The Harbour: Its Marine 1815-1827

Soon after the close of the war with the United States in 1814, the era

of steam navigation on Lake Ontario opens. The first steamer, the

Frontenac, was launched at Ernesttown, on the Bay of Quinte, in 1816.

Her trips began in 1817. The length of her deck was 170 feet; the

breadth, 32 feet; her burden, 700 tons; her cost, L15,000; her

commander, Capt. James McKenzie, a retired officer of the Royal Navy.

1818 we observe an enactment of the Provincial Legislature, having

reference to steam navigation. It is decreed that the usual space

occupied by the engine and machinery in a steam vessel, with the

requisite stowage of wood, should be taken to occupy one-third of such

vessel, and that such vessel should only pay Lighthouse or Tonnage Duty

on two-thirds of her admeasurement.

In successive numbers of the Kingston Chronicle, the advertisement of

the Frontenac, occupying the width of two columns, conspicuously

appears, with a large rude woodcut of a steamer with two smoke-pipes at

the top. For the sake of the fares and other particulars, we copy this

document (from the Chronicle of April 30, 1819). "The Steamboat

Frontenac, James McKenzie, Master, will in future leave the different

ports on the following days: viz., Kingston for York, on the 1st, 11th

and 21st days of each month. York for Queenston, 3rd, 13th and 23rd days

of each month. Niagara for Kingston, 5th, 15th and 25th days of each

month. Rates of Passages: From Kingston to York and Niagara, L3. From

York to Niagara, L1. Children under three years of age, half-price;

above three, and under ten, two-thirds. A Book will be kept for entering

the names of passengers, and the berths which they may choose at which

time the passage money must be paid. Passengers are allowed sixty pounds

weight of baggage; surplus baggage to be paid for at the usual rate.

Gentlemen's servants cannot sleep or eat in the Cabin. Deck passengers

will pay fifteen shillings, and may either bring their own provisions,

or be furnished by the Steward. For each dog brought on board, five

shillings. All applications for passage to be made to Capt. McKenzie, on

board. Freight will be transported to and from the above places at the

rate of four shillings per barrel bulk, and Flour at the customary rate

delivered to the different consignees. A list of their names will be put

in a conspicuous place on board, which must be deemed a sufficient

notice; and the Goods, when taken from the Steamboat will be considered

at the risk of the owners. For each small parcel, 2s. 6d., which must be

paid on delivery. Kingston, April 28th, 1819." Capt. McKenzie has

acquired confidence in himself and his vessel in 1819. An earlier notice

in the Chronicle, relating to the Frontenac, was the following. Its

terms show the great caution and very salutary fear which governed the

action of sea captains, hitherto without experience in such matters,

when about to encounter by the aid of steam the perils of a boisterous

Lake. "Steamboat Frontenac will sail from Kingston for Niagara,

calling at York, on the 1st and 15th days of each month, with as much

punctuality as the nature of the Lake navigation will admit of."

The ordinary sailing craft of the Lake of course still continued to ply.

We hear of a passenger-boat between York and Niagara in 1815, called the

Dove; also of the Reindeer, commanded for a time by Captain Myers.

In 1819-20 Stillwell Wilson, with whom we are already acquainted, is in

command of a slip-keel schooner, carrying passengers and freight between

York and Niagara. The Wood Duck was another vessel on this route. (In

1828 the Wood Duck is offered for sale, with her rigging and sails

complete, for Four Hundred Dollars cash. "Apply to William Gibbons,

owner, York." She is afterwards the property of Mr. William Arthurs.)

The Red Rover, Captain Thew, and the Comet, Captain Ives, were

others. The Britannia, Captain Miller, was a visitant of York harbour

about the same period; a top-sail schooner of about 120 tons, remarkable

for her specially fine model. She was built by Roberts, near the site

of what is now Wellington Square, and was the property of Mr. Matthew

Crooks, of Niagara.

Captain Thew, above named, afterwards commanded the John Watkins, a

schooner plying to York. Captain Thew encountered a little difficulty

once at Kingston, through a violation, unconsciously on his part, of

naval etiquette. A set of colours had been presented to the John

Watkins, by Mr. Harris of York, in honour of his old friend and a

co-partner whose name she perpetuated. It happened, however, through

inadvertency, that these colours were made of the particular pattern

which vessels in the Royal Service are alone entitled to carry; and

while the John Watkins was lying moored in the harbour at Kingston,

gaily decorated with her new colours, Captain Thew was amazed to find

his vessel suddenly boarded by a strong body of men-of-war's men, from a

neighbouring royal ship, who insisted on hauling down and taking

possession of the flags flying from her masts, as being the exclusive

insignia of the Royal Navy. It was necessary to comply with the demand,

but the bunting was afterwards restored to Captain Thew on making the

proper representations.

In 1820, Capt. Sinclair was in command of the Lady Sarah Maitland. We

gather from an Observer of December in that year, that Lake Ontario,

according to its wont, had been occasioning alarms to travellers. An

address of the passengers on board of Capt. Sinclair's vessel, after a

perilous passage from Prescott to York, is recorded in the columns of

the paper just named. It reads as follows: "The subscribers, passengers

in the Lady Maitland schooner, beg to tender their best thanks to

Capt. Sinclair for the kind attention paid to them during the passage

from Prescott to this port; and at the same time with much pleasure to

bear testimony to his propriety of conduct in using every exertion to

promote the interest of those concerned in the vessel and cargo, in the

severe gale of the morning of the 4th instant (Dec. 1820). The manly

fortitude and unceasing exertions of Capt. Sinclair, when the situation

of the vessel, in consequence of loss of sails, had become extremely

dangerous, were so highly conspicuous as to induce the subscribers to

make it known to the public, that he may meet with that support which he

so richly deserves. The exertions of the crew were likewise observed,

and are deserving of praise.--D. McDougal, James Alason, G. N. Ridley,

Peter McDougal."

This was probably the occasion of a doleful rejoinder of Mr. Peter

McDougal's, which became locally a kind of proverbial expression: "No

more breakfast in this world for Pete McDoug." The story was that Mr.

McDougal, when suffering severely from the effects of a storm on the

Lake, replied in these terms to the cook, who came to announce

breakfast. The phrase seemed to take the popular fancy, and was employed

now and then to express a mild despair of surrounding circumstances.

