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portion to its magnitude the most promptly executed work at that time accomplished in the United States. Besides these there is another canal through the Blue Ridge, about 7 miles long, and 30 feet wide, overcoming a fall of 100 feet.

James River and Kanawha Communication.—The necessity of opening a complete communication between the Ohio and Chesapeake by this line, has been felt by all classes in Virginia, indeed it is admitted that without it she must sink to a very low ebb when compared with her more enterprising sisters, in wealth, population, and importance. There has already been ex: pended on this line of improvement $1,274,583, of which $638,883 86, have been expended on the lower James River Canal, the old and new improvements,-$365,207 02 on the mountain canal,—$87,389,81 on the Kanawha, -and 8171,982 49 on turnpike roads and bridges from Covington to the Kanawha; but these improvements though of great local advantage to the sections of country in which they are situated, by no means establish a continuous communication. To effect this all-important object the Legislature in 1831-2, granted a charter of incorporation to the James River and Kanawha Company, with a capital of $5,000,000. This charter was at first liberal, but has since been most particularly and specially favored by the Legislature, for the purpose of inducing individual subscription; exempting the shares from taxation, making the charter perpetual, allowing the Banks to subscribe, and subscribing for the state an amount far beyond her usual proportion in improvements, &c. These advantages, and the unremitting exertions of some patriotic citizens, have (it is believed) procured the necessary amount of subscriptions, and it is probable that the noble work will be commenced in the spring of 1835. No human foresight can see the limit of the advantages attendant on its success, or the evils of ats failure.

Dismal Swamp Canal is another important improvement, it is said to have been the first canal commenced in the United States, and nearly the last finished, -it is 22} miles in length, 40 feet wide, and 6deep, it passes from Dzep creek to Joyce's creek at the head of Pasquotank river, and connects the waters of the Chesapeake with those of Albemarle sound, it is

*The first Message of Governor Tazewell contains the best history of the legislation upon this subject which we have seen;

"One of the great Corporations created for purposes of Internal Improvement, in which the Commonwealth is now concerned exclusively, is “ The James River Company.” The origin of this must be sought for as far back as the year 1784. In that year, the General Assembly passed an Act, whereby they incorporated a Company under this name, with a capital of $100,000, divided into 500 shares, of #200 each, for the purpose of clearing and extending the navigation of James River, from tide-water upwards, to the highest parts practicable on the main branch thereof. By seve. ral other acts passed afterwards, it was declared, that the highest place practicable within the meaning of the first act, was Crow's Ferry at the mouth of Looney's creek in the county of Botetourt; and the capital stock of the Company was increased to 700 shares. Of these shares, the state became a subscriber for 250, with which the Board of Public Works was afterwards endowed, as a part of its capital, when this Institution was created in 1816.

After the work for the accomplishment of which this charter was granted, had been completed, or very nearly so, it was thought beneficial to the state, to improve the navigation of James River beyond the highest point first fixed, to the mouth of Dunlap's Creek-to make a convenient road from thence to the great falls of the Kanawha River; and to make the last mentioned river navigable from the great falls thereof to the river Ohio. But as their charter imposed no such obligations upon the then existing Company, it was necessary to enter into a new contract with it, for that

partly in Virginia and partly in North Carolina. This canal was finished, upon a circumscribed plan in 1822. Its dimensions have since been enlarged. Every quarter of a mile, the canal is widened to 60 feet for turnout stations. The locks newly constructed correspond in dimensions with those of the Chesapeake and Delaware canal; and the old ones may be so altered when necessary, without great difficulty. The summit level is 164 feet above the Atlantic at mid-tide, and is supplied by a feeder of five miles length from lake Drummond. The basin at Deep creek, is half a mile in length, and 15 feet above the level of tide-water. The Northwest canal connects Northwest river (which empties into Currituck sound in N. Carolina) with the main canal, requiring a cut of 6 miles. This canal is 24 feet wide, and 4 feet deep.

The Appomatoz has been improved from its mouth 10 miles to Fisher's bar, and around the falls 5 or 6 miles above Petersburg.

