The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Chronicle & Gazette (Kingston, ON), Aug. 5, 1840

Full Text


The American Steamers and the Immigrants.

In a recent number of this paper we published the following remarks:

"Caution to Emigrants - The American steamer Oneida took from this port, a number of Emigrants, on Thursday morning last, pursuading them that by Rochester was the nearest and best route to Toronto. An emigrant who agreed to work his passage, but not doing so to the satisfaction of the Captain, was bundled ashore at Sackett's Harbor, in the most unceremonious manner, and his bundle of clothes kept for the passage to Sacketts.

This and similar outrages are every day practised upon emigrants, and they are induced to leave better wages at this side than they can obtain in the U.S., by the rascality of the Captains and runners of the American boats that frequent this port."

This paragraph has given offence to the Captain of the Oneida and his friends, who pronounce it a wanton and uncalled for attack. They mention that the British Boats receive civil treatment while in their waters, and that proper courtesy ought to be shewn to them while in our harbours. This is all very well, but we shrewdly guess that if any improper conduct were discovered on the part of British Boats in American waters, we should be very apt to hear of it.

We are at all times averse to the use of illiberal remarks, or harsh language towards any person or set of persons, but we contend that a line of conduct so remarkable for baseness, as can be proven against persons belonging to the Oneida steamer, ought to be exposed. We submit the following particulars, and leave it to the public to judge whether the offensive article was uncalled for or not. The statement is furnished to us by the Emigrant Agent, who is fully prepared to prove his charges.

In the latter part of July last, the American steamer Oneida was in this port bound to Oswego, Rochester, etc.; just before her departure several hundred emigrants arrived via the Rideau, anxious to proceed to Toronto; one of our regular steamers to Toronto was going out that night, but the Captain of the Oneida, or some other officer of the boat, pursuaded the emigrants that Rochester was the nearest and best way to Toronto, and induced about 60 of these unfortunate people to go by this circuitous and expensive route. Several of them went agreeing to work their passage, one of them had some difference with the Captain, he was landed at Sackett's Harbour, his bundle of clothes, probably his all, (and worth 2 or 3 Pds we have no doubt,) was kept for his passage. The American boats have at least half a dozen Runners employed about the town, who are as a matter of course, paid for inducing the Emigrants to leave this and go to the United States, and represent to them, that the wages for labourers is 7 shillings per day, that servant girls get 10 Dollars per month, and lads from 15 to 18 years of age 10 dollars per month; to such an extent is this deception carried, on the part of the American boats, that Irishmen who have been long resident in the United States and speak the Irish language, are brought here and remain for weeks persuading the unfortunate emigrants to go to the United States, and they will get what wages they ask and land for nothing. The above statement, (and others might be added) can be proven on the testimony of many of the most respectable inhabitants of this Town.

It may not here be out of place to state the wages at which almost any number of persons could find employment in this Province, they are as follows, on the public works, which are going on in several of the Districts 3s. per day is paid - labourers about the towns get 3s. 6d. per day - farm servants in the country find employment at from £20 to £40 per annum, according to their capability. Servant girls from £6 to £12, lads from 12 to 18 years of age 9 to £16 per annum, and found in every thing.

It appears from the best information that can be procured from the United States, that there are few public works going on there; that mechanics as well as ordinary labourers, find it difficult to obtain employment at any wages - indeed there are numbers of persons daily arriving here from the United States, natives as well as emigrants, in search of employment; and from all that can be learnt, the situation of the labourer is infinitely better in Canada than in the United States.

Welland Canal Locks - The sum of £15,000 having been obtained, as our readers have already been informed, for the purpose of commencing the permanent works on the Welland canal, this season, the public, and especially that portion more immediately concerned, will be much gratified to learn, by the notice under the above head, in another column of this paper, that the Board of Directors have most judiciously decided on expending that amount in procuring and delivering materials for rebuilding 8 of the locks, commencing at No. 4, adjoining the stone mill, and proceeding upwards to No. 11 - the work to be commenced immediately after the contracts are taken, and completed, as to the delivery of the materials, by the 1st November next. Payments will be made monthly; and one month's notice is to be given to Contractors, before they are required to commence laying up the work. By this proceeding, the public have a pretty sure guarantee, that the permanent improvement of the Welland Canal, throughout, is on the eve of being set about, in good earnest - as nothing could be more unwise, and even preposterous, than for the Directors to expend such a large sum of money, in such a manner, without the strongest confidence of being able to procure the necessary means to carry out their designs. [St. Catharines Journal, July 23rd]

p.2 Launch at Garden Island - On Saturday morning last, a beautiful new Timber Schooner of 170 tons burthen, called the Hannah Counter, was launched by Messrs. Calvin, Cook and Counter. She is of elegant model, and went off the stocks in fine style, being fully rigged, with crew and stores on board. She is commanded by Capt. Wm. Donaldson, and proceeded on her 1st trip to Port Dalhousie. [U.C. Herald]



On Lake Ontario, River St. Lawrence to Dickenson's Landing, and Bay of Quinte, for the year 1841.

Sealed Tenders will be received at the Commissariat Office, Kingston, U.C., until noon on Thursday the 1st day of October next, from any person or persons desirous of entering into Contracts for the following services, namely:

For the Transport of Troops, Baggage and Government Stores, from and to the various Stations on Lake Ontario, and River St. Lawrence to Dickenson's Landing, during the season of navigation of 1841.

For the Transport of ditto ditto ditto from and to various stations on the Bay of Quinte, during ditto.


For the Hire of Steam Vessels when exclusively required for the service of the Government, during ditto.

Unexceptionable Security subject to the approval of the Commissariat will be required, and the names of two responsible persons willing to enter into a Bond with the Principal for the faithful performance of the Contract, must be given on the Tender.

Payment will be made by check on a Chartered Bank.

Forms of Tender may be obtained on application at the Commissariat Office, where any further information will be afforded.

Commissariat Office, Kingston, U.C., 4th August, 1840.

Media Type:
Item Type:
Date of Original:
Aug. 5, 1840
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Rick Neilson
Copyright Statement:
Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
WWW address
Powered by / Alimenté par VITA Toolkit

My favourites lets you save items you like, tag them and group them into collections for your own personal use. Viewing "My favourites" will open in a new tab. Login here or start a My favourites account.

Chronicle & Gazette (Kingston, ON), Aug. 5, 1840