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Mr. Atwater, a member from Pickaway county, laid on the table a resolution for appointing a committee of five members on schools and school lands, which resolution also passed, and à committee was appointed accordingly. This fact is brought forward here, to show the entire harmony between those who were endeavoring to bring about the great revolution in our civil policy, which has succeeded the wretched state of things before the canal, school and equitable mode of taxation, systems, were introduced among us.
Mr. Williams and his committee, of whom he was the soul, attended strictly to their duty. They had considerable difficulty from various sources to contend withi, but by address, care, prudence and discretion, he and his committee overcame all opposition. On the third day of January, 1822, he presented to the house an able and elaborate report recommending the passage of a law, authorizing an examination into the practicability of connecting lake Erie with the Ohio river, by a canal. He introduced a bill immediately after his report was read, which embraced the views which his report recommended.
To this bill, in all its stages on its passage through the house, there was a steady hostility kept up by about thirteen members, whose names will forever stand on the journal of that house, in large capitals. We name them not. On Monday January 21st 1822, Mr. Williams's bill passed the house on its third reading. And it became a law, on its engrossment and third reading in the senate on the 31st of January 1822. On the same day, and hour, the joint resolution for appointing seven commissioners of schools and school lands passed the senate. The same messenger from the senate to the house announced the final passage of both in the senate, in the same message.
Thus it appears that both these measures originated in the house of representatives on the 6th day of December, and that both became laws on the 31st of January thereafter; they originated within fifteen minutes of each other, and they passed into laws simultaneously.
By the passage of the act, for that purpose, a certain number of commissioners were appointed, whose duty it was to employ an engineer to examine the country and report on the practicability of making a canal from lake Erie to the Ohio river. Those commissioners employed the Honorable James Geddes of Onondaga county, New York, as an engineer, who arrived at Columbus, the seat of government, in the month of June 1822. He had already entered on bis arduous labors.
On his way he had examined the Cuyahoga summit. In the spring, summer and autumn of 1822, Mr. Geddes examined the country for a canal. a distance in length amounting to nine hundred miles. Our engineers, Samuel Forrer and oth. ers, leveled eight hundred miles with one instrument. Al this was done in less than eight months.
The commissioners themselves assisted in the examination, and devoted nearly all their time to this service. These commissioners continued the examination of the different canal routes during the whole season, for such works, in the years 1823-4, and finally, early in the year 1825, determined, on the route commencing at Cleveland and ending at Portsmouth on the Ohio river. They also determined on making a canal from Cincinnati to Dayton, on the Great Miami river. In the mean time a board of canal fund commissioners had been created by law, and a stock had been created, and these fund commissioners had borrowed money in New York city sufficient to begin the excavation of the canals, and carry on the work the first year. All this being done, and having also appointed David S. Bates Esquire, of Rochester New York, chief engineer, and as many assistants as necessary; in fine, every other preparation being made, the canal commissioners, and all our constituted authorities-our whole people indeed, invited DEWITT CLINTON, governor of New York to be present at the commencement of making our canals.
Governor Clinton, attended by his aids, colonel Jones and colonel Reed, colonel Solomon Van Renselạer of Albany, who had traversed the state when a wilderness, as an officer under general Wayne; Messrs. Rathbone and Lord, who had. loaned us the money with which to commence the canal, and judge Conkling, United States district judge, of the state of New York, started from Albany, New York, and landed at Cleveland Ohio, in June 1825. They arrived at Newark near the Licking summit, on the third day of July on a beautiful afternoon. Here were asseinbled to meet, welcome and receive these distinguished friends of Ohio, the governor of Obio, JEREMIAH MORROW, the good, able and patriotic chief magistrate of a state which he had long faithfully served in many high trusts; our secretary of state; the state auditor; the treasurer; all our members of congress; nearly all our members of the legislature; the millitary to a great number of all arms, dressed in their best attire, with all their arms. And there were present also nearly all those who had so long and so faithfully written, printed and published so much on the subject of a canal. The whole number amounted to many thousands.
