Abstracts Concerning Canals

* 1819, Jan. 1 through Mar. 31 *
Cleveland Register

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The material which follows was scanned from the original printed Annals, proof-read and corrected to replicate the original as closely as possible. The Annals staff made the decision not to correct misspellings they found in the Register, and the staff of this project has done the same.

* Digitized Material *

Abstract 652 - CR [Register] Jan. 12:1/3,4 [Page 297]



I am not suprized at the troublous times which are now hanging over our country, as I have long predicted them. It was easy to foresee, three years ago, what would be the best result of excessive importations of foreign goods, and excessive issues of bank paper. The rage for speculation has placed many a good ploughman behind the counter; and if I am not greatly mistaken some of them will be compelled again to return to the plough.

The miserable policy of our government in failing to protect our own manufactures, by duties amounting to a prohibition, on importations, was long since apparent to men of intelligence-it is now seen and felt by all. Our manufactories are in ruins-our specie gone and going for foreign fripperies-our circulating medium deranged-some parts of the country who have partaken bountifully of this bank paper, are now in great distress!

Where is our boasted republican purity of manners? What becomes of the glorious examples we are about to offer to the world, of a people capable of self government and of rational happiness? Is it not too evident that the mass of our people and our rulers, would barter the essential features of our independence for "the mammon of unrighteousness" – the profit of trade? Is it not proved that we as a people are miserably subservient to foreign merchants and domestic speculators?.

I am no enemy to refinement, or even the elagancies of life; but I would seriously ask my fellow citizens, what one European production do we receive that might not, with more general advantage be produced at home? I am confident there are few, if any; and when I see the farmers and mechanics of my neighborhood clothing their families in the finery of the shops, I cannot help exclaiming "there goes a tribute to a foreign power."

Our country had purchased more foreign goods, than our produce company and the balance is draining the capital of the country. We are like the farmer who buys from the merchant more than his produce will pay and he must make some sacrifices. It is the more aggravating to him if he sacrifices property to pay for clothes which might have been made on his farm from his own wool and flax. It is time our rulers took up this subject. Why are they adapting our laws, our tariff, our habits, and their own wages to the distorted state of the circulation medium? They must eventually retrace their steps-: it clear that we are approaching a serious crisis.

Our Agriculture is the first object of national regard-it prospers, and must continue to prosper-internal improvements will give life to internal wealth—our roads and streams must be improved, and canals made where they are necessary and practicable. Our manufactures must be cherished by government-by capitalist-by the people. These would scatter our wealth among us- the balance of trade would be in our favor, by a less consumption of foreign manufactures on the one hand, and probably by a greater exportation of our own produce on the other.

I may dwell hereafter on the effect of such a policy on our national manners and habits.


Queens county, Dec. 10, 1819. (13)

Abstract 657 - CR Jan. 12:2/1 [Page 298]

The most important article of news from Columbus, is that a bill is about to be reported in the senate, incorporating a company, to make a canal from Lake Erie, to the Ohio river. (1)

Abstract 671 –CR Jan. 19; ed:1/2 [Page 307]


It is with pleasure we announce to our readers, that the state legislature viewed the importance of cutting a canal uniting the waters of the Ohio with those of lake Erie, in a proper light and we sincerely hope, that this desirable object may occupy the attention of the legislature, a part of the present session, the canal uniting those waters will not exceed eight miles in length, and together with the improvement of the navigation of the two streams will not cost more than 100,000 dollars. (2)

Abstract 680 – CR Jan. 19;ed:2/1 [Page 311]

Lake Erie Canal.

It is with heart felt satisfaction, that we are enabled to announce to our readers, the pleasing intelligence, that this subject is now before the legislature, of Ohio, and will be acted on immediately. This grand object deserves the attention of all classes of society—When carried into effect, the aggriculturist who resides on the fertile bank of the Ohio, will turn his attention to the New York or Montreal market, instead of descending to Orleans the only place where he now can obtain sale for his surplus produce. He often, when, arriving at New Orleans, is compelled to dispose of his produce at less than first cost, when the markets at New York, Montreal and Quebec are good, and where it would be his advantage to trade. This canal, will when effected, unite the interest of the south, with those of the northern sections of the state. We shall lay before our readers, all the information we can, from time to time obtain relative to this important object. (4)

Abstract 740 – CR Feb. 2:2/4:3/1 [Page 336]

Northern Canal.

It is stated in the Albany Gazette, that the digging and excavating of the Northern Canal, in its whole extent from Fort Edward to White Hall, with some trifling exceptions, have been completed and that little or no doubt remains that the locks will be built and the whole canal finished, so as to open a water communication between Lake Champlain and the Hudson, before the close of another season.

The middle section of the Erie Canal is nearly in the same state of forwarding and it is expected that this also will be completed before the close of another session. (3)

Abstract 757 – CR Feb. 9; ed:2/1 [Page 342]

Lake Erie canal.

The bill to incorporate a company to cut a canal, uniting the waters of lake Erie, with those of the Ohio river is lost in the senate. The subject had been taken up in the house of representatives, in a way, much better calculated to promote the object; the resolution authorises the governor to appoint one or two skillful engineers to examine the different scites, and report to the next legislature the practicability of effecting this grand work. It is with pleasure that we see our legislature taking up this business in a proper manner. Incorporate companies at best are arisotcratical, and require the eye of an Argus to watch over their actions. (2)

Abstract 773 CR Feb. 16:1/2,3,4; 2/1 [Pages 348 through 352 *]
Governor Brown's Message

Abstract 785 – CR Feb. 16; ed2/3, 4 [Page 355 and 356]


We have before us the report of the commissioners for internal improvement, in the state of New York. The report is voluminous—it contains 80 octavo pages. It is written in an excellent style of language, and shews us that internal improvements are the most sure pledges, that can be handed down to posterity, of our devotedness to republican simplicity. –'Our mountains' says the writer 'must be politically annihilated. Our sectional brariers must be swept away by a moral arm, whose power is resistless. Our manners, our habits, our principles, our political maxims, and our most pervading sympathies, must wear an aspect that is settled uniform and consistent. Nothing but this, can perpetuate that union which is to guarantee our future national greatness. Nothing, but this, can preserve those popular institutions, which are scaled with our fathers' blood. Nothing but this can carry us along to that height of glory which breaks upon our gaze through the vista of futurity, and beckons on to its cloudless summit.. Nay, on this subject, we can almost hear the voice of distant generations, speaking in supplications loud as the thunders of a higher world.'

