Abstracts Concerning Canals
* 1822, Jan. 1 through Apr. 30 *

Abstract 28 - H Feb. 5; ed:3/1

The last mail brought us only one Columbus paper, and that of no later date than Jan.17 and containing no news of importance. We learn from other sources, however, that a bill has passed the house appointing seven commissioners, Alfred Kelley of Cuyahoga county among them, and authorizing them to proceed the ensuing season with an engineer to be employed by them, in an examination and survey of the different routes for a canal from Lake Erie to the Ohio river. The sum of $6,000 is appropriated by the bill to cover expense.

"It is probable it will pass the Senate."

Abstract 29 - H Mar. 5; ed: 3/2,3

The conduct of our legislature in providing an opportunity to examine the proposed canal plans and determine the practicability of the project, we are well assured is warmly seconded by the majority of our citizens.

"It would in our estimation be grossly misrepresenting their present sentiment as well as future determinations, if we doubted the adoption of consequent measures equally indicative of the public spirit of Ohio. There has not been the slightest dissatisfaction expressed to the late appropriation to defray the expense, if we except a small legislative minority, who, upon the vote for this preparatory step of selecting the route, were smitten with the weakness and incapacity of the Treasury to answer the demand. This preliminary measure, previous to an ultimate decision upon the subject, has, however, been loudly called for and was obviously necessary; and when we turn to the gentlemen to whom this undertaking is confided, the strongest assurances are afforded for the satisfactory accomplishment of the task. We sincerely hope the end will prove, that the estimate of the committee, although it has been questioned, as erroneously formed, may be found fully adequate to its final completion." (11)

Abstract 30 - H Mar. 19:3/2

Alfred Kelley, one of the canal commissioners, says: Individuals will confer a favor on the public by communicating to the subscriber or either of the canal commissioners, any information in their power relative to the situation and face of the country, as well as the position of the streams in the vicinity of the summit level, or dividing lands, between the waters of the Ohio and Lake Erie.

It is desirable that the information communicated should be correct and confined as much as possible to facts. (6)

Abstract 31 - H Apr. 2; ed:3/1,2

"The article in our first page, upon the Western Lakes, will be read with interest, as it evidently contains that kind of information which all are fond to accumulate. No subject opens a greater field of speculative contemplation than our country. The imagination becomes insensibly and delightfully laden with pleasure, when she goes out upon these excursions, and is never weary in demonstrating to the judgment the natural advantages and coming importance of the United States....

"We hope, therefore, our readers, in lending their attention to the excellent article we allude to, will for their own satisfaction extend their inquiries to the most authentic quarter possible - the face of the country itself. It has never been doubted, we believe, but that an attempt to unite these navigable waters might be successful at almost any point this side of Lake Superior. The grand efforts of human skill are not combined to surmount obstacles which nature often interposes to similar undertakings. Our speculations all turn upon the question of choice, and it is a matter of state and national importance that public opinion be grounded upon the best lights that can be afforded." (16)

FONT COLOR="990000">Abstract 24 - H Dec. 4; ed:3/1

Wilson of the Steubenville HERALD says that an "empty" treasury and no credit are in his opinion rather awkward foundations for a canal 200 miles in length.

We know as well as he that the state is not in the immediate possession of a productive revenue adequate to the probable expenditure, and we acknowledge it problematical whether resources can be obtained to prosecute the undertaking. This depends, in a great measure, upon the location of the canal, and the country through which its course shall be established. Let the route be surveyed, and an estimate of the expense formed. Let us know what is wanted, and our own ability to perform can be ascertained at any period. It will then be in season to give up the project and abandon it to ridicule. (6)

(From Annals of Cleveland - 1818-1935, Volume IV (1821), pages 91 and 92. Cleveland: Cleveland WPA. 1937.)

Annals of Cleveland: Abstracts Concerning Canals (Index)

Cleveland's First Infrastructure - Planning the Canal

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