Abstracts Concerning Canals

* 1826, June 1 through Dec. 31 *
Cleveland Herald

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Each abstract begins with a "reference line," such as: 16 - CGCR July 31:2/3,4.
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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

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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.

* Digitized Material *

Abstract 27 - H[erald] June 16; ed:3/1,2

The work on the northern division of the Ohio canal is still progressing with spirit and generally at a rate which promises its completion within the times prescribed by the contracts. Upwards of 2,000 laborers and about 300 teams are constantly employed on the line between this place and Kendal, and work to the amount of between 40 and $50,000 at contract prices is performed monthly. The excavation and embankment on the line between the Portage summit and the lower rapids of the Cuyahoga (which is about four miles from Cleaveland) is now nearly completed, with the exception of a few sections which are not so far advanced, and short spaces adjoining the locks and culverts which cannot be finished until those works are erected. That part of the canal between the lower rapids and this village was put under contract last February and is not in so great a state of advancement. Nearly the whole of it, however, has been grubbed out and cleared, and the other work is now progressing.

The excavation on all the job has been commenced and some of it is nearly done. The work is going on rapidly between the Portage summit and Kendal. Some of the sections will probably be completed within a month.

Forty-four locks, overcoming a difference in elevation of 395 feet, are required between the Portage summit and Lake Erie. The pits for 30 of these locks have been dug, and those for more than half of the others are now being excavated. Three-fourths of the stone required for the entire line is probably prepared. The foundations of 14 or 15 have been laid, and piles for the foundation of three or four others have been driven. The walls of 11 have been commenced, three of which have been completed, and two others nearly so. The walls of more than half of the whole number will probably have been commenced during the present month, and of the greater part of the remainder in July.

The contracts require the completion of the whole work by the first day of next October, and it is now in a state of forwardness which renders it probable that the work may be completed by that time with the exercise of reasonable exertions on the part of the contractors.

We are informed that the commissioners of the canal fund have not as yet attempted to negotiate a permanent loan. They have been induced to postpone the negotiation in consequence of the unfavorable state of the money market. It is understood, however, that the difficulties and convulsions which have prevailed for some time past in the stock market, and in commercial transactions, are gradually subsiding and the prospects are becoming more favorable.

The work on the canals has not been in the least degree retarded in consequence of this delay. The funds obtained by the loan of last year and the sum appropriated by the legislature have not as yet been expended. Temporary loans from the bank of this state and individuals have been obtained and it is understood that further aid from those sources can be had, sufficient for the prosecution of the work for several months to come, if required.

The commissioners of the fund express no doubt of their being able to negotiate a permanent loan on the terms prescribed by law at any time when it shall become necessary. They state that undiminished confidence is felt by capitalists in the faith of the state and the security of the stock.

Laborers have not been quite as plentiful on the line between this place and the Portage summit during the spring as could have been wished. This has been in part owing to the busy season of the year and the great and unexpected demand for laborers on similar works in various parts of the United States and in Canada. Some alarm has also been occasioned by the bad management, want of integrity, and consequent failure of a few persons (chiefly sub-contractors) who have employed laborers and failed to make punctual payments. Arrangements have now been made which it is believed will in future secure to the laborers punctual payment with reasonable care on their part.

The work at the Licking summit and on the Miami canal is also progressing as fast as has been, anticipated by its friends, and nothing has as yet occurred on either of the canals calculated in the least to impair the confidence which the friends of the policy have felt in the successful prosecution and early completion of the work. On the contrary, every step that the undertaking advances, offers additional proof that the difficulties were foreseen by the commissioners and engineers, and the estimates of the expense fully adequate to cover the cost of the work.

A party is now engaged in the location of the line between Kendal and Coshocton, preparatory to contracting for its construction. It is said, however, that this part of the line will not be put under contract 49til fall unless laborers should be more abundant.

We are informed that the board at its late meeting in Columbus also directed the commencement of further surveys and examinations between the Licking summit and the mouth of the Scioto, preparatory to settling the final location of that part of the canal which it is designed to do conclusively, at least as far south as the neighborhood of Piketon, in the course of the ensuing season if suitable engineers can be procured for the purpose without retarding the work already commenced.

The line between Piketon and Portsmouth cannot be finally determined upon without a risk of being unable to supply it with water on the one band, or of unnecessarily increasing its length and expense on the other, until the line from the crossing of the Scioto above Chillicothe to the vicinity of Piketon shall have been completed and filled with water. Should the shortest and cheapest line be adopted, which is a high level between Portsmouth and Piketon, it may prove impossible to obtain the requisite supply of water; and this question can only be determined satisfactorily by ascertaining the quantity of water which can be delivered through the canal at Piketon from Chillicothe, from which source alone the supply must come, if that level is adopted. And if, to avoid a possible failure in this respect, the lower level be adopted, a great additional expense and length of line must be incurred, which the experiment above alluded to will probably prove to be unnecessary. Although preliminary examinations on this part of the line may be made during the present season, if circumstances and the means of the board will permit, a final and determinate location of this part of the canal cannot be prudently made.

