Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal Company.

Annual report of the President and Directors of the Albemarle & Chesapeake Canal Company .. [serial] (Volume 1857) online

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Ueld at the Office of the Company, an the llili Jay of Xovinihcr, 1837

Pursuant to notice published for thirty days in the Nor-
folk and Portsmouth Herald, and in the Raleigh Standard,
and in the Democratic Pioneer of Elizabeth City, being the
day fixed by the last Annual Meeting, lield December 2d,
1856 — on motion, D. D. fSniMOXS was appointed Chairman,
and A. M. Burt, Secretary. The Chair appointed Col. J.
B. Jones {Proxy for the County of Currituck,) and the Hon.
J. M. SiiAW [Proxy for the State^of North Carolina,) a Com-
mittee to examine Proxies.

The Committee having examined the Proxies presented,
reported 888 votes represented by Proxies in due form. —
Besides these^ there were present in person Stockholders
who could cast 1,119 votes, making in all 2007 votes pres-
ent. The whole number of votes that could be cast by all
the Stockholders now on the books of the Company is 2482.

The Report of the Committee on Proxies was accepted.

The President of the Company submitted the Second An-
nual Report of the Board of Direction, which was read to the

On motion of H. M. Shaw, proxy fur the State of North
Carolina, the Report was received, and Messrs. H. M. Shaw,
A. M. Burt and K. Biggs were appointed a Committee to
examine the accounts.

On motion adjourned to to-morrow, at 2\ o'clock, P. M.

D. D. Simmons, Chairman.
^ A, M. BuRT^ Secretary.



November 12tli, 1857.

The moctin<5 ro-asseinbled [)Lirsuant to adjournment, Mr.
D. D. Simmons in the cliair.

Forty-iJirec votes present by proxy, which were present
yesterday in person_, making D31 votes liy proxy and 1076
in person.

The report of tlie Board of Direction was taken up.

Mr. SiiAW, chairman of Committee on Accounts, made a
verbal report; Mr. Buirr also made an explanation ; and on
motion of Doctor Tnos. V. Webb, seconded by T. D. Bar-
ton, the report was adopted. The meeting then proceeded
to the election of President, and Marshall Parks^ receiving
all the votes present, was declared elected President for the
ensuing year. On motion of Mr. Burt, it Avas

Iiesolvfd, That the number of Directors now to be elected
be six, and the same number be elected at the next annual
meeting, unless the meeting then resolve to elect a difterent

The meeting then proceeded to the election of six Direc-
tors, and Mr. T. D. Barton and John W. Parks, wei-e ap-
pointed tellers; the tellers reported that all the votes present
Avere cast for the following persons : B. T. Simmons, of N.
C. ; J. Gary Weston, Va. ; Tlios. V. Webb, Va. ; A. M.
Burt, New York ; L. H. Chandler, Va. ; James Gordon,

On motion of J. B. Jones, proxy for Currituck county —
Resolved, That the next annual meeting be held on the 13th
day of November, 1858.

On motion of J. W. Parks the proceedings of the meeting
Avere ordered to he printed.

On motion, adjourned.

D. D. Summons, Chaiiinan.

A. M. Burt, Secretary.


The Board of Direction of the Albemarle and Ciiesapeakr
Canal Company, respectfully submit to the Stockholders the
following as their second Annual Report :

Since the date of the last Report, the condition and pros-
pects of the Company have been very materially improved.
Prior to that date the Company had issued certain Bonds,
guaranteed by the State of North Carolina, and as security
ibr such guaranty, had executed to the State a mortgage ior
two hundred and fifty thousand dollars, covering its entire
property ; and had also pledged to the State so much of the
profits as should be sufficient to pay, semi-annually, the in-
terest upon the Bonds. Moreover, the Company was bound
to pay to the State an annual sum of $2,500 as a sinking
fund for the final redemption of the Bonds.

But within the past year, under auth'>rity of an Act of the
General Assembh' of Noi'th Carolina, these Bonds have been
withdrawn and canceled — the mortgage and pledge to the
State have been annulled — and, as a necessary consequence,
the obligation to pay the interest on the bonds and the an-
nual sum, for a sinking fund, amounting together to $17,-
500 a year, has ceased to exist.

Thus the Board have the satisfaction of stating that the
Company is free from debt, and its property wholly unin-
cumbered. In addition to this, the State of North Carolina
has subscribed to the Stock of the Company ^?yo hundred and
f ft// thousand dollars, and has bound herself, on the opening
of navigation^ to make a further subscription of one hundred
thousand dollars. Thus the State may be considered a stock-
holder, virtually, to the amount of three hundred, andjifly
thousand dollars. Of this sum, she has already paid $250,-
000 in her six per cent, coupon bonds.

The subscription, made as it was, at the same time that
many similar applications from other companies Avere reject-
ed, must be regarded as a high public recognition of the
great importance and value of the work.


The acts of incorporation confer upon the Company ex-
ceedingly liberal chartered rights and privileges. No stock-
holder is personally liable for any debt or liability of the
Company. The rates of tolls are left discretionary with the
Company, and in addition to tolls upon the Canal, revenue
may be derived from towage and transportation through it
and the waters with which it connects.

It is the intention of the Company to carry on the busi-
ness of Steam towing, and it is expected that the revenue
from this source will be nearly, if not quite equal to that
from tolls.


The wliole length of tlie line of navigation, ado})ted by the
Company, is about sixty-five miles.

