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3 1833 01470 9635

Gc 977.2 t-447 v. 6

Newspaper c H p p i n g s on the
Wabssh and Erie Canal


Newspaper Clippings on the Wabash and Erie Canal v. 6
June 1863 - October 1872


Chicafjo, June 3

The Convention assembled at 8 o'clock. The President was in the
Chair, Mr. Ruggles, from the Committee on Resolutions, submitted a
resolution which appealed to Congress to take action in regard to a
ship canal around the Falls of Niagara. Several speeches were made
on resolutions. A delegate from Iowa submitted an amendment directing
the attention of Congress to the improvement, of Des .Moines Rapids.
Jhr. Arnold, of Illinois, presented a series of resolutions succinctly
setting forth the advantages of a ship canal to Illinois, and directing
the attention of Congress to the importance of the work. These, to-
gether with the resolution presented by Mr. Ruggles, were referred to
a committee and the Convention adjourned till 3 o'clock,

Ruggles reported the following:

We, the representatives of loyal States, assembled in National
Convention, being desirous of cementing closer the Union, for per-
petuating our national life forever, of providing for our common
defense, and promoting the general welfare of the v;hole country, adopt
the follov;ing resolutions:

R figolyp^ tj, That we regard the construction and enlargement of the
canals between the Mississippi river and the Atlantic, with canals
duly connecting the Lakes, as of great military and commercial importance;
we believe such enlargement and construction, with dimensions sufficient
to pass gunboats from the Mississippi to Lake Michigan, and from the
Atlantic to and from the Great Lakes, will furnish the cheapest and most


expedious means of protecting our Northern frontier, and at the same
time vail promote the rapid development and permanent union of our whole

Rgifiiitad, That these vjorks are demanded alike by military prudence
and political ivisdom and the necessities of commerce; such works will
not only be national but continental, and their accomplishment is
required by every principle of sound political economy.

Rei ^plved , That such national highways between the Mississippi and
the Lakes, as far as practicable, should be free v;ithout toils or

„ should deprecate placing this great

thoroughfare in the ««_„„ . private corporation or State;

the work should be accomplished by the national credit, and as soon as
the cost is reimbursed to the national treasurcy, the canals should
be as free as the lakes to the commerce of the world.

These resolutions were adopted without a dissenting voice.

Mr. Ruggles, for himself, offered the following.

Rnsol^ved, That this Convention is of the opinion that increased
stimulas vjould be given to agriculture and commerce in increasing the
transportation for vrestern produce by the proposed enlargement
of the canal; and ;vill so far increase the foreign commerce of the country
that the import duties on return cargoes will wry far exceed the interest
on cost of the proposed works, and produce a fund for its rapid re-

Carried unanimously.

A resolution was adopted for the appointment of a committee by the
President to prepare a memorial to President and Congress, presenting the
views of this Convention, and urging the passage of laws necessary to
carry them into full effect; the committee to have power toqien such

correspondence as may be expedient; and in their discretion call any
further convention, at any meeting duly notified by the Chairman, to
constitute a quorum.

The President of the Convention announced the Committee as follov;s:
J. N. Arnold, of Illinois; Samuel L, Cassey, of Ky.; L, Dawes, of Mass.;
T. C. Horsey, of Me; I. H. Edv\fards, of N. H; J. T. Morrill, of Vt;
Duncan Stewart, of Mich; R. J. Arnold of R. I; Calvin Day, of Conn.;
T. J, Homer, of Mich.; F. Chamberlain of Ohio; R. P. Hill, Iowa;
A. G. Lowe, of N. Y.; R. Blakely, of Minn.; Dr. Anthony, of Kansas;
J, T. Lewis, of VJisconcin.

A resolution tendering thanks to the President for the able,
dignified and accomplished manner in which he presided over this con-
vention was passed unanimously.

