Loammi Baldwin.

Report on the Brunswick canal and rail road, Glynn County, Georgia. With an appendix containing the charter and commissioners's report online

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by way of freight or toll, on all goods, wares, merchandize and
productions of the country, or upon all rafts of lumber, logs or
ranging timber, steam or other boats, and cars or vehicles of any
description, conveyed through said canal, or over and upon said


rail-road, such rates of toll or freight as the Board of Directors
of the said company may find necessary to adopt from time to
time in their regulations of loll : Provided, that during any
twelve months together the net amount shall not exceed twenty-
five per cent, per annum upon the aggregate amount of money
they shall have actually expended in making, constructing and
keeping in good repair the said canal or rail-road, or both ; to
ascertain which, the aforesaid Board shall cause two accurate sets
of books to be kept, one for the canal, and the other for the rail-
road, showing the amount of stock paid in for each, and also all
the expenditures and cost of each, together with all the repairs
and income of tolls and freight of each ; which books shall al-
ways be liable to the inspection of a committee appointed by the
Legislature, to the end that the said company shall not abuse the
remunerating privilege of this act.

Sec. 8. Jlnd be it further enacted, That the Board of Di-
rectors of the aforesaid company shall have power to select and
take, or receive as donation, such strip or strips of land from the
Altamaha to Turtle river, or their branches, and of such width
and shape as they may deem necessary for the construction, accom-
modation, and protection of their canal or rail-road, or both ; and in
case of disagreement between the owner or owners and the Board
of Directors of the aforesaid company, in regard to the damages
or price of the necessary strip or strips of land required for the
purposes aforesaid, it may and shall be lawful for the com-
pany to appoint two competent and disinterested freeholders, and
the owner or owners of such land shall appoint two competent
and disinterested freeholders, all of whom shall be sworn by a
magistrate, or one of the Justices of the Inferior Court, to do
equal justice between the parties ; and they shall then proceed
upon the premises as a committee of arbitration and appraise-
ment ; and they shall make their award of valuation of damages
in writing, to be approved and signed by them, or a majority of
them, which amount the said company shall pay unto the owner
or owners of such strip or strips of land in lawful money, and the
fee simple right thereof shall vest in the said company forever ;
and the award shall be recorded in the office of the clerk of the
Superior and Inferior Courts of Glynn county, in the same man-
ner as deeds.

In case the committee aforesaid cannot agree upon the amount


of damage and valuation, they shall choose a fifth man, who shall
be sworn as aforesaid, and be added to said committee ; and in
case either party be dissatisfied with the award of said committee
of arbitration, they shall have the ris^ht of appeal to a special jury,
to be tried at the term of the Superior Court of Glynn county next
thereafter held in said county ; and the decision, in which way
soever finally thus made by the said jury, shall vest in the Bruns-
wick Canal and Rail-road Company the fee-simple of the strip
or strips of land in question ; and in the other party a judgment
for the value thereof thus ascertained and determined.

Sec. 9. And be it further enacted^ That no canal or rail-
road shall be permitted hereafter to be cut or constructed be-
tween the Altamaha and Turtle rivers, or their branches, and
Brunswick, within twenty miles of the route or routes the afore-
said company may select, without their consent.

Sec. 10. *^nd be it further enacted. That the said com-
pany shall build good substantial bridges across their canal or rail-
road wherever they may cross a public road or way ; and the
stock of the aforesaid company shall be exempt from all taxes,
duties, and impositions whatever, unless it be such a tax and no
more as is now imposed on bank stock in this State.

Sec 11. Jind be it further enacted, That no stockholder of
the said company shall be eligible as a director unless he shall
hold at least ten shares of the stock in his own right, or as ad-
ministrator, executor, or guardian : the Board shall be compe-
tent at all times to call an extra meeting of the stockholders,
when by them deemed necessary ; and the Directors shall
choose one of their own body as President, who, together with
the Director, shall be entitled to and receive such compensation
for their services as may be allowed by the owners and lawful
representatives of a majority of shares of the capital stock of
the institution, to be determined by ballot or otherwise at the an-
nual regular meeting of the stockholders ; and in all cases the
stockholders shall be allowed to vote either in person or by
proxy, — that is to say, any stockholder who may be absent at
any meeting as aforesaid may authorize, by power of attorney
under seal, any other person to vote for him, her or them.

