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CHESAPEAKE AND ON0 CANAL COMPANY. The Committee on Internal Improvements, to whom was referred the me
morial of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company, beg leave to submit the following Report.
In the act of Maryland, incorporating the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company, it is provided that the President and Directors shall first construct the Eastern section, and shall next proceed to construct, with all possible despatch, the Western section.
The President and Directors of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company ask such an amendment to their charter as may enable them to enter upon the construction of the Western section of their canal before the actual completion of the Eastern section. This application is predicated upon a condition attached by the State of Pennsylvania to her assent to the charter, which prescribes, thai, should the United States subscribe to the stock of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company, the Company shall, within six months after receiving the sum subscribed, commence the Western section of the canal, and shall apportion at least one half of the sum thus subscribed to that section. It could not have been within the contemplation of Pennsylvania to require an expenditure of the moneys of the Company on the Western section of the canal, and particularly on the West of the Alleghany mountains, as seems to be contemplated by the memorial, unless the funds of the Company were such as to afford a strong assurance of a complete connexion of the two sections. The funds of the Company are not at this time ade. quate to the effectuation of this important object; and, although its prospect may be flattering, yet circumstances unforeseen at this time may occur to prevent the consummation of this desirable event. Should the funds, then, of the Company be applied to the construction of the Western section, and, from the intervention of any obstacle whatever, the Company should be incompetent to the completion and connexion of the two sections, the funds thus applied might be not only not profitable, but even entirely lost to the association.
Another important consideration, among a variety of others which might be presented, entered into the views of the committee, in forming an opinion adverse to this portion of the application of the Company.
The Eastern section of the canal commences on tide water on the Potomac river; and, as it arrives at completion in its progress, such portion may be put under operation, and thus afford a speedy return upon the investment thus expended. But expenditures on the Western section would be entirely locked up to the Company until a connexion between the two sections could be effected, which, when we look to the extent and magnitude of the enterprise, cannot reasonably be anticipated, under the most favorable auspices, for some years to come. Under these considerations, the committee, in recommending an adherence to the policy of Maryland which induced the requisition above referred to, cannot but indulge the confident hope, that, when the Eastern section of the canal shall have been completed, and the Company shall be adequate to the construction of the Western section, the interest of an important portion of Pennsylvania, and especially of her great emporium of Western trade, will propapt her to waive the condition attached to her assent to the charter, and become not only a party to the charter, but a liberal contributor to the enterprise. The memorialists further ask an explicit recognition of the power of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company to substitute boats for bridges, where the latter might be required on the canal. From the term “ recognition,” as used in the memorial, it would appear that they entertain the impression that they have the power, at least by implication, of making such substitution. If, however, the power has not been oonceded, the inconveniencies of individuals whose lands may be divided by the canal, which would necessarily result from the exercise of this power, seem to be of so paramount a character, as to justify the Legislature in withholding it. But, to obviate in part those inconveniencies, they ask to be allowed to purchase or acquire the slip of land cut off from any larger tract by the canal; and afterwards to hold, sell, let, or otherwise dispose of it for the benefit of the Company. The inconveniencies and losses to which an individual would of consequence be subjected, whose land might be divided by the canal, without the benefit of connexion of the two divi- , sions by means of a bridge, would be of so serious and aggravating a nature, as to compel him, in almost every instance, to sell to the Company, and perhaps upon such terms, from the peculiar circumstances in which he would be placed, as they might think proper to propose. The consequences would necessarily follow, that the Company would become possessed of real estate to an extent far beyond what the policy of the State, in reference to corporate privileges, would seem to indicate. In addition to the above, they ask permission to “sell or let, for prescribed manufacturing uses, any surplus water which they may conduct by feeders into the canal for that purpose. Such an exercise of power, not only essential for the purposes of the association, but far beyond the pale of the object for which the Company was incorporated, might also militate against individual rights. The right of property in water power of the Potomac, and its tributary streams, is in individuals, of which they cannot be justly divested, unless, indeed, called for by the imperious necessity of the public weal. The Company have already the right of the availment of any water power which may be necessary for the purposes of the canal, as also the power expressly granted by the charter of disposing of, for machinery, all waste water which may be essential for its security. No additional powers, therefore, upon this subject, appear to be uecessary for the true objects of the corporation.
Another privilege which they ask, is, permis.ion to sell or let, on the heavy embankments which they may find necessary to form for the moles or piers adjacent to their basins, upon or at the termination of their canal, sites for houses of any description. This power may be advantageously used, not only in reference to pecuniary profit, but also with a view of imparting additional strength to the embankments themselves. A bill for this purpose will, therefore, be reported. Lastly, they ask such an amendment or explanation of the laws of Maryland, relative to the use of Virginia slaves on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, as should enable the contractors of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company to avail themselves of a privilege granted to the former. This subject having been brought to the view of the House from another quarter, it would perhaps be deemed out of place in the committee to express any opinion in reference to it. Respectfully submitted.
RICHARD THOMAS, Chairman.
Compromise proposed to the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company,
through John Marbury, Esq.
GEORGETOWN, 1st Junuary, 1830. Mr. John MARBURY,
DEAR Sır: Although we despair coming to any compromise with the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company, yet, in evidence of the sincerity of our declarations, we avail ourselves of the intimation of Mr. Cor's letter to you of this date, and offer the following propositions, either of which, as they may prefer, you are authorized to accede to. First
, We will name one or two (as the Company may prefer) disinterested persons, and they shall name the like number, who, if they cannot agree,
shall call in a third or fisth person, (as the case may be) whose award shall be binding in reference to Colonel Binney's whole interest to be effected by the Canal, within the District of Columbia, as also without the District, jointly or separately, as may be most acceptable to the Company.
