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BOOK - Steamboat Connections: Montreal To Upper Canada 1816-1843
By Frank Mackey

When we think of steamboats, the Mississippi River in the United States is more likely to come to mind than the St. Lawrence and Ottawa Rivers. Montreal Gazette editor and independent historian Frank Mackey has filled in a blank in the story of Canada's expansion in Steamboat Connections: Montreal to Upper Canada. In the days when locks and canals were in their infancy on these two great rivers, small steamers braved rapids to make runs between Ottawa, Montreal, Kingston, and other Great Lakes ports. Mackey has read and incorporated a staggering range of historical sources which he integrates smoothly with his own lively text, concentrating as much on personalities as on bare facts.

In Steamboat Connections Frank MacKey gives us a narrative account of the first twenty-five years of steam navigation along the St. Lawrence and Ottawa Rivers. Relying on a wealth of primary archival sources, MacKey focuses on the development of steamer traffic from 1816 -- when locks, canals, innovations, and human daring conquered the rapids on those rivers and allowed for navigation between Montreal and the Great Lakes. He shows how, starting in 1841, small steamers ran "the circuit" -- from Montreal up to Kingston via the Ottawa River and Rideau Canal, and on to other Great Lakes ports, then returning downsteam through the rapids to Montreal to begin another circuit.

MacKey introduces the entrepreneurs who forged this important link between Montreal and the nation's interior and chronicles the course of their industry, correcting previous misinterpretations, he sheds light not only on steamboats but also on the social, commercial, and geographical development they made possible. He shows that the history of this country, a land with vast expenses and a harsh climate, cannot be fully appreciated without looking at the different modes of transportation that made it possible.

383 Pages
5.5 X 8.75" Illustrations/Photographs (26)
Notes (extensive)
Softcover - perfectbound
Publisher: McGill-Queen's University Press
ISBN: 0773520554

(Canadian Dollars)
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