Gen. V/albridge, of N. Y., closed the convention by submitting a
series of very strong resolutions sustaining the integrity of the
Constitution and Union and in favor of organizing the militia of the
States, and pledging the Convention never to abandon until final
success, the contest nov; going on in behalf of the Constitutional
Government, and that any foreign intervention should be met with prompt
decicive and energetic resistence.

The resolutions were carried amid intense enthusiasm, and the
Convention adjourned sige jiie.

The convention was entirely harmonious.



The following letter from that old and distinguished engineer Jesse
L. Williain formerly chief engineer in the service of the State of Indiana
was handed to me by M. W. Hubbell, Esq, novf of t is city, who was an engi-
neer under Mr. Williams in the survey of the Erie and Michigan canal,
V7ill give inter"stinp- information to our citizens. Mr. Hubbell requested
me to attend to its publication accompanied by such remarks as I might
choose to make.

It only occurs to me novr to supply a ve/vy im.p'-rtant omission
of tbe letter. In the reoort of Mr. Williams, made in 18?9 to the Indiana
Legislature, he suggested an impr^ve^'^ent of the line which seem.s to be
more important than the line by the Gig St. Joe. It is a route from
near South Bend along the Kankakee to the ■'Illinois canal, or lerving
t-e Kankakee valley, entering the valley of the Calumet, and thence
through a large marsh in the direction of the Illinnis canal, to its
connection with that canal below Lockport. As the Illinois canal is to
be enlarged for the pa of large steameAs, it seems very important
to us that any canal across the loeninsuia s' ould connect v/it it. It
is believed that ^/ means of reserv-^irs in the Kankakee a.nd Calumet
valleys, water enough for a large steam-er canal m.ay be obtained. The
great imr^ortance to Toledo of a cr-nal so connected bringing, as it would,
connection vriththe steamboatable waters of the Miasissipoi basin — must
be ovVious to all.

So gre^^t a work belongs to the future but our future, it is believed,

will warrant its construction.

J. W. S.
Fort Wayne, Dec £?, 1865

M. W. Huboell, Esq, Toledo

Dear Sir: I have -our note of the 20th inst., requesting a copy
of my survey of t^^e Erie and Mlchig;an canal and its reservoirs, made in
1P?9, Short of t^^e public archives at Indianapolis, I mav not be able
to find one. But I think a letter from me upon this subject, x^ritten
to "r. Scott of Buffalo, some six or eipht years apo, givine- the facts
in detail , '-ras published in the Toledo Blade of that date.

I no\r th'i nk I should enlarge 'Our canal to the head of Maumee
ranids, thence slacl^/^ater the Maumee to Fort V/ane, thence a canal 70
miles over the route once adopted and comm'^ncedA)y the State r)f Indiana
to the raouth of the Elkhart, from Khich point sla*?kwater the Big St,
Joseph to Lake Michigan.

AbO'it the "oerlod tcVw hich I refer, the Legislature of Nev^ York
granted a charter for a shio canal across the peninsula, with a capital'
of 5^25,000,000. I T-jas then apcli-d to for the facts, and hence the
letter referred to, in which the Mauijiee and. Big S:. Joseph route was
shown to be the only pratlcable line, If, inde d there is any practicability
in the project.

It will be rnderstood that the engineering question, in respect to
which there Is doult, is that of collecting on the Noble county summit
level, by means of reservoirs, a sufficiency of crater to supi^ly le-'kage
and lockage for a ship cpnal. The drainage of the entire district lying
above the summit level, collected in reservoirs, v/onld mly supply 40
feet canal with four feet depth. The additional o'lantity for a shiy can^l
must be stored in a reservoir in the valley of the Elkhart on a level
20or 7.0 feet below, and raised on to the summit as required, by machinery,
as is done at Chicago for the supply cf the Illinois and Michigan canal.

