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THIS PERIOD ' EXTENDS FROM JULY 4TH, 1825. UNTIL 1837.
The original intention of the legislature which passed the act of February 4th 1825, was to make the Ohio and Erie canal, extending from lake Erie to the Ohio river, and the southern end of Miami and Maumee canal, from Cincinnati to Dayton. And provided congress made provisions for assisting us in continuing the last named canal to lake Erie, running almost wholly through United States lands, our legislature intended in such case to complete that canal to lake Erie, as they now are doing. .....
The Ohio and Erie canal could scarcely be said to have been completed until 1831-2, nor the Miami and Maumee canal from the Ohio river to Dayton until the locks at Cincinnati were finished in 1834.
The commissioners named in the act of January 31st 1822, were Benjamin Tappan, Alfred Kelley, Thomas Worthington, Ethan A. Brown, Jeremiah Morrow, Isaac Minor and Ebenezer Buckingham junior. This board appointed the acting commissioners, engineers, &c. Jeremiah Morrow having been elected governor of the state, résigned his office of commissioner; and in February 1823, Micajah T. Williams was appointed in his place. After the canals were fairly under way Messrs. Kelley and Williams were appointed acting commissioners, under whose superintendence these canals were constructed.
The total disbursements on canals up to December 1st, 1832, amounted to five millions one hundred and sixty-three thousand seven hundred and twenty-five dollars and twenty-four cents. The aggregate length of navigable canals constructed and owned by the state at that time, amounted to four hundred miles, comprising one hundred and eighty-four lift locks overcoming a total amount of ascent and descent of one thousand five hundred and forty-seven feet; nine guard locks; twentytwo aqueducts; two hundred and fourteen culverts; one hundred and eighty-two of which are of stone masonry, sixty of . wood; nine dams for crossing streams, and twelve feeder
dams. The main trunks of the Ohio and Miami canals have · each a minimum breadth of forty feet at the water line, and .. twenty-six feet at bottom with four feet depth of water. ...A large proportion of both, particularly of the Ohio canal, is
of much larger dimensions, having a breadth at the water line varying from sixty to one hundred feet, and a depth of from five to twelve feet. In many places, it even" exceeds, for considerable distances, these dimensions, both in breadth and depth. It has been a standing rule in the construction of the canals, to increase their dimensions beyond the minimum, in all places where it could be done without materially enhancing the cost.
The walls of the locks are of solid stone masonry, resting on floors composed of timbers laid crosswise of the pit, covered with planks three inches in thickness, both in the chambers and under the walls, and between the walls with an additional floor of two inch plank well joined, and secured with spikes to the timbers on which they rest. .. . ...
The face of the walls are of cut stone, laid in regular rangę work, and in lime mortar, the whole wall grouted with the same material. "The breadth of the locks is fifteen feet between the walls, and the length of the chambers, being the space between the upper and lower gates, ninety feet-ad
mitting boats seventy-eight feet in length, and fourteon feet ten inches in breadth, to pass freely through..
Aqueducts are constructed with wooden trunks, supported by piers of stone masonry, which, on the Ohio canal, with the exception of two small structures in the Cuyahoga valley, is of the same character as that used in the locks. The masonry of the others is of uncut, or hammer dresssed stone. "
The stone culverts on the Ohio canal, with the exception of a few of a small class, erected soon after the commencement of the work, are composed of arches, formed of stone, cut in reg: ular segments, and laid in range work, with wing and parapet
walls of cut stone. Those on the Miami canal, and a few on .. the Ohio canal, are composed of rough or uncut stone. . . .
Wood culverts are used for land drains, and to pass sman spring runs under the.canal, in situations where they will always be kept ander water, so as not to be liable to decay. : Large aqueducts and culverts, as well as dams, are found
ed on piles, except where rock or other secure foundations could be had. . . "
Where it has been found necessary to erect locks, in situations where the earth at the bottom of the pit was composed of light alluvion, mud, or quicksand, bearing piles have in some instances been used to form a secure and firm foundation. But mature reflection, confirmed by numerous experiments, has produced the conviction that a more secure, as well as more chenp foundation can be obtained by excavating the pit to an extra depth, and covering it with a stratum of coarse gravel of from one to two feet in thickness, wrought into puddle, in which the floor timbers are to be imbedded. This plan has therefore, in 'most instances, been adopted.
