KINGSTON August 1, 1847.
Statement of Kingston Mayor, Thomas Kirkpatrick:
A letter addressed to me by Donald Bethune Esq, having appeared in the public prints, I feel it a duty which I owe to my own character and to the office which I have the honor to fill to offer a few remarks for the public information.
The first intimation I had of the occurrence which gave rise to the riot on board of the Princess Royal steamer on the 2nd instant, was from a member of the Board of Health, who informed me, while presiding over that body, that he feared unpleasant consequences would ensue from the excited state of public feeing, resulting from a misunderstanding which occurred the night before between the Rev. Mr. Higgins and Capt. Twohy. I immediately sent for the latter gentleman, in order to learn from him whether there was any ground for the apprehension. He came to the Mayor's Office, accompanied by John H. Greer, Esq and after hearing his relation of the occurrences of the previous evening, I was pleased to learn that an explanation had taken place between Mr. Greer and the rev. gentleman, satisfactory to both parties, and that Capt. Twohy apprehended no danger. –
The Board of Health then proceeded to transact its ordinary business, during the course of which Bishop Phelan attended at the Board. After it was closed I mentioned to him what I had heard, and expressed a hope that the rumour was unfounded: he also assured me that no dancer was to be apprehended, and that an explanation of the difficulty of the previous evening had taken place. Shortly after I left the Mayor's office, and was proceeding on my own, when I met a number of persons running, who stated that a riot had taken place on board the Princess Royal, and that the military had been sent for to protect her. I immediately went to the boat, and found her at Brown's Wharf. Capt. Twohy on was on the upper deck, and had apparently [illegible line]
for him, he said “Call out the military to save me and my boat from destruction." I requested him to come ashore, and that I would go with him and procure the soldiers; he did so, and we left the wharf together. At this time there was a large collection of persons, and a very angry state of feeling existing, but no riot or violence offered, save a handful of gravel thrown, which I shared in common with Capt.Twohy. When we reached the City Hall, we met a party of the 46th Regiment, who had been called upon by Mr. Greer, in his capacity as a Magistrate, and with them I returned to the boat. The wharf was quickly cleared of everyone; and the Mate of the boat took her off, and making a detour, came to Mr. Greer's Wharf, to which Col. Garrett and the military also proceeded. Capt. Twohy again joined us, and shortly after, Bishop Phelan and several Roman Catholic Clergymen came to the ground. Every exertion was then used to calm the excited state of public feeling, and to prevent bloodshed. And I regret to say, that I found several persons whose station in life ought to have induced them to adopt a different course, endeavouring to aggravate instead of allay the angry feelings of the populace. In this I am happy to say, they were disappointed. The crowd dispersed by degrees, and I went on board the boat with Capt. Twohy. After he had washed the blood from his face and had become somewhat composed, I obtained from him the particulars of the riot, which I had not yet learned. I asked him if he, or any of his men could identify the parties who had attacked the boat, to which he replied that they could not. Bishop Phelan and several clergymen then came into the Cabin, the affair was again discussed. Mr. Higgins, who was absent from town at the time of the riot, and had been sent for by the Bishop, then made his appearance, and the occurrences of the night before having been related by both parties before a number of persons, the explanations offered by each were deemed antis satisfactory, and Mr. Higgins and Capt. Twohy shook hands..
The soldiers had been dispersed by the desire of Capt. Twohy, and on the party leaving the Wharf in company with him Bishop Phelan addressed a few words to the small number of persons still there, exhorting them to go home peaceably, which they at once did. No row of any description occurred in my presence, nor was any one printed out to the as having been on board of the Boat, nor was any information lodged with me against anyone.