as it were 176 feet below the surface of the earth. In a deep
channel, the work of ages, it continues to run with great velocity,
for 9 miles more, during which it falls nearly 150 feet, when it
bursts from between the rocks, widens out to its usual breadth of
about half a mile, and holds a placid course from between Queens-
town and Lewistown to Lake Ontario, a distance of 8 miles.
The river at its outlet is about half a mile broad, and the water
perfectly pure. Its course is nearly north, but it makes a bend to
the north-west immediately before it falls into the lake. It is 3(5
feet deep, and runs at the rate of about 3 miles an hour, from which
Ave may calculate the discharge of water to be upwards of 128
millions of gallons per minute ; but great as the quantity is, it is
only equal to about a 45th part of that discharged by the Mis-
Having given a general view of this very interesting river, w&i
t:i'Â»ay now shortly glance at the principal settlements on its banks.
Chififmivay is a small village containing about 30 houses, and is
situated on both sides of Chippaway creek, where it empties into
Niagara river, 10 miles and a half above Queenstown, and two miles
and a half above the falls of Niagara. It has a considerable retail
trade, and is a depot for the fur trade of Upper Canada. There are
barracks on the banks of the creek at this place, and a company of
regular troops has been generally stationed here. There is no
regular fortification, but the military station is distinguished by the
name of Fort Welland.
Grand jViagara, sometimes called Manchester, is a small village
on the east bank of the Niagara river, immediately above the falls,
and nearly opposite to Chippavvay. It was laid out for a town a few
years ago, and contains a number of dwelling-houses, a grist-mill, a
saw-mill, a fulling-mill, a carding and roving machine, and several
mills and machinery are projected. The water is brought out of
the river above the I'apids, and as the source is inexhaustible, and
the fall above 50 feet, mills and machinery to a very great extent
can be erected here, and this will probably become a very large
Leivistonvn is situated eight miles below the falls, on the east
bank of the Niagara river, opposite Queenstown. It is laid out on
a handsome plan, occupying a mile square, and a considerable piece
of ground is appropriated to public purposes. It is subdivided into
hlocks of three chains, each containing three lots, and they sell at
present for from 100 to 300 dollars. It is gradually building up
with brick, frame, and stone houses ; and it is well supplied with
fine water, which renders it very comfortable. Being at the bottom
of the portage, on the American side, it is the seat of considerable
trade, which is likely to increase. Twenty vessels belong to the
lake navigation here, and 2300 bushels of salt were landed at Lewis-
town in 1811. The quantity of flour, gi^in, provisions, and peltry
that is shipped is considerable ; and for every article of produce
there is a brisk demand, and a good price. Wheat sells for 1 dollar
per bushel, flour 7 dollars per barrel, pork 6 dollars per barrel.
The country is improving in the neighbourhood, and land is worth
from seven to nine dollars per acre. Merino sheep have been
lAtroduced, and are doing well ; and there are considerable domestic
manufactures, though none on a large scale.
QueenstoHvn is situated on the banks of the Niagara river, 8 miles
above Newark, and contains about 300 inhabitants. It is regularly
laid out, and many of the houses are handsome. There are in the
town 6 stores, and the merchants carry on a very extensive trade
along the river and lakes. It is at the head of sliip navigation ; and
the connection between the lower waters and Lake Erie is continu-
ed by a portage between this place and Chippaway, 10 miles distant.
M'e'ivark is situated at the outlet of the Niagara river, and extends
about a mile along the south bank of Lake Ontario. It was laid out
in 1791, on an elegant plan, the streets crossing one another at
right angles, so that the town will, when complete, be very commodi-
ous, and have a very handsome appearance. It consists at present
of about 200 houses, 2 churches, a jail, academy, 6 taverns, and 20
A light-house has been erected on the point of land below the-
town, at the entrance of Niagara river into Lake Ontario.
Fort George is situated on tlie western bank of the Niagara
river, about a mile above Newark, It is constructed of earth and
cedar pickets, and the buildings contained in it are executed with
much neatness, taste, and accommodation. On the border of the
river and beneath the fort, there are several buildings, consisting
of store-houses and barracks, one of which is called Navy-hall ; and
is contiguous to a wharf where vessels load and unload.