In 1820 a Traveller, whose journal is quoted by Willis, in Bartlett's

Canadian Scenery (ii. 48), was six days in accomplishing the journey

from Prescott to York by water. "On the 3rd of September," he says, "we

embarked for York at Prescott, on board a small schooner called the

Caledonia. We performed this voyage, which is a distance of 250 miles,

in six days." In 1818, Mr. M. F. Whitehead, of Port Hope, was two days

and a-half in crossing from Niagara to York. "My first visit to York,"

Mr. Whitehead says in a communication to the writer, "was in September,

1818, crossing the Lake from Niagara with Dr. Baldwin--a two and a-half

days' passage. The Doctor had thoughtfully provided a leg of lamb, a

loaf of bread, and a bottle of porter: all our fare," adds Mr.

Whitehead, "for two days and a-half." We have ourselves more than once,

in former days, experienced the horrors of the middle passage between

Niagara and York, having crossed and re-crossed, in very rough weather,

in the Kingston Packet, or Brothers, and having been detained on the

Lake for a whole night and a good portion of a day in the process. The

schooners for Niagara and elsewhere used to announce the time of their

departure from the wharf at York in primitive style, by repeated blasts

from a long tin horn, so called, sounded at intervals previous to their

casting loose, and at the moment of the start. Fast and large steamers

have, of course, now reduced to a minimum the miseries of a voyage

between the North and South shores; but these miseries are still not

slight at the stormy seasons, when Lake Ontario often displays a mood by

no means amiable--

"Outrageous as a sea, dark, wasteful, wild,

Up from the bottom turned by furious winds

And surging waves."

It is some consolation to reflect, that with all the skill and

appliances at the command of English engineers and shipbuilders, it has

been found hitherto impossible to render the passage from Dover to

Calais a luxury; nor possibly will that result be secured even by the

enormous ferry-steamers which are projected. In 1791, twenty-four hours

were occasionally occupied in the passage from Dover to Calais. "I am

half-dead," writes the learned traveller Dr. E. D. Clarke, at Calais, to

his mother; "I am half-dead with sea-sickness: twenty-four hours'

passage from Dover."

Again, the mode in which the first Lake steamers were made to near the

landing-place in the olden time, was something which would fill a modern

steamboat captain with amazement. Accustomed as we are every day to see

huge steamers guided without any ado straight up to the margin of a quay

or pier, the process of putting in seems a simple affair. Not so was it,

however, in practice to the first managers of steamboats. When the

Frontenac or William IV. was about to approach the wharf at York,

the vessel was brought to a standstill some way out in the harbour. From

near the fore and after gangways boats were then lowered, bearing

hawsers; and by means of these, when duly landed, the vessel was

solemnly drawn to shore. An agitated multitude usually witnessed the


In the Gazette of July 20, 1820, we have the information that "on

Saturday evening, a schooner of about sixty tons, built for Mr. Oates

and others, was launched in this port (York). She went off," the

Gazette says, "in very fine style, until she reached the water, where,

from some defect in her ways, her progress was checked; and from the

lateness of the hour, she could not be freed from the impediment before

the next morning, when she glided into the Bay in safety. Those who are

judges say that it is a very fine vessel of, the class. It is now

several years," continues the Gazette, "since any launch has been

here; it therefore, though so small a vessel, attracted a good deal of

curiosity." This was the Duke of Richmond packet, afterwards a

favourite on the route between York and Niagara. The Gazette describes

the Richmond somewhat incorrectly as a schooner, and likewise

understates the tonnage. She was a sloop of the Revenue cutter build,

and her burthen was about one hundred tons. Of Mr. Oates we have had

occasion to speak in our perambulation of King Street.

In an Observer of 1820, we have the first advertisement of the

Richmond. It reads thus: "The Richmond Packet, Edward Oates,

commander, will commence running between the Ports of York and Niagara

on Monday, the 24th instant (July), as a regular Packet. She will leave

York on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, at 9 o'clock a.m., precisely;

and Niagara on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, at 10 a.m., to the

24th of September, when the hour of departure will be made known to the

Public. The Richmond has excellent accommodations for Ladies,

Gentlemen and other Passengers, and nothing will be omitted to make her

one of the completest and safest passage vessels of the class in

America, being manned with experienced mariners. Rates of passage: After

Cabin, 10s.; Fore Cabin, 6s. 3d. Children under twelve years,

half-price. Sixty pounds baggage allowed to each passenger; above that

weight, 9d. per cwt., or 2s. per barrel bulk. For freight or passage

apply to John Crooks, Esq., Niagara; the Captain on board; or at the

Subscriber's store. Ed. Oates, York, July 17, 1820."

Captain Vavassour, commandant at Fort George, presented Capt. Oates with

a gun and a set of colours. The former used to announce to the people of

York the arrival and departure of the Richmond; and a striped

signal-flag found among the latter, was hoisted at the Lighthouse on

Gibraltar Point whenever the Richmond Packet hove in sight. (For a

considerable period, all vessels were signalized by a flag flying from

the Lighthouse.)

Two years later, the Richmond is prospering on the route between York

and Niagara. In the Gazette of June 7th, 1822, we have an

advertisement of tenor similar to the one given above. "Richmond

Packet, Edward Oates, master, will regularly leave York for Niagara on

Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays; and Niagara for York on Tuesdays,

Thursdays and Saturdays, from the 1st of June until the 1st of

September." The advertisement then goes on to say: "Edward Oates

respectfully informs his friends and the Public, that his Packet shall

leave York and Niagara on the above days, either in the morning or

evening, as the wind and passengers may suit; and that passengers may

depend on a passage on the above days. The superiority of sailing and

accommodation for ladies and gentlemen are too well known to the public

to make any comment upon. York, June 1st, 1822." By the following year,

however, the Richmond's occupation was coming to an end. Steam on the

route between York and Niagara had its effect. From the Gazette of

Jan. 16, 1823, we learn that Mr. Oates is about to dispose of his

interest in the Richmond; is virtually about to sell the vessel. In

the paper just named we read the following advertisement: "Auction.

Fifty Shares, or three-quarters and two sixty-fourths of that superior

vessel the Richmond Packet, will positively be sold by auction, at the

Town of York, on Saturday, the 25th instant, together with all her

tackle, apparel, stores and furniture; an inventory of which may be seen

on application to R. Coleman, Esq., York; Mr. Edward Oates, Niagara.

N.B.--Terms of sale: one-third down; the remainder in two equal payments

at three and six months, with approved endorsers. York, Jan. 6, 1823."

