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St. Lawrence Steamboat Co. Passenger Records part I | part II

Search North American Lists

One method of proceeding inward (west) and down (south) into the United States, after arriving by Sailing Ship at the port of Quebec, was to take passage in one of the St. Lawrence Steamboat Co. Steamers to Montreal. Some records of passengers carried exist for the years 1819 to 1836, on the Steamers Malsham, New Swiftsure, Lady Sherbrooke, Car of Commerce, Caledonia, Quebec, Telegraph, Chambly, Waterloo, John Molson, St. Lawrence, John Bull, Canada, Voyageur and Canadian Eagle. These steamboat records only represent passenger movements of one company ; although large, the St. Lawrence Steamboat Company was not the only one operating on the River, from Quebec to Montreal. It is, however, the only one for which some records survive.

steamboat

The fare from Quebec to Montreal, per full adult Steerage passenger, was from five to ten shillings, with children under 12 years of age at half-fare (or less depending upon age), toddlers (under 2 years) at quarter-fare and infants free. The fare for cabin-class varied over the years. Not all people carried on the Steamers were new immigrants, and you will see some of those persons boarding and disembarking at ports along the way. The Steamers carried passengers in both directions Quebec-Montreal-Quebec, but only those who travelled "up" to Montreal, are transcribed here. Every effort has been made to correctly transcribe the names (there are no ages, exception being an age-range of some children) however, please be aware of possible transcription errors or omissions, and look for contemporary spelling of name variations, as these are extracted from microfilmed copies of the original records. Some of the list compilers used phonetic spelling with unfamiliar names. Also, some records can contain two seemly unrelated names on one single line, where others show obvious family groups.
note: several of the lists use the old name for Sorel . . William Henry . . but with few exceptions, the name Sorel is used here. | Consistantly, the names of cabin passengers are faded ; some are totally unreadable. The microfilmed copies are in black & white, but after working with so many lists over so many years, with so many different list compilers, it is assumed that names of the cabin passengers were recorded in different colour ink, which didn't film as well as blue or black ink.

Montreal Gazette June 23, 1817

British and Irish Emigrants
We are truly gratified to learn, that Messrs. John Molson, & Sons, proprietors of the first Steam Boats used in the St. Lawrence, have upon the application of his Majesty's Consul for New-York, liberally agreed to afford accommodation to such settlers as may in future arrive at Quebec, transport on the most easy terms to Montreal, with a view to proceed to Upper Canada.—We understand that each settler will be allowed to take nearly 200 lbs. baggage, instead of only 60 lbs. allowed to travellers; and that the whole expense for each grown settler will be 30s. from Quebec to Kingston, and 1s. 3d. more to York;—children half price. We further learn that Messrs. Berthelet & Norton, have made equally generous offers on behalf of Settlers, who may be accommodated by them with excellent provisions in small quantities, at the wholesale prices upon making application, and testifying that they will settle in Lower or Upper Canada. While we rejoice in these beneficial regulations, we are not without hope, that their effect will be of permanent utility to the settlers, and consequently to these fine Provinces. Whilst we are thus indulging in ardent expectations, we cannot but reprobate a fatal delusion that is too often successfully practised by ship owners and masters in the British and Irish ports, to fleece the unsuspecting emigrant of his money.

In Irish and Scotch papers, we see vessels advertised for the Islands in the Gluph [sic] of St. Lawrence, Nova Scotia and Halifax; these advertisements, state to people wishing to emigrate to Canada, that the ports, such vessels are bound for, are on the high road to the place they wish to arrive at; while every informed man knows, that to come from Halifax, St. Johns [sic], Pictou, Prince Edward Island, &c. to Quebec, will cost as much as to come from Britain or Ireland direct. It is earnestly to be hoped that these facts may be generally known by all ranks in the mother country, that the people may not be led astray by the chicane of American agents, and the cupidity of the British ship masters and owners. Canada begins to be known at home, but we are sorry to say, least of all by ministers, who ought to be the best informed of the relative value of every part of the Empire.

Montreal, June 1st 1825
Expeditious Travelling.—
By an arrangement lately made the distance between this city and Prescott can be accomplished by Stages, and Steam Boats in the following time and manner. The Stage takes its departure from Montreal at noon and proceeds to Lachine, where the passengers enter the Steam Boat that conveys them to the Cascades, a distance of 25 miles. From the Cascades to Coteau du Lac, 15 miles they are carried in a Stage ; thence to Cornwall, 40 miles by Steam Boat ; and from Cornwall to Prescott, 50 miles they are taken by the Stage, at which latter place they arrive before sun set on the evening after the day they left Montreal, the whole distance being computed 140 miles [sic]. The return from Prescott to this place is yet more expeditious ; and on Saturdays the Stage will depart at one o'clock A.M. and arrive here the same evening, which will prevent travelling on the Sabbath. To mercantile men this facility must afford particular gratification ; and to strangers the alternate jaunts by water, and land, will be a recreation which will greatly enhance the pleasures of the journey both up and down the river.
 
