Ohio History Journal

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12

16 Ohio Arch

16         Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.


most people conceive (from the emigration of foreigners, who will

have no particular predilection toward us, as well as from the re-

moval of our own citizens), will be the consequence of their having

found close connections with both or either of those, in a commercial

way? It needs not in my opinion the gift of Prophecy to foretell. The

Western settlers, (I speak now from my own observation), stand as

it were upon a pivot. The touch of a feather would turn them any

way." Again speaking of the proposed canal, he says, "The Western

inhabitants would do their part towards its execution." "Weak as they

are they would meet us at least half way."

The effect of this letter is almost immediate. The Potomac and

James Companies are formed, Washington being chosen President of

the former. The State of Virginia in recognition of Washington's ser-

vice, voted him shares in both companies, which he refused to accept

unless for educational purposes. He thus disposed of them in his will.

Work was begun in the Potomac and pressed vigorously but Wash-

ington is called once more by the larger necessities of the Nation from

the work so near his heart. The work was not a failure - it is living

to-day and ought to bring Washington close to the hearts of the

people of this eastern Mississippi valley. May we not then say that

the man to whom this section was a matter of anxious concern from

his earliest manhood to his latest years, who dreamed this scheme

of inland navigation, who planned the canal yet to be between Lake

Erie and Pittsburgh, who built the first grist mill west of the Alle-

ghenies, who first experimented with western Pennsylvania coal, may

well be called the Father of Pittsburgh and of inland navigation.

The third paper on the Monday afternoon program was by

Miss H. Dora Stecker of the University of Cincinnati.








On account of the large scope of the subject, it has seemed pref-

erable to treat only a single incident in the early history of the steam-

boat in the west, that is, the endeavor of the Fulton and Livingston

interests to build up a system of navigation based on exclusive privi-

leges granted by states, similar to those given them by the state of

New York, and even this treatment must necessarily be brief and

desultory. Indeed, for a proper handling of this one phase, an introduc-

tion dealing with the origin of this system of state grants, with our

early patent law, and with the legal contests which arose therefrom,