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* Patomak is 7; miles wide at the mouth; 4; at Nomony Bay; 3 at Aquia; 1; at Hallooing Point; 44 at Alexandria. Its soundings are, 7 fathom at the mouth; 5 at St. George's island; 4; at Lower Matchodic; at Swan's Point, and thence up to Alexandria; thence 10 feet water to the falls, which are 13 miles above Alexandria.” The distance from the Capes of Virginia to the termination of the tidewater in this river is above 3oo miles; and navigable for ships of the reatest burthen nearly to that place. From thence this river, obstrućted i. four considerable falls, extends through a vast traćt of inhabited country towards its source. These falls are, 1st, The Little Falls, three miles above tide water, in which distance there is a fall of 36 feet: 2d, The Great Falls, fix miles higher, where is a fall of 76 feet in one mile and a quarter: 3d, The Seneca Falls, six miles above the former, which form fhort, irregular rapids, with a fall of about 1o feet; and 4th, the Shenandoah Falls, 60 miles from the Seneca, where is a fall of about 30 feet in three miles; from which last, Fort Cumberland is about 120 miles distant. The obstrućtions, which are opposed to the navigation above and between these falls, are of little consequence. Early in the year 1785, the Legislatures of Virginia and Maryland pasfed ačts to encourage opening the navigation of this river. It was estimated that the expence of the works would amount to s. 50,000 sterling, and ten years were allowed for their completion. . At present the president and direétors of the incorporated company suppose that s.45,ooo will be adequate to the operation, and that it will be accomplished in a shorter period than was stipulated. Their calulations are founded on the progress already made, and the summary mode lately established for enforcing the colle&tion of the dividends, as the money may become necessary. On each share of £. Ioo, the payment of only 4.40 has yet been demanded. * According to the opinion of the president and directors, locks will be necessary at no more than two places—the Great and the Little Falls: fix at the former, and three at the latter. At the latter nothing has yet been attempted. At the Great Falls, where the difficulties were judged by many to be insurmountable, the work is nearly completed, except sinking the lock-seats, and inserting the frames. At the Seneca Falls the laborious part of the business is entirely accomplished, by removing the obstacles and graduating the descent; so that nothing remains but to finish the channel for this gentle current in a workmanlike manner. At the Shemandoah, where the river breaks through the Blue Ridge, though a prodigious quantity of labour has been bestowed, yet much is still to be done before the passage will be perfected. Such proficiency has been made, however, that it was expected, if the summer had not proved uncommonly rainy, and the river uncommonly high, an avenue for a partial navigation would have been opened by the first of January, 1789, from Fort CumberIand to the Great Falls, which are within nine miles of a shipping port. As it has happened, it may require a considerable part of this year for its accomplishment. - - As soon as the proprietors shall begin to receive toll, they will doubtless find an ample compensation for their pecuniary advances, . By an estimate made many years ago, it was calculated that the amount, in the commenceinent mencement, would be at the rate of s. 11,875, Virginia currency, per annum. The toll must every year become more produćtive, as the quantity of articles for exportation will be augmented in a rapid ratio, with the increase of population and the extention of settlements. In the mean time the effect will be immediately seen in the agriculture of the interior country: for the multitude of horses now employed in carrying produce to market, will then be used altogether for the purpose of tillage. But, in order to form just conceptions of the utility of this inland navigation, it would be requisite to notice the long rivers which empty into the Patomak, and even to take a survey of the geographical position of the western *Iwaters. The Shemandoah, which disembogues just above the Blue Mountains, may, according to report, be made navigable, at atrifling expence, more than 150 miles from its confluence with the Patomak ; and will receive and bear the produce of the richest part of the state. The South Branch, Itill higher, is navigable in its aćtual condition nearly or quite 100 miles, through exceedingly fertile lands. Between these, on the Virginia fide, are several smaller rivers, that may, with facility, be improved, so as to afford a passage for boats. On the Maryland fide are the Monocasy, Antietam, and Conegocheague, some of which pass through the state of Maryland, and have their sources in Pennsylvania. From Fort Cumberland (or Wills’ Creek) one or two good waggon roads may be had (where the distance is said by some to be 35, and by others 40 miles) to the Yohogany, a large and navigable branch of the Monongahela; which last forms a junction with the Allegany at Fort Pitt: from whence the river takes the name of the Ohio, until it loses its current and name in the Mississi P1. g” But, by passing farther up the Patomak than Fort Cumberland, which may very easily be done, a portage by a good waggon road to the Cheat River, another large branch of the Monongahela, can be obtained through a space which some say is 20, others 22, others 25, and none more than 30 miles. When we have arrived at either of these western waters, the navigation through that immense region is opened in a thousand directions, and to the lakes in several places by portages of less than 10 miles; and by one Portage, it is asserted, of not more than a single mile. Notwithstanding it was sneeringly said by some foreigners, at the beginning of this undertaking, that the Americans were fond of engaging in splendid projects which they could never accomplish; yet it is hoped
will, in some degree, rescue them from the reproach intended to have been fixed upon their national character, by the unmerited imputation. ‘. The Great Kamhaway is a river of confiderable note for the fertility of its lands, and still more, as leading towards the head waters of James river. Nevertheless, it is doubtful whether its great and numerous rapids
will admit a navigation, but at an expt use to which it will require ages to
render its inhabitants equal. The great obstacles begin at what are called the Great Falls, 90 miles above the mouth, below which are only five or fix rapids, and these passable, with some difficulty, even at low water.