Danville and Dan river canals are a series of improvements upon the purpose. This was accordingly done, by an act passed in February 1820. Under ihis new act, the state undertook to pay, semi-annually, to the Stockholders of the James River Company, a dividend upon their stock of 12 per centum per annum for several years, and of 15 per centum per annum forever thereafter. The state urdertook further, to carry into effect the contemplated improvements, by appropriating to that purpose the requisite funds; and in consideration of these things, the Company assigned to the Commonwealth, all their tolls and income of every kind.

The state having thus acquired all the interest of the original stockholders in this. Company, the General Assembly abolished the former Directory of the Company, by an Act passed in 1823, and appointing a new Directory of the same, committed the management of its concerns to this body. To enable the accomplishment of the object specified, sundry Acts were passed by the General Assembly, from time to time, authorizing the Directory to borrow large sums of money. For the payment of the interest of the sums so to be borrowed, and of the annuity aforesaid, all ihe income of the Company was appropriated to that purpose; and the General Assembly pledged its faith, that it would provide such other revenues as might be necessary. Until such other sufficient funds should be provided, however, so much of the revenue of the Board of Public Works as might be necessary to supply the deficiency, was expressly pledged.

Under this authority, the President and Directors of this Company have borrowed at various periods since the authority was given, and at various rates of interest, sundry sums of money, the aggregate of which amounts now to $1,324,500; and the total amount of the annual interest thereon is computed at $76,563 50, exclusive of the perpetual annuity of $21,000 payable to the original stockholders of the Company, for the surrender of their charter.

In 1832, the policy which seems to have guided the course of legislation upon the subject of the James River Company until that time, appears to have been changed. Until then, the policyhad directed, that the Commonwealth should possess the exclu. sive control over this great institution. To give complete effect to this policy, the state had expended much more than a million and a half of dollars in completing the work. But on the 16th of March 1832, a joint stock company was again incorporated, provisionally, to effect the great purpose of connecting the tide water of James River with the navigable waters of the Ohio. The capital of this company was to be $5,000,000 divided into shares of $100 each. To this stock, the state stipulated, that, she would subscribe at once ten thousand shares, or $1,000,000, to be paid for by a transfer of the whole interest the Commonwealth held in the works and property of the James River Company; and when three-fifths, or more, of the capital stock should be taken by others, the state agreed, to subscribe for the residue of the $5,000,000, be this what it might Time until the second Monday in December 1832, was allowed, for making up the subscription of the private stockholders, but before that day another act was passed, extending this time to the 3d Monday in December 1833, and this ex. tended time was again prolonged by another Act, passed by the last Assembly, until the 31st of December of the present year. The latter Act binds the Commonwealth to subscribe for the remainder of the capital stock of the contemplated company, whenever one moiety of it, or more, should have been taken by other subscribers.

In this state of things, while the faith of the state is pledged to comply with the

upper branches of the Roanoke river, upon which in Virginia and North Carolina, the Roanoke company have expended about 8350,000..

Shenandoah Canals are on the river of that name, and near Port Republic in Rockingham county.

A fall of 50 feet is overcome by sıx short canals with stone locks; by which this river is rendered navigable nearly 200 miles.

The Rappahannock has been improved by locks, dams, and canals, from Fredericksburg to Fox's mills, about 40 miles. This work was done by a joint stock company-$30,000 of the stock belonging to individuals, and $20,000 to the state.

North-Western Turnpike. We extract an account of this road from Gov. Tazewell's first message, sent to the Legislature Dec. 1st, 1834:

“Another great Corporation in which the Commonwealth is exclusively concerned, is that styled The President and Directors of the North-Western Turnpike Road. This was created by an act pased in the year 1831. Its object was, to construct a road from the town of Winchester, in the county of Frederick, to some point on the Ohio River to be thereafter selected; and the Corporation was authorized to borrow, on the credit of the State, a sum or sums of money not exceeding $125,000, for the accomplishment of the object of its creation. During the last session of the General Assem

conditions proposed by itself, provided these conditions are accepted by others, I feel myself restrained from offering a single remark as to the justice or policy of the contemplated scheme. The proffered contract must be carried into effect by the Commonwealth, be its effects what they may; provided those to whoin the proffer has been made accept its terms, on their part, within the time limited. But should these terms not be accepted within the time prescribed, I would recommend to your most serious consideration a careful revision of them, if a further extension of the time is hereafter proposed.

In any event it will be wise to provide some means now, by which the debt due by the James River Company may be ultimately reimbursed; because, whether the proposed arrangement be completed or not, the payment of the principal of this debt will remain as a charge upon the state exclusively: Although the payment of the perpetual annuity to the original stockholders in this Company, as well as of the annual interest due to the lenders of the large sums borrowed to carry on this great work, is well and amply provided for already, no provision has ever been made for the reimbursement of the debt itself. It is true, that no part of this is yet payable, nor will become due for many years: but sound policy requires that whenever a debt is contracted, funds adequate to the extinction of it, at some time or other should be seasonably appropriated to that object. Should this be omitted, there is always hazard, that the debt will not only become permanent, but that its amount will constantly auge ment; and while this tends, by its influence, to generate great inequalities in a state, it must in time disturb its legislation, impair its credit, and produce effects upon its currency which cannot be foreseen or prevented.

As a fiscal agent, the James River Company has been of no benefit as yet. The income of this Corporation has not sufficed to satisfy its own expenses, the perpetual annuity due to the original stockholders, and the interest of the sums borrowed to carry on its works. Owing to this cause, the ability of the Board of Public Works has been much cramped of late, by the necessity imposed upon that body to provide for the deficiency, out of its funds. But the resources of the James River Company have been much influenced for several years last past, by the shortness of the crops usually transported to market by the works of that Company; by the reduction of the rate of its tolls; as well as by various casualities; which it is to be hoped will not again occur. When these causes shall cease to operate, the income of this Company will be augmented of course; and if ever its annual resources shall suffice to meet all its annual engageinents, it must become a most valuable institution, not only to all those who may then be directly interested in it, but to the public and to the Treasury; provided this income be made liable to the reimbursement of the principal, and to ihe payment of the interest, of the debt due by the company, for which debt the Com. monwealth is ultimately bound.”

bly, an act was passed, empowering the Corporation to borrow, on the credit of the Commonwealth, for the purpose of the road, a further sum not exceeding $86,000.

“ Under the authority given to it by these several acts, the Corporation has borrowed the sum of $121,000 only, as yet, which may be considered as the present capital stock of this institution. For the payment of the interest, and the final redemption of the principal of all the sums borrowed, the nett proceeds and surplus tolls which may arise from the road, after keeping the same in repair, were pledged and appropriated, by the terms of the charter. But should these funds be found inadequate, the General Assembly has stipulated to provide other and sufficient revenues for these purposes; and until such other sufficient funds shall be provided by law, so much' of the revenue of the Board of Public Works, not otherwise appropriated, is pledged, as may be necessary to supply the deficiency.

· Although great progress has been made towards the completion of this work, it is not yet finished. No profits, therefore, have been derived from it; but it has hitherto acted as a drain of the income of the Board of Public Works, whose revenue is bound to provide for the payment of the interest on the capital borrowed. It is expected, however, that this improvement will be so far completed during the next year, that it may then be made productive; and when finished, but little doubt is entertained, that the income derived from its tolls, will not only keep it in repair, and satisfy the interest on the capital borrowed to construct the work, but will suffice, in time, to reimburse the lenders of this capital. It will then become a valuable fiscal agent."

Railroads, though but of late introduction into the United States, hare attracted considerable attention in Virginia; one has been lately executed styled the Chesterfield Railroad, near Richmond. The results of this road are more brilliant in proportion to its extent, than those of any similar work in the Union. It is about 13 miles long, and connects the coal-mines of Chesterfield with tide-water. The whole capital invested in it, including cars for transportation, stables, horses, &c. was $150,000. The trade on it is already 50,000 tons per annum, and the receipts for transportation during the year 1833 were 870,000. The stock is of course at a high premium.

