Front Page Titles (by Subject) I.: Massachusetts Canal. - Report of the Secretary of the Treasury; on the Subject of Public Roads and Canals
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I.: Massachusetts Canal. - Albert Gallatin, Report of the Secretary of the Treasury; on the Subject of Public Roads and Canals 
Report of the Secretary of the Treasury; on the Subject of Public Roads and Canals; made in pursuance of a Resolution of the Senate, of March 2, 1807 (Washington: R.C. Weightman, 1808).
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1. Sandwich isthmus, between Barnstable bay on the north, and Buzzard’s bay on the south, had first attracted the public attention. Surveys and levels were taken, for the purpose of ascertaining the practicability of opening a cross cut, to be supplied by the sea itself, from the mouth of Back river, in Buzzard’s bay, to the mouth of Scusset river, in Barnstable bay.
The distance was found to exceed 7 miles; the elevation of the highest intermediate ground is forty feet above low water mark in Barnstable bay; the depth of water at the mouth of Back river, does not at low water, exceed 7 feet and a half; and the channel to that spot through Buzzard bay, is obstructed by shoals. The tide which rises but three feet and and a half in that bay, rises three hours and a half later, and more than eighteen feet in that of Barnstable. The shore on which that formidable tide would operate, is an open beach, without any harbor or shelter whatever. Independent of other obstacles, it was apprehended that the same natural causes, which had formed the isthmus, might fill the canal, or make a bar at its entrance; and the project seems to have been abandoned.
2. The ground was also examined between Barnstable harbor on the north, and Hyannus harbor on the south, at some distance east of Sandwich. The breadth of the peninsula does not exceed here four miles and a half, and there would be an harbor at each end of the canal. The same difference exists in the tides which rise 4 feet in Hyannus, and 16 feet in Barnstable harbor. The entrance of this is obstructed by shoals; but the great obstacle to a cross cut, is the elevation of the intermediate ground, estimated at 80 feet above tide water. Navigable ponds on that high ground might perhaps form part of a lock canal, and supply the remainder with water. But a canal frozen in winter, would not have effected the great object in view, which was to enable vessels from sea, to proceed in winter from Martha’s Vineyard, to Boston, without sailing around Cape Cod. Although the difficulty of the navigation from Boston to Barnstable, diminishes the utility of this communication, as one of the great links in this line of inland navigation, it may be resorted to, should that which will be next mentioned, prove impracticable for sea vessels.
3. The attention of the legislature of Massachusetts, under whose authority the grounds at Sandwich and Barnstable, had been examined, has lately been turned to a direct communication between Weymouth landing, within the harbor of Boston, and Taunton river, which empties into the bay of Rhode Island. A favorable report has been made, during the last session, of which a copy has lately been obtained. The distance from tide water to tide water, is 26 miles by one route, and 23 1-4 miles by another. The highest intermediate ground, is 133 feet above tide water, but may be reduced ten feet, by digging to that depth, the length of a mile. Two ponds known by the names of Weymouth and Cranberry, the largest and least elevated of which covers five hundred acres, and is 14 feet higher than the summit of the proposed canal, will supply the upper locks with water by feeders, four miles long. Whether the quantity of water contained in the ponds, and estimated equal to a daily supply of 450,000 cubic feet, will be sufficient for a sloop navigation; and whether any other ponds or streams may be brought in aid, does not seem to be fully ascertained. After descending twenty feet towards Weymouth, and seventy towards Taunton, an ample supply for the lower locks, will be derived from other large ponds, the principal of which are known by the names of Braintree and Nippinitic.
The expense may, on a supposition that the route is partly through a rocky soil, be estimated as follows: