The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Chronicle & Gazette (Kingston, ON), April 6, 1844

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p.2 Commercial - mentions Great Lakes Trade, business prospects from the view point of a ship master - signed R.L.R. (full column). [Buffalo Gazette]

The American steamer Oneida arrived in port on Thursday evening from Oswego, etc., and the Royal Mail Steamer City of Toronto arrived from Toronto yesterday morning. The City will proceed upwards this evening and the Henry Gildersleeve will leave Kingston for Prescott and intermediate ports on Monday morning. The Bay of Quinte is still ice-bound, and will continue to be so for at least another week.

New Steamboat on the Otonabee - It is with much pleasure we announce to the public that a steamer 100 feet in length, with 24 feet beam, is now being built at Bennett's Landing, by William Weller, Esq., to whom we are already so much indebted, for a daily stage. This boat, which is calculated to run 12 miles an hour, is to ply between Peterboro and the Southern shores of Rice Lake, communicating with the new line of road which leads to Cobourg and Port Hope. The advantages to be derived from such a line of communication are too obvious to need any explanation; our exports and imports must be greatly facilitated, while the freight will be materially reduced, add to this the advantage of being able to perform a journey to and from the Front in the space of a few hours, and some just estimation may be formed of the obligations which we owe to Mr. Weller for embarking in this spirited enterprise. [Peterboro Chronicle]

We are sorry to learn that a fresh "strike" has taken place on the Lachine Canal, arising, as we are informed, out of the following circumstances. On Wednesday last, a demand for an increase of wages was made by the men on Mr. Wait's contract. The request of the men was that they should be paid 2s 3d a day instead of 2s which they had been receiving. After some deliberation this was agreed to yesterday, but at the same time - as the contractor did not require so large a force - notice of discharge was given to about 200, who were informed that they should be employed "time about" till sufficient work could be found for the whole of them. To this however, the whole body refused to agree, and stated their determination not to work unless they were all put on. As the contractor could not consent to this, they immediately left their work and proceeded to the other contracts, compelled the men to join them, by threats of violence. They also ill-treated two of the foremen. In consequence of these proceedings the works are suspended. [Montreal Transcript]

p.3 The Navigation - Port Stanley, March 27th - The Lake is free of ice. Our harbor has opened earlier this season than ever known before. As the Welland Canal is to be open by the 1st of April, navigation on Lake Erie may now be said to have fairly commenced. The Louise, the Sir F.B. Head, J. & W. Geary, and Wm. H. Merritt will shortly leave for the lower lakes. The Steamer Kent is expected here the first week in April. [St. Thomas Chronicle]


From the Buffalo Commercial of Saturday evening.

Since last evening, a storm, that would have done credit to the wildest day of winter, has been raging with great fury. The air all the morning has been thick with the driving snow, and the depth on the ground is nearly a foot. It is much drifted and must seriously impede travelling on the railway and common roads. Altogether the storm is the worst of the season, and will compare in severity with any we had last year.

By means of great exertions the steamer Chesapeake effected a landing last night along side the pier, where the passengers and mail were landed. The continuance of the storm, and obscurity of the atmosphere this morning, prevented observation on the lake, but it is evident both the Fairport and Scott have been carried westward with the floating ice. If any sail were out they must have fared hard.

The St. Clair reached Detroit on Saturday last, and the propeller Samson on the day following, on her way to Chicago. If overtaken on the upper lakes by the existing storm, her practicability for lake service will be fully tested.

Noon - The Chesapeake has got up to her berth, foot of Commercial street, and the Fairport is still to be seen out in the offing. The Scott took the channel opened by the Chesapeake, and has gone westward.

Lake Michigan - We are called upon early in the season to commence our annual list of losses upon this lake. Four vessels, it is known, have already been driven ashore, and more, comprising almost the entire of the "Milwaukie fleet," it is feared, have shared the same fate. Shall nothing be done to avert these losses?