In a Gazette of this year we have a pleasure boat offered for sale at

York, apparently a bargain. In the number for May 15, 1823, is the

following advertisement: "Pleasure-boat to be sold: built of oak, an

extremely fast sailer, and in every respect a complete vessel of the

kind. It is rigged with jib, foresail, mainsail, and driver. Original

cost, upwards of forty guineas (and not more than four years old). It

will now be sold, with everything belonging to it, at the low price of

fifteen pounds currency. Enquire at the Gazette Office, York. 7th May,


As the Richmond Packet filled an important place in the early marine

of the harbour, it will be of interest to mention her ultimate fate.

While engaged, in 1826, in conveying a cargo of salt from Oswego, she

was wrecked near Brighton, on the bay of Presqu'isle, towards the

eastern part of Lake Ontario. The Captain, no longer Mr. Oates, losing

his presence of mind in a gale of wind, cut the cable of his vessel and

ran her ashore. The remains of the wreck, after being purchased by

Messrs. Willman, Bailey and Co., were taken to Wellington, on the south

side of the peninsula of Prince Edward county, where the cannon which

had ornamented the deck of the defunct packet, and had for so many years

daily made the harbour of York resound with its detonations, did duty in

firing salutes on royal birthdays and other public occasions up to 1866,

when, being overcharged, it burst, the fragments scattering themselves

far and wide in the waters round the wharf at Wellington.

Just as the Richmond disappears, another favourite vessel, for some

years distinguished in the annals of York harbour, and commanded by a

man of note, comes into the field of view. "The new steamer Canada,"

says the Loyalist of June 3, 1826, "was towed into port this week by

the Toronto, from the mouth of the river Rouge, where she was built

during the last winter. She will be shortly fitted up for her intended

route, which, we understand, will be from York and Niagara round the

head of the Lake, and will add another to the increasing facilities of

conveyance in Upper Canada." The Loyalist then adds: "Six steamboats

now navigate the St. Lawrence and Lake Ontario, in this Province,

besides the Canada, and a boat nearly ready for launching at

Brockville." We shall presently hear much of the career of the Canada

and her commander.

The Toronto (Capt. Shaw), named above as towing the Canada into the

harbour, was a steam-packet of peculiar make, built at York. She was

constructed without any difference of shape at the bow and stern, and

without ribs. She was a shell of successive layers of rather thin boards

placed alternately lengthwise and athwart, with coatings, between, of

stout brown paper pitched. She proved a failure as a vessel for the Lake

traffic, and was speedily taken down the river, where she was also

unfortunate. We hear of her in the Loyalist of June 17, 1826. "By a

letter," the Editor says, "received from Kingston we are sorry to hear

that the steamboat Toronto, on her first trip from that place to

Prescott, had unfortunately got aground several times, and that in

consequence it had been found necessary to haul her out of the water at

Brockville, to be repaired. The damage is stated not to be very great,

but the delay, besides occasioning inconvenience, must be attended with

some loss to the proprietors." The Editor then adds: "The navigation of

the St Lawrence, for steamboats, between Kingston and Prescott, is in

many places extremely difficult, and requires that the most skilful and

experienced pilots should be employed." In the same number of the

Loyalist is an advertisement of the Martha Ogden, a United States

boat. "Notice. The steamboat Martha Ogden, Andrew Estes, master, will

ply between York and Youngstown during the remainder of the season,

making a daily trip from each place, Saturdays excepted, when she will

cross but once. Hours of sailing, 6 o'clock in the morning and 3 o'clock

in the afternoon. To accommodate the public, her hours of departure from

each place will be changed alternately every week, of which notice will

be regularly given. This arrangement will continue in effect, weather

permitting, until further notice is given. Passengers wishing to cross

the river Niagara will be sent over in the ferry-boat free of charge.

Cabin passage, two dollars. Deck passage, one dollar. Agents at York,

Messrs. M. and R. Meighan. June 13, 1826."

The Frontenac is still plying to York. In 1826 she brings up the

Lieut.-Governor, Sir Peregrine Maitland, from Kingston. The Loyalist

of Saturday, June 3, 1826, duly makes the announcement. "His Excellency

the Lieutenant-Governor arrived here (York) on Wednesday afternoon, on

board the Frontenac, Capt. McKenzie, from Kingston. His Excellency

landed at the King's Wharf under a salute from the Garrison. Major

Hillier and Captain Maitland accompanied his Excellency. On Thursday

morning, his Excellency embarked on board the Frontenac for Niagara."

The following week she brings over from Niagara Col. McGregor and the

70th Regiment. The Loyalist of June 10, 1826, thus speaks. "We have

much pleasure in announcing the arrival in this place of the Head

Quarter Division of the 70th Regiment, under the command of Lieut.-Col.

McGregor. They landed from the steamboat Frontenac yesterday morning,

and marched into the York Garrison." The Loyalist then proceeds to

eulogize the 70th, and to express satisfaction at the removal of that

regiment to York. "The distinguished character of this fine regiment,

and the honourable testimony which has been given of their uniformly

correct and praiseworthy conduct, wherever they have been stationed,

affords the most perfect assurance that from the esteem in which they

have so deservedly been held, during a period of more than thirteen

years' service in Canada, their stay at this Garrison will be rendered

highly satisfactory to the inhabitants, and, we should hope, pleasant to

themselves." It was on this occasion that many of the inhabitants of

York beheld for the first time the impressive sight of a Highland

regiment, wearing the kilt and the lofty plumed cap. A full military

band, too, which accompanies only Head Quarter Divisions, was a novelty

at York; as previous to this year Niagara, and not York, was regarded as

Military head quarters. The Pipers increased the excitement. The band of

the 70th displayed, moreover, at this period further accessories of pomp

and circumstance in the shape of negro cymbal players, and a magnificent

oriental-looking standard of swaying tails surmounted by a huge

glittering crescent bearing small bells.

In the down-trip from York, the same week, the Frontenac took away a

detachment of the 76th Regiment. "The detachment of the 76th Regiment,"

the Loyalist of June 10 reports, "under command of Lieut. Grubbe,

embarked on board the Frontenac yesterday, on its destination to join

the regiment at Montreal. Lieut. Grubbe takes with him," the Editor of

the Loyalist says, "the cordial regard of the inhabitants of York; and

the exemplary conduct of the detachment under his command has been such

as to merit from them their best wishes for their future

prosperity."--During the same week the steamer Queenston had arrived

at York, as we learn from the following item in the same Loyalist of

June 10: "The Rev. Mr. Hudson, Military Chaplain, who accompanied the

Lord Bishop from England, arrived here in the Queenston on Tuesday

last. Mr. Hudson is appointed Chaplain to the Garrison at York." (In

August, 1828, Mr. Hudson must have been in England. We read the

following in the Loyalist of Oct. 11, in that year:--"Married, on the

12th of August last, at Crosby-on-Elden, Cumberland, by the Rev. S.

