The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Chronicle & Gazette (Kingston, ON), Aug. 21, 1841

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p.2 House of Assembly - mentions Board of Works improvements to be made in canals.

For the Chronicle & Gazette



On Wednesday last, the 18th instant, the Oswego Regatta came off at 4 o'clock P.M.

There was only one race, but that was a good one. In the Bills of the day it was called two miles, but the distance rowed was upwards of 3 miles. The starting being some little East of what is called 4 Mile Point, and near the shore. The boats entered drew lots for their station in the line prior to the signal to start, and were numbered as follows from the shore:

No. 1 The Concert of Oswego 4 oars.

2 do. Weasel do. 4 oars.

3 do. Star Sackett's Harbor 10 oars.

4 do. Erie Oswego 8 oars.

5 do. Ontario do. 10 oars.

The day was calm and serene, affording a contrast to the excitement of mind that prevailed in the multitude, which crowded the substantial Pier and the bold Romantic Shores, eastward of the Harbour.

The Steamboat United States, Capt. Whitney, was in attendance, carrying a respectable portion of the enchanting fair, and of the Fashionables of the Town of Oswego and vicinity.

The Steamer Telegraph met the United States at the starting point, where in sullen and silent determination roted the competitors in the manly and innocent sports of the day.

The firing of three guns in succession, on board the United States, reminded them of the immediate approach of the struggle, and at the firing of a musket by previous arrangement, the "boys gave way." Having crossed to Oswego for the purpose of enjoying the sport, I availed myself of the opportunity of hearing the conflicting opinions, during a few hours of the night prior to the Regatta, on the merits of the different Boats and Crews, in several of the Coffee Houses.

From the oppressive heat of the weather the "Sherry Cobbler" took the lead of more exhilirating draughts, and the knowing ones of Oswego were betting but shyly, - although the approaching sports was the all engrossing topic. The interval was increased by the circumstance that the crews were not all belonging to the locality; the best boat, the Star, over 40 feet long, with an excellent and well practised crew was from Sackett's Harbor. The

Ontario, the next boat in point of size, had an excellent crew also, selected with care and diligence, and certainly were not so far behind the Star in the race, as their boat is in size and quality.

The third boat in point of size was the Erie belonging to Gentlemen Amateurs of Oswego, as does also the Ontario to a different Club. Those two Clubs have on former occasions rowed with one another, and it was probably their original intention to row themselves in this Regatta, but the owners of the Ontario, as report goes, deviating from

this understanding by selecting a crew of the most athletic rowers that could be found, their rivals of the Erie followed their example, and made arrangements with a crew of some celebrity

from Long Island, in Canada. The Islanders tried the Erie for the first time, on the day preceding the Regatta and were at the starting point in due time, the above noticed mounting 8 oars, in position between the Star of Sackett's Harbor and the Ontario, of Oswego, each mounting 10 oars, of the two small 4 oar boats it is unnecessary to take further notice, their great distance in the rear manifests that the smaller craft with corresponding power, is no match for the larger boat and more numerous crew. In betting circles the Star was the favourite on this account. On the signal to start as already noticed, the spectators from the Pier, could scarcely discern the gentle and graceful, yet furious and forcible motion of the oars, until darting onward in their swift career, when about half way the Erie was observed to diverge from her course, and the Star shot ahead. Beautiful as was the whole scene, well as appeared to be made all the

arrangements, and pleased as all seemed with the sport of the day the termination of the race,

offered one more to the many proofs, we may daily discern, of the imperfections of the works of man, if not of the unstable character of the human heart.

