The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Chronicle & Gazette (Kingston, ON), July 17, 1841

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p.3 The Late Sir Robert Barrie - a biography of the man in charge of Kingston Dockyard 1819-1834.

To the Editor of the Chronicle & Gazette.

Sir, - I observe in a note in your editorial of the 30th ult., under the head "Importance of British North American Timber to Europe," you announce the arrival of the steamer Cobourg, having a raft of masts for the Royal Navy of France, and give Cobourg the credit of furnishing them. You must allow me to correct this error, which I am sure is not intentional on your part, and at the same time add some additional information on the subject of our Timber Trade.

The raft alluded to was not from Cobourg, as you mention, but from a pleasantly situated town seven miles west of Cobourg called Port Hope, a place of far more beauty and importance than strangers generally are aware of. It is not in the nature of things that a raft like that to which you allude could be made at Cobourg, which is situated directly on the lake shore, exposed to every wind, having no harbour or basin for the protection required, while on the contrary, Port Hope affords a most commodious harbour, and protection in all weather, and every other accommodation necessary for this most important traffic; besides, the country in the immediate vicinity can boast of a plentiful supply of the most valuable timber. There are two reasons why I am anxious to correct your statement. The one is, that there are certain individuals, not one hundred miles from Port Hope, who make it a point on all occasions to indulge in unlimited slanders and calumnies respecting the place and its inhabitants, and take all sorts of pains to dissuade and divert strangers even from visiting it, fearing as they do, that many might be induced to settle in the neighbourhood - for they well know that the picturesque and beautiful scenery of Port Hope, and its many decided attractions and capabilities, are only to be seen to be appreciated. The other reason is, that the public ought to know that there is such a place as Port Hope, and that it can proudly boast of more natural advantages, and of furnishing more masts and timber in two seasons than all Upper Canada west of the Ottawa put together. The statement below will exemplify this. In 1840, 202 of the choicest masts, and 100 immense sticks of squared timber, were furnished for the market by two very enterprising gentlemen of this place, Messrs. Crawford and Marsh, and this season no less than eight hundred masts and eight hundred sticks of squared oak and pine are furnished by the same gentlemen, and all rafted at Port Hope except a few drams prepared a few miles above - the last ten drams of which leave tomorrow. Independent of this, Messrs. R. Weller & Marsh, have rafted several drams from Presque Isle this season - the amount of towage alone paid by Messrs. Weller & Marsh, independent of Mr. Crawford's, will be about £1500, independent of finding their own wood, which is no trifling item.

These facts will convince you, I am sure, that there is more importance to be attached to the North American Timber Trade than is generally believed, and that even Port Hope is by no means the most contemptible in the scale of importance.

I am your obedient servant,


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July 17, 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.
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Chronicle & Gazette (Kingston, ON), July 17, 1841