To the Hon. H.H. Killaly, President of the Board of Works, Canada
We, the undersigned, Masters of Steam Boats, Schooners, and other Craft, sailing on Lake Ontario, understanding that a new Canal is about to be constructed, connecting the waters of Burlington Bay with Lake Ontario, deem it a duty to ourselves, to others similarly situated, and to posterity, to give our best advice and experience in order that the authorities having the expenditure of so large a sum of money for the public good, may apply it in constructing so desirable a work, to the best advantage and safety of the shipping interest.
From great experience upon Lake Ontario, long before the construction of the Burlington Bay Canal, we have always found the best anchorage and least sea, near the north shore. We have, in many instances, been obliged to ride out east and north east gales, of three or four days duration; and we invariably found that our anchors had been well bedded in blue clay, whereas to the southward, it is all sand, in which our anchors always dragged. Therefore we, the undersigned, from hard earned experience, would recommend to the authorities, who may have the direction of this new Work, to lay well under the north shore in four or five fathoms of water, and we give the following reasons for so advising.
In the first place, there is better water, less sea, and in snow storms, or during thick foggy weather, when lights nor any thing else can be seen - we could go in by the lead.
It is an invariable rule when running for the head of Lake Ontario in thick, or dark weather, to haul in for the land, and if the Canal was placed so as to meet that range, a direct entrance could be effected during the darkest nights, and heaviest storms. Whereas to make the present Canal, it is necessary after having felt our way up along the north shore, and when near Wellington Square, to sheer off and run about two miles in a southerly direction across the Bay, or head of the Lake, which in dark or foggy weather may at all times be considered hazardous, as by altering the course, the craft will at once be brought in the trough of the sea, and at the same time will be running close to the Beach - and, being in the immediate vicinity of the fishing ground, Masters of vessels frequently become confused and involved in difficulty from the great number of lights all along the shore. Besides this, there is no sand on the north shore to fill up the Canal; the bottom being at a certain depth, clay and smooth rock, and the beach is composed chiefly of stone or gravel.
Another reason for laying the Canal under the north shore, and we think a very strong one, is, that it would pass through what is called Brant's Pond, which would form an excellent place for craft to lay up in during the winter. They would be undisturbed by ice, could lay, to a great number in perfect safety, and could be taken out if necessary, at any time during the Winter, - and in the event of a War, it would be an easy matter to defend the Canal from the high bank or north shore of Lake Ontario. And the Ships of Her Majesty's Navy could remain in this Harbour during the Winter, and if required for service, could be taken out at any time without being prevented by ice.
The large quantity of Wheat, Flour and Pork annually shipped at Wellington Square, without a single disaster or mishap, ought in some measure recommend our advice in keeping pretty well under the North shore.
February 10th, 1842.
Edward Zealand, 28 years; various craft, and Capt. main-top of the St. Lawrence in 1813.
Richard Terry, 8 years, Schr. Thames.
John McArthur, 9 years, Master of Schr. General Wolfe.
Richard Arnold, 12 years, Master of Schr. Wm. Caley.
Joseph Triller, 10 years, Master of Schr. Hero.
Ebenezer Stewart, 5 years, Master of Schr. Margaret.
George Willoughby, 4 years, Master of Schooner Kent.
Robert McKee, 9 years, Master of Schr. Sovereign.
John Wilson, 4 years, Master of Schr. Sophia.
Joseph Davies, 6 years, Master of Schr. Flamboro'.
Philo D. Bates, 20 years, Master of Schr. Elizabeth.
Thomas Carradice, 15 years, Master of Schr. Garland.
Stewart McHenry, 13 years, Master of Schr. England.
William Kerr, 20 years, Master of Schr. General Brock.
Nicholas Boylen, 20 years, Master of Schr. Princess Royal.
William Wilson, 12 years, Master of Schr. Enterprize.
M.L. Wheeler, 8 years, Master of Schr. Sarnia.
Joseph Lavis, 6 years, Master of Schr. Windsor.
John Denne, 7 years, Master of Schooner John E. Hunt.
Robert McBroom, 8 years, Master of Schr. Toronto.
Henry Bennett, 8 years, Master of Schr. Lord Seaton.
Alexander Muir, 5 years, Master of Schr. Queen Victoria.