As soon as governor Clinton's carriage appeared on the public square, all these thousands rent the air with their loud huzzas of welcome, to DeWITT CLINTON, “ the father of internal improvements.” Four companies of artillery fired one hundred guns, in honor of the state's guest. Of this great as. semblage, many of them were personally known to governor Clinton, and all of them were his personal friends, with many of whom he had all along corresponded on the subject which, had brought them together. The meeting of so many old friends on an occasion so dear to all their hearts, was deeply affecting to all present.
On the 4th day of July 1825, forty-nine years after the declaration of independence, this great work of connecting lake Erie with the Ohio river, by a navigable canal, was commen
ced, by the sons of those who achieved the independence of their country. With the citizens of Ohio, this day will be forever held doubly sacred.
The day was as fair as heart could desire, and the summit where the first shovel full of earth was to be excavated, was three miles or more westwardly of Newark. The underbrush was cleared off from an acre or more in the woods, near the summit, where under many wide spreading beech trees, tables and seats were placed for the assemblage to dine. GotLEIB STEINMAN of Lancaster, made these preparations and furnished a dinner for all this large company. " At an early hour in the morning of the 4th, the whole asi semblage moved from Newark, on to the ground which had been prepared for them. Governor Clinton, governor Morrow, and the state officers went to the ground on the summit, and excavated each a few shovel fulls of earth. After this ceremony was performed, these officers retired to a rude platform, un, der a shade, where, being seated, Thomas Ewing Esquire, our late United State: senator, delivered an address on the occasion, to the people and to governor Clinton. This address was replied to by governor Clinton, who was repeatedly interrupted by the loud huzzas of the thousands there assembled. As soon as his address was finished, one burst of universal applause from all present, followed it. One hundred guns told the world that the canal was begun. At these demonstrations of respect and gratitude, spontaneously given, governor Clinton wept. Surrounded as he always had been, by the politicians of his own state, such tokens had never before been tendered him. They overcame his feelings for a moment, and he shed tears. This was a foretaste of the applause which posterity will certainly forever bestow on his gigantic labors for their benefit. So long as the Hudson, Erie and Ohio are connected by canals, so long will his memory be blessed.
The addresses having been delivered, the company sat down to dine in the shade of wide spreading beeches. The Gov'ernors of Ohio and New York occupied the highest places at the table, and the state officers of both states sat next to them. Toasts were drank, in honor of the day, and of the particular occasion, which had called this vast assemblage, together, but when governor Clinton's health was drank, all the guns were fired, and the small arms also. In addition to the hundred guns from the cannon, and all the small arms, the air was rent, by thousands of voices, huzzaing for the state's guest. · On the 5th of July, Governor Clinton was escorted to Lancaster, where he tarried over night. On the next day, he and a great concourse who followed and accompanied him, went to Columbus, the seat of the state government. Here, on the next day, in the capitol, in the presence of all the state officers and of a large assemblage of both sexes, governor Morrow delivered an address to governor Clinton, which the latter answered in an appropriate and eloquent manner. A public dinner ended the proceedings of the day. Escorted from Columbus, to Springfield, by a large number of gentlemen, either in carriages or on horse back, governor Clinton was received by the people of the town last named as he had been, by those of Columbus. The Governor of New York was addressd by CHARLES ANTHONY Esquire, in behalf of the citizens of Springfield. On the next day after partaking of a public dinner, the two Gove ernors and their escort, moyed forward twenty-five miles to Dayton. Here on the next day, surrounded by a vast crowd of citizens, governor Clinton was addressed in behalf of the citizens assembled, by the Honorable JOSEPH H. CRANE, a member of congress. There was a public dinner here, after the address and its answer. On the next day, the two Governors went to Hamilton. Here were an address by the peoples' member of congress John.Wood Esquire, and a public dinner, given by the citizens. From Hamilton, the cavalcade moved forward to the city of Cincinnati. Here a dinner had been gotten up for HENRY CLAY of Kentucky. This the governors of Ohio and New York attended as invited guests.