Second. We will name three disinterested persons, and the Company may select any two of them, and the Company may name three and we select two from their nomination, and the frur thus selected, if they cannot agree, shall call in a fifth person, whose award shall be binding as aforesaid.
Third. We annex hereunto a list of fifteen names, from among the most respectable citizens of the District, out of which the Company may select any two, and we will select the like number, who, in case they cannot agree, shall call in a fiíth, whose award shall be conclusive as aforesaid; or each party shall name an experienced United States' or Civil Engineer, within the District of Columbia, or elsewhere, in no manner connected with either party, who, if they cannot agree, shall call in a third person, whose award shall be binding as aforesaid; and if they, or either of them, shall be from without the District, we will defray all the expenses or charges consequent thereto.
In proposing a reference to a few in preference to a jury of twelve or more, we are influenced by the consideration that the subject can be more satisfactorily understood; as they can take their own time, examine more minutely into all the circumstances, when and how they please, and decide at their leisure. All we desire is, that the interests involved may be fully understood and impartially adjusted.
I am, respectfully,
WM. STEUART, Agent
List of fifteen names.
JOHN 'THRELKELD. Esq.
WM. MARBURY, Esq. Nathan LUFFBOROUGH, Esq. WM. HAYMAN, Esq. Major John ADLUM,
DAVID ENGLISH, Esq. James Gettys, Esq.
ABNER PIERCE, Esq. John Cox, Mayor of Georgetown.
In addition to the above, Mr. Marbury was verbally authorized to propose to make a joint property, upon the terms proposed between John K. Smith and Wm. Marbury, as President of the Potomac s'ompany, which he did in writing on the same day on the delivery of the above, which was, for Binney to give up his lands and water rights to the Company, and for the Compay to sell out sites, and divide the proceeds of the sales, one half to each. All of which was rejected by the Company.
F. Compromise proposed by F. S. Key, Esq. as Counsel for Amos Binney,
to the Counsel of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company, before the jury, February, 1830.
The jury having ascertained what is due on account of the land and house, &c. taken, and such other damages as are not contingent, it is agreed in this case, on the part of Amos Binney, that the jury shall give such damages as they think equal to the value of the whole water power on his land, which is to be taken by the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company through his said land, and disposed of by them as they may please, as if they had already obtained the power of so disposing of the water they may so take; and that no part of such damages, so to be awarded by the jury, is to be paid to said Binney until such power of disposition is granted to the Company. And if the Company shall fail to obtain such power, said Binney shall not receive said damages: and if the Company shall obtain such power, then they shall pay to said Binney, instead of said damages, onehalf of the proceeds of sales of water that they may make on or below his said land.
Proposition by F. S. Key, Esq. to be added by the Jury to the inquisi
tion, February, 1830. We value the said land, and all the damages the said Amos Binney shall sustain by cutting the said canal through the same, at the sum of
Which sum we assess as the damages of said Binney, without taking into consideration his loss of water power on his said land by the said Company's obtaining the right to sell the surplus water of the said canal, and so taking and selling the same; which, if obtained by the said Company, is to be compensated for hereafter. Second proposition offered by F. S Key, Esq. to be added by the Jury
to the inquisition, February, 1830. We value the said land, and all damages said Amos Binney shall sustain by cutting the said canal through the same, at the sum of
and the further sum of -; which latter sum we assess as the damages sustained by the said Binney for the loss of his water rights on said land, in case the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company shall obtain the right to sell the surplus water of the canal carried through his said land, and all to be contin. gent upon the Company's obtaining such right, and not to be paid to him but on the Company's obtaining such right.
This condition being herein inserted with the consent of said Binney's counsel
Memorial to Congress, withdrawn.
GEORGETOWN, 21st February, 1825. General Cocke:
Sir: It was not until yesterday that a letter from my father reached me at Leesburg, Virginia, advising me of the probable effect the bill now before Congress, in relation to the Chesapeake and Ohio (anal, might have upon my interest in the District of Columbia; and I had consequently to encounter the storm of last evening from an apprehension that the bill would be taken up this morning.
Mr. Webster's engagements being such as to prevent his giving the subject his attention, he politely introduced me to your acquaintance; and when I left you to prepare an amendment to the bill, I was not aware of your intention to present the papers which I understood had been left with you for the purpose of making you acquainted with the facts upon which the memorial I had intended to address to the Speaker, was predicated.
I had the opinion that an amendment could have been made without materially affecting the bill; but, upon further consideration of the subject, I am satisfied that no amendment can be made that will not require the sanction of Virginia and Maryland; the consequent delay whereof, and the possible loss of the law entirely, present such disastrous consequences to the people of this District, that I should never cease to regret it if produced by any instrumentality of mine. I must, therefore, request the favor of you to withdraw the memorial you did me the honor to present, immediately upon the receipt hereof
I have the honor to be,
WM. M. STEUART. 1 The above letter was delivered to the Chairman of the committee to which had been referred the act of the General Assembly of Maryland, entitled “ An act to confirm an act of the General Assembly of Virginia, entitled • An act incorporating the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company;" who handed it to General Cocke: whereupon, the memorial was immediately withdrawn.