Abstracts Concerning Canals

* 1826, Jan. 1 through May. 31 *
Cleveland Herald

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Each abstract begins with a "reference line," such as: 16 - CGCR July 31:2/3,4.
This is the code which the Annals staff used to identify the following information:

16 -- the number assigned to this abstract
CGCR -- the newspaper it was taken from (here, the Register)
July 31 -- the month and day it appeared in the paper
2/3,4 -- page 2, columns 3 and 4

An ed placed between the date and the page/column information (i.e. July 31; ed:1,2) means that the abstract is from an editorial. If adv appears in that location, it indicates that the abstract is from an advertisement.

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[note: for the digital edition, "abstract" has been included at the beginning of each reference line, and the name of the newspaper has been spelled out in the first reference line of each page.]

The material which follows was scanned from the original printed Annals, proof-read and corrected to replicate the original as closely as possible.

* Digitized Material *

Abstract 12 - H[erald] Jan. 13; adv:3/4

Notice to Canal Contractors.

Proposals will be received until Wednesday, February 1st., at nine o'clock P.M., at Cleaveland, for the Construction of the line of Canal from the Lower Rapids to the village of Cleaveland, including four Locks. Proposals for building the Locks of stone and also of timber will be received, the contractor in both cases to obtain the materials - A plan of a timber Lock may be seen at Merwin's hotel. Alfred Kelley, Acting Commissioner. Cleaveland. Jan. 12, 1826

Abstract 13 - H Jan. 20; ed:3/1

The editor of the Sandusky CLARION reminded us in the last issue of that paper of our promise to supply a list of the members of the legislature who are opposed to the prosecution of the canals. We therefore submit the names of Eleutheros Cooke of Sandusky and William E. Russell of Columbiana.

"It is possible our catalogue is not complete; and the CLARION will please make such corrections and additions as facts may justify, and their list shall be duly noticed in the HERALD."

Abstract 14 - H Jan. 20; ed-3/1

Mr. Wilson of the Steubenville GAZETTE has uniformly ranked himself among the opponents of the canals and was among the foremost to magnify their expense and to declaim upon the poverty of the people. In his paper of Jan. 7, however, he says that the majority of last year, favorable to the canal policy, remains "without much diminution" - and that the two canals in their whole length as "authorized by law, will be proceeded in to their completion," and as this is the will of the majority, it is the duty of the minority to submit.

"We fear our Sandusky friends will be discouraged with these desertions, and grow remiss in their opposition, if they do not actually join the friends of the Canal. There should always be two parties in a republic, it is said; and the Canal question has lost half its interest by wanting anything like a serious opposition, ... and now we are threatened with the total annihilation. There is some hope, however, as Mr. Campbell has sworn by all the catfish in Sandusky Bay, that the people of Ohio shall never make a Canal through the valley of the 'lovely Cuyahoga'; and even a 'tempest in a tea-pot' is better than a total calm."

Abstract 15 - H Jan. 27; ed:3/1

The people of western Pennsylvania are wide awake with respect to improvement, and as, Governor Shulze is opposed to embarking on any canal projects at present, they are endeavoring to assemble a convention at Pittsburgh to nominate a western governor who is in favor of opening a communication through the state by means of a canal.

"The present movement in Western Pennsylvania indicates some change in the management of their electioneering concerns, as the result will exhibit the feelings of th people relative to an important measure of State policy."

Abstract 16 - H Jan. 27:3/1

The latest advices from Columbus render it probable that the legislature will adjourn early in February. The board of equalization was busily engaged in the duties of its appointment; but we have learned nothing definite respecting the result of its deliberations. It is reported that the lands in this county as well as some others through which the canal passes are rated even higher than the appraisement of the assessors; while those of Columbiana and Trumbull remain without alteration.