The Erie which until then, kept "neck and neck" with the Star, about the middle of the race had the misfortune to have her tiller rope broken, she was steered by a boy whose hand was not strong enough to sure the rudder and steer a steady course, and consequently she lost some little distance, still keeping ahead of all, save the Star, she was to all intents and purposes the winner of the first prize, as the Star which was the only boat ahead of her, did not pass on the proper course when passing the winning post, but kept outside of the boat which was at the extremity of a long cord line extended from the Pier, and which line it was ordered the boats should pass over - in proof of this see the following quotation from the "Regulations and Programme." "The starting point will be at the buoy anchored two miles east of the Light House, and the termination of the race opposite the Light House and on a line between that and a stake boat." Seeing the error committed by the Star, and that the Erie was the first boat which came to the winning post agreeably to regulation, the owners and crew of the Erie claimed the first prize, and I as one, who bet a five dollar bill only, in her favor, deemed myself entitled to the stakes, yet the judges of the Oswego Regatta decided otherwise, alas for human nature, that men will take upon themselves an office the duties of which they know not how to discharge, for I am far from attributing wrong motives to these judges, they cannot be suspected of having intentionally given a partial verdict, merely because the winning boat was rowed by a

crew of "Bull Heads" as the little urchins and some very few block heads facetiously termed them, on the contrary I have no doubt the same judges would have rendered the same decision had the Erie been rowed, even by their own sons, yet still the decision is wrong nevertheless, and as far wrong as to award the purse to a horse that has bolted, and passed ahead of another without retracing his steps.

This decision is formally protested against, and it is to be hoped, that, to give all parties concerned satisfaction, and show, even those, who might put a wrong construction on the motives of the judges, that their intentions were good, they will appeal to some of the New York Regatta Clubs, and if they cannot redeem the purses to the legitimate owners, at least redeem their verdict from suspicion of partiality by acknowledging their error, should they hereafter discover it. But to quit that unpleasant part of the subject, the Long Island crew express themselves as much pleased with the kind treatment they experienced in Oswego, and seeing they rowed eight against ten, their opponents in a superior boat, and terminated the contest so honorably to themselves, I am ready at any time to stake a few five dollar bills on their head, against any crew on the Lake, man for man.


p.3 Memorandum of Advantages of Sweeping Paddle Wheels; Specification of Work

(a repeat of article which appeared on August 4th)

Sabbath School Excursion - To The Lake On The Mountain - on str. Brockville, Capt. Maxwell, details of planned trip - tickets 5 shillings.

Reduced Fare Between Kingston and Toronto

The Steam Boat


Lieut. Elmsley, R.N. Commander,

Will ply between Kingston and Toronto, calling at Cobourg and Port Hope each way, weather permitting, until further notice.

Leaving Kingston every Monday & Thursday evening at 7 o'clock, and

Toronto every Wednesday and Saturday Noon, at 12.

Cabin Fare between Kingston and Toronto, $4. Do. from Kingston, or Toronto, to Port Hope and Cobourg, $2. Deck Fare to all the above ports, $1.

The Cobourg has undergone a thorough repair during the last winter, and an improvement was made in her boilers which has considerably increased her speed; she is now not inferior to any Boat on Lake Ontario, in point of safety, comfort and convenience, and is well known to be one of the best sea boats on the Lake. As she will not be detained waiting for the mail, the above hours will be punctually attended to. Passengers with their baggage will please be on board before the time appointed for sailing.

For freight or passage, having superior accommodations, apply on board or to

W.L. Perrin.

Toronto, August 15th, 1841.

We have been told that as the Niagara Steamboat was on her downward voyage, a number of Americans on board refused to sit at the same table with a Mr. Gallego, a very respectable inhabitant of Toronto, on the grounds of their miserable prejudices about colour. We regret being also informed that the Captain of the Boat was weak enough to yield to their unmanly suggestions. That such an occurrence should take place under the British flag in one of Her Majesty's Mail Packets is to be deplored.

We copy the above paragraph from the Toronto Patriot of the 20th inst: Capt. Sutherland was fined 5 Pounds in this place, yesterday, by a magistrate, for the assault upon Mr. Gallego in forcing him from the dinner table of the steamer Niagara, on the 16th inst.

Notice to Shipbuilders - The Kingston Marine Railway Company propose to LET that part of their Establishment, comprising the Ship Yard with Two Railways erected thereon one of which is suitable for hauling out Steamboats, and sailing vessels of the largest class that now navigate the lake. The other for small schooners and barges. The work is now in perfect repair, and in full operation. Also the shipyard and railway at Hatter's Bay.

Apply at the office of the Kingston Marine Railway Co., if by letter post paid.

Kingston, 16th August, 1841.

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Aug. 21, 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), Aug. 21, 1841