Commencing in North Carolina at the mouth of North
River, (a wnde and deep tributary of Albemarle 8ound,) the
line extends northerly up that river to Bum}) Landing,
thence northerly across Powell's Point Neck^ through Coin-
jock Bay and Piney Island Marslr, to Currituck Sound ;
tlience northerly througli Currituck Sound and up the North
Landing River to North Landing in Virginia ; and tlience
westerly through the Great Bridge Swamp to the South-
west Brancli of Elizabeth River, in the vicinity of Norfolk.

Of tliis line, tlic length of independent Canal, exclusive
of improvements of natural water courses, is 14 kU, miles, sit-
uated as follows : In Nortli Carolina, from North River to
Currituck Sound, 5.05 ; Virginia, through rrrcat Bi-idge
Swamp, 8.45 ; 14 Z miles.

All the residue of the line consists of natural water cour-
ses, varying in width from three hundred feet to several


Nearly the whole length of the independent Canal lies
through swamp and low marsh, mostly covered by Avater at
all times. For this reason it was deemed most advisable in
the construction of tlie Canal, to employ steam excavators.

or dredges, indeed, it is doubtful whether it would have
been possible to do the work by any other means.

At the date of the last report, seven of these machines
were at work ; but since that time two more of greatly in-
creased power have been added, and another of the largest
class substituted in place of one of the old ones ; so that for
the last six months the number of dredges have been nine,
distributed upon the line as follows :

On North Carolina Section, 2 ; Nortli Landing, East end
Virginia Swamp, 2 ; Old's Point, near Middle of Virginia
Swam]), 2 ; Great Bridge, west end of Virginia Swamp, 3 ;
total, 9.

Had the work been really of tlie cliaracter which all par-
ties interested supposed at the commencement, this powerful
array of steam machinery wouhl undoubtedly liave com-
pleted it by tins time.

But great and wholly unexpected obstacles have been met
witli in tlie largo number of cypress stumps and logs en-
countered in tlie excavation ; which, being entirely under
water and deeply rooted or embedded in the earth, are ex-
ceedingly difficult to remove.

At first this difficulty was supposed to be confined chiefly
to the margins of the streams ; but it is found, to a greater
or less extent, to characterize the whole line of the indepen-
dent Canal.

This unforeseen difficulty very seri(Uisly retards the pro-
gress of the work, besides adding largely to the cost of ex-

Nevertheless, the contractors liave persevered, and have
made sufficient progress in the work to demonstrate its en-
tire practicability, as avcII as their ability and determination
to complete it ; the question is now only one of time.

The aggregate length of excavation on the difterent sec-
tions, thus far, is a fraction over five miles, more than four-
fifths of Avliich is of the full contemplated width of the Ca-
nal. Of the remaining distance, about two miles consists of
the line across Conijock Bay, Avhicli is not more than equal
to a lialf mile of any other part of the Canal.


The longest unfinished section is the one in the Virginia
Swamp, between North Landing and Old's Pointy where the
distance now remaining between the foremast North Land-
ing dredge and the one approaching it from Old's Point, is
about 2f miles. Of course each of these machines has to ex-
cavate but about a mile and three-eights before they will

To secure the completion of this section by the time the
shorter sections are completed, the Board intend to urge
U]3on the contractors the expediency of placing a dredge at
a point intermediate the two last named ; if this be done, it
is believed a channel may be opened through the entire line
witliin the next twelve months.


The excavation of the Lockpit is completed as far as it can
be done without endangering the coffer dam. A powerful
steam pump has been set up, which easily removes the wa-
ter from the pit ; a steam pile-driver has also been built, by
which about one-third of the bearing piles, for the founda-
tion of the lock, had been driven, when sickness of the men
required a suspension of that part of the work.

The sickly season having passed, the work can now be
safely resumed ; and as the stone are already dressed and
delivered upon the ground, no detention on this part of the
work is anticipated.

The location of this, the only lock on the line, is at the
junction of the Canal with the Elizabeth River. It will be
the largest lock on the Atlantic Coast, and the largest but
two in the United States, being 220 feet long, by 40 ieet
Avide in the clear. The foundation is to be placed sufficiently
low to give a draft of eight ft. water at lowest tides. Being
merely a tide lock, it will have an average lift of only about
one foot ; while its capacity will be sufficient for the passage
of steam propellers or vessels carrying five hundred tons

Respectfully submitted, by order of the Board,

Marshall Parks, President.


Exhibiting the affairs of the Albemarle and Chesapeake Ca-
nal Company from commencement to the first clay
of October, 1857.

Subscription by individuals, . |515,400 00

Less individuals, unpaid,

393,109 93

Subscription State of North Carolina, .
" County of Currituck^ N. C,

Due Chief Engineer,

Contractors per centage retained, . . . .

A. M. Burt,

Interest account for interest received on Bonds,

Construction account,

Land and Land Damages,


Steam Dredges, &c., .

Contingent exj)enses.


Discount on Bonds sold.

Due by Currituck County,

Available funds North Carolina

State Bonds, ....
Currituck County Bonds,
Cash deposit Virginia Bank,

247,300 00

16,183 65

11,882 41

38,308 62

5,603 67

1,786 07

2,000 00

333 00

117,000 0(>

33,000 00

1,007 45

$122,290 07

250,000 00

44,000 00

$416,290 07

5,779 20

48,800 00

293 60

3,242 00

$474,404 87

$474,404 87

Office Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal Company,
October Lst, 1857.

J. M. Burt, Treasurer.


This book must not
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Online LibraryAlbemarle and Chesapeake Canal CompanyAnnual report of the President and Directors of the Albemarle & Chesapeake Canal Company .. [serial] (Volume 1857) → online text (page 1 of 1)