From the Baltimore American, June 14. The Fifth Annual Report of the President and Directors of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company, occupies one entire page of the ample sheet of the National Intelligencer of yesterday. It is an important and valuable document, but entirely too long for re-publication in this paper. We can only furnish an abstract of its principal statements as to the progress of the work, its condition and prospects, and the finances of the company.
The prevalence of the cholera in the valley of the Potomac during last summer retarded the works, but notwithstanding that obstruction the most costly part of the new line above Harpers-Ferry, (14 miles in length,) has been completed, bringing 26 miles more into use, which were formerly without water, so that by the first of July boats may enter the canal from the bed of the Potomac above Harpers-Ferry falls, or from the Shenandoah, in the midst of them. The works above the falls have proceeded with like diligence.
The force employed on this part averaged, for the 5 weeks preceding the 18th May, 2,700 laborers, 655 horses, mules and oxen, and the powder employed in blasting rocks, 7,000 pounds a week. The entire force on the Canal, for the same period, was 4,460 laborers, 1,048 horses, mules and oxen, and an average weekly consumption of 10,000 pounds of gun powder.
The work done since the first of May, 1832 has cost $915,211.89, of which $753,019.26 was expended above the Point of Rocks, and $162,192.63 below. Of the latter sum $53,107.35 was expended in the city of Washington, and $21,220.72 at the Little Falls dams. This excludes cost of superintendence, land purchases, condemnations and incidental expenses.
The amount necessary to be done before the 1st of October next, in order to fulfil the contracts and complete the line of 102 miles of canal and 15 miles of still water navigation, the report states in the following form, dating from the 1st of May last. At that time there remained to be done,
For the line of canal in Washington ($11, 740.28 1/2) For that between the Point of Rocks and the head of Harpers-Ferry falls (94,545.00) For that above these falls, and below the ferry at Shepherdstown, inclusive of the lock just let (82,537,00) And for that above Shepherdstown (513,958.22 1/2)
Making the total amount, ($702,815.51 1/2)
Some of these are stated as incidental works, the construction of which may be deferred.
To this sum must be added $12,500 for another lock opposite to Shepherdstown, in compliance with the conditions of the Virginia subscription. The board has determined to transfer the locks above, to a point below, and increase the canal four miles, diminishing the still water navigation that much, and thus add $100,000 to the cost of the canal. —
These sums ($100,000 and 12,500) added to the aggregate above, give $815, 315.51 as the estimated expenditures to be made between the 1st of May and the 1st of October next, to fulfil the contract. Nearly the whole line below Shepherdstown will be finished by the 1st of August, and the report anticipates that a concentration of all the force on the line above that point, would finish it in due time.
The amount of expenditures for the year ending May 1st ult. was $821,392.74 in the following proportions: for construction, $754,573.87; engineer department, $19,453.30; pay of officers, $6,935.50; lands $27,655.79, besides incidental expenses. A large amount not included in the above, is retained by contracts as security for diligence and fidelity in the contractors.
The sums required from May first to October first, are stated as follows: The estimate of construction as stated above, is $815,351, which, added to the retained amount due contractors, is exclusive of April estimate and the retained money of the month of May, &c. $900,000
To which add for these items, engineer allowances, expenses, &c. (206,000.00) Total sum required ($1,106,000.00)
To meet this the resources are: Cash, (508,532.62) Uncalled for and uncollected stock (616,571.92) Amount to be received from the railroad company, above the cost of graduating road, &c. (170,000) [total] $1,295,104.54
The report thus shows a surplus of $289,000 after completing 117 miles of canal and still water navigation. Upon the faith of this surplus, considering it applicable to the extension of the eastern division of the canal to Cacapon, they have directed the necessary location and survey. This sum is to be used to prepare the necessary dams and aqueducts in part, during the succeeding autumn.
The estimations for the remaining 75 miles of the eastern section of the canal are the next general head, preliminary to which the report enters into several statements to show the economy with which the work has been prosecuted. They show that exclusive of six miles below tide water, 100 miles of the canal, 3 of tow path beneath a cliff of rocks, and 11 of slack water navigation, have been made, at an expense of less than $32,000 per mile, and that 42 miles above Harpers Ferry have cost, including land purchases, condemnations, and every thing but contingent expenses, less than $25,000 per mile.
At this latter sum is estimated the cost of the remaining 75 miles, making a total of $1,850,000— of which the pecuniary resources of the company, making due allowance for unavailable stock, do not at present supply more than $150,000, leaving, consequently $1,700,000 to be hereafter provided.
To supply this deficiency, ultimately, much reliance is placed on the water rights granted by the charters of Virginian and Maryland, but any application to that resource is advised against, until the final issue of the legal controversy, respecting its just extent, now depending in the Supreme Court of the United States, and the issue of such efforts as the friends of the canal, in Maryland, may make, to liberate the recent grant of that state from those restrictions which prevent it from being responsive, in terms, to the preceding act of Virginia.”
It is recommended that for the present, loans should be sought for on the future exercise of these rights, and confident expectations are expressed of future subscriptions by Maryland, Virginia, and the United States. The compliance of the canal company with conditions annexed to the subscription of Virginia, and their acceptance of the compromise law of Maryland, in favor of the railroad company, are urged as giving them claims to further favor.
The report further contemplates the aid of the United States in the employment of the army to tunnel the Allegany mountains.
The tolls for the last year were $22,625.55, and the whole sum received from the commencement of the work $88,989.28.
The rest of the report consists of some speculations upon the future productiveness of the canal after it shall have reached the coal region, and a history of the compromise with the rail road company, in which the following paragraph occurs: —
When the canal shall have been completed, as the undersigned now confidently trust it will be, without further embarrassment, while the rail road car is seen pursing its rapid course to the south, and the canal boats steadily to the west, the line of but twelve miles for which these great works are brought in contact, by the late compromise, will dwindle into a point, not of collision between embittered rivals, but of Union between generous friends, seeking, by different means, a common object— the public good.
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