Hudson, B.A., the Rev. J. Hudson, M.A., Fellow of St. Peter's College,

Cambridge, and Chaplain to the Forces at York, in Upper Canada, to

Barbara Wells, second daughter of the Rev. Thomas Lowry, D.D.") In the

Loyalist of July 29, in this year (1826), we hear of "the new steamer

Niagara, built at Prescott, John Mosier, captain." This new steamer

Niagara was in reality Capt. Mosier's schooner The Union of

Wellington Grove, turned into a steamer. Some error had been committed

in the build of the Union, and she suddenly capsized in the river near

Prescott. Capt. Mosier then cut her in two, added to her length thirty

feet by an insertion, and converted her into the Niagara steam-packet.

Her arrival at York is announced in the Loyalist of July 29, and her

return thither from Niagara with American tourists on board. The

Loyalist says: "The new steamboat Niagara, built at Prescott, John

Mosier, captain, arrived here (York) on Monday last, the 24th instant.

She proceeded the same day to Niagara, and returned on Tuesday

afternoon, with a number of American ladies and gentlemen making the

Northern tour. This arrangement," continues the Loyalist, "of visiting

York twice on the route round the Lake will be continued, we hope, as

the number of persons travelling at this season of the year, having an

opportunity of seeing York, will tend to enliven the town. The

Niagara" it is added, "is a handsome and well-built boat, with a

powerful engine, and most excellent accommodation for travellers." A

Loyalist of the following month (the number for Aug, 12, 1826) reports

the Niagara as bearing another kind of freight. She has on board, for

one thing, 60 hogsheads of tobacco. "The steamboat Niagara, Capt.

Mosier, arrived in port on Monday last from Prescott via Niagara. On

going on board," says the Editor of the Loyalist, "it afforded us much

pleasure to find that her cargo consisted in part of sixty hogsheads of

Leaf Tobacco for the Montreal market, the produce of the western part of

the Province. The cultivation of this article of consumption," continues

the Loyalist, "is attracting the attention of the farmers in the

Western District, and a large quantity of it will be offered in the

market this year. The next season it will be very much increased. The

soil and climate of that part of the Province is represented as being

well adapted to the growth of the tobacco plant, and the enterprise

which is exhibited to secure the advantages thus held out, gives fair

promise that the article will before long be added to the list of the

staple productions of our country, and afford not only a sufficient

supply for home consumption, but also form an important item in the

schedule of Canadian exports."

In the same number of the Loyalist we hear again of Capt. Richardson's

new steamboat, the Canada. We read of her first passage across from

York to Niagara, thus: "The new steamboat Canada, Capt. Richardson,

made her first trip to Niagara on Monday last, and went out of the

harbour in fine style. Her appearance reflects much credit on her

builder, Mr. Joseph Dennis; and the machinery, manufactured by Messrs.

Wards of Montreal, is a specimen of superior workmanship. The combined

excellence of the model and machinery of this boat is such," says the

Loyalist, "as will render her what is usually termed 'a fast boat.'

The trip to Niagara was performed in four hours and some minutes. Her

present route, we observe, is advertised from York to Niagara and the

Head of the Lake. In noticing this first trip of another steamboat,"

continues the Loyalist, "we cannot help contrasting the present means

of conveyance with those ten years ago. At that time only a few

schooners navigated the Lake, and the passage was attended with many

delays and much inconvenience. Now there are five steamboats, all

affording excellent accommodation, and the means of expeditious

travelling. The routes of each are so arranged that almost every day of

the week the traveller may find opportunities of being conveyed from one

extremity of the Lake to the other in a few hours. The Niagara and

Queenston from Prescott, and the Frontenac from Kingston once a

week, and the Canada and Martha Ogden between York and Niagara and

the Head of the Lake every day, afford facilities of communication which

the most sanguine could scarcely have anticipated at the period we speak

of. Independent of these boats, it must be mentioned that the Cornwall

on Lake St. Louis makes a trip every day from Coteau du Lac to Cornwall;

the Dalhousie runs between Prescott and Kingston twice a week and

conveys the mail; the Charlotte and Toronto once a week from

Prescott to the Head of the Bay of Quinte; thus affording to every part

of the country the same advantages of convenient intercourse. These are

some of the evidences of improvement among us during the last few years

which require no comment. They speak for themselves, and it must be

pretty evident from such facts as these, that those who cannot, or will

not, see the progress we are making, must be wilfully blind." (The

closing remark was of course for the benefit of contemporary editors at

York and elsewhere, who, from their political view of things, gave their

readers the impression that Canada was a doomed country, going rapidly

to perdition.)

From the Loyalist of Aug. 19, 1826, we learn that "the steamboat

Niagara, on her trip from York to Kingston, had her machinery injured,

and has put back into Bath to repair." In the same number of the

Loyalist, we are told that the proprietor of the Frontenac had

fractured his leg. "We regret to hear," the Loyalist says, "that an

accident happened last week to John Hamilton, Esq., the proprietor of

the steamboat Frontenac. In stepping out of a carriage at the Falls,

he unfortunately broke his leg." In a Loyalist of the following month

(Sept. 2, 1826), we hear again of Sir Peregrine Maitland's movements in

the Frontenac. The Loyalist says: "His Excellency the

Lieutenant-Governor and suite arrived in town (York) from Kingston

yesterday morning, on board the Frontenac, and after remaining a few

hours, proceeded to Stamford." The next Loyalist (Sep. 9, 1826) speaks

of an expeditious trip made by Capt. Mosier's Niagara. "The Steamboat

Niagara, Capt. Mosier, made," it says, "her trip last week, from York

to Prescott, and back again, in something less than four days, touching

at the ports of Kingston, Gananoque and Brockville, going and returning,

independent of the usual delay at Prescott. The distance is nearly five

hundred miles."

From the Loyalist of Sept. 30, 1826, we hear of the steamboat

Queenston, Capt. Whitney. A notice appears that "The steamboat

Queenston, Capt. W. Whitney, will, during the remainder of the season,

leave Niagara for Kingston and Prescott every Thursday at eight o'clock

a.m., instead of 10 o'clock as heretofore. Queenston, Sept. 8, 1826."

