Steamer travels between Boston and Prince Edward Island

Jim Hornby
Published on June 2, 2014

The Protestant, May 28

THE ISLAND TRADE. The steamer Commerce, which came in yesterday, had a full freight from Ch Town. The bulk of this, consisting of pork, lard, potatoes, oats, & c., was landed here; the balance was taken on to Boston. The passenger list comprised about fifty, the larger proportion of whom were for the States.

There can be no doubt whatever that the placing of this steamer on the route between Boston and Prince Edward Island is a great advantage to the travelling and trading community. So far as the Halifax market is concerned, it has happened that, on the very first trip of the “Commerce” from Prince Edward Island, she has brought supplies hither of which the trade stood sadly in need. The result of the experiment in steam navigation between Boston and Ch.Town via Halifax, as exhibited in the primary trip of the “Commerce,” must be considered satisfactory in the extreme.

There is one false idea against which the whole public must be guarded, that the establishment of steam communications has the effect of throwing sailing vessels out of employment. This is a grand mistake. So far from this being the fact, all experience proves that sailing crafts have invariably multiplied wherever steam vessels have been profitably employed. (Halifax Reporter.)

Jim Hornby: With the benefit of hindsight, the advent of steel-built steamers was one of the main reasons that the Island’s wooden shipbuilding industry was in serious decline within a few years, and effectively over by 1890.


The Protestant, May 28

The Bark Superb, Elliot, from Bristol, [England], bound to Richmond Bay to Mr [James] Yeo, called off Georgetown Harbour on Sunday last, having been unable, owing to large fields of ice, to get round the East Point of this Island. She sailed again for Richmond Bay, on Monday morning, and was again unsuccessful in getting round the East Point. On Wednesday evening, she was seen off Sea Cow Head on her way round the North Cape. The Superb has eighty hands on board, all told, Captains and Crews for new vessels.

J.H.: At the rate he was launching new vessels and filling them with agricultural exports, James Yeo of Port Hill, who built more Island ships than anyone else, needed many experienced captains and crews.


The Examiner, May 30

THE TENANT UNION--ITS ADVANTAGES AND ABUSES. The organization of the Tenantry into Societies or Leagues is very proper, and would, if managed with care and judgment, be eminently useful to the tenantry in their constitutional struggles against the leasehold system. Heretofore they have been only remarkable for their distrust of each other--for their national and religious antipathies--and for their discussion, which was most required at election contests. The Irishman and the Isle-of-Skye man--taking them as types of the tenant population of the country--have felt the yoke of landlordism more keenly than others in like condition. Yet the son of the Emerald Isle and the son of the heather seldom meet without scowling upon each other, and without indulging in mutual taunts about religion and national characteristics. These taunts prompt them to pursue different courses when they go to the hustings, and we behold there the singular spectacle of two classes of men, both burning to break the shackles of the proprietary system, in fierce antagonism--one class voting dead against the supporters of that system, and the other upholding it, as far as they possibly can do, by voting for the creatures and nominees of the proprietary party.

Knaves and small politicians are continually inflaming the prejudices of the Scotch people, so as to prevent them from forming an alliance with their tenant brethern of the Milesian stock, who, in the full frankness and ardour of their souls, would readily forget past differences, and join the Gael in a combination against the common enemy. Give us, then, a Tenant League, subdivided into as many branches as possible, that will serve to remove national and religious prejudices, that will work harmoniously for the attainment of a common object, and we shall most heartily encourage it to the utmost of our power.


The Vindicator, June 1

Last week some half dozen persons were summoned before the Mayor’s Court, charged with having received oats which were stolen. It appears that during the past winter some boys obtained access by some means into the warehouse of Messrs. Welsh & Owen, and stole therefrom a quantity of oats, which they afterwards sold to several parties throughout the city. The trial of the matter occupied the attention of the Court for the greater part of two days.

One of the boys implicated in the theft having become Queen’s evidence, was discharged; another (a colored individual) was found guilty and sentenced by the Court to suffer a punishment he well deserves; and one other of the young thieves has not yet been caught.

The parties charged with having received the oats were very ably and successfully defended by Mr. W.W. Sullivan, Law student with W.A. Johnston, Esq. Mr. Sullivan has the peculiar art of eliciting from a witness the testimony most favorable to his own cause, whilst he glosses over with admirable dexterity that which makes against it.

J.H.: The racial identification begs the question: was the “colored individual” convicted and punished because he was more guilty or because he was a mixed-race “Boggie,” and his presumably white co-accused was able to make a deal to go “scot free”?


Jim Hornby’s column, “1864: The Way We Were: gleanings from Charlottetown’s newspapers,” is in The Guardian every Monday in 2014 (on holiday Mondays when there is no paper, it will appear on Tuesdays). It contains excerpts from newspapers of that era, as well as Hornby’s comments on what he has found. It is presented in celebration of the sesquicentennial of the Charlottetown Conference. Contact the author at