Front Page Titles (by Subject) III.: Delaware and Chesapeake Canal. - Report of the Secretary of the Treasury; on the Subject of Public Roads and Canals
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III.: Delaware and Chesapeake 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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Delaware and Chesapeake Canal.
A Company incorporated by the states of Delaware and Maryland, for opening this canal, has commenced its operations, now suspended for want of funds.
The canal will commence at Welsh point on Elk river, an arm of the Chesapeake, and terminate at a distance of 22 miles, on Christiana creek, a branch of the Delaware. At low water the depth of water in Christiana is nine feet, and in Elk twelve feet, within one hundred feet from the shore. The tide rises four feet in both rivers. The canal might, without encreasing the distance, be conducted to New Castle on the Delaware itself, instead of ending at Christiana creek.
The highest intermediate ground, over which the canal will be carried on a level of 13 miles in length, is 74 feet above tide water, the descent being effected by nine locks on each side. The digging is generally easy: no expensive aqueducts or bridges, nor any other obstacles but those which have already been overcome in digging the feeder through a very rocky soil.
The supply of water drawn from Elk river, by a feeder six miles in length, already completed, which is itself a boat canal three and a half feet deep, united by a lock of ten feet lift with the main canal, is calculated to fill daily 144 locks; a quantity sufficient on an average for the daily passage of twenty four vessels. A reservoir covering thirty, and which may be encreased to 150 acres, will supply occasional deficiencies: other reservoirs may be added, and Christiana and White Clay creeks may hereafter be brought in aid of Elk river, if the supply should prove too scanty for an encreased navigation.
The canal 26 feet wide at the bottom, and 50 at the top on the water line, being dug at the depth of 8 feet, is intended for vessels of forty to 70 tons, drawing 7 1-2 feet water: but the banks twenty feet wide for towing paths, and one of which may be converted into a turnpike road, being raised three feet above the level of the water, will, by encreasing the height of the lock gates one foot, admit a depth of nine feet of water in the canal; at which depth it would perhaps be eligible to dig at once. The locks 80 feet long, 18 feet wide, and 8 (or 9) feet deep over the gate-sills, containing each 11,500 to 13,000 cubic feet of water, and with a lift of 8 to 9 feet each, will be constructed of hewn stone laid in tarras. Those dimensions both of the canal and locks, recommended by Mr. Latrobe, the engineer of the canal, may be adopted in all the other canals for sea vessels, on this line of communication.
The present annual carriage across the peninsula, which would be drawn through the canal, is estimated at forty two thousand tons, exclusively of passengers. This will be greatly encreased by the facility which the canal itself will afford to the commercial intercourse between the two bays, and to the conveyance of articles now carried through other channels, or too heavy for transportation, at the present expense of carriage. The coals wanted for Philadelphia, and which brought down from the sources of the Susquehanah and Potomac, but principally from the vicinity of Richmond, would naturally pass through the canal, have been alone estimated at more than one hundred thousand tons a year. The annual carriage of all articles may, in the present state of population, be fairly estimated at one hundred and fifty thousand tons, and the direct annual saving to the community at 300,000 dollars, being at the rate of 2 dollars a ton for the difference between land and water carriage across the peninsula, after paying the tolls. These, at the rate of fifty cents a ton, will give to the undertakers a revenue of 75,000 dollars, leaving, after a deduction of 10,000 dollars for annual repairs, and of 10,000 dollars more for attendance and contingencies, a nett income of 55,000 dollars.
The expenses of the whole work are estimated as followeth:
The interest on which sum, at 6 per cent. is 51,000 dollars.
The capital originally subscribed amounted to four hundred thousand dollars, divided into two thousand shares, of two hundred dollars each. One half of these has been forfeited after a small payment of five dollars on each share. One hundred thousand dollars paid by the other stockholders, have been expended in preparatory measures, in the purchase of water rights, and in digging the feeder, which was considered as the most difficult part of the work. Seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars are still wanted to complete the work; of which sum, one hundred thousand dollars is payable by the stockholders, and the deficiency of 650,000 dollars, must be drawn from other sources.