From a number of the Loyalist in the following month (Oct. 7, 1826),

we gather that an accident, which might have been very disastrous, had

happened to the Queenston. "With pleasure," the Editor says, "we state

that the steamboat Queenston arrived here (York) on Thursday last,

without having sustained any serious injury in consequence of the late

accident which happened by her getting aground near Kingston. The

apprehensions which were entertained for the safety of this fine boat

are therefore happily removed. After getting off she returned to

Prescott, where the necessary repairs were immediately made, and brought

up several passengers and a full cargo."

A communication from Hugh Richardson, Captain of the Canada, appears

in the Loyalist of Oct. 14, 1826. A passenger has leaped overboard

from his vessel and been drowned. "To the Editor of the U. E.

Loyalist. Sir,--On Friday evening a passenger on board the Canada, on

her way from Burlington Beach to Niagara, was seen by the man at the

helm to jump overboard. On the alarm being given, in an instant the

sails were in, engine stopped, and boat lowered, into which I jumped

with two hands, and rowed a quarter of a mile in our wake, but, I am

sorry to say, without success. On returning aboard, his hat was found,

as if deliberately placed near the gangway whence he jumped. The hat is

a new white one, and beside the maker's name is written 'Joseph Jewell

Claridge, Jersey City.' The hat contained a new red and yellow silk

handkerchief, a pair of white cotton gloves, and three-quarters of a

dollar in silver. He was a good-looking young man, well dressed, in blue

coat, yellow waistcoat, black or blue pantaloons and boots. He had

neither bundle nor luggage, and came on board at Burlington Beach. I am

inclined to think from all appearances, and the trifle of money left in

the hat, that distressed circumstances had pourtrayed, in a too

sensitive mind, insurmountable evils, producing temporary derangement,

during which the barriers of nature were broken down; and he rushed in

frenzy before his Maker. Perhaps by your kindly inserting this it may

meet the eye of some relation or friend, to whom, on application, the

little articles he left will be restored. I am, Sir, your most obedient

servant, Hugh Richardson. York, Oct. 3, 1826." (We shall have other

communications of Capt. Richardson's brought under our notice shortly.

They are always marked by vigour; and are now and then pleasantly racy

of the profession to which the writer belonged.)

The Loyalist of Nov. 11, 1826, notices a second accident which has

befallen Captain Mosier's vessel. It says: "The steamer Niagara, on

her way from Prescott last week, unfortunately struck on a reef of rocks

off Poplar Point, about fifty miles from Kingston, where, at the latest

dates, she was lying on her beam ends, in about five feet of water. The

Queenston brought her passengers up," it is added, "on Saturday last;

and we are informed that, owing to the exertions of Capt. Mosier, the

greater part of her cargo has been forwarded to York. Yesterday a person

who came from the Niagara, stated that she had received no damage from

the late gales of wind, and as she has weathered these, we sincerely

hope that she may be got off without much difficulty or injury." In the

next number it is noted that "at the latest dates the steamboat

Niagara was still aground. The greatest exertions are making by Capt.

Mosier to get her off. The weather has been tempestuous; but we are

happy to hear that the Niagara has not received any material injury."

In this number is a notice that "a meeting of the stockholders of the

Steampacket Canada will be held at York, on board of the Boat, on

Monday, the 4th of December, at 12 o'clock. By order of the Committee of

Management. J. W. Gamble, Treasurer, York, 15th Nov., 1826."--One result

of the meeting thus advertised is an address to the stockholders from

Capt. Richardson, which appears in the Loyalist of Dec. 9. The Captain

is plainly uneasy in view of the possibility of the majority deciding

that he shall not be in the sole charge and management of the Canada

in the ensuing year. He announces his intention to visit England during

the winter, for the purpose of raising funds among his friends which may

enable him to buy out the few persons who are associated with him in the

ownership of the boat. "Gentlemen," he says, "it having been decided at

a Meeting of the Stockholders, held on board the Canada, that I should

be invested with the sole charge and management of the boat the ensuing

year, unless at a Meeting to be held the first Monday in March, other

arrangements take place, I seize this opportunity, on the eve of my

departure for England, to assure the Stockholders that I have made

every arrangement for the safety of the boat and the necessary repairs.

And at the same time I respectfully submit to them the ostensible motive

of my voyage. Gentlemen, I am so deeply embarked in the speculation I

have entered into, that the prospect of the stock depreciating, and of

the boat's services and my own labours being rendered abortive in so

lucrative a ferry as that betwixt York and Niagara, mainly by a

plurality of the management, fills me with dismay. And, as I trust I am

entitled to the confidence the Stockholders generally placed in my

abilities, and am convinced that unless the power of management be

invested in one person to act with all his energies in the scene of

profits, to seize the advantages of market in the economy of the outlay

with the discretion of a sole owner, loss and ruin to myself must ensue.

With this view of the subject I embark for England to endeavour to raise

funds and relieve those gentlemen who are averse to my management, and

to take up the remainder of the stock, that they who so kindly confided

in my assurances of individual profit, and placed implicit reliance in

my integrity and abilities, may not be disappointed in their fair

expectations. Confident that I possess the hearty wishes of success from

many valuable patrons, in taking leave, I am happy to subscribe myself,

Gentlemen, your most obedient humble servant, Hugh Richardson. York,

Dec. 6, 1826."

By the 24th of March in the following year (1827) he is back again in

York. In the Loyalist of the date just given is a second address to

the stockholders, preparatory to the meeting which is to take place on

the 2nd of April. He recounts his proceedings in England, and urges

again his own appointment as sole manager of the Canada. As

illustrative of the anxieties attendant at an early period, and at all

periods, on individual personal enterprise, insufficiently supported,

the document possesses an interest.

