The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Chronicle & Gazette (Kingston, ON), Oct. 6, 1841

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p.2 Attempt to Destroy British Steamers on Lake Erie - A correspondent of the New York American, writing from Niagara Falls, under date of the 21st, states that the Patriots have made that neighbourhood the scene of their operations in order, if possible, to embroil both countries in war. The machine with which the recent attempt was made to blow up two British steamboats consisted of two casks, containing 160 lbs. of powder. They were placed on a frame one hundred yards apart, (but connected by a rope,) with a leaden pipe and fuse therein inserted, and thus towed from Grand Island, and sent drifting towards the vessels. One only of the casks exploded, but most fortunately, prematurely, being 300 yards short of the mark - otherwise every soul on board, with the vessels, must have been destroyed.

The writer adds:

"It was about 3 P.M. Those on board at first supposed the report was that of a cannon. The men were speedily mustered, and the machine was seen floating. A boat with six men was lowered, and whilst proceeding to secure it, were fired at from Grand Island, but happily without injury. And these things have disturbed the public mind, and the canal and frontier is now patrolled night and day by the British troops. It is my firm conviction, that unless there is a strong detachment of United States forthwith sent to Buffalo, and strong enough and sufficient to show these gentry the government of the United States is determined to preserve peace, acts of this character will be done, which must have the effect of breaking up the peace existing between both countries. Buffalo was the headquarters from whence the Navy Island gangs originated, and at the close of canal and lake navigation, there are enough of floating characters to be found, ready and ripe for any undertaking, however desperate and wicked. The Canadian refugees seek all they can to inflame the public mind as to McLeod: evidence sufficient to convict an angel, will not be lacking at their hands; and if not successful in obtaining his conviction, and speedy execution too, they make it their boast, they will do themselves justice."

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Oct. 6, 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), Oct. 6, 1841