"Equal and exact justice is all that is asked; and the citizens who live in the vicinity of the Canal line will be satisfied with any burthens which those living more remote ought not to be ashamed to impose." (4)

Abstract 17 - H Feb. 3; ed:3/2

It will be seen by the legislative proceedings of our preceding columns (copied from the MONITOR and STATE JOURNAL), that the bill authorizing the commissioners of the canal fund to negotiate extensive additional loans for the prosecution of the canals has passed the house of representatives by a large majority.

"As might be expected, some difference of opinion prevailed among the friends of the Canals, respecting the propriety of some of its provisions; but on a question vitally affecting the prosecution of the works, it will be perceived the opposition dwindled down to eight in number. (3)

Abstract 18 - H Feb. 3; ed:3/2

We are informed that upwards of 2,500 bids were received from 366 companies and individuals for the 44 sections of the canal lately let at Kendal. The estimated cost (at contract prices) of the line extending from the summit lake to a point near a mile south of Kendal, a distance of upwards of 25 miles, is about $107,000, being an average of less than $4,800 per mile. This sum falls short of the originally estimated cost of this part of the canal more than $25,000. It is understood that this saving is partly owing to an improved location of the line, but in a greater degree to a reduction in the prices of performing the various kinds of work. The line is somewhat shorter as well as cheaper than that originally located.

Abstract 19 - H Feb. 10; ed:3/2

In our journal of the proceedings of the legislature in last week's paper, we gave the resolution and remarks of Mr. Wood relative to the pay of one of the acting canal commissioners. No further particulars were then received. It appears from the STATE JOURNAL of the 26th ult. that after Mr. Wood concluded his remarks - "Mr. Wheeler replied that if the person meant was Mr. Williams, be was authorized by that gentleman to say such was the fact. Mr. W. did receive his travelling fees as a member of the general assembly in returning to Cincinnati; and being required to stay at Columbus on the Canal business, his compensation as Canal Commissioner commenced the 9th day of February, being the day subsequent to the adjournment; and I for one, continued Mr. Wheeler, think Mr. Williams perfectly justifiable. He had completed his legislative business, and immediately commenced his operations as Canal Commissioner; and it was entirely immaterial to the public whether he returned to Cincinnati or not, as his canal labors were not thereby affected. He (Mr. Wheeler) therefore, hoped that the Senate being now in possession of the facts, would consider it useless further to push an attempt at investigation."

After some further debate, the resolution of Mr. Wood was rejected by a large majority, as heretofore stated. A resolution having a similar object was proposed in the house by Mr. Cooke of Sandusky, and also negatived.

It was not quite so much of a "mare's nest" as they appear to have apprehended. (verbatim)

Abstract 20 - H Feb. 10:3/3

Assignment of sections on the canal between the rapids and Cleveland:

Pearsons Rathbun110
Johnson, Flinn and Johnson111
Everett, Forsythe and Bull112
Orr, O'Brian and others113
Martin H. Clark and Seth Doan114
Brackett and Witter115
S. Lothrop and others116

The locks on sections 110 and 111 are to be built of stone, and those on section 116 of timber. A. Kelley, acting commissioner. (verbatim)

Abstract 21 - H Feb. 10; ed:3/3

Our friends up the lake insist that the opposition to the canals is not dying away, but when their own representative from their own city begins to waver in his course, the conductors of the CLARION may as well make a pause - and when this same representative actually gives his vote in favor of an additional loan of $400,000 to carry on the work, it is time they either denounced him as guilty of misrepresenting the will of his constituents, or acknowledged that the public sentiment in that quarter had undergone some change.

According to the STATE JOURNAL, when the subject of the additional loans was before the house on Jan. 16, E. Cooke, in expressing his sentiments on the canal policy, said that his opinion was well known to the house, that he originally had been opposed to the whole system, but since the work has been commenced, he thought it was better to go on cautiously and moderately than to retract. On this ground he had voted for the additional loan of $400,000 for the service of the present year.

