The Santee and Cooper Canal is completed. ** Residents of Northampton, Massachusetts, complain about the dam on the South Hadley Canal, demand its removal. ** Gouverneur Morris, U. S. minister to England, suggests in a letter from London that a waterway could be built between the Hudson River and Lake Erie.


Pennsylvania governor Thomas McKean commissions architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe to survey the Susquehanna River, from Columbia to Tidewater, to determine possible improvements.


Feb 27

A canal company charter is approved by Delaware.

Feb 29

The Chesapeake and Delaware Canal Company opens its subscription books.

Mar 27

Engineer Benjamin Henry Latrobe writes to Jefferson to discuss a proposed canal between Delaware and Chesapeake Bays.

Mar 28

Daniel Carroll of Duddungton Manor in Maryland, writes to Jefferson about a canal to connect the main and eastern branches of the Potomac River.

The Susquehanna Canal and the Patowmack Canal are completed. ** U. S. canal engineer Horatio Allen is born in Schenectady, New York. ** U. S. canal engineer William Milnor Roberts is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. ** The governors of Pennsylvania and Maryland take a test ride on the completed portion of the Susquehanna Canal (Port Deposit Canal, Conowingo Canal). ** English inventor William Symington tests his steam-powered vessel Charlotte Dundas on local canals.


May 2
The first stockholders meeting of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal Company is held.

Dec 31
The Middlesex Canal opens, connecting the Merrimack River with Boston harbor. ** Construction begins on Scotland's Caledonian Canal.

U. S. canal engineer William Gooding is born in Bristol, New York. ** The Susquehanna Canal is completed. ** Gouverneur Morris writes to New York State Surveyor-General Simeon DeWitt, suggesting the possibility of an artificial river across the state.


Mar 16
The U. S. Congress agrees to improvements of the James River.

May 1
Construction begins on the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal.

Dec 1
Work on the Chesapeake and Delaware is suspended, due to a lack of funds. It is resumed 19 years later.

Benjamin Latrobe surveys the route for the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal. ** The
Maryland legislature grants canal managers the right to conduct lotteries to supplement their salaries. ** Thomas Telford begins the construction of Scotland's Caledonian Canal. ** The Middlesex Canal is completed. ** Maine canal promoters petition the Massachusetts General Court for a five-year extension of their charter.


The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is completed. ** The first boat goes through the partially completed Dismal Swamp Canal. ** Improvements on the South Hadley Canal are completed.


Tolls are allowed on the James River and Kanawha Canal. ** German-born U. S. Canal engineer John Christian Senf dies. ** General Henry Knox dies and his Georges River Canal is abandoned. ** U. S. canal engineer Edward Hall Gill is born in Wexford, Ireland.


May 1
New Hampshire's Manchester Canal opens.

Freight hauler Jesse Hawley, imprisoned for debt in Canandaigua, New York, writes thirteen essays, under the name Hercules, proposing a canal across New York State. ** The Dismal Swamp Canal is enlarged to permit the passage of flatboats. ** U. S. canal engineer Loammi Baldwin the elder dies. ** The U. S. Senate asks Treasury Secretary Albert Gallatin to study demands for internal improvements.


Joshua Forman introduces a canal resolution to the New York State Assembly.

Apr 4
Gallatin issues his report, proposing many improvements to the U. S. Canal system.

Jun 13

State Surveyor Simen DeWitt writes to Holland Land Company's Batavia agent Joseph Ellicott, seeking his thoughts on a canal route across the state.


Jul 30

Ellicott replies to DeWitt. While strongly advocating a canal, he does not advise following the Niagara escarpment east to Mud Creek becasue of the number of ravines that would be encountered. He also advises against a combinatio of a canal along the Niagara River and one from Oswego to the Mohawk, due to the rock that would be encountered. He advocates a, east-west canal from Lake Erie to Mud Creek, and offers to subscribe $2,500 to such a project.

Aug 24

DeWitt writes to Ellicott thanking him for his insights and agreeing on the suggested route, primarily because it would keep the canal commerce within New York, instead of its being diverted to Canada.

Oct 20

Ellicott writes from Philadelphia to his nephew David E. Evans in Batavia, reporting that land agent Paolo Busti has seen their correspondence and has now changed his mind, expressing an interest in investing in a cross-New York canal.

The New York State Legislature introduces a bill to fund a feasibility study for a New York State canal, retains Judge James Geddes to make surveys of routes across the state, to Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. He completes his study and reports the project can work, even with a 500 foot elevation from west to east. ** A pamphlet is published proposing a wooden flume linking New York and Philadelphia. ** Jesse Hawley concludes his series of articles with "Observations on Canals", predicting that a canal across the state would greatly increase New York City's trade and importance.


Jan 20
Syracuse judge James Geddes recommends a Hudson-Erie route to the New York State legislature after surveying a route cross the state.

65 boats pass through Dr. Jonas C. Baldwin's locks at Baldwinsville, New York.

The U. S. government appropriates $25,000 for improvements on the Carondelet Canal. ** The Maine canal charters expire.

© 2005 David Minor / Eagles Byte