Another engineri\ing feature added to the expense of the vrork and the

tedlnusness of its navip-atlon if built, is in the amount of lockage, being
about ."^OO feat on the east and 15 fe^t less on the west side of the
summit, tha^ beinr t>^e difference of level between the two lakes re-
quiring in all say 50 loc'ks, averag-inp 10 fe^" lift,

I confess the undertaking seems formidable. But the American
people have a passion for "Big jobs, and seem also to have a v/ay of
accomplishin-p- them. The converslaY\ of the Maumec ancS St. Joseph rivers
into a ship channel, by dams and locks, is without do-bt, practicable.

^'he first su. gestion of a ship canal from lake to lake which I
noticed, v/as in a commtmication fro V/lllian B. Orden, Esq., published
'- ^ a Chicago parier seven or eight yeaSs ago. It's renewal at frequent
intervals indicates a strone desire in commercial circles to shorten the
ship transit between Chicago and Buffalo. I have noticed only the
topooirarhlcal features bearing upon its practicability, v;lthout refer-
ence to cost, leavinrr othey-s to consider thp financial aspect, and t he
or'^'oortion of freio'ht traffic X'.'hich would take the canal, with its
large amount of lockage, in competition vrith the circuitous but free
route bv Mackinaw,

I mav add t>^at\the su.rvey of the summit section, made u nder ny
direction twenty six ye^-rs ago, was very minute and exhaustive, covering
the v;bole district betv^een Fort Wayne a,nd the Elkhart river, and extend-
ing some miles north of the route of the Air Line railr'~'?d.

Very truly, J. L. Williams.

".S Indianapolis Daily Journal January 11, 1856


The Ii*-^i.yette Jo'ir^nal h?..s an article on ths importance to tliat city
and the V/abash Valley of the Wabash and Erie Canal, very properly in-
eiatlng that railroads can never supply the place of water transpor-
tation. An old and well-knoT-m citizen furnishes the Journal with an
article etv^r'^ly urrjng this natt?>" upon the people cf Lafayetts , in
'"^jch the justly £c.ys:

"Rallro£:,d6 are necessary a'^<'' should he car;d for, and must, if
we would prosper, be radiated in every direction; but in cur zeal for
railroads ma;, we not have under? st-' '-^- ted ths advantages of the canal,
but for Tvhich we should at this moment be paying largely increased
prices for our wood, coal, Duilding stone, gravel, 40. ^ Sco. , not to
say anything of the advantages for water power, its cbec:- upon the con:-
binations of monopolies for the transportation of all our agricultural
products tc marVet. In fact it ie t^? on"!;^'' ^'^ov-er ^e-^t to the people
through which they can exercise any controlling influence on railroad
comoinations and ronopolies.

The impr^'? - ' -'- - <^ sought to be mad3 upon the pubJic mind by paid
orators, that canals c^re ar obsolete idee, and that t>^e waters mu?t be
remanded back to the^r original uses, "for cattle to drink and fishes
to sv.'im in." The experience of t>^e past forty years doer, not 5t;stain
thc;t position. England, -'^tn h?- net worh cf >^c.ilroadE a] i ove^ the
island, still surtains and iirproves iier canals. So of France, Belgium,
and all of G-ermany, and it is also true of the United States. Every
canal in the United. States which, when bu.ilt, was of an^" im.port::noe ,
except :;uch ac brve been bougnt up by railroads, (and wner such has
been the fact, -^b:^ writer pseerts that the freights on an fuel, build-
ing material, -ic, &c . , have been increased cne hundred per cent to the
people,) are now in successful oper'^t^'^n, isnr>. ar-o being depended and

iiiidened and n-'-rp .-.t-' -^'-r.? adv ntageous to the people and to the
operators of the canal. New Yo^y hr & not rb£.ndoned her c. nai£, and
wjll not. Pennsylvania canals are paying larger dividends than most
of her roads, except such '° h-^ve be:^n purcht.3eri hv her roads. The
hio canals are Deing steadily llproved and increasing in "business.
The Illinois and Michigan Canal transports al2 the grain of the re-
gion throur^ x-.'hich it passes, notwithstanding the Rock Island Road runs
along its banl^ for one hundred Tiiles It 2 ^nt^re length. Our oivn
Wabash Sc Erie Canla, so far as transportation or boats are furnished -
say to Peru — takes very largely more of the cerals to T?ledo than our
very good and cheap railroad.