Montreal Gazette, 7 May 1831

STEAMBOAT GANGWAYS

To the Editor of the Montreal Gazette:—
Sir, I beg your paper to call the attention of the Authorities to the careless slovenly way in which the gangways leading to the Steamboats are generally erected, the remedy of which will, at least, save the Province the expense of the Coroner's fees. This morning I witnessed an accident, by the breaking of the gangway of the Richelieu [river steamer], which had nearly proved fatal to seven individuals, including a woman, her infant, and her two little boys, who were all precipitated into the River. They belonged to the 15th Regiment. Never did I witness an instance of so great maternal affection as that of the mother for her children. Notwithstanding her being in a sinking state herself, while she held her infant to her breast with one hand, she was groping round her for the others; and after they were all pulled out, she continued to cry "my children," "my children" till the boys were brought to her.
[signed] HUMANITARIAN Thursday morning

 
[contributed by Harry Dodsworth]
In 1832, there was pressure to reduce the overcrowding on the steamers between Quebec and Montreal as a means of reducing the infection from cholera. Some boats were severely overcrowded; on one trip the Voyageur was filled with passengers and towing a barge. About nine miles from Quebec she turned and the captain was so frightened she would capsize that he returned to Quebec to discharge some passengers. The owners realized that if they reduced the number of passengers they would be able to justify a price rise.

These regulations were introduced by a Montreal committee and published in the Montreal Gazette, June 26, 1832.

RESOLUTIONS of the Committee appointed by the Citizens of MONTREAL, to provide shelter for the friendless EMIGRANTS, and to take such precautions as may be necessary to secure the GENERAL HEALTH of the INHABITANTS.
Resolved, To require the cooperation of the Board of Health to enforce the limitation in the number of Emigrants, that each Steamboat may be allowed to embark at Quebec, for the purpose of conveying to Montreal.
Boats of the first class to embark 300. These are the John Bull, British America, Hercules, John Molson, St. George and Voyageur.
Boats of the second class to embark 200. These are the St. Lawrence, Chambly, Richelieu, and St. Patrick.
And the third class 100. The Lady of the Lake.
This Regulation to take effect as soon as a notification can be sent to QUEBEC. The Masters and Owners to be fined for exceeding this number.

1819 | 1820 | 1821 | 1822 | 1823 | 1824 | 1825
1826 | 1827 | 1828 | 1829 | 1830 | 1831 | 1832 | 1833 | 1834 | 1835 | 1836

It may be possible to identify a probable sailing ship of arrival for some groups, by studying Quebec ship arrivals as reported in contemporary newspapers. You will find many newspaper records HERE, on TheShipsList website. Shipping news for the corresponding "steamboat" years 1819 | 1820 | 1821 | 1822 | 1823 | 1824 | 1825 | 1826 | 1827 | 1828 | 1829 | 1830 and 1831 (in progress) | 1832 | 1833 | 1834 | 1835 (in progress) have been extracted to date.