The Ohio and Erie canal, extending from the Ohio river at Portsmouth, to Cleveland on lake Erie, was finished in 1831-2. · It is three hundred and nine miles long...!
This main canal has many other canals connected with it. The side cut, leading from Lockburn to Columbus is eleven miles in length. Ascending the main canal tó Carrolton, a side cut canal, now finished to Lancaster, is making to the falls of
Hocking, and will be extended to Athens, and even to the Ohio river, perhaps, if practicable. This canal will be from seventy to one hundred miles in length.
In Licking county is a canal made, from the main trunk to Granville. Still' ascending to Dresden where we find the main canal is connected with the Muskingum river, by a dam and lock. By a series of dams, short canals and locks, along'. the last mentioned river, now in a state of forwardness as to completion, this water communication will be finished to the Ohio, at the mouth of the Muskingum at Marietta.
The next canal, connected with the main one, as we ascend it; -is the Walhonding canal, at Roscoe. This is making now, that is, about thirty miles of it, are soon to be finished. Ascending to Bolivar, in Tuscarawas county, (three miles or more from Zoar,) at the mouth of Sandy creek, a canal is making and will be finished, one hundred miles long. This canal connects Bolivar with the town of Beaver, on the Ohio river, thirty miles below Pittsburgh. Starting from near Beaver, another canal is rapidly making to intersect the main canal at or near Akron. The former passes by New Lisbon, the latter, by Warren, in Trumbull county. These last named canals are about equal in length and in their cost. Their length is one hundred miles, each, and their cost, one million of dollars each, or upwards. Though owned by private companies, in part, ' now, the state will soon be the sole owner of them.
· Extends from Cincinnati to Piqua, passing Middletown, Dayton &c. It is now finished the distance of one hundred miles and is rapidly extending northwards towards lake Erie. It is navigated about one hundred miles. Thirty miles of this canal extending from Piqua towards lake Erie, are now making, and an equal or greater distance, is extending from the mouth of Maumee bay at the lake, up the Maumee river. This canal will, when completed, be the longest one in this state. Where it touches the eastern line of Indiana, it will be
connected with the great. Wabash canal, extending to Evansville on the Ohio river.
The importance of this canal, passing through the Miami and Wabash valleys, down the Maumee valley to Manhattan, on lake Erie, is apparent to any one who looks at the maps of Ohio and Indiana. That branch of it, which passes along the .Wabash river, will do a vast deal of business for Indiana and Illinois states. It passes through the richest soil of both states. Our branch of this canal, passes through the Miami valley, the best cultivated portion of Ohio. The northern end of it, from lake Erie to Indiana line, will be sixty feet wide, six feet deep, with a double set of locks, so as to admit lake vessels, up into the heart of the country. Ohio has in possession, either in land or money, ample funds to complete this splendid canal. The amount of tonnage carried on it will, one day, be great, and exceed, perhaps, that carried on any other, in the western states. Side cut canals auxiliary to this, will be numerous, though but one is now making from the main trunk to Lebanon.
. . Other canals, from the Ohio and Erie canal are in contemplation and will finally be made, connecting lake Erie with it. One from Sandusky city to Lockburn; another from the mouth of Black river to connect the main canal with it, and several others.
To make all these additions, we have on hand two millions and a half of dollars; we have a small tax, annually levied on all the personal and real estate of Ohio, we have the industry, the enterprise, energy, and wealth of individuals, the canal tolls and the credit of this state. ';.
We had forgotten a canal now mąking from Cincinnati up White water into 'Indiana. This canal will throw into the Ohio river at an important point, the productions of the richest part of our neighboring state. It will be of great value to Cincinnati, and invaluable to a portion of Indiana. It is called,