"To the Stockholders in the Canada Steamboat. Gentlemen, it must be

fresh in the memory of you all that I am the original projector of the

Canada; that my abilities, in whatever light they may be viewed, were

wholly employed in planning, constructing and fitting her out. Facts

have already proved that I led no one astray by false theories in her

construction; and her engine is upon the model of the very best now

generally in use in England. I have been all along by far the largest

shareholder, and nearly the whole of the shares were taken up by

gentlemen upon my personal solicitations, in doing which I did not fear,

in the strongest language I was master of, to pledge the success of the

undertaking, not only on the prospect of the lucrative ferry, but also

upon the faith of my own personal exertions. Then do I infer too much by

saying that a friendly disposition towards me, a confidence in my

abilities and my integrity (with very few exceptions), was the basis

upon which I met with such general patronage? However, after a certain

period it was no longer possible to raise sufficient stock to complete

the vessel; the expedient of borrowing was resorted to, and a debt of

L1,200 contracted with the Bank. Upon this the boat commenced her

operations, and ran from the 7th of August, a period of 98 days; during

which time, Gentlemen, I look upon it as a matter of congratulation that

at her very first starting, having an American boat to oppose her, the

proceeds of the Canada not only paid her current expenses, but also a

sum of upwards of L200 in extraordinary outfit, including L40 insurance

on money borrowed, also the interest thereon; L50 nearly for replacing

her wheels repeatedly destroyed, and considerable repairs. I see nothing

but what is most flattering in this her first outset. Thus it would have

appeared had I made my report: and had I done it in the most favourable

light, I should have thought, as one of the guardians of the property

entrusted to my charge, that I was only fulfilling a duty I owed the

Stockholders when I enhanced, rather than depreciated, its value. At the

end of the season, from disappointments and expenses in collecting the

amount of the shares taken up, there was found still wanting a sum of

L400; and at the last general meeting this further sum was borrowed,

hampering the boat with a debt of L1,000. At this crisis, at a very

great personal expense, and at a greater sacrifice of domestic comfort,

I set out for England to trespass upon my own immediate friends; and now

return prepared to relieve the embarrassments of the boat, and am

willing, in the face of representations that went to disparage the

stock, to invest a much larger capital in the Canada; in doing which I

confer a benefit upon the whole, and trust I give further proof of the

sincerity of my professions, when I undertook the arduous task of

getting up a Steamboat. But, Gentlemen, things have not gone as I

wished, or as I intended; and, perhaps, I am the only person who will

have property invested in this vessel to such an amount as to make it of

vital importance that success should attend the adventure. Therefore,

upon this ground, upon the ground of my being the projector of this

vessel, upon the responsibility of my situation as Master, ostensible

agent, and possessing owner, I most earnestly solicit your particular

support to my appointment as managing owner of this vessel; and to that

effect may I again solicit the most general attendance of the

Stockholders at the meeting to be held on board the Canada the second

of April. I am, Gentlemen, your very obedient and very humble servant,

Hugh Richardson. York, 24th March, 1827."

It is to be supposed that Capt. Richardson's views were adopted at the


In the Loyalist for May 5, 1827, we have him subscribing himself

"Managing Owner," to the following notice: "The Canada British

Steam-Packet, Capt. Hugh Richardson, leaves Niagara daily for York at 7

o'clock in the morning, and starts from York for Niagara every day at 2

o'clock in the afternoon. The Canada crosses the Lake in the short

space of four hours and a half, and affords travellers arriving at the

Falls an expeditious and convenient opportunity of visiting the Capital

of Upper Canada. Fare: Cabin passage, two dollars; Deck and Fore Cabin,

one dollar. Passengers returning immediately with the boat will only pay

half the above prices for the return. Hugh Richardson, Managing Owner.

York, April 21, 1827."

In 1827 Capt. Richardson was the recipient of an honorary present of a

Key Bugle. In the Loyalist of June 30, '27, we read the following

card:--"Mr. Richardson takes this opportunity of acknowledging the

receipt of a Key Bugle from the young gentlemen of York, accompanied by

a letter expressive of their esteem and approbation of his conduct in

the management of the Canada. In returning his sincere thanks for the

above mark of their valued esteem and the high compliment paid him in

the accompanying letter, he must look upon the warm and friendly

colouring which they have been pleased to give to his conduct, as a

picture drawn by the free and generous hand of youth, rather to emulate,

than having semblance to the original. Nevertheless, his aim has ever

been, and ever will be, to do credit to those who placed him where he

is, and to support the character of a British seaman. York, 30th June,


From a preceding number of the Loyalist in this year we learn that on

the 20th of April the mate of the Canada was accidentally drowned. The

paper just mentioned says:--"George Reid, mate of the Steamboat

Canada, was last night drowned by falling from the plank leading from

the wharf to the vessel. It is painful to hear that the unfortunate man

leaves a wife and five children to deplore his sudden loss."

The Loyalist of the 7th of that month says: "His Excellency the

Lieutenant-Governor and family left York for Stamford on Wednesday

morning last, on board the Steamboat Queenston. His Excellency's

departure was announced by a salute from the Garrison."

On May the 12th the Queenston has returned from Niagara, and meets

with a casualty at York. The Loyalist of the 19th says: "The Steamboat

Queenston met with an accident while lying at the wharf here on

Saturday last. In raising the steam before proceeding to Niagara, the

boiler was partially burst. The accident was not attended with any

serious consequences. The Queenston was delayed until the following

Thursday in making the necessary repairs, before she proceeded on her


In June this year (1827) the Niagara has been removed from the spot

where she was run ashore last year, and is undergoing repairs at

Kingston. In the Loyalist of June 16, 1827, we read: "We are happy to

hear that the Steamboat Niagara has been got off the rocks near Long

Point, and that she is now lying in the harbour at Kingston, undergoing

repairs. She is stated to have received but little damage; and it was

expected that in the course of a month she would commence her regular

trips across the Lake."

In the Loyalist of May 26, 1827, we hear once more of the Frontenac.

She is laid up, we are told, and a steamer to succeed her is to be

built: "We are happy to hear," the Loyalist says, "that Captain

McKenzie, late in command of the Frontenac (now laid up), has made

arrangements for building a new boat, to be propelled by an engine of

greater power than that of any other now navigating the Lake. The

acknowledged ability of Capt. McKenzie while in command of the

Frontenac, the regularity with which her trips were performed, and the

attention he at all times bestowed to the comfort and convenience of his

passengers, induce us to hope that the undertaking he has commenced will

be speedily carried into effect."

In the Loyalist of June 9th, 1827, the Frontenac is offered for sale

by auction at Kingston. In the advertisement, the historical machinists

Boulton & Watt are named as the makers of her engine: "By Public

Auction. Will be sold on Monday, the second of July next, at Kingston,

as she now lays (sic) at the wharf, the Steamboat Frontenac, with

her anchors, chain-cables, rigging, &c. Also the engine, of 50 horse

power, manufactured by Messrs. Watt & Boulton. Sale to commence at 10

o'clock a.m., on board. For any further information application to made

to Mr. Strange, Kingston, or to John Hamilton, Queenston. June 1, 1827."

Possibly no sale was effected, for we learn from the Loyalist of Sept.

1 that the Frontenac was to be removed to Niagara by Mr. Hamilton. The

Loyalist copies from the Upper Canada Herald, published at Kingston,

the following paragraph: "Yesterday the old Frontenac, under the care

of R. Hamilton, Esq., left Kingston for Niagara, where, we understand,

she is to be broken up. Mr. Hamilton is preparing materials for a new

boat of about 350 tons."