Sec 12. »^nd be it further enacted, That the number of
votes of each stockholder, administrator, executor, or guardian
shall be according to the number of shares he, she, or they shall


hold — that Is to say, eacli share to be entitled to one vote. The
Board to he competent to ajipoint and fix the salaries of a Sec-
retary and Treasurer, and as many clerl<s, agents, engineers, and
laborers as they may deem necessary and expedient to despatch
the business of the said comjiany.

Sec. 13. ^nd be it further enacted, That the Board of Di-
rectors shall have power to call in such ratio, from time to time,
of the subscription of stock upon the books of said company, by
way of instalments, as ihcy may deem necessary for the prompt
progress and execution of the work ; first giving notice lo the
stockholders respectively sixty days previous to the time requir-
ed for the payment of such instalment ; and in case any stock-
holder should refuse to pay his, her, or their instalments, when
called on in manner aforesaid, it shall be lawful for the Board to
declare such shares of stock forfeited to the use and benefit of
the company ; but the defaulting party shall have the right of ap-
peal to the stockholders at their next regular meeting thereafter,
and by the consent of the owners and representatives of two-
thirds of the capital stock of the institution the previous instal-
ments which may have been paid upon the shares so forfeited
may be refunded, and the said shares offered by the Board for
resubscription, as if the same had never been subscribed for.

Sec 14. And be it further enacted, That if any person or
persons shall wilfully and maliciously damage, injure or obstruct,
or in any manner destroy, or shall wilfully and maliciously cause,
or aid and assist, or counsel or advise, any other person or per-
sons to destroy, or in any manner to hurt, damage, injure or ob-
struct the aforesaid canal or rail-road, or any bridge or other
appurtenance connected therewith, or any vehicle, edifice, right
or privilege granted by this act, and constructed for use under
the authority thereof, such person or persons so offending shall
be liable to be indicted, and, on conviction thereof, shall be im-
prisoned at hard labor in the penitentiary, at the discretion of the
court, not less than four years, and shall be further liable to pay
all damage and expenses of rebuilding or repairing the same, the
one-half of which shall be paid by the company to the informer.

Sec 15. And be it further enacted. That the shares of
stock of the aforesaid Brunswick Canal and Rail-road Company
shall be taken, considered and held in law as real estate, and may


be sold and transferred upon the books of the company by scrip,
or assigned and bequeathed by the proprietors thereof as such.

Sec. 16. And be it further enacted, That any sub5criber of
stock in the aforesaid company shall have the right to subscribe
for shares in the rail-road or the canal separately and distinctly,
or conjointly in both, as he, she or they may choose at the time
of subscribing ; and their certificates and scrips of stock shall be
issued and entered upon the books of the company, and kept ac-
cordingly ; and the dividends shall be declared by the Board of
Directors upon the nett income of the rail-road and the canal
also separately and distinctly from the two sets of books, as
directed by the fifth section of this act.

Sec. 17. And be it further enacted, That, with the consent
and petition of the grantees, William B. Davis, Urbanus Dart,
and their associates, the two recited acts in the preamble of this
act be, and the same are hereby repealed.


Speaker of the House of Representatives.


President of the Senate.

Assented to, 20th Dec, 1834.



To aid and assist the opening the Port of Brunswick to the
central and interior of Georgia.

Whereas, It is due to the people of the middle and western
counties of this State, that the Legislature should grant equal aid
and encouragement to their agricultural and commercial pros-
perity —

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of
the State of Georgia, in General assembly met, and it is hereby
enacted by the authority of the same, That the President of the
Central Bank be, and he is hereby authorized and required im-
mediately after the passage of this act, to subscribe, in the name
of the said Central Bank, on account and for the benefit of the
State, for five hundred shares, at one hundred dollars each, of the
capital stock of the Brunswick Canal and Rail-road Company.

Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That the President and
Directors of the Central Bank be, and they are hereby authoriz-
ed and required to pay the instalments on the aforesaid five hun-
dred shares of stock, out of any moneys in the said bank on the
part of the State, as they may be called for on the part of the
individual stockholders of the aforesaid Canal and rail-road Com-
pany, — all laws or parts of laws in relation to the said Central
Bank to the contrary notwithstanding : Provided, that the Com-
missioners or Board of Directors of the said Canal and Rail-road
Company shall exhibit a certificate that the individual stockhol-
ders, on their part, shall have first paid their instalments when
called for, agreeable to the terms of the act of incorporation.

Sec. 3. Jlnd be it further enacted, That John Rawles and
H. H. Tarver be, and they are hereby appointed Directors, and
empowered to represent the above interest of the State at the


Board of Directors of the aforesaid company, and to hold their
office for three years from and after the passage of this act ; and
that thereafter two Directors shall be elected annually by the
General Assembly, in joint ballot, to represent the State as


Speaker of the House of Representatives.


President of the Senate.

Assented to, 20th Dec, 1834.




A copy of the Report of the Commissioners charged with the
examination of Harbors south of Chesapeake Bay, with a view
to the establishment of a j\avy Yard.

Navy Department, February 1, 1S37.

Sir : — In comphance with a Resohition of the House of Re-
presentatives of the 2Sth ultimo, I have the honor to transmit,
herewith, a copy of the Report of the Commissioners charged
witii the examination of Ports and Harbors south of the Chesa-
peake Bay, with a view to their comparative advantages for the
establishment of a Navy Yard.

I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,


Secretary of the JS'avy.

To the Honorable the Speaker

of the House of Representatives.

The undersigned Commissioners under a Resolution of the
Senate of the United States, " To survey and examine Ports
south of the Chesapeake, with a view to their comparative
facilities and advantages for the establishment of a Navy Yard,"
have the honor to report :

That they have given to the subject all the reflection which its
national importance demands ; have personally inspected the sev-
eral ports whose draught of water gave claim to public attention ;
and have maturely weighed their relative pretensions to the favor-
able consideration of the Government.

The undersigned arriving at a preference for a particular port,
have discarded all prejudice of a local or sectional nature and
have solely been influenced by a strict regard of the public good.
As a basis for their decision, they have looked for fundamental
principles, and have been guided by the great desiderata in a naval


establishment on shore. They may be classed under the follow-
ing heads, and obtain value in the order in which they stand, viz:

1. Sufficient depth of water to permit free access, at any
state of tide, for the heaviest class of ships of war.

2. Defence by land and by water.

3. Resources and supplies of every kind for the speedy equip-
ment of fleets.

4. Salubrity at every season of the year.

5. Ample supply of fresh water.

6. Facility of wharfing and docking.

As no port south of the Chesapeake possesses all these advan-
tages, (and, indeed, there is but one in the whole Union which
does possess them,) it has become the duty of the undersigned,
by the resolution of the Senate, to designate that one which
seemed to them to have the greater number of approximating

Charleston, S. C.

The port of Charleston, being the first in magnitude and also
first in the order of inspection, claimed their primary attention.
This harbor has been repeatedly surveyed, and recently by com-
petent officers of the United States army. The chart projected
by them has been tested by the undersigned, and the result prov-
ed its essential accuracy ; from which, together with a naval sur-
vey in 1825, and valuable information obtained from experienced
pilots and other sources, it would seem to be established that the
mouth of the harbor is the main obstacle to its present usefulness
as a naval station ; for, being deficient in depth of water, no ves-
sels larger than sloops of war can pass, and they only at high
tides, and with a smooth sea.

This bar, which is of sand, forms an almost continuous chain
of breakers running nearly parallel with the coast, for nine or ten
miles. The tides and freshets of the river have broken through
this barrier, and four channels have been formed for the discharge
of the waters. Three of them are now incapable of being navi-
gated by large vessels, and the fourth, the main channel, is liable
to great changes, from heavy gales. Within twenty years it has
been entirely removed from its former site. It is displaced by
more than half a mile ; and where formerly passed in security
ships of 17 and 18 feet draught of water, now rolls a dangerous
breaker. The undersigned, in contemplating the possible oblit-
eration of the present ship channel by the deposite of some
future gale, do not regard it as a lasting injuiy to the port ; for
they believe that a new, more convenient, and, perhaps, deeper
channel may be effected, by obstructions in the tide-way, which
shall guide to a given point on the bar the vast and swift column
of water composing its freshets and ebb. Such is observed to

