The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Upper Canada Herald (Kingston, ON), Sept. 19, 1832

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p.3 We observed, with much surprise, in the Brockville Gazette of last week, an editorial article on the subject of the John By steamer. We believe it to be quite unusual for a press to notice disparagingly any private enterprize of spirited individuals - no matter how disappointed they may be in their expectations; - but when we see a press intentionally stepping aside from the path of duty, and voluntarily expressing, not only its opinion of such enterprize, but asserting what it calls facts, which are demonstrably false, we confess our concern for its gross depravity. The article in question deliberately and positively asserts that the John By is wider by four feet than the locks on the Rideau Canal; while the fact is that it is three feet less than the width of those locks. Now for proof. The locks are 33 feet wide, the John By is exactly 30 feet! Here the veracious editor is only 7 feet wide of the mark! God bless him! Again he says with equal truth, that it was originally intended to have the wheels on the side of this boat, but finding it too large for the canal, they were wisely put in the stern. With respect to this paragraph, we are not more surprised at its reckless disregard of truth, than at the utter folly which it exhibits. It is well known, that it was not ascertained until nearly the whole of the machinery was put up in the boat, and until it was all made, that the boat drew too much water for the canal; how then could that machinery have been altered applicable to wheels in the stern, but at great (and particularly where room was no object) useless and foolish expense? Besides the beam of the boat is 26 feet, and the locks are 33 feet wide, how then could it ever have been contemplated to have had the wheels on the side? Yet this "Mendez Pinto" gravely asserts his readers that such was the original plan of the John By. Is there no malicious wickedness in such foul and unblushing falsehoods? What character can any paper be expected to maintain, conducted by a person who thus without hesitation writes himself - a slanderer? "Oh shame where is thy blush?"

The only objection to the navigation of the Rideau Canal by the John By is its draught of water, but such mistakes are by no means uncommon. Witness the William IV! This boat was built to ply between Prescott and the Carrying Place, but owing to its great draught of water - between two and three feet beyond what was intended - it was put upon the Lake.

The trial that has been made of the John By shows her speed already to equal if not surpass that of any boat on the lake. Here then at least there is no failure, unless, perchance our veracious friend of the Gazette assert the contrary.

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Sept. 19, 1832
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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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Upper Canada Herald (Kingston, ON), Sept. 19, 1832