We then gather from a Loyalist of Sept. 29, 1827, that while lying at

the wharf at Niagara, the Frontenac was mischievously set fire to. The

paper just named says: "The Messrs. Hamilton, proprietors of the

Steamboat Frontenac, have offered a reward of L100 for the discovery

of the persons who set fire to that vessel some time ago. The

Frontenac, after being fired, was loosed from her moorings, and had

drifted some distance into the Lake, when she was met by the Niagara,

Capt. Mosier, who took her in tow, and succeeded in bringing her to the

wharf at Niagara, where after some exertions the flames were


This, as we suppose, terminates the history of the Frontenac, the

first steamboat on Lake Ontario.

As associated with Boulton & Watt's engine, spoken of above, we must

mention the name of Mr. John Leys, for some years Capt. McKenzie's chief

engineer on board the Frontenac. At the outset of steam navigation,

men competent to superintend the working of the machinery of a steamboat

were, of course, not numerous, and Captains were obliged in some degree

to humour their chief engineer when they had secured the services of

one. Capt. McKenzie, it would be said, was somewhat tyrannized over by

Mr. Leys, who was a Scot, not very tractable; and the Frontenac's

movements, times of sailing, and so on, were very much governed by a

will in the hold, independent of that of the ostensible Commander. Mr.

Leys, familiarly spoken of as Jock Leys, was long well known in York.

In July, 1827, the Queenston was engaged in the transfer of troops.

In the Loyalist of July 21, 1827, we read: "Detachments of the 68th

Regiment for Amherstburg, under the command of Captain North; Fort

George, Captain Melville; and Penetanguishene, Ensign Medley, were on

board the Queenston, and proceeded on Tuesday last to their several

destinations. On Thursday the Queenston returned to York from Niagara,

when the first division of the 70th Regiment embarked to proceed to

Lower Canada." In her next trip the Queenston brought more troops, and

took more away. In the Loyalist of the 28th of July we read: "The

first division of the 68th Regiment for this Garrison arrived by the

Queenston on Tuesday, and on her return a second detachment of the

70th proceeded to Lower Canada. The exchanges are now we believe nearly

completed," the Loyalist adds. In the number for August 4, the

Queenston is once more spoken of as engaged in the conveyance of

troops to and from York. "The head-quarter division of the 68th

Regiment, under the command of Major Winniett, arrived on Tuesday

morning, and on Thursday that of the 70th Regiment, under Lieut.-Colonel

Evans, embarked on board the steamboat Queenston. During the short

stay made by the 70th Regiment in this garrison," the Loyalist says,

"their conduct has been such as to secure to them the same kind feelings

which have been expressed towards them by the inhabitants of the towns

in both Provinces where they have at different times been stationed.

They are now on their return to their native country, after a long and

honourable period of service in the Canadas, and they carry with them

the best wishes of the inhabitants for their future welfare and

prosperity." When thus announcing the departure of the 70th Regiment,

the Loyalist adds: "We cannot but notice with pleasure the arrival of

so distinguished a corps as the 68th amongst us." The standing

advertisement of the Queenston for this year may be added: "Lake

Ontario Steam-Boat Notice: The Public are informed that the Steam-Boat

Queenston, Captain James Whitney, has commenced making her regular

trips, and will during the summer leave the different Ports as follows:

Leave Niagara for Kingston, Brockville, and Prescott, every Thursday

morning at 8 o'clock precisely; and leave Prescott on her return for

Brockville, Kingston and York, every Sunday, at 12 o'clock, noon.

Arrangements have been made with Messrs. Norton and Co., Stage

Proprietors, Prescott, by which passengers going down will arrive at

Montreal on Saturday evening; and passengers proceeding upwards will,

by leaving Montreal on Saturday morning, arrive at Prescott in time to

take the Boat. Every endeavour has been made to render the accommodation

and fare on board of the best description. Queenston, May 25, 1827."

In a Loyalist of this period we have a communication from Captain

Richardson, of the Canada, giving an authentic account of the swamping

of a small boat in the attempt to put a passenger on board his steamer

in the Niagara river. This characteristic letter contains some excellent

directions as to the proper method of boarding a steamer when under way.

"To the Editor of the U. E. Loyalist.--Sir, according to your request,

and to prevent misrepresentation, I herewith furnish you with the

particulars of the little accident that occurred to a Ferry Boat in

Niagara River, in attempting to board the Canada. On Saturday last as

the Canada passed the lower ferry, coming out of Niagara river, a boat

put off with a passenger, and contrary to the rule laid down to admit of

no delays after the hour of departure, I ordered the engine to be

stopped, to take the passenger on board. The Ferryman, instead of rowing

to the gangway of the Canada, pulled the boat stem on to her bow

before the water wheel. The vessel going through the water, all

possibility of retreat from that position was precluded, and the

inevitable swamping of the boat ensued. Fortunately the engine was

entirely stopped: the Ferryman had the good luck to get hold of the

wheel and ascend by it. The passenger, after passing under it, clung to

the floating skiff. No time was lost in going to his relief with the

boats of the Canada, and both escaped uninjured. Any comment upon the

impropriety of boarding a steam vessel before the water wheel would be

absurd; but I may be allowed to advise this general rule to all persons

going alongside of a steam vessel, viz.: always to board to leeward,

never to attempt to cross her hawse, but to bring the boat's head round

in the same direction with the vessel under way; row up on her lee

quarter double oar's length distance, until abreast of the gangway; then

gradually sheer alongside, keeping as much as possible in parallel line

with the direction of the vessel you are boarding. I am, sir, your very

obedient servant, Hugh Richardson, Master of the Canada."