be the action presented by the fortification now being erected in
the river, which has aheady, though very incomplete and not very
extensive, caused in the 0|)inion of [)ilots, the overfall of the
channel to be considerably deepened. The effect of so much
power, directed on such an easily moved substance of this bar,
when aided by dredging machines, cannot be questioned. The
noble harbor within, sufficient in every respect to accommodate
a large fleet and of the heaviest draught, the great seat of South-
ern wealth and Southern commerce, all seem to bespeak for it
a generous expenditure of the national treasure. But these spec-
ulations, whether true or otherwise, belong to the engineer,
whose knowledge of currents and their effects will have due
weight in such a contingency. Charleston is now considered ac-
cessible with a draught of 171 feet, but with ihe aid of steam,
a good tide, and smooth water, a ship drawing 18^ feet may be
safely conducted. The average rise of the tide is 6 feet, which
is increased or diminished by the violence and duration of the
seaward or landward winds, and this rise and exterior influence
is applicable to all the harbors of the Carnlinas and Georgia.
There can be no difficulty in obtaining eligible sites for a navy
yard, whenever it may be resolved to establish one in Charleston.

Beaufort, S. C.

This harbor was surveyed by Lieutenant Stockton in 1S28.
His report has been tested by soundings and observation, and its
general correctness ascertained. The arm of the sea which en-
ters between Hunting and Hilton's islands is known as Port
Royal sound. It is sufficiently deep and capacious to accom-
modate the largest fleets, but, like all the ports south of the
Chesapeake, labors under the disadvantages of having a bar plac-
ed at its entrance. From the bar to Beaufort the distance is
about IS miles. A better position for a navy yard can be found
in the vicinity of Beaufort than at the town. The bar has an
average depth of 17 feet, which permits, with a full tide, the
passage of a frigate. Beaufort is . placed in the line of internal
navigation between Charleston and Savannah, and hence, if
blockaded by an enemy by sea, has a safe and speedy transport
of supplies. The absence of a fresh water river and marshes
seems to assure as great a degree of health as in any of the
Southern harbors.

Savannah^ Georgia.

The bar at the north of the Savannah river is the deepest and
most accessible of any on the Southern coast. The average
depth is 19 feet at low water ; and hence, with a full tide, a frig-


ate may pass in safety. But although thus favored at the en-
trance, these advantages are soon lost in ascending the river.
The first point of effectual defence, salubrity, and locality of a
navy yard, is Cockspur island, situated within five miles of the
bar, and two miles wiihin the river ; but a frigate cannot reach
this point, by reason of an extensive sand-bank half a mile be-
low it, on which. but 14 feet, at low water, can be obtained. In
ascending still farther up, the shoals are frequent, and of less
draught of water ; and the river at first brackish, becomes fresh ;
and hence, in so low a latitude, and surrounded by marshes, is
unhealthy in summer.

Darien, Georgia.

Merchant ships of heavy burden can enter the port of Darien ;
but it is unsuitable to naval purposes, by reason of its unfavorable
locality, being surrounded by swamps and morasses and on ac-
count of its being placed on a fresh water river, which, in so
low a latitude, must cause unhealthiness. The port of Darien
can have no greater pretension than the ingress of a sloop of
war ; and, hence, cannot compete with the deeper harbor in the
same State.

Brunswick, Georgia.

The waters forming the port of Brunswick are generally de-
signated as Turtle river ; but, properly speaking, it is an arm of
the sea, which, entering between the islands of Jekyl and St.
Simon's, flows into the interior for upwards of 20 miles, forming
a wide, deep and swift column. As no fresh water river emp-
ties into this basin, it is always salt, free from freshets and allu-
vial deposites ; and hence, from an early period of lime, no
change whatever has been perceptible in the soundings or gener-
al character of the port. From the large islands of St. Simon's
and Jekyl, (which are distant from each other about one mile,)
and running seaward for about six miles, are found jutting two
extensive sand-pits. At low water portions of them are laid
bare ; and unless the sea is unusually smooth, they form, in near-
ly their whole extent, lines of continuous breakers. Between
these lines of surf lies the channel, which in S-4ths of a mile
wide in the sjiit-heads, and which enlarges to a mile soon after
entering. Between the spit-heads we found 22 feet at low water.
Proceeding towards the land, by traversing the whole breadth of
the channel, the soundings gradually shoaled to 18 feet, which is
the least draught of water found in the channel-way. About one
mile wiihin the spit-heads, is the " middle ground," which is a
bank of sand resting on the southern or Jekyl spit, and jutting