This important fort, one of the strongest in Upper Canada, fell
before the American arms; and British power is now nearly extinct
in that quarter.
Fort Magara is situated on the east bank of the Niagara river,
where it falls into Lake Ontario, nearly opposite to Fort George.
It is an old French fort, with antiquated buildings, and an opinion
was industriously circulated that it was of no importance, it being
presumed that Fort George had the command of it. The event
however has turned out otherwise. It not only stood out against
an attack from Fort George ; but from its commanding situation
proved of essential service in the reduction of that fort, and of that
part of LTpper Ctmada.
This is one ot the most beautiful situations in America. To the
north is Lake Ontario, with York, the capital of Upper Canada,
handsomely situated near the west end of it; to the north-west is
the outlet of the river with the bar and breakers ; to the west
Newark, handsomely situated on the west side of the river, with the
garrison at the upper, and the light-house at the lower end of it.
Towards the south the view of the river is very splendid, and is
beautifully terminated by the high lands above Queenstown and
Lake Ontario is about 170 miles long, and in the middle between
60 and 70 broad ; the circumference being about 450 miles. It is
much deeper generally than Lake Erie, the navigation is more safe,
and there are more good harbours. It is pretty well settled on all
sides, and promises to become the centre of a very thick population.
Proceeding westward from Fort George, the first object that
merits notice is Forty Mile Creek, so called from being 40 miles
from the outlet of Niagara river. A little beyond this is Burlington
Heights, at the head of Burlington Bay.
York, the capital of Upper Canada, is situated about 40 miles
cast from Burlington heights, lieing 38 miles by water and near lOD
by land from Fort George. It is laid out on a plain projecting a
mile and a half in length from the bottom of the harbour along its
banks. A long narrow peninsula, called Gibraltar point, forms the
harbour, secui'ing it from storms ; and renders it one of the safest
on the lake. A spot called the Garrison stands on a bank of the
mainland opposite the point ; and consists of a wooden block-house,
and some temporary buildings. This place has advanced rapidly,
particularly within the last 10 years. It now consists of about 1 50
houses, many of which exhibit considerable taste.
A rivulet called the Don runs in the vicinity of the town ; and
the settlement is watered by several spruigs. A communication
has been opened between this place and Lake Simcoe by a military
road, called Young-street, on which the lands have been surveyed,
and laid out in 200 acre lots, having a front of 400 yards to the
street. The lands are represented as being good, and this will
probably invite settlers, the situation being favourable in other
respects, for there is a water communication from Lake "Simcoe to
Lake Huron, by a short route, which will aftbrd great facility in
trading with the upper lakes.
The old French fort, called TorentOy is situated to the westward
of the town.
Before the present war, and the disasters which have resulted
from it to the British power in Canada, it was in contemplation to
remove the seat of government from this to London, on the river
Thames, already noticed. London is 107 miles from York, 111
from Niagara, and 102 from Detroit. It is therefore central to the
tliree great lakes Erie, Huron, and Ontario ; and is surrounded by
a large body of excellent land ; so that the situation is very eligi-
ble. Smith, the surveyor-general of that province, remarks, that
" it communicates with Lake Huron by the northern or main
branch of the Thames, and a small portage ; and with the Grand
river, or Ouse ; and with Lake Ontario by the military way called
Dundas-street. The fortifications on the heights of Charlotteville,
above Turkey Point, and within the North Foreland, protect it from
Lake Erie. The work at Chatham protects the approach to it up
the Thames, and there are several strong posts which guard it from
the eastward ; add to this, that its local situation secures the interest
and attachment of that vast band of Indians, the Chi/ifieiva
nation^ It seems to be a very important part of the policy of the
British government to associate with savages, and it iis to be pre-
sumed, of course, that they will endeavour to have the seats of
government in their provinces as near to them as possible.
But a blow has been struck at British and savage association, in
this quarter, that they little dreamed of, and instead of transferring
their power more to the westward, it will be requisite to concentrate
their forces so as to preserve it nearer home.
This important post fell before the American forces under
general Pike, in which action the gallant general terminated his
valuable life. His name is embalmed in the memory of his
countrymen, and will live for ever.
