The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Chronicle & Gazette (Kingston, ON), Sept. 25, 1841

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p.1 Diabolical Attempt to Destroy Welland Canal

p.2 The Plunge Over the Falls That Didn't Happen - We went yesterday, with all the world hereabouts, to see the barque Detroit go over the Falls. At the appointed hour - 3 P.M. - the vessel was towed from the foot of Grand Island into the stream to the very verge of the rapids, and then cut adrift. She took the first plunge gallantly head on, and for a moment seemed completely engulfed, but almost instantly the hull shot upward from the "hell of waters," her main and foremasts went by the board and on she went. The next descent was passed safely. At the third her mizzen mast gave way, and a few rods farther she grounded by the head. Her stern swung slowly round and grounded also. When we left Goat Island she was lying broadside to the current, in its shallowest part, nearly midway between the Island and the Canadian shore. She will probably lie there until she breaks to pieces, or until the river is swollen by a heavy southeast gale driving the water down the lake, and lifting her off. The day was delightful and large numbers of spectators lined both shores. We took a malicious pleasure in enjoying their disappointment. Such an affair at Niagara Falls is something like sacrilage, and we hope it will not be repeated. [Buffalo Commercial]

A diabolical attempt has lately been made by some of the frontier ruffians to destroy H.M. steamer Minos at Chippewa. Capt. Sandom left this port in the Traveller on Tuesday last, with a party of Marines, in order to investigate the nefarious transactions.


To the Editor of the Patriot.

St. Catharines, 11th Sept., 1841.

Sir, - You will no doubt hear of the attempt made on Thursday night last to destroy Lock No. 37on the Welland Canal, and it is as well you "should hear it correctly."

Three strangers were seen loitering about Allanburgh (where the Lock is situated,) on Thursday afternoon, the 9th inst. One of them, a young man decently dressed, was asked by a shop-keeper (where he bought a pocket-bottle,) whether he was a travelling - he said no, but that he belonged to a schooner then lying in the Canal near the village; nothing therefore was suspected, and no one was thinking of injury to the Canal, when about 11 o'clock a tremendous explosion was heard, and it was immediately ascertained that one of the head gates of the upper Lock at Allanburgh was completely destroyed, very fortunately - (this being an important point on the Canal) - a guard Lock had been erected about 50 feet above the injured lock - the gates of which closed almost immediately after the explosion, from the force of the current caused by the water rushing into the level below, and thus preventing the whole body of water, from descending into the Canal and the surrounding country, and causing most extensive damage to both.

It appears that two kegs of gunpowder, containing 25 lbs. each, were sunk by means of a sand bag, at the head of the Lock - having 3/4 inch lead tubes, fitted into the head of the kegs, - through this tube, patent fuse was inserted so as to reach the powder and then ignite. Only one of the kegs I think exploded, the other was found with the head out, but not otherwise broken.

The damage was repaired by mid-day on Friday, as we keep spare gates ready for use, always on hand.

The intention of the miscreants was, no doubt, to cause a serious interruption to the steady and increasing business now doing on the Welland Canal - in this, they failed, though the attempt was a bold one, and well calculated to effect their object.

The public may rest assured that all proper vigilance and precaution will be used on the part of the Company, to prevent any further attempt being made to injure the Canal during the remainder of the season.

Yours, etc.

W.B. Robinson, Superintendant Welland Canal.

p.S. The powder keg was marked "New York," and the tube and fuse such as we buy in Buffalo.

Princess Royal - On a trial of Mr Chatterton's newly invented paddlewheel (placed upon the Steamer) yesterday, in a heavy sea, it was found not to answer as well as could be desired owing to the manner in which the floats were fastened to the arms of the wheels. It has therefore become necessary to abandon that wheel for present, and to resort to the old plan. This will occasion a delay of about 24 hours, and will cause the loss of a trip to the Princess Royal. She consequently will not leave this Port for Kingston until 6 o'clock on Saturday morning. Her speed seems to increase with every trial. [Toronto Colonist]

Notice - In consequence of some derangement in the machinery of Mr. Chatterson's Patent Paddle Wheel, the new Steam Packet Princess Royal will not leave Kingston until Monday morning next, at 9 o'clock.

W. Colclough, Master

Royal Mail Steam Packet Office, Kingston, Sept. 23rd, 1841.

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Sept. 25, 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), Sept. 25, 1841