into the channel-way some 200 fathoms ; but leaving a sufficient-
ly wide 18 fett passage towards the St. Simon's or northern spit,
for a larse ship even with an adverse wind ; the middle ground
has but 14 feet at low water. Entering still further up, the
soundings gradually grow deeper, so that when between' the
islands it has obiained a depth of 12 fathoms. The vessel is now
in safely. On the right of St. Simon's sound, which, together
with similar water courses still further north, aflbrds a safe inter-
nal navigation to steamboats and craft to Savannah and Charles-
ton. To the left is the arm of ihe sea, (called the Turtle river,)
from which, by .lekyl and Cumberland sounds, is a sourthern
internal navigation as far as St. Mary's. The course from sea
to the mouth of the harbor is nearly west north-west, keeping the
northern breakers on board ; the channel then runs south a d
south-westerly, and, making a short turn to the north-west, we
arrive at the town of Brunswick — insignificant at present, but des-
tined, we believe, through her rail-road and canal, to future im-
portance. A shoal of soft mud, close to and below the town,
on which but 12 feet can be found at low water, seems to indi-
cate some other point in the harbor as a more suitable position
for a navy yard. We believe Bythe's island, on the opposite
shore, to be the most eligible. It contains some hundred acres,
covered with timber, and every way convenient for wharves,
docks, &c., and for a nursery of the live oak ; it is distant from
Brunswick two miles, and has bold water to within a few fathoms
of the shore. There is no doubt that the port may be strongly
fortified. The islands of St. Simon's and Jekyl present suitable
positions for extensive works ; and a sand shoal two miles within
and in the centre of the river (dry at low water,) affords a third
basis for powerful defence, and steam batteries will complete the
whole. The average rise of the tide is six feet, which gives, at
high water, on the bar, 24 feet ; sufficient for a frigate. It is
deemed healthy ; and the absence of a fresh water river, or fresh
water swamps, seem to justify the opinion.

St. Mary's^ Georgia.

The harbor of St. JNFary's, on the south frontier of Georgia,
has a bar very similar to that of Charleston in its general fea-
tures and depth of water ; it is subject to the same vicissitudes
from great gales. In 20 years the ship channel has been forced
to the southward ; and the site of the passage, where formerly
passed the largest sloop of war in the navy, is now filled up to
eight feet. Under the most favorable circumstances of wind and
tide, the present ship channel may be stated at 14 feet at low
water ; the average rise of the tide is six feet. The localities
are unfavorable for the establishment of a navy yard ; and, re-


garding the harbor in every light, we feel compelled to express
an opinion adversely of St. Mary's as a port suitable for naval

Key West, and the Tortugas.

Circumstances beyond our control, and known to the Depart-
ment, have prevented an extension of our survey to Key West
and the Tortugas ; but our knowledge of those places, obtained
in the course of service, justifies us in pronouncing an opinion ad-
verse to them for the establishment of a navy yard.

Key West is but a small island, disfant from the main ; and
the Tortugas, a cluster of islands still smaller. The one can
have but limited resources ; the other, none whatever, not even
fresh water. Being islands and incapable of succor in the pres-
ence of a superior force, they must eventually fall, when cut off
from supplies. The more valuable either might become by the
establishment of a navy yard, the more it would invite attack
from a powerful enemy. Their position is no doubt command-
ing, but we deem them not worthy of greater value, when forti-
fied than to afford a rendezvous to our cruizers, and to give
shelter and protection to them when pressed by a pursuing enemy.

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Online LibraryLoammi BaldwinReport on the Brunswick canal and rail road, Glynn County, Georgia. With an appendix containing the charter and commissioners's report → online text (page 4 of 5)