Ohio History Journal

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Ohio Valley Hist

Ohio Valley Hist. Ass'n, Fifth Annual Meeting.           27


with after the first half of the year 1818, the state grant remaining on

the statute book a dead letter, and the whole matter receiving adjudica-

tion by the decision of Chief Justice Marshall in 1824, in the well

known case of Gibbons vs. Ogden. Even before the trials of April,

1817, boats had been springing up everywhere. By 1819, there were over

sixty in western waters, and from this period the west, with the changes

wrought by the introduction of the steamboat, may be said to have

entered upon her second stage of existence. The day of the licensed

company was over-and the period of free competition among steam-

boats inaugurated. What this meant in hastening internal improvement,

in stimulating domestic manufacture, in welding the west into an

economic unit, is another chapter in the history of the steamboat.


Monday evening was given over to a Waterways Meeting

under the auspices of the Historical Society of Western Penn-

sylvania, impromptu addresses being delivered by Mayor Magee

and Governor Tener. The main address of the evening was by

Col. John L. Vance.








Every step in the progress of the improvement of the Ohio River

has received the approval of the Congress and the recommendation

of the Engineers of the United States Army after careful surveys and

examinations of the river from its source to its mouth.

A special Board appointed under direct authority of Congress,

followed by the Board of Review--both boards composed of experi-

enced officers of recognized ability-made reports recommending the

improvement of the river by locks and movable dams to provide nine

feet of water.

In closing its official report, the Special Board said: "In view

of the enormous interests to be benefited by continuous navigation on

the Ohio River, and the great development which may be expected

from such increased facilities, the Board is of the opinion that the

Ohio River should be improved by means of locks and movable dams

to provide a depth of nine feet from Pittsburgh to Cairo."

And the Board of Review reported:

* * * "For these reasons the Board is of the opinion that the

improvement of the Ohio River by locks and movable dams so as to