Indipn-^ By-cid, October 2), 1860

The Wabash Canal — It Is to Be Maintained

We clip the following favoratle notice of the meeting of those
Interested in the W=bash and Erie C=nf?l, from the Lafayette Courier .

of the 12th inst. :

The annual meeting of the manoging partners of the Watash and
Erie Can-1 Company was held yeste-day and last evening, at the office
of the company, at which were present renresent^tives f:'on almost all
prominent points on the canal.

In addition to the officers and friends of the canal, resident
in this State, a delegation representing the leading houses in Toledo,
and also Colonel B. W. Manyrienny, General Agent of the Ohio Canal
Company, were also present in consu.ltption.

The annual report of thp General Manager, C "^ onel Colton, showed
the company in a -inch bette'^ condition than it'^ friends had reason to
hope, after the di??astrious floof^s of l-pt ye^r, it nov being in
better navisable condition than for years past, an^'^ financially in a
position that insures beyon'^ a nuestion its future success . After
a full interchange of views by the different parties in interest, a
pl?n Was adopted, to move clcpely and unite the Ohio Canal Company
with the V/abash and Erie Cgn^l in develot)ing their mutual business
interests. The results of the meeting were in every respech high-
ly satisfacto-^y to all parties, and, assured the Dermanent main-
tainance of the canal.

Indiana Herald. January 26, 1870. p. 3


Meeting of the Lafayette Delegation with
the Toledo Cltii^enf; Yesterday.

From the Toledo Blade, Jan. 28.
The Wnbash and Erie Can^l Delegation, consisting of the follow-
ing citizens of Lafayette, ^essrs. C. W. Colton, H^nry T=ylor, James
T. f^hute, Rotert Broc^enridge, Fred. Geiger and Dr. L. Jevett, held
a meeting with several of our citizens, being in Dsrt a committee
appointed by the Board of Trade, at the Board of Trade room yesterday
afternoon, for the ^ur^ose of -oresenting the importance of the sup-
port by our citi-^ens of the canal vhi^h they represented.

The me^-ting wns orgpnl-^.ed br the ap-oointment of Hon. C. A. King,
President, and Clerk '^^aggoner, Eso., as Secretary.

The objects of the meeting were stated by A. L. Backus, Esq.,
ofter vhich Mr. Colton, General Man^^ger of the canal, was introduced
and presented the interests of the cnnal and its present condition.

The company now running the canal took possession of it in Ju"y,
1866. At that time the canal had been so injured by neglect and
other cmjses that msny sections of it were unnnvigable, and part-
icularly from Pe^'u to Lafa^-ette. The new com-nory at once e-^pende*^
a large sun in su^h repairs as ot)ened the c = nal to n^vig^'tion ag^in
"S far ^3 Te-'-re H=ute. In 1868, how ver, the cana""- received euch
injuries fron the f^e^het thst navigation is now '-•losed at a point
eighteen miles this Side of Terre ^aute. The business of the canal
for the past two years has been f^ufficlent to reet all the current
exToen'-'^itures. The feeling along the canal towards it is good. From
■'^eru ui^ more freight is shipped by the canal than by the railroad.
If the company had h=d boats sufficient to transr^ort all the freight
offered last season, they coulri have done double the amount of bus-

iness. In consequence of this the company lost a vast amount of
business. The number of boats has been increased e=ch year, and it
is Droposed, if possible, to double the present nunbpr for the coming

Mr. T=?ylor, of the deleeetion, nert addressed the reeting and
detailed more minutely the unfavorable circumstances under which the
present company took charge of the line. He then ^"t = ted that the
object of the deleg = t i-^n' f coming to Toledo was for the purpose of
obtaining §20,000 from our citizens in stock subscri- tions .