Osvjego is situated at the outlet of Oswego river, on the south-
east side of Lake Ontario, and consists of about 40 dwelling-houses
and stores. It was regularly laid out by the state of New York,
^^'hich reserved a part of the military township of Hannibal for this
purpose. The town has been made a port of entry, and is prin-
cipally supported by the salt trade.
Fort Oswego is situated on the right bank of the river, directly
opposite the town, and is a commanding situation. The British
were fully impressed with the advantageous situation of this fort,
and accordingly spared neither labour nor expence in keeping it in
complete order ; but since the surrender to the American govern-
ment, the works have nearly gone to ruin.
Immediately opposite to the fort, at present included in the town-
plat, are the remains of an old French fortification ; and about half
a mile distant from the town, are likewise to be seen the ruhis of
some other ancient fortifications, the founders of which are long
since lost to the memory of the natives.
The east end of Lake Ontario (see the map), has become ex-
ceedingly interesting, being the grand point where the great
power of the contending parties is concentrated : that of the
Americans at Sacket's Harbour ; and of the British at Kingston. A
great variety of islands are situated in the neighbourhood, all of
which have become conspicuous in the progress of the war, par-
ticularly Amherst Island^ Grenadier Island^ and Duck Islands, near
the last of which the brave Chauncey succeeded in capturing five
of the enemy's vessels. Every point is rendered so conspicuous by
the small map annexed, that a description is unnecessary, except of
the two great military stations before mentioned.
Sacket's Harbour is situated at the east end of Lake Ontario,
aTjout 16 miles from the river St. Lawrence, and consists of a
number of large and elegant modern-built houses and out-houses,
generally superior to what they are in the old villages. The
village was originally laid out in half acre lots, but many of them
are subdivided ; and such has been the rapidity of the settlement,
that these lots now sell for from 250 to 1200 dollars; and one of
them, which was given as a present to one of the first settlers, to
induce him to go into the wilderness, was lately sold at 1450 dollars.
The harbour is formed by a peninsula of limestone rock, in many
places not more than one rod wide, which perfectly shelters a sheet
of water containing about 10 acres. The land fronting the harbour
!s elevated about "o feet : oi^ri on each side of the harbour the bank.'>
EAST KlSn of I.AKK ONTARIO,
are of limestone, about 20 or 30 feet perpendicular, which, from the
water, resemble the walls of an ancient fortification. From the
village there is one of the most variegated, extensive, and beautiful
prospects any where to be seen : the lake, distant islands, main
land, and outlets of rivers are all beautiful, and the scene is conÂ«<
tinually enlivened with vessels and boats ; while the wharves, ware-
houses, and stores exhibit an appearance very much resembling a
sea-port on the Atlantic.
Sacket's Harbour has for several years been a port of entry, and
it is in contemplation to establish a navy-yard, arsenal, and fortifica-
tion for protecting the trade on the lake. Befbre the war there was
a ferry between this place and Kington, in Upper Canada, distant
36 miles, with which there was a great intercourse. The trade has
been increasing every year since its first settlement. In 1811 there
were upwards of 40 vessels on Lake Ontario, and the quantity of
wheat, flour, beef, pork, ashes, and lumber, that was annually ex-
ported to Montreal by the St. Lawrence river, was very great.
This trade has been interrupted by the war ; but when affairs are
once settled in that quarter, the trade will be resumed, and be
greater than ever.
An attack was made on Sacket*s Harbour by the British forces,
but they were repulsed with loss.
Kingston is situated at the head of St. Lawrence river, opposite
Wolf Island, and has a most beautiful view of Lake Ontario to the
south and west, and of the river and Thousand Isles in front. It
Avas laid out in 1784, and is now a place of considerable size, con-
taining barracks for troops, an hospital, several store-houses, an
episcopal church, and about 150 dwelling-houses; and it has a
great and increasing trade. It has an excellent harbour, which is
the station of the king's shipping of Lake Ontario during the
winter. The vessels for navigating the Lake were constructed
here, and great quantities of merchandize were yearly trsj6sported
hence to Niagara, York, &c.
