steam Boat Neptune, are among the most considerable losers. Mrs. and Miss Sampson, and Miss Fisher, of Kingston, were amongst the lady passengers.

When shall we have an end of these aggresions; are we doomed through the listlessness of a Whig Government to suffer continual outrage? and are we still to give credit for honourable intentions, and pacific dispositions to our unmanageable neighbours? We are sorry to add that the Chief Engineer, Mr. Swain, who was asleep when she was set fire to, is severely burnt; his bed was in flames about him before he awoke.



Arrangements for 1838

The Steam Boat


Capt. Mills,

Will ply during the season from Kingston to River Trent, on the following days, touching at the intermediate ports, viz.:


Leave Kingston on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings at 8 o'clock.


Leave the River Trent on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings at 3 o'clock.

The Hamilton is a comfortable passage boat and well adapted to carry freight.

Kingston, May 1838.

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May 30, 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 30, 1838