With this aid the capacity of the canal could be increased
suffi'^ient, he believed, to make the re<^eiptB up to the close of
navigation ne:^t year tc llauidate entirely the present d^bts of the
com.pany .

According to the powers and rep"'"onRibilities of the company a
subscribe:- is liable for no more than the amount of his subscription;
and further, they cou'id turn th^ can=l over- to the State whenever
a majority of the stockholders should so desi"^e.

The inportpnce tc Toledo of keeping the canal running, should
be felt by all our citizens, for the reason that if the Indiana
freight was given to the railroads none of it would pass through
t' is city as it does now. If it comes by canal it miist stop here
and thus contribute to our prosperity.

After considerable informal discussion, the following resol-
ution vxas presented by D. B. Smith and unanimously adopted by the

Resolved . That the p- ople of this city feel a friendly and
cordial interest in the Wabash and Erie Canal, and tender to the
Lafayette Committee the assurance that they recognize it as a
channel of trade of great importance tn the interests of the city.


and their obligation to contrltute to its maintensnce.

On motion of Geo. W. Davis, Esa., Messrs. C A. King, A. L.
Backus and R. L. ¥al"bridge were =>r. - oint p-d a oommittee to solicit
pubscrlption? of stock from ou-^ citi/.ens after x^rbich thp meeting

A deer interest ws manifested ty our citi-^ens who were rre-
sent in the success of the mission of the delegates, and x^'e ho^ - e
the sane feeling will be manifested by the public.

Indiana Herald Feb. 2,1870. p. 2

From the Cincinnati Gszette
About twenty-five ye=rs =go the Stgte of Indian^ undertook the
construction of the WphaBh and Erie Canal, and in^^urred a debt of
over *14,000,000 for th^t rur ose. A grent of land h=d a" so been
!^ade by Congress to aid tl^e work. Subseouently the job was trgns-
ferrer! to a Tivpte co^n-^nny vlth 800,000 ^cres of land, on condition
that the comrany p?y h^lf the outstanding debt end accrued interest,
pnd the Stpte the other h^lf. An s'-t was passe'^ by the Legislature
in acrordance v/ith this -Drovlsion, re-uiring holders of the fir^t
issue of bonds to surrender the sane and receive new bonds; and it
vras further enacted that b-nds not surrendered within a given time
should be re-judiated . Tinder this l=w all the bonds, with the excep-
tion of about threr hundred (^1,000 each), wer'^ surrenderfd. The
St^-te has long since -oaid and retired its loortion of the new bonds;
but neither the -crincipo]. no- interest of the bonds assuned by the
Canal Company have been -Dcid. At th time these bond? were issued
the Legislature enacted that the ^t=>te would be responsible only
for one-half of the debt for which it issued its bonds. With this
understanding the old bondf were surrendered and nev; ones Issued.
Now Mr. A. Belmont, Mr. Lsnier, of the house of Winslow, Lanier &
Co., and other New York gentlemen, have concluded that the State
ought to pay the r.orticn of the debt assumed by the Canal Company,
and conf idpntial circulars have been issued to politicians of In-
fluen-e in various r>=rts of the St^te, on the subject; the aim
being to elect a Legislature favorable to the interests of Messrs.
Belmont ^: Co. There is a "^arge amount of money in the Job. The
bonds and accrued interest amount to over- fou teen millions.

They cost the -nresent hol'evB probably 5 to 10 certs on the dollar.
The scheme is a rich one, therefore, and it is tine the people of
Indiana began to thln^ abotit it.

We have referred tr three him'^rer' bone's of the orio'inal issue
that were not surrendered. These, sbout tvo years ap:o, came to
light in the Interior Derartnent at Washington, where they h°d been
deposited, in truRt, for Indian t-ibes; and as the Gove-^nraen"- w=s
indebted to the St^te of Indiana, the latter w?s reauired to -Day
these bonds with accrued interest. Now, it will be interesting to
?nnuire how and when these bonris got int' the Interior Department.
Interest on them wps sus en(^ed in 1847, and since that date no
honest ran would buy then with money held in trust for Indians.

