The Travels of Abiathar M. Harris: North to Kingston

The diary of A. M. Harris included just one more entry in the year 1821. In late summer, he left York (i.e. Toronto) and headed further north to Kingston, near the Thousand Islands.

Frontenac

The Frontenac steamboat was the first paddle steamer launched on the Great Lakes, in 1817.

On the 4th of August started for Kingston on board the Frontenac Steamboat. I was obliged to return to Fort George, as the Steamboat did not return to York on her way to Kingston; we arrived in Ft. George, thank God, about ten o’clock A. M. – here they discharged their cargo, which consisted of soldiers and their wives and children, they quarreled the whole passage – I called on an acquaintance, who invited me to stop until the boat left. I accepted his invitation and Mr. Easton, a school master, invited me to examine his school. So I did.

Excerpt- 5Aug1821

Original in the University of Rochester Library

On the 6th being Sunday, we had preaching by the Rev. Doct. Morse – we arrived in Kingston, 4 o’clock P.M. Put up at the Old Kings Head, George Millward.

On the 7th I applied at the Herald Office and obtained work – commenced at 12 o’clock noon.

On the 27th I was taken sick of a fever which confined me for seven weeks – I lay 2 weeks at the scotch house of Peter McQuinn, here I was badly and little or no care taken of me – I was  removed to Mr. Thompson’s, my employer – where I received the greatest attention. I was attended by Doct. Sampson. Expenses of sickness was about 100 dollars. I stayed in the place about 11 months and enjoyed myself extremely well. The village is not large, by very pleasantly situated at the head of the St. Lawrence. There are many Americans in this place and a great intercourse between the states and the Province. I spent Christmas very much to my dissatisfaction and disappointment, having on Christmas eve visited the French Church, (it is customary to laminate their Churches that night at 12 o’clock) and afterwards spent the greater part of the night in social amusements. I retired to bed rather late with an intention of rising soon to spend the day by writing and partaking of a sumptuous dinner which had been prepared – and afterward have a dance – But what was my disappointment at waking 8 o’clock in the evening.

 

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