p.2 A Card - Syracuse Band thank Capt. Whitney of stmr. Great Britain for his good treatment of them while they were on an excursion to Kingston.
General Post Office,
Quebec, July 25th, 1838.
To the Editor of the Morning Courier.
Sir, - In your paper of the 23rd instant, you remark upon the time occupied by the Post in its progress between Toronto and Montreal, and ask why the Steamboats are not employed to forward the mail upon that route, when the advantages of such mode of conveyance has been clearly demonstrated? This is a question which it is quite natural the public should ask, and I am pleased at being afforded an opportunity of answering it in a way that I think will exonerate this Department from the censure implied in your observations; I beg to state, therefore, that although, for several years past, I have considered that it would be advantageous to employ the steamboats on the Upper Canada waters for the conveyance of our mails, circumstances beyond my control, (but which it is unnecessary to particularize here,) prevented my entering into any agreement for that object until early in the present summer, when I opened a negotiation with Mr. Hamilton, the principal steamboat proprietor on Lake Ontario, (and the only individual prepared to fulfil such an engagement,) for the conveyance of a daily mail between Niagara, Toronto, Kingston, etc., the effect of which would have been to meet the views indicated in your paper. Mr. Hamilton's terms were acceded to by me on the 15th of last month - the contract was, as soon as possible thereafter, prepared at Toronto for his signature, and I was in daily expectation of seeing the arrangement in operation, when my Agent at Toronto wrote me saying that Mr. Hamilton had gone to New York, and that the business could not be completed until his return! The next letter from my Agent on the subject, dated the 11th instant, informs me, that Mr. Hamilton, on his return from New York, had called upon him and stated, that, under existing circumstances, he feared entering into a contract for the conveyance of the mails, as his boats were so frequently taken out of the line for Government purposes, that he could not ensure a daily transmission of the mails. To this my Agent replied, that having anticipated such an objection, he had provided for it in the contract. Mr. Hamilton, however, was still averse, even this clause inserted in the contract, to undertake the performance of the service, and the negotiation was broken off, Mr. Hamilton promising to address a letter to the Agent, explanatory of his reasons for withdrawing from the engagement. My Agent concludes his report by saying, that considering the difficulties by which he was beset, he does not blame Mr. Hamilton for declining to undertake the conveyance of the mails, as from his personal knowledge, nearly all the boats on the Lake had been more or less frequently taken out of their regular course of duty to meet the demands of Government; that it was impossible to say how long this state of things would continue, and that consequently no dependence could be placed upon the boats as a conveyance for the mails. Trusting that this plain statement of facts will be satisfactory,
I am, Sir,
Your very obedient servant,
T.A. Stayner, D.P.M.G.