In order to satisfy inquiries which are frequently made by our citizens in person and through the medium of the newspapers, we applied to the acting commissioners for information relative to the progress of the work on the Ohio canal, and as the foregoing facts were principally derived from them, they may be relied upon by the public. (30)

Abstract 28 - H July 14:3/3

We observe that the Ohio canal commissioners are now in New York and have issued proposals for the loan of $1,000,000. They have accompanied their proposals with the following explanatory observations: Provision is made by law for two canals, the first extending from Lake Erie to the Ohio river, the other extending from the city of Cincinnati to Dayton, at the confluence of Mad river and the Great Miami, composing together an extent of more than 370 miles. (9)

Abstract 29 - H July 28:3/1

A letter has been received by a gentleman in this village from the Ohio canal fund commissioners, now in New York, dated the 17th inst., which states that they had received proposals for a loan of $1,000,000 at six per cent interest, with a small premium. (verbatim) (1)

Abstract 30 - H Aug. 4; ed:3/1

We learn from the New York papers that the Ohio canal loan of 1,000,000 was taken by John Jacob Astor. The loan was at six per cent and was taken at a premium. Proposals to an amount of nearly $3,000,000 were offered to the fund commissioners.

The Sandusky CLARION a few weeks ago informed the public that "the second application for a loan in favor of the Ohio Canals, had completely failed," when, in fact, no such application had been made; and that "our Commissioners were sent home without a dollar," while the truth appears to be that they had not returned at all. So far from being unsuccessful in this second application, they were offered nearly three times as much money as they wanted, and on terms as favorable as could be expected, considering the state of the money market.

"If the CLARION had any character to lose, three months ago, it has certainly none now; and we may expect, of course, it will hereafter be still mote regardless of truth and decency than ever. What string they will pull upon next, to gull the Sandusky people, and promote the views of a certain speech-writer and would-be Congressman, time will show; but unless the subscribers of the CLARION possess more gullibility than men in general, they will begin to manifest their displeasure at the repeated attempts to impose upon their credulity." (6)

H Sept. 1; ed:3/1 - See Newspapers

Abstract 31 - H Sept. 8; adv:3/5

Notice! In consequence of my ill health and other causes, the letting of the canal contract between Kendal and Goshen will be postponed, probably until some time in October. Alfred Kelley, acting commissioner. (1)

Abstract 32 - H Sept. 8; adv:3/5

Canal Transportation - Pilot Line - Joy and Webster at Buffalo and Joy, Brace and Company at Albany, proprietors of the above line of boats, will at all times carry freight and passengers with as much expedition, safety, and promptness as any other establishment upon the Erie canal." (2)

Abstract 33 - H Sept. 29; adv:3/5

Proposals in writing will be received at New Philadelphia Oct. 18 for the construction of the various sections of the Ohio canal between section No. 44, now under contract near Massillon, Stark county, and Goshen in Tuscarawas county. The line to be let is upwards of 30 miles in length, will contain seven or eight locks, one or two dams of considerable magnitude, and several large culverts. The work must be finished by the first day of July, 1828, without fail. (4)

Abstract 34 - H Oct. 6; adv:3/5

I wish to contract with some responsible person to haul out of the river about 10,000 feet of square timber, and pile up the same in a straight and regular manner, so as to prevent it from getting crooked or to be winding. The timber is now lying in rafts. Proposals in writing for hauling it out, by the foot, left at the Post Office in this village, within two weeks, will be duly attended to. A. Kelley, Acting Canal Commissioner. (2)

Abstract 35 - H Dec. 8; ed:3/1

Coal of an excellent quality exists in quantities sufficient to supply the consumption of the United States for centuries, in the immediate vicinity of the Ohio canal. Steam is said to be a cheaper power to apply for manufacturing purposes than water.

"If this be the fact, we see no reason why the 'American policy' may not be pursued on the Canal line, and even at this village, to any required extent. (4)

Abstract 36 - H Dec. 8; adv:3/6

Notice! All persons are forbidden by statute under a heavy penalty to travel on the towing path bank of the canal with wagons, carriages, &c., and measures will be immediately taken to enforce the penalty against all those who travel on the bank of the canal where it is finished, or nearly so, with wheel carriages or runners of any kind. Alfred Kelley acting commissioner.

(From Annals of Cleveland - 1818-1935, Volume IX (1826), pages 7 through 11. 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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