The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Chronicle & Gazette (Kingston, ON), March 13, 1841

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p.3 For the Chronicle & Gazette.

Mr. Editor, - In taking a view of the improvements now going on in Kingston, you see in almost every part of it buildings being put up or about to be commenced, and many other things indicative of great increase in size and population, now this is attributed by many to its having become the seat of Government; this perhaps, in a great measure, is the case, yet another cause of its increase, and a very important one, should not be lost sight of; I mean its commerce; the increase of which, within the last few years, and brilliant prospects in future, I think will warrant me in saying that as well as being the seat of Government, Kingston will in a very short time, be one of the greatest Commercial marts in North America. It is well known that there is not sufficient accommodation for the commerce of the place, several of the Forwarders have been obliged to go two or three miles up and down the coast, and there build wharves and ware-houses; and this is found so good an investment that Capt. Cameron, a gentleman not connected with forwarding, is building extensive wharves and ware-houses on Garden Island, for the purpose of letting them to any Forwarder who may require them. Although there are several wharves being built in the harbour this winter, still there will be too limited a space for the business. Now it must be admitted that it is an injury to the town to allow the business to go away from it, that would naturally come here if there was room. I would therefore suggest, that the market shoal should be let for that purpose; as I am well aware that several applications have been made for a lease of it. The water on this shoal does not exceed five feet, and several acres could be found in the Harbour not exceeding twelve feet. If portions of this were let to individuals, there would be very extensive wharves built, which would afford ample means to Forwarders for any quantity of merchandize or produce that might be in transit through this place for a number of years. At a rough calculation I find the freight of American produce alone, which passed through this place last season in transit to Montreal, something like seventy thousand pounds, including both lake and river freight. This should not be lost sight of. Nature has made the St. Lawrence the great outlet for North American produce and if means be afforded to forward it with facility, the business will still increase; but although nature has done much for us, we must do a little for ourselves. The enterprise of our neighbours has forced a large portion of business through the Erie Canal, but by the St. Lawrence with a little exertion we can forward a leetle cheaper and a leetle quicker too. The ball therefore lies at our feet, let us keep it moving.

But to return to our Harbour, the Navigation is difficult and dangerous to strangers. Ask a sailor if he knows any other so long established, and with such a shoal in it that has not at least a buoy on it, I blush to say he would answer no. Should the shoal be let and wharves and ware houses be built on it, they would be a sufficient mark, and would also afford shelter for Vessels which is much wanted. It happens that the Harbour is open to a southerly wind, and there are some instances of Vessels having been seriously injured for want of sufficient shelter. By adopting my suggestion it would not only afford protection without expense to the public, but would also add to the revenue. It has been objected to, on account of injuring the Harbour, but instead of that, it would greatly improve it, it has also been objected to, because it might be wanted by Government, but could not Government have it so as to assume it again at any time by giving the person in possession a short notice. It is to be regretted that anything should stand in the way of this improvement, but that something does is quite evident, as I am aware that applications have been made to get it, but it has not yet been obtained. What is the reason? Now, Mr. Editor, if you will ask Mr. Government or Mr. Authority, or any other Mr. that may have the control of it, you will much oblige.

Kingston, March 12th, 1841 A SAILOR

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March 13, 1841
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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), March 13, 1841