Governor B^ker ha.s been censured for ■opying thp bonds, and the
last Legislature tabbed a resolution indorsing the aot; but we do
not see bow the Stote could evade the ■oaynent without ODenly re-

udiating the d^bt; and as the United States held the money, this
could not be done. The only nupption of interest, therefore, in
regard to these bonds, is whether they were bought in trust for
Indians in good fsith, when they were believed to be good; or wheth-
er they were bought at ? rii^oount of 50 to 75 "oer cent., and charged
to the Indians at par. If they h=ve been in the Interior DetJart-
n^ent twenty-five years, it is strange that their whereabouts was
not known until lately.

We have thus briefly referre^^ to a natter which is fully stated
by our corresi^ondent in another place, beoa^'se it is like'.y to sDpear
in the next rolitical carnxDaign in Indiana, and the people, there-
for, have a lively interest in it. It look now as if it would be

Impossible for Belmont<S- Co. to sucoeed; but as there is money in the

Job, they will try h^rd.

Indiana Herald Feb. 9, 1870 d. 2


Tae i^aison Courier , a Raaical saeet, tlius discusses V/abash
canal swinuie:

i,^any ol' cur coteiiiporaries have become excitea over a supposed,
01- feared, attempt ol" tnis company to buy up tae legislature of the
otate to enact a law to pei'oit a transfer of tne canal to the otate,
and pa ment ol' tne uoiety ol' tne su:n of tne old otate bonds, for
wnich the janal uas transi'errea by the itate to tne company in la-*?.
In the first place v/e do not think s ■ aean±y of any Leejislature tn^;
people :aay elect, al ihough forj::Bi- legislators have voted for canni-
dc. tes for tne United States oenate whose election v-as oarred by the
express words ol' tne c nstitution. Tney did not do this, however, lor
a pecuniary consideration. The Canal Couipany nave Jiade no ne-nand upon
t-ie Representa Lives of the people; tne aost it has asked is tnat tne
otate "at tiine v/he;: her prosperity will Justify it" do all that
"justice and equity ^ay requiie." There does not seeji much danger
in that. If .justice and e^ui t^^ require the otate to do anything, or
soaet.iine, the otate ought to do that thin^. une of two things is
true: The State owes tne Canal Company uioney, or, it does not. thing is equally true; If it is found that the otate in justice
and equity ov»es the :;anal Company any noney, the State must pay it or
repudiate .

The General Asse^ibly or' the otate cbn not assuae any debt not
contracted before tne Jonstitutic^n of 185E was adopted. The Coaititu-
tion is as explicit in tnat aatter as it is in stating that neither.
tne Governor nor Lieutenant Governor shall be eligible to any otner
office, during tne teras for v;aicn tney shall have been elected. In
tne case of a violation of the express words of the Constitution rela-
tive to tne creation of debt, tne people have a remedy; in the otaer


case mentioned, taey nove none. If tiie Legislature diioula enact taat
t-.e State owes the Janal Ooupany millions of dollars or thousands, a
tax must De levied to pay tne claim, and any tax payer can enjoin
tne collection oi' that tax, ana bring the statute before tae courtc,
waere tae question can le finally settled. The final arbiter - tne
Supreme Court of t.'.e State - i:iust at last determine tne liability of
tae State, if an , to tae Janal Co.-fany.

In view or tae fact taat so many legislators have aeretofcre
ignored tae plain provision in t..e Constitution in tae election of
Unitea States Senat-rs, it is well enaj^h to canvass this canal
question before tae people, to prevent nasty legislation in tne

IKDIAKAPlLIo daily SEi^TII^3L, March 14, 1570, p. 8, pb


Article 13 of the Republican State Platform, which we T^ntlish

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