The Petersburg and Roanoke Railroad was the second which went into operation in the state, which it did in midsummer 1833; the cars running daily between its extreme points. This road commences at Petersburg, and extends 60 miles a little W. of S. to Weldon, in N. Carolina, and the foot of the falls of Roanoke river; the line is very direct, and the graduation in no place exceeds 30 feet per mile, and the curves have radii of from 2 to 4 miles. Great part of the profit arising from this road is derived from the transportation of persons. The work was began on the line in 1831, and completed June, 1833, aggregate cost $450,000. Before the construction of this road Norfolk had always been regarded as the proper depot and outlet for the trade of the Roanoke valley, and would no doubt have become possessed of it by improvements connected with her Dismal Swamp Canal; but this road having arrested most of the trade and carried it to Petersburg, the country about Norfolk procured at the session of 1833–4 the passage of an act authorizing the Portsmouth and Roanoke Railroad, which is to terminate at the same point on the Roanoke with the Petersburg road, and which is now under contract. The construction of the Portsmouth road will probably carry the trade to the scaboard, to avoid the tedious navigation

of the James river, after it reaches Petersburg, -unless there should be à road made from Richmond to Petersburg, (which is spoken of) by which the trade coming by this route would have the advantage of the market of both cities. We can scarcely believe that there will be trade enough to employ profitably, both roads, as some suppose, but the travelling alone will always enable the Petersburg road to pay something to its owners.

The Winchester Railroud, connecting the flourishing town of Winchester, with the Baltimore and Ohio railroad at Harper's Ferry, is rapidly progressing, and nearly completed.

The Richmond and Fredericksburg Railroad company have the law, and will probably soon have the funds necessary for its completion, as the trade would be considerable, and the travelling immense.

The following list exhibits a number of projected improvements, for which the state has granted charters, and authorised a subscription of two fifths, on the part of the literary fund, as soon as the individual subscription should make up

the other three-fifths; some of these improvements are now going on actively, but in the most of them the stock has not as yet we believe been taken: Name of Companies.

Date of Act. Capital. Tro-fifths. Thoroughfare gap turnpike company,

13th Feb. 1833, 31000 12400 Lexington and Mountain canal turnpike co. 12ib

10000 4000 Winchester and Potomac railroad co.

31st Jan.

300000 120000 Huntersville and Warm spring turnpike co. 20th Mar. 1832, 16000

6100 Thornton's gap and Warrenton turnpike co. Ist 1833, 30000 12000 Danville and Evansham turnpike co.

28th Feb.

50000 20000 Staunton and Jennings's gap turnpike co. 7th Mar.

6000 2400 Fincastle and Blue Ridge turnpike co. 26th Feb.

8000 3200 Smithfield, Charlestown and Harper's ferry turnpike company, (additional sub.) 25th

10000 4000 Staunton & James river turnpike co. do. 7th

50000 20000 Rivanna and Fredericksburg turnpike co. 28th Jan.

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30000 12000 Millborough and Carr's creek turnpike co. 22d Dec. 1832, 5000

2000 $546000 $218400

Since this article was sent to press we have received the following table, shewing the state of the Internal Improvement Fund at a much later date: State of the Fund for Internal Improrement, 30th September, 1834. Produclire. Unproductire.

Totals. Permanent funds, (as per statement B,):

Bank stocks and loans, and James river company's stock,

1,345,900 00 Internal improvement companies,

29,150 00 298,611 11} 1,673,661 11 Disposable funds, (as per statement C,): Bank stocks and loans,

185,373 03 50,000 007 Internal improvement companies, 230,575 00 593,653 40

1,159,601 43

1,890,998 03 942,264 51 Total investments,

2,833,262 54

Cash in the treasury:

Belonging to the permanent funds, $30,

496 30, and to the disposable funds,
$15,243 53,

Total amount of the fund for internal improvement,

45,739 83

$2,879,002 37

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