1826

1827

1828

1829

1830

1831

  • Waterloo - 1st trip down, Montreal to Quebec, 16th April 1831 . . the Waterloo was sunk by ice on April 18th
  • John Molson - Crew List - 1831
  • John Molson - 1st trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 25th April 1831
  • Chambly - Crew List - 1831
  • Chambly - 1st trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 28th April 1831
  • Chambly - 2nd trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 3rd May 1831
  • John Molson - 2nd trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 3rd May 1831
  • St. Lawrence - Crew List - 1831
  • St. Lawrence - 1st trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 4th May 1831
  • Chambly - 3rd trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 7th May 1831
  • St. Lawrence - 2nd trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 11th May 1831
  • John Molson - 3rd trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 12th May 1831
  • Chambly - 4th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 13th May 1831
  • St. Lawrence - 3rd trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 16th May 1831
  • John Molson - 4th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 17th May 1831
  • Chambly - 5th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 18th May 1831
  • St. Lawrence - 4th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 21st May 1831
  • John Molson - 5th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 22nd May 1831
  • Chambly - 6th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 23rd May 1831
  • St. Lawrence - 5th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 27th May 1831
  • John Molson - 6th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 28th May 1831 . . more than 1,000 passengers
  • Chambly - 7th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 28th May 1831
  • St. Lawrence - 6th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 1st June 1831
  • John Molson - 7th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 2nd June 1831
  • Chambly - 8th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 3rd June 1831
  • St. Lawrence - 7th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 5th June 1831
  • Chambly - 9th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 8th June 1831
  • St. Lawrence - 8th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 10th June 1831
  • Chambly - 10th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 13th June 1831
  • John Molson - 8th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 14th June 1831
  • St. Lawrence - 9th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 15th June 1831
  • St. Lawrence - 10th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 20th June 1831
  • Chambly - 11th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 21st June 1831
  • John Molson - 9th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 22nd June 1831
  • St. Lawrence - 11th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 24th June 1831
  • John Molson - 10th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 26th June 1831
  • St. Lawrence - 12th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 28th June 1831
  • John Molson - 11th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 2nd July 1831
  • St. Lawrence - 13th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 4th July 1831
  • John Molson - 12th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 6th July 1831
  • Chambly - 12th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 8th July 1831
  • St. Lawrence - 14th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 12th July 1831
  • John Molson - 13th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 13th July 1831
  • Chambly - 13th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 14th July 1831
  • St. Lawrence - 15th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 15th July 1831
  • John Molson - 14th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 17th July 1831
  • Chambly - 14th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 21st July 1831
  • St. Lawrence - 16th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 21st July 1831
  • John Molson - 15th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 22nd July 1831
  • St. Lawrence - 17th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 25th July 1831
  • Chambly - 15th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 26th July 1831
  • St. Lawrence - 18th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 29th July 1831
  • Chambly - 16th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 30th July 1831
  • John Molson - 16th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 31st July 1831
  • St. Lawrence - 19th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 2nd August 1831
  • Chambly - 17th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 4th August 1831
  • John Molson - 17th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 6th August 1831
  • St. Lawrence - 20th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 9th August 1831
  • Chambly - 18th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 9th August 1831
  • John Molson - 18th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 12th August 1831
  • St. Lawrence - 21st trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 15th August 1831
  • Chambly - 19th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 16th August 1831
  • John Molson - 19th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 17th August 1831
  • St. Lawrence - 22nd trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 19th August 1831
  • Chambly - 20th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 20th August 1831
  • John Molson - 20th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 22nd August 1831
  • St. Lawrence - 23rd trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 24th August 1831
  • Chambly - 21st trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 26th August 1831
  • John Molson - 21st trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 27th August 1831
  • St. Lawrence - 24th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 29th August 1831
  • John Molson - 22nd trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 1st September 1831
  • Chambly - 22nd trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 1st September 1831
  • St. Lawrence - 25th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 2nd September 1831
  • Chambly - 23rd trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 5th September 1831
  • John Molson - 23rd trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 6th September 1831
  • St. Lawrence - 26th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 7th September 1831
  • Chambly - 24th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 9th September 1831
  • John Molson - 24th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 10th September 1831
  • John Bull - 1st trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 13th September 1831
  • John Molson - 25th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 14th September 1831
  • Chambly - 25th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 17th September 1831
  • John Molson - 26th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 19th September 1831
  • Chambly - 26th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 21st September 1831
  • John Molson - 27th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 23rd September 1831
  • John Bull - 2nd trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 26th September 1831
  • Chambly - 27th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 28th September 1831
  • John Molson - 28th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 29th September 1831
  • John Bull - 3rd trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 2nd October 1831
  • John Molson - 29th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 4th October 1831
  • Chambly - 28th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 5th October 1831
  • John Molson - 30th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 9th October 1831
  • John Bull - 4th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 9th October 1831
  • John Bull - 5th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 14th October 1831
  • John Molson - 31st trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 15th October 1831
  • Chambly - 29th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 17th October 1831
  • St. Lawrence - 27th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 18th October 1831
  • John Molson - 32nd trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 20th October 1831
  • John Bull - 6th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 20th October 1831
  • St. Lawrence - 28th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 23rd October 1831
  • Chambly - 30th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 25th October 1831
  • John Molson - 33rd trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 26th October 1831
  • St. Lawrence - 29th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 27th October 1831
  • Chambly - 31st trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 29th October 1831
  • John Molson - 34th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 1st November 1831
  • Chambly - 32nd trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 6th November 1831
  • John Molson - 35th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 6th November 1831
  • St. Lawrence - 30th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 8th November 1831
  • John Molson - 36th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 12th November 1831
  • Chambly - 33rd trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 16th November 1831
  • St. Lawrence - 31st trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 16th November 1831
  • John Molson - 36th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 17th November 1831
  • Chambly - trip up, Chambly to Montreal, 19th November 1831
  • St. Lawrence - 34th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 22nd November 1831
  • John Molson - 37th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 23rd November 1831
  • Chambly - 34th trip up, Quebec to Montreal, 24th November 1831

1832

1833

  • There are no surviving Steamboat Passenger Lists for 1833

1834

1835

1836

  • ...

1819 | 1820 | 1821 | 1822 | 1823 | 1824 | 1825
1826 | 1827 | 1828 | 1829 | 1830 | 1831 | 1832 | 1833 | 1834 | 1835 | 1836

Source: St. Lawrence Steamboat Company 1812 - 1892_ McGill University Libraries, Rare Books and Special Collections, MSS 475 | National Library & Archives MG 28, III, 57_Microfilm Reels M-8272 - M-8287

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