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

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The Subscriber very respectfully begs leave to acquaint his friends and the Public generally, that he has leased the large and commodious Wharf and Warehouses at foot of Store Street, lately occupied by Messrs. Truax & Phillips, and known by the name of the


where he tenders his services to those who may be pleased to employ him in the Forwarding and Commission Business. The extent of the premises enabled him to let one half of the Wharf and Store Houses to the well known Firm of Messrs. Hooker and Henderson of Prescott, who are to carry on a branch of their forwarding business in this place; and also let to Mr. H. Fraser, Agent for Messrs. A.H. Vass & Co. of Montreal, a part of the spacious Stone Store House in rear of the wharf for the purpose of carrying on a

Wholesale Grocery Establishment.

Thus the Commercial Wharf offers to the public the facility of buying or selling goods and transporting them to any part of the two Provinces or of the United States.

The subscriber at the solicitation of some of his friends has been induced to take out


for the purpose of disposing of such consignment as may be ordered to be sold by Public Auction and has established a regular correspondence with respectable Mercantile Houses in several parts of the two Provinces, which will enable him to give correct information respecting the state of the different markets and the current prices of produce, etc.

Cord Wood For Steam Boats

and for Town consumption, will be kept at all times on the wharf and a confidential person will constantly attend to ship or receive freight and passenger's baggage.

Storage and Wharfage

on the most reasonable terms; freight and charges on goods left subject thereto, will be collected on delivery, and punctually paid. Property on consignment will be taken charge of free of Storage and Wharfage, if sold.


Kingston, 21st May, 1838.

PROCLAMATION - by Sir George Arthur, Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada, - about burning of Peel, asking citizens not to retaliate against the Americans.

p.3 In our last number we quoted among the passengers in the Sir R. Peel, who were so kindly treated by Captain Smith, of the Oneida, A. McDonald, Montreal, whereas it should have been A. McDowall.


Arrangements for 1838.

The Steam Boat


Capt. Whitney,

Will ply between Kingston, Queenston and Lewiston, twice a week, as follows, viz.:


Leave Kingston every Wednesday morning at 10 o'clock.

Leave Oswego every Wednesday after the arrival of the evening Canal Packets from Utica, and arrive at Queenston and Lewiston on the following morning in time to take the Rail Road Cars and Stages for Niagara Falls and Buffalo.


Leave Kingston every Saturday morning at 10 o'clock.

Leave Oswego every Saturday after the arrival of the evening Canal Packets from Utica, and arrive at Queenston and Lewiston on the following morning in time to take the Rail Road Cars and stages for Niagara Falls and Buffalo.


Leave Lewiston and Queenston every Thursday evening at 6 o'clock.

Leave Niagara every Thursday evening at 7 o'clock.

Leave Oswego every Friday morning at 10 o'clock, and arrive at Kingston same afternoon.


Leave Queenston and Lewiston every Monday morning at 9 o'clock.

Leave Niagara every Monday morning at 10 o'clock.

Leave Toronto every Monday afternoon at 4 o'clock.

Leave Oswego every Tuesday morning at 10 o'clock, and arrive at Kingston same afternoon.

The Great Britain performs the trip between Oswego, Niagara and Lewiston in 12 hours, which makes her the most expeditious conveyance for travellers to and from the Falls of Niagara and Buffalo.

The accommodations on board of the Great Britain are not surpassed by those of any boat on Lake Ontario; the Gentlemen's and Ladies' Cabins being fitted up entirely with roomy and airy State Rooms, with 2 berths in each.

The hours of arrival and departure at Oswego and Lewiston, are so arranged as to meet the Canal Packets, Rail Road Cars and Stages at different places; and there is a daily steam boat conveyance between Kingston and Montreal, by the River St. Lawrence, passing the Thousand Islands and Rapids by daylight, in connection with the Great Britain, which will enable passengers to proceed without delay.

Kingston, May 1838.



The Statement of Mr. Maurice FitzGibbons, 2nd Mate of the Steam boat Sir Robert Peel.

The steam boat Sir Robert Peel, Capt. A.B. Armstrong, on her voyage from Prescott to Toronto, arrived at Well's Island, seven miles below the village of French Creek, on her way to Kingston, about one o'clock on the morning of the 30th May. She stopped at this place, it being one of the usual places for taking in wood, and while all hands being busily employed in so doing, a band of men, armed with muskets and bayonets, and their faces blacked, rushed on board the vessel, and ordered every soul to go on shore immediately. These men might amount to sixty or eighty, but the night was dark, and the positive number cannot be well ascertained - they were under the command of a man who appeared to be an officer. The utmost confusion prevailed on board, and the passengers, ladies and gentlemen, being many, great alarm was created. Previous to obeying the command of the pirates, Captain Armstrong ordered the boat to be cut adrift, which order I attempted to execute, but was prevented by the pirates. The passengers then went on shore; the ladies were forced from their cabin, without shores or stockings on - many in their night clothes, and none fully clothed - the gentlemen were in like manner treated. The crew and firemen, together with the Captain and Engineers, were obliged to leave the vessel, their doing so being hastened by sundry cuffs received from the hands of the pirates. When the passengers were collected together on shore, they asked to be allowed to get their clothes, and this was permitted them for a short time; but they could not obtain the half of what they possessed.

The boat was then cast adrift, and permitted to go down the stream for about a furlong or so, when the anchors were let go, and in about a quarter of an hour, or more, the Sir Robert Peel was observed to be in flames, and continued burning until I left Well's' Island. The pirates were seen to leave the vessel in as many as five or six boats, when the vessel was fully on fire - they went off in the direction of the American shore. At the time of the capture the 1st mate, Mr. Roderick McSween, was in bed and asleep, and in the confusion was not awakened, and therefore he was carried into the stream where the vessel was set on fire. When the pirates left the blazing wreck, Mr. McSween's cries were heard on shore, and a boat was put off from the landing place to his assistance - in the mean while he had thrown himself overboard, and swam to a small island, where he was picked up.

The passengers and crew, amounting in the whole to about one hundred souls, thus left ashore, found refuge from the cold in a large shanty, and were kindly treated by the inmates thereof, where they remained until about six o'clock in the morning, when they were taken off by the American Steamboat Oneida, Capt. Smith, and the whole party brought to Kingston, whither the Oneida returned back. We were all treated well on board. I could not recognize one single person amongst those concerned in this outrage, the faces and persons were so much disguised.


2nd Mate, Sir Robt. Peel.

Kingston, May 30th, 1838.

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June 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), June 2, 1838