The Directors of the Kingston Marine Railway Company beg leave to submit the following report:

At the general meeting of the Stockholders held at this office, on this day twelve-months, it was agreed that the plan proposed by Mr. Counter, to raise a loan by debenture, instead of by mortgage, was the most preferable, and authority was then given to the directors to negotiate such a loan, which they accordingly proceeded to do, and have now the satisfaction to be able to report, that the debentures have been sold in London and the proceeds applied to the use of the Company, as shown in the accounts about to be laid before you. Finding that there would be a surplus of £500 over the immediate wants of the Company, the directors deemed it advisable to invest that sum in Com mercial Bank Stock, as the commencement of a sinking fund for the redemption of the London Loan. They feel great pleasure in being able to inform the Stockholders, that the present state of the income of the Company is such, that they feel themselves justified in promising a regular half yearly dividend, besides being able to add from time to time to the sinking fund.

In consequence of the failure of the lessees of the Mill property, that lease was in August last thrown into the market for sale. The directors thought it would be advisable, situated as that property is, so contiguous to that of the Company, to have control of it, they therefore determined, that if it could be obtained at a reasonable price, they would be advancing the interests of the Company by obtaining it. They now beg to report that they purchased that property for £784 - the planing machine, then in the mill, has been sold for £76. The mill, etc., is let on a lease for 19 years to Mr. John Thirkell, at £105 per annum.

The Messrs. Ives being desirous of disposing of their interest in that part of the railway property then occupied by Mr. Whelply as the Commercial Hotel, together with the wharves etc. etc. in the rear, the directors concluded to purchase it from them for the sum of £250, so that the whole of the two blocks is now under the control of the Company.

As the charter of the Company was defective in many respects, very detrimental to the interests of the Stockholders, the Directors at the last meeting of the Legislature, applied for an amendment of those clauses injuriously affecting the Company, which, they are happy to report, was granted.

The directors have found it necessary for the protection of the Stone Store, as well as to afford greater security and accommodation to vessels having business there, to sink a pier or breakwater; and also to afford greater facilities for carrying on a forwarding business, for which the Stone Store alone was not adequate, to build a new store on the other wharf at the foot of the Lumber Yard, and which is now in the course of erection. The whole has been let to Messrs. Sanderson & Murray, on a lease for two years, at a yearly rent of £400. These comprise all the improvements which the directors have felt themselves justified in making, under

all circumstances, during the past year. On the whole, the directors are of opinion that the affairs of the Company are in as flourishing a condition as could be anticipated, and have no doubt but the Stock will, in a very few years, become as valuable and profitable as any in the country. With these remarks, the directors beg leave to lay before the stockholders the yearly accounts. All of which is respectfully submitted.


Kingston, 1st April, 1844


Of the Liabilities and Assets of the Marine Railway Company.


To total amount of Capital Stock subscribed £16437 10 0

To debentures payable in London, £5000 sterling, say 6000 0 0

To bond in favor of E. Murney, Esq. 1000 0 0

To 6 months interest on debentures, due 1st May 185 0 0

To 6 months interest on bond, due 17th May 30 0 0

To contract for store now in course of erection 313 15 0

To balance 2435 1 4

£26401 6 4


By real estate, cost 20,874 17 3

By Bills Receivable and Book ac. 1,369 0 0

By rents due 525 0 0

By stock in Commercial Bank 500 0 0

By capital stock not paid up 2,924 0 0

By cash on hand 208 9 1

£26,401 6 4

By balance brought down 2,435 1 4

Kingston, 2d April, 1844

The Stockholders appreciating the valuable exertions of John Counter, Esq. in effecting a loan in London and in otherwise furthering the interests of the Company, authorized the directors to present to Mr. Counter a piece of plate with a suitable inscription thereon, of the value of £60 Cy.

The Stockholders then proceeded to ballot for directors for the ensuing year, when the following gentlemen were elected by a majority of votes.

Henry Gildersleeve, John Counter, Thos. Kirkpatrick, D. Prentiss, C.W. Jenkins.

At a meeting of the directors held immediately after the general meeting, H. Gildersleeve, Esq. was re-elected President, and Chas. W. Jenkins, Secretary.

Chas. W. Jenkins, Secretary.

STEAMBOAT NOTICE - The Steamer HENRY GILDERSLEEVE will, until further notice, leave here daily, at 7 a.m. for Prescott, commencing on Monday next, the 8th instant.

Kingston, 4th April, 1844. Commercial Wharf.

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April 6, 1844
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Rick Neilson
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Chronicle & Gazette (Kingston, ON), April 6, 1844