A passage from Captain Richardson's "Report on the Preservation and

Improvement of the Harbour," to which in 1854 a supplementary or extra

premium of L75 was awarded by the Harbour Commissioners, may be quoted

as a further example of the neat employment of a sailor's technical

language. (He is arguing against cutting a canal into the Harbour at the

Carrying Place, where the great irruption of the waters of the lake

subsequently took place.) "With wind at S. W., and stormy," he says,

"(such a canal) would be valuable for exit, but for entrance from the

east, every nautical man would prefer making a stretch out into the open

Lake, weathering the Light at one long board, and rounding into the

Harbour with a fair wind, to hauling through the Canal, coming in dead

upon a lee shore, and having to beat up the Bay in short tacks." Some

twenty years previously similar views had been expressed in a printed

essay on York Harbour--a production in which, in his zeal for the

well-being of the Bay, Captain Richardson said some hard things of the

river Don, which we may here notice. The person who had uttered an

imprecation on the North Pole, Sidney Smith pronounced capable of

speaking evil next even of the Equator. Of what enormity of language

must not the dwellers by the stream which pours its tribute into the

Harbour of York, have thought Captain Richardson capable, when they

heard him in his haste call that respectable stream "a monster of

ingratitude," "an insidious monster," "the destroying cancer of the

Port?" "From the moment that the peninsula raised its protecting head

above the waters, and screened the Don from the surges of the Lake, the

Don," Captain Richardson says, "like a monster of ingratitude, has

displayed such destructive industry as to displace by its alluvial

disgorgings by far the greater part of the body of water originally

enclosed by the peninsula. The whole of the marsh to the East, once deep

and clear water, is," he asserts, "the work of the Don, and in the Bay

of York, where now its destructive mouths are turned, vegetation shews

itself in almost every direction, prognosticating" as he speaks, "the

approaching conversion of this beautiful sheet of water into another

marshy delta of the Don." Fothergill, too, in an address to the Electors

of the County of Durham, in 1826, indulges in a fling at the river which

pays its tribute to the Harbour of York. After quoting some strong words

of the elder Pitt in the British House of Commons on the subject of

public robbery and national plunder, he adds: "Perhaps the very quoting

of such language will be deemed treasonable within the pestilential

range of the vapours of the marsh of the great Don, and of the city of

many waters," meaning York, the head-quarters of the Government. "But

the Don, the poor unconscious object of all this invective, is in

reality no more to blame than is the savage because he is a savage, not

having had a chance to be anything else. In proceeding to lay the

foundation of a delta of solid land at its mouth, the Don followed the

precedent of other streams, in conformity with the physical conditions

of its situation. When at length the proper hour arrived, and the right

men appeared, possessed of the intelligence, the vigour and the wealth

equal to the task of bettering nature by art on a considerable scale,

then at once the true value and capabilities of the Don were brought out

into view. Speedily then were its channel and outlet put to their proper

and foreordained use, being transformed by means of cribwork and

embankments into a convenient interior harbour for Toronto, an

arrangement of high importance to the interests of a now populous

quarter, where some of the most striking developments of business

activity and manufacturing enterprise that the capital of Ontario can

boast of, have been witnessed."

But to return. We were tracing the fortunes of Captain Richardson's

boat, the Canada, in 1827.

In July, 1827, the Canada met with an accident. She broke her main

shaft on the Lake. The Loyalist of the 4th of August says: "We regret

to state that the steam-boat Canada, while crossing the Lake from

Niagara on Tuesday last, unfortunately broke her main shaft. The

accident we hope is not of such a nature as to deprive us any great

length of time of the convenience which that excellent Boat has afforded

us of daily communication with Niagara." In the paper of August 18th it

is announced that the Canada is all right again. "The Canada, we are

happy to state, has again commenced making her usual trips to Niagara:

she left the Harbour yesterday afternoon." Towards the close of the

season we have a record of the brave buffetings of this vessel with an

easterly gale on the Lake. "On Monday last," says the Loyalist of the

27th October, "we were visited by one of those violent gales of easterly

wind, accompanied with torrents of rain, not unusual at this season of

the year. The Steam-Boat Canada, at 10 o'clock in the morning, when

there was an appearance of the storm moderating, left the Niagara river

for York. She had not proceeded far on her voyage however, when the gale

increased with greater violence than before, and in a short time both

her masts were carried away, and some damage done to her chimney.

Fortunately her engine remained uninjured, and enabled her at about

five in the afternoon to reach the wharf in safety. The Canada has

made some of her trips in the most boisterous weather, and deservedly

bears the name of an excellent sea boat. She suffered no delay from the

damage she had sustained, and left the Harbour the following morning for

Niagara. The weather since Monday continues boisterous and cold."

On December 1st, the Loyalist announces that "the Canada Steam Boat

made her last trip from Niagara on Tuesday, and is now laid up for the

winter." In the following spring, on the 27th of March, she takes over

Sir Peregrine Maitland. "His Excellency the Lieutenant-Governor and

family left York," says the Loyalist of March 29, 1828, "on Thursday

morning for Stamford. His Excellency embarked on board the Canada

Steam Packet under a salute from the Garrison." A communication from the

Captain appears in the Loyalist of the 12th of April, having reference

to this trip. He replies to some strictures in the Colonial Advocate

on some alleged exclusiveness exhibited by Sir Peregrine while crossing

the Lake in the Canada. "Having observed in the Colonial Advocate of

the 3rd of April, under the head of Civilities, that His Excellency the

Lieutenant-Governor engaged the whole of the two cabins of the Canada

for himself and family, and would not allow even the Members of Assembly

who were returning home to go over that day, except as deck passengers,

I have to declare the same an impudent falsehood. His Excellency having

condescended to intimate to me his desire to remove his family and

household as early as possible, I hastened the equipment of the Canada

expressly on His Excellency's account, contrary to my intentions, and

the requisite delay for outfit until 1st April. To all applications for

passage on the day fixed for His Excellency's embarkation I replied, I

considered the vessel at His Excellency's orders. The moment His

Excellency came on board, and understood that I was excluding

passengers, I received His Excellency's orders to take on board every

passenger that wished to embark. The only further intimation I received

of His Excellency's pleasure was, on my application to know if I should

stop at Niagara, I received for answer that His Excellency had no desire

to stop there, but if I wished it, it could make no difference to His

Excellency. Born and bred under a Monarchical Government, educated in

the discipline of a British seaman, I have not yet learned the

insolence of elbowing a desire (in right, an order) of the

Representative of my Sovereign, by an impertinent wish of my own. I have

only to say that as long as I command the Canada, and have a rag of

colour to hoist, my proudest day will be when it floats at her mast-head

indicative of the presence and commands of the Representative of my

King. Hugh Richardson, Master and Managing Owner of the Canada

Steam-Packet. April 11th, 1828. P.S. Perhaps Dr. Lefferty being a Member

on the right side, who embarked on board the Canada, and who did me

the honour of a call a night or two before, for information, may confirm


Captain Richardson, as we can see, was a man of chivalrous temperament.

His outward physique, moreover, corresponded with his character. His

form was lithe, graceful and officer-like. It was not alone when the

Governor of the Province happened to be present that established

distinctions in society were required to be observed on board the

Canada steam-packet. At all times he was particular on this point.

This brought him into collision occasionally with democratically

disposed spirits, especially from the opposite side of the Lake; but he

did not scruple to maintain his rules by main force when extreme

measures were necessary, calling to his aid the stout arms of a trusty