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In 1829, Thomas Burrowes was posted to Kingston Mills, where he remained for the next 37 years. Most canals in the early 19th century were built sequentially, starting at one end and finishing at another. However, in the drive to speed up work on the Rideau, Lieutenant-Colonel John By, the hard-pressed commandant of the works, divided the project into divisions and assigned officers to supervise construction in each area. Burrowes, who started his career as Assistant Overseer in Bytown, was promoted to Clerk of the Works when he went to the south-western division. Many of the paintings in the Archives of Ontario collection were painted in the early 1830s, during his travels back and forth along the Cataraqui River.
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