Robert Kent, 17 years, Master of Schr. Emily.
Michael Smith, 14 years, Master of Schr. William Penn.
John McIntyre, 10 years, Master of Schooner Isabella.
R. Garth, 10 years, Master of Schr. Barune.
James Sinclair, 39 years, Master of several vessels and Steam Boats.
John Ives, Ship Owner.
George Ives, Ship Owner.
Luke Leonuer, Capt. of Schr. Superior.
Lewis Ives, Ship Owner and Builder.
James Gilmour, Capt. of Schr. Canada.
Joseph Balul, Capt. of Schr. Invincible.
John Trowell, 9 years, Captain of Schooner Henrietta.
Charles Burns, 20 years, Capt. of Steamer Union.
William R. Taylor, 9 years, Captain of Ericson's Schr. St Thomas.
James Twohy, 5 years, Captain of Ericson's Schr. London.
Peter McIntyre, Schr. Ontario.
Thos. Drummond, 9 years, service on Lakes.
Robert Patterson, 14 years, Captain of Steamer Barrie.
William Twohy, 5 years, Capt. of Schr. Rose.
John Mosier, 32 years, Master of various Vessels.
We the undersigned have carefully read the certificates of Masters of Vessels sailing on Lake Ontario, hereunto appended, and from our knowledge of the present Canal, and also of the place recommended by them, as the site for the new one, we feel warranted in highly approving the advice given and beg to add our request that it may meet the favorable consideration of the authorities who may have the direction of the new Canal.
John Chisholm, Collector of Customs and Tolls.
W.D. Chisholm, Deputy Collector.
J.L. Wilson, Forwarder.
W.G. Miller, Master Builder.
B.M. Wheeler, Forwarder.
John T. Bastedo.
A. Gage, Proprietor of Steam Mill, Wellington Square.
William J. Kerr.
John W. Hunter.
Caleb Hopkins, M.P.P.
J.W. Lafferty, M.D.
On Saturday night last about the hour of nine o'clock, as the Steamer Commodore Barrie, Captain Patterson, was on her downward trip from Niagara, and about Twenty-five miles and by south of Peter's point light on Lake Ontario, the mate having charge of the watch at the time, the Steamer having her usual night lights up, was ran into by the Schooner Canada, Capt. Gilmour, the property of the Messrs. Ives. In the concussion the bows of the Commodore Barrie were stove in, causing her to fill immediately. With a view to getting at the leak and to prevent the vessel from sinking, about 170 Barrels of Flour were thrown from the forward part in order to bring the leak above water, but this and various other efforts of the Captain, proving ineffectual all hands went on board the Schooner, - the Steamer having settled down to the promenade deck, she has since altogether disappeared. The Barrie had 500 barrels of American Flour on board at the time of the accident. The Flour was shipped at Youngstown.
The sinking of this Steamer involves a serious loss of property, to the extent of several thousands of pounds, which party will have to bear it - the owners of the Schooner, the Stockholders of the Barrie, or those who had her chartered, will in all probability become a question for discussion among the gentlemen of the long robe.
This is not less the age of economy than of improvement, from the financial policy of Sir Robert Peel, down to the Bill of fare of our family expenditure. The good people of the Bay of Quinte having determined that their steam boat fare to and from the Metropolis, should no longer be a tax upon their industry without deriving any of the profits, have taken up the greater part of the Stock of the steamer Prince Edward; a vessel which we know to be built of the very best material, with first rate workmanship, - of greater length than the Henry Gildersleeve, with a very superior engine (furnished from the Kingston Foundry,) and as beautiful a model for running as ever floated on Lake Ontario, for the moderate sum of four thousand pounds, including all finishing, furnishing and appointments.
This splendid vessel was launched by the contractors, Messrs. Calvin, Cook and Counter, at Garden Island, on Saturday last, with her beautiful set of colours flying, which were presented by the Ladies of the Prince Edward District. The boat was launched with her engine early completed, and will be ready to take her place on the Bay route about the middle of this month.
The public are mainly indebted to the praiseworthy enterprize of Angus Cameron, Esq., for this valuable acquisition to our commercial marine.
Lest anything should be wanting to make the Prince Edward a favorite with the public, the stockholders have happily secured the services of Capt. W.T. Johnson, the late popular commander of the Albion steamer, as master of their boat.