The probability is, that this place will soon fall before the Ameri-
can arms, which will terminate the British power op the grei^f
That branch of the St. Lawrence that flows between Kmgston
and Montreal,' is frequently termed the Cadaraqui. Its length is
about 200 miles, flowing all the way with a majestic current, the
navigation very much interrupted by rapids. The scenery on its
banks is variegated and beautiful, and the soil is pretty fertile,
which circumstance, together with the great importance of the
river, will, notwithstanding the severity of the climate in winter,
always secure an extensive population. The river, at its outlet from
the lake, is rendered remarkable by the numerous islands in its
channel, emphatically termed the Thousand Islands ; and in its
progress it widens out into two considerable lakes; that of St,
Francis and St. Lewis. The boundary line between the provinces
of Upper and Lower Canada* proceeds from near the middle of
Lake St. Francis to Dundas-street, thence to the Grand River,
along which it runs to Lake Temiskaming, and from thence due
north to James's Bay.
Proceeding down the river, the first places that merit notice are
Ogdensburg in the United States, and Prescot in Canada ; situated
opposite to each other, about 70 miles, from. Kingston. They ac-
quired some importance from a little skirmishing which took place
between them, in an early period of the war.
St. Regis is an Indian settlement, through which the boundary-
line between the United States and Canada passes. A missionary
from Quebec is stationed among the Indians.
(^See the small maji)
Is situated on the south-east side of an island of the same
name, in the river St. Lawrence, in 45Â° 28' noith latitude; and longi-
tude west from London 7ZÂ° 20'; being east from Washington 3Â° 40'.
It is 170 miles above Quebec, 800 from the sea, 40 from the nearest
land in the United States, 66 from Plattsburg, 200 from Kingston, at
the east end of lake Ontario, and about the same distance from
Sacket's Harbour. It is built in the form of a parallelogram, ex-
^/Â»Li>- of MONTREAL ,mth a MiP of The ISL^VXHS k nd)oimn!>>(oiiiLtn:
tending from north-east to south-west, and was originally surrounded
by a wall to defend it against the Indians ; but it was never in a state
to resist the attack of a regular army. The fortifications fell to ruin
long ago, and, in pursuance of an act of the colonial legislature, they
have lately been entirely demolished. This city, like Quebec, is di-
vided into upper and lower, though the diiference of level between
them does not exceed fifteen feet.
The streets are snificiently wide, and regularly disposed, crossing
one another mostly at right angles, fo that the city is airy and agree-
able. The houses of the principal inhabitants are neat and commo-
dious ; and the store-houses, for merchandize, are spacious and se-
cure ; but many of the other houses are badly built, and have a very
poor appearance. The principal public buildings are the hotel Dieu,
founded in 1644; the general hospital, Place (TArmes, the cathedral,
a Roman catholic and an Knglish church, a seminary, two convents,
government house, and a court of law. Anciently there were a num-
ber of gates to the city, distinguished by several names, some of
which yet remain, but the walls being aAvay, the gates are now only
known by name
The front of the city stands on an eminence of from 10 to 15 feet
above the level of the river, which forms a natural and very excel-
lent wharf, the seat of an extensive commerce ; and the environs are
composed of four streets, viz. Quebec, St. Lawrence, Recolet, and
St. Antoine. The city and suburbs contain about 12,000 inhabitants;
and the city is in such a state of improvement that it promises to be-
come one of the most important places on the western continent.
Montreal island is 30 miles long, and its greatest breadth between
7 and 8 ; its circumference being about 70 miles. The land rises
gradually from the river, and, at the distance of two miles and a half
from the city, forms a mountain, about 700 feet high, from the top of
which there is a fine view.
The island is divided into nine parishes, and is the seat of very ex-
tensive population. The principal settlements, besides Montreal,
are la Chine ^ so called from a project formed to penetrate across the
continent to China from this place ; St. Joseph. le Saut, St. Laurent.
St. Genevieve, and St. Ann-.
I'he Isle of Jesus lies to the north-west of Monti'eal, from which
it is divided by the river des Prairies ; so called from being bordered
on each side by meadows. This island is about 15 miles long, and 5
broad, and contains several settlements: and to the westward are
two smaller islands, named Bisart, and Ptrrot. To the north of the
isle of Jesus is the river St. John, a branch of the Outawas, or Grand
River, a considerable stream, which towards the west is interspersed
with such a vast variety of islands, that there appears as much land
as water. To the west of this are the Tnvo Alounlainsy and to the
south of them the Outawas River extends itself into a large basin,
called the lake of the Two Mountains, being about 8 or 9 miles
long, and 4 or 5 broad ; and, being divided into two channels by the
isle Perrot, it forms a junction with the St. Lawrence in the lake
Lake St. Louis is only an extension of the river St. Lawrence,
about 4 miles broad, and stretches to la Chine, where it contracts to
the breadth of little more than half a mile, and opposite to la Prairie
there are considerable rapids; below which it spreads out into a
stream from one to two miles wide, interspersed with a number of
islands, among which the river runs with a strong current, and it is
pretty deep. It is navigable with merchant vessels to Montreal, but
it requires a strong east wind to bring them up, so that the passage
is very tedious ; but the city, nevertheless, has great mercantile ad-
vantages. It enjoys a much more favourable climate than Quebec,
the winters being six weeks shorter. The soil around ir is rich and
fertile, and the markets are abundantly supplied; a considerable por-
tion of the supplies, before the war, were furnished by the United
The mode of navigating the St. Lawrence and Outawas upwards.,
is interesting. The St. Lawrence is navigated by flat-bottomed boats,
about forty-nine feet long, and six across, at the broadest part. They
generally carry about 9000 lbs. and are conducted by four men and a
guide. Each boat is supplied with a mast and sail, a grappling iron,
with ropes, and setting poles. When loaded, they take their depar-
ture from la Chine, generally eight or ten together, that the crews
may aid each other.; and the time of performing the voyage tÂ«
Kingston and back is about ten or twelve days ; the distance being
about 200 miles.
From twenty to thirty of these boats are kept in the service of the
government, for transporting necessaries to the troops, stores for the
engineer department, and fire sent a of Eurofiean mnnvfacture to the
The navigation of the Outawas, or Grand River, is performed in
bark canoes^ in a direct course to St. Joseph, on lake Huron, and
thence to the new establishment called Kamanastigua, on Lake
The river St. Lawrence^ between Montreal and Quebec, flows
with a majestic current 170 miles ; receiving in its progress a con-
siderable number of streams, of which the chief is the Sorrel river,
proceeding out of Lake Champlain. As this river, and lake, and
the settlements upon them, have considerable reference to the warÂ»
we may here take a rapid glance of that part of the subject.
Lake Champlain is a narrow sheet of water, about 100 miles
long, situated between the states of New-York and Vermont, having
its outlet by the Sorrel river, on the Canada line. The American
troops have had several military stations upon it, particularly
Burlington, Plattsburg, and Champlain. They have since moved
to Chatuaga, and will it is hoped fix their winter quarters in
Montreal, distant about 50 miles.
The Sorrel River runs from Lake Champlain due north about
80 miles, and falls into the west end of Lake St. Peter. The
British have three considerable military stations on it : Isle Aux
JVbix, Fort St. John, and Fort Chamblee. At the outlet of the river
is a little settlement called Sorrel, consisting of about 100 houses.
The chief business in it is ship building.
Lake St. Peter is formed by an expansion of the waters of the St.
Lawrence, and is about 15 miles broad, and 21 miles long. It is
very shallow, many parts of the channel not being more than eleven
or twelve feet deep, so that vessels have frequently to lighten to get
Three Rivers is situated six miles below I^ke St. Peter, and 70
miles above Quebec. It is remarkable as being at the head of tide
water, in the St. I^awrence, near 7.50 miles from the sea. It,ron-
tains but few inhabitants, but is advantageously situated for the fui'-
trade, of which it has a large share, particularly that part of it which
flows into the St. Lawrence, through the medium of the river St.
Maurice. The inhabitants are generally wealthy, and the country
round is rich and well cultivated.
Quebec*, the capital of the Canadas, and the great strong hold of
British power in the western world, is situated on a prominent point
of land, between the rivers St. Lawrence and St. Charles, nearly
700 miles from the sea, in north lat. 46Â° 48'. ; long, west, from Lon-
don, 71Â° 15'; and east, from Washington, 5Â° 45'. It is 69 miles dis-
tant from the nearest point in the United States, in the district of
Maine â€” 170 from Montreal â€” 246 from Plattsburg â€” and 418 from
Albany. The town is divided into upper and lower. The upper
town stands on a high limestone rock, of great natural strength,
and it is well fortified. The citadel is constructed on the highest