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cial navigation, 10742 are in canals of communication, 5655 in 64 the improvement of rivers.
The canals that have been actually commenced are as follows:
702 363 38 81 21
The Middlesex canal ; finished,
finished, the latter in progress, The Blackstone canal ; finished, In the state of New York :
The Champlain canal ; finished,
The Cayuga and Seneca canal ; finished,
The Morris canal; now well advanced,
The Schuylkill canal ; finished,
principal divisions are now in active progress.
prepared for navigation this spring,
Scioto division measures 322 miles, of which 2504
290 miles, of which 674 miles are finished, The Chesapeake and Ohio canal :
In satisfactory progress, and 50 miles finished,
The Deposite canal,
and west ; viz. from the tide water, through the
1104 105 41 56 14 18 23
Amount carried forward, 32116
Amount brought forward, 32115 ion between the two. Of this project, 37 miles along the James river section are finished,
726 In North Carolina : The Dismal swamp canal ; now nearly finished,
28 The Weldon canal,
12 In South Carolina : The Santee canal ; long since finished,
22 In Georgia : The Savannah and Ogatchee canal ; and the Ogatchee
and Alatamaha canal, to be finished by the year
66 In Kentucky :
The Louisville and Portland canal,
Total, finished, or in the course of execution, and in
cluding 198 miles of rail-road,
To this is to be added the Baltimore and Ohio rail-road,
which, in the work we have quoted, is included in the estimates,
Miles, 350 Of the remaining 6838 miles of canals that are merely projected, by far the greater part are of only local importance. Those which may be considered as national in their character, from their being necessary to connect important natural navigations, or as accessories to a defensive system in future war, are as follows:
Miles. 26 35
Canal between Barnstable and Buzzard's bays,
sound with Beaufort Harbour, North Carolina,
and the Savannah river,
no surveys have yet been made, From St. Mary's river to the Apalachicola,
3 2 30 45
Thus, then, there are but four hundred and eleven miles of canal to be executed, being twenty-two miles less than the canals executed by the state of New-York alone, in order to make an inland communication from Boston to New Orleans. The difficulties of execution and the cost would also probably be less than in those canals. To the general government, the object is of incalculable value, the probable expenditure of little or no moment, while the several portions are of so little interest to the states in which they are placed, and many so unimportant, except as parts of one great scheme, that there is no great hope that either the state legislatures, or individuals authorized by them, will ever undertake more than a very small proportion of our list. Other lines of communication are also important in a national point of view. Of these we should first mention a connexion between the lakes and the Mississippi. This is about to be effected in two different directions by the state of Ohio ; but another, by the way of Lake Michigan and the Illinois river, is needed even at the present moment, and ought to receive the assistance of the national government.
The New-York Erie canal, as we have seen, turns the Alleghany ridge on the north ; the Pennsylvania canals, the Baltimore and Ohio rail-roads, the Chesapeake and Ohio canals, the Virginia canals, all seek to cross the mountains directly. Their utility, however, appears to be rather local than national, their intention rather to bring certain ports of the seaboard into competition for the trade of the west, with New-York and NewOrleans, than as conducing to the general benefit. One of them has, however, received liberal patronage from the national legislature, and we would not wish to oppose the same boon being granted to the others. A navigation that would turn the mountains to the south, as the Erie canal does upon the north, would be as important to the general interests of the nation, as the Erie canal itself is. For this, the Tennessee and Savannah rivers appear to point out facilities even greater than those enjoyed and improved by the state of New-York. The Tennessee is navigable from its confluence with the Ohio, to the foot of the Muscle shoals in the state of Alabama, a distance of two hundred and fifty miles. The extent of the Muscle shoals is about twentyfive miles, and must be passed by a canal. From thence the river is navigable again for six hundred and twenty-five miles, to Tellico block house. Hence to Augusta on the Savannah river, the distance, by a canal route that has been partially explored, is two hundred and fifty miles, and from Augusta to the mouth of the Savannah, a distance of one hundred and fiftyeight miles, the river is already navigable. It may, perhaps, be still questionable, whether the space between Augusta and Tellico be practicable for a canal, but if it be, there is no part of the United States that calls so imperatively for the immediate attention of the general government, and liberal appropriations for the execution of the work.
following portions have been either actually executed, or are in a state which promises speedy completion.
Miles. Merrimack river,
110 Connecticut river, above Hartford,
220 Potomac river,
182 Appomatox river,
110 Roanoke river,
322 Dan river,
150 Cape Fear river,
200 Wateree and Catawba,
275 Saluda river,
128 Seneca river,
In addition, annual appropriations have been made upon the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, to remove the accidental obstruc tions to which they are liable.
of the remaining river navigations, whose improvement has been proposed, we can quote none that possesses general and national importance, however valuable many of them unquestionably are to large extents of country.
In respect to the several proposed channels of communication which we have selected as national, no doubt can be entertained that their entire execution as parts of one great and important system, would be of incalculable benefit to our country.. It only remains to ask, by whom or under what auspices they shall be performed, and there can be but one answer by the Federal Government. We are aware, that the factious may at one time set up state rights to thwart an administration to which they are in opposition, that at another, a timid administration may seek to avoid responsibility, by throwing the rejection of an appropriation rather upon a principle than upon its own merits; or that a tottering administration may at another, seek popularity by declining to exercise its just powers: but the rea.. son of the case unquestionably is, that where the means of doing good are vested, there must the power exist. The Federal Government is not merely a confederation of distinct states, but the representation of the majority of a single and homogeneous people ; and in this government was vested the sole power of collecting the vast revenues derived from our foreign commerce, and a right equal and co-ordinate with that of the separate states, of imposing internal taxes: it certainly required no direct enactment to show, that the funds derived from these sources might be devoted to whatever object the three branches of legislative authority should conceive it proper to apply them,