That canals and turnpikes are the only cement which can long bind us together as a nation, none will pretend to deny. When we reflect on the downfall of the ancient Grecian and Roman republics, and contrast our state with their – we find ourselves rapidly verging on a dissolution—we find, that nothing can save us, but to retrace our steps to that republican simplicity from which we have so far disgressed. Or we muse use other, and more lasting cement, which will more effectually unite the interest of every section of our country, which cannot be done without making transportation easy. Good roads and canals will facilitate commerce and personal intercourse, and unite, by a still more intimate community of interests, the remote sections of the U.S. No other operation within the power of government, can more effectually tend to strengthen and perpetuate that union which…*

Nothing can be more gratifying to the hardy and enterprising citizens of Ohio than to believe their brethren in New York invite them to turn their attention to internal improvements. "The most practicable point to unite lake Erie with the Ohio river," says the canal commissioners, 'is by cutting a canal from the Cuyahoga to the Muskingum river, the latter of which empties into the Ohio river, at Marietta, and the former empties itself into lake Erie, at Cleaveland. Six miles of a canal would unite them, and we believe that a company now actually exists to execute this purpose."

The example of our worthy sister the state of New York, should stimulate us to action. We have resources sufficient, and by the proper use of these resources, we may in less than two years witness a complete navigation from this lake to the Ohio river.

We have already said considerable on this subject, but the report of the Canal Commissioners of New York speak more than volumes, in favor of internal improvements. It is this which must give the farmer a safe any easy conveyance for his surplus produce to the best market. It will enable the merchant to dispose of his goods at a less per cent. It will enable the farmers in the southern part of the state to procure their salt on better terms, and at less expense from the lake than from the Ohio river.

Combining all those great and inestimable advantages, to be derived from a canal of six or eight miles in length, surely that man does not exist, who would for one moment hesitate in giving the meed of his approbation to an improvement, which must greatly add to the happiness of generations yet unborn. (15)

* Missing from Newspaper file

Abstract 786 - CR Feb. 16:2/4 [Page 356]


THE CANAL... We have great satisfaction in presenting our readers with the letter of ISACE BRIGGS on this subject. Although the people are well assured of its success, and doubts are dissipated from the minds of every man who is willing to be convinced yet it is gratifying to have the particulars herein contained from the official courcies. The letter is addressed to Mr. William Darby, and will be inserted in a work of his, which will be published in a few days, being a tour from New York to Detroit including both sides of the St. Lawrence river, as far east as the Thousand islands. (3)

Abstract 787 - CR Feb. 16:2/4,5 [Pages 356 through 358]

The New-York Canals

Mr. Spooner,

The inclosed letter contains so great a mass of valuable information in so few words, that I cannot deny the public the advantage and pleasure of its perusal. FACTS ARE STUBBORN THINGS! W.D.

Letter from Isaac Briggs, Engineer, New York Canal

Abstract 917 – CR Mar. 16:1/4 [Page 409]

A Grand Project.

Mr. F--s, in the senate of Ohio, offered for consideration, the following resolution.

Resolved, by the general assembly of the state of Ohio, ---- That our senators and representatives in congress be requested to make application to, and use their best endeavors with the general government, to apply to the court of Madrid for the privilege of examining the ground and opening a canal for the passage of large vessels from the Spanish Maine across the continent at Lake Nicaragua, or such other point in that quarter as may be found most practicable.

(Nicaragua is one of the Spanish possessions of North American, immediately north of Panama or Darien. Lake Nicaragua, lies to lat. 12 deg. north, is about 4 marine leagues from the gulph of Papaguya , and has a grand outlet into the Spanish Maine by the river San Juan.)

Abstract 982 – CR Mar. 30; ed:2/1 [Page 438]

In the state of New York, the contest for governor is warm and animated. De Witt Clinton, the present governor of that state is opposed by men even in the most western sections of the state—and indeed we feel at a loss to know what motives can induce this people to abandon the man, who by his talents had rendered the most important services to the western people. We view the canal uniting lake Erie with the Hudson river, as one of the most important improvements in the history of our republic, and we believe that ages might have rolled away ere this important work would have been commenced, had it not been suggested by, and carried on under the administration of Mr. Clinton. So long as internal improvements are considered a blessing to the western people--so long as the canal will aid the advancement of that important state, just so long will the name of Clinton be hailed as the sound politician and the frriend to internal improvements.

There is in that state men, who have became disaffected with the present administration, and cry out against the canal. But we hope to see that state, under the administration of a virtuous and intelligent chief magistrate, complete the important improvements already commenced.

We hope to be able ere this time, to have laid before our readers, a law, on the subject of a canal, uniting the waters of lake Erie with those of the Ohio river, -- but if we may judge from the conduct of the house when in session, we could not even hope for the adoption of any important measure by such a legislature.

(From Annals of Cleveland - 1818-1935, Volume I (1819). Cleveland: Cleveland WPA. 1937.)

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Cleveland's First Infrastructure: the Ohio & Erie Canal from George Washington to Alfred Kelley

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