"It is unnecessary here to inquire whether his support of the canals is not more to be dreaded than his opposition; but are his sentiments, as above expressed, in accordance with those of his constituents? If they are, we hope the Editors of the CLARION will say so, and not annoy the good people of Michigan Territory by threatening to be incorporated within their limits." (6)

Abstract 22 - H Feb. 17; ed:3/3

The legislature adjourned on Feb. 9. We present our readers with a sketch of the proceedings during the last days of the session, together with a list of the acts and resolutions adopted, copied from the STATE JOURNAL. It will be seen that the commissioners of the canal fund are finally authorized to make a temporary loan of $600,000 upon such terms as they may deem expedient. A similar proposition had been previously rejected; and it was probably agreed to, in consequence of the deranged state of the money market, which affords ground for the apprehension that a loan cannot be immediately negotiated on terms altogether satisfactory. Capitalists in England, within a year or two, have made extensive loans to the South American republics. - Numerous failures have recently taken place, both in this country and Great Britain, and a want of confidence is felt in the commercial world to an unusual extent. The latest news from Europe is far from being favorable, but whether the present state of things will continue or whether it will materially affect the negotation of our canal loans, time will determine. It is the opinion of some, that the want of confidence which prevails among commercial men, will have but little influence on loans which may be made by governments possessing the entire confidence of capitalists. Be this as it may, our general assembly unquestionably pursued a wise policy in providing for the vigorous prosecution of the canals, without rendering a precipitate negotiation necessary, except for a loan for a short period.

"Nothing has transpired, during the Session just brought to a close, to weaken the public confidence in the faith of the State, or to create any apprehensions respecting the vigorous prosecution of the work of internal improvement. The votes have conclusively shown, that there is a greater majority opposed to abandoning the Canals, than there was last year in favor of commencing them. Ten to one in favor of a great measure of State policy, is a degree of unanimity seldom witnessed, and produces a degree of confidence auspicious to our best interests." (9)

Abstract 23 - H Feb.17; ed:3/3

The consideration of the report and resolution of the committee on the subject of the acting canal commissioners, published in our last, was indefinitely postponed. (verbatim) (1)

Abstract 24 - H Mar. 3:1/1

The last Steubenville GAZETTE contains a communication of the Hon. Benjamin Tappan, president of the board of canal commissioners, relative to the pay of the acting commissioners, &c.

We shall give it a place in our next. It confirms every material statement of ours on the same subject. (verbatim) (1)

Abstract 25 - H Mar. 24; ed:3/1

Mr. Niles, although usually very exact in his statements, labors under a strange mistake in supposing the canals now making in Ohio "will cost about eight millions." According to the estimates of the canal commissioners, the total cost of our canals will be less than half that sum; and so far as their estimates have been tested by experience, they are found quite sufficient to cover all the expenses. Contracts have generally, if not in every instance, been made at rates considerably less than the original estimates. Governor Clinton, in a letter to a gentleman of Philadelphia, on the comparative utility of canals and railroads, recently published, gives it as his opinion that the average cost of the Ohio canal will be less than $10,000 a mile; and if he is correct in this opinion, both of our canals will be constructed for considerably less than $3,600,000.

The popularity of the WEEKLY REGISTER will undoubtedly cause this mistake to be appropriated to factious purposes by the fragments of an opposition to our canals, who are attempting to excite the fears of the uniformed by exaggerating its costs; but the worthy editor of that paper is among the last to wish to deceive the public, or to dampen the ardor for the internal improvement of the country. (verbatim)

Abstract 26 - H Apr. 7; ed:3/1

With a few interruptions the contractors on the canal have prosecuted their labors through the winter; and since the advance of spring and the arrival of favorable weather, the canal line from this village to the Portage summit presents a scene of industry and enterprise which promises the most favorable results.

"Should experience prove the necessity of a further extension of commerce, there is no doubt the munificence of the National Government will again be extended to accomplish an object identified with the interest of the whole State of Ohio and other States of the West, as well as with that of the mercantile class throughout the shores of Lake Erie." (9)

(From Annals of Cleveland - 1818-1935, Volume IX (1826), pages 3 through 7. Cleveland: Cleveland WPA. 1937.)

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