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HAZARD'S

REGISTER OF PENNSYLVANIA.

DEVOTED TO THE PRESERVATION OF EVERY KIND OF USEFUL INFORMATION RESPECTING THE STATE. EDITED BY SAMUEL HAZARD.

VOL. XV.-NO. 1.

PHILADELPHIA, JANUARY 3, 1835.

RIVER DELAWARE.

NO.365.

such restrictions that the least possible injury might be Report of the Commissioners appointed on the part of done to the navigation of the river. The right to the free the State of Pennsylvania, under a resolution of the use of the stream belonged to the citizens of both States Legislature relative to the use of the waters of the long before these canals were projected. Those most River Delaware.-Read in the House of Representa-race of watermen, who have made "the running of the interested in its enjoyment, are a hardy and industrious tives, December 13, 1834. river" the business of their lives. Any "greement which

To the Senate and House of Representatives of the Com-should fail to secure their rights, would not and ought monwealth of Pennsylvania.

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Gentlemen.-I herewith transmit the report of the commissioners on the part of the State of Pennsylvania, under certain resolutions of the Legislature, relative to the use of the waters of the Delaware," together with the agreement executed by them in conjunction with the commissioners appointed on the part of the State of New Jersey, in relation to that subject, and accompanying documents, and to which I respectfully invite the immediate attention of the General Assembly. GEO: WOLF.

Harrisburg, December 12th, 1834.

TO GEORGE WOLF,

Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania: The undersigned commissioners appointed in obe. dience to two resolutions of the Legislature of Pennsylvania, "relative to the use of the waters of the Delaware," approved the 10th April, 1832, and the 8th February, 1833, respectfully report:

That on the 22d November last, they executed an agreement with Garret D. Wall, John M.Sherrerd, and Peter J. Stryker, Esquires, commis-ioners appointed by virtue of similar resolutions of the Legislature of New Jersey, which is herewith transmitted. Should this agreement meet the approbation of the Legisla tures of both States, the controversy which has heretofore existed between them, in regard to the use of the waters of the Delaware, will be finally, and, they believe, happily adjusted.

It would be useless to detail all the proceedings of the joint commissioners, which brought them to the final result: The undersigned will, therefore, confine themselves to a brief exposition of the reasons why they entered into such an arrangement,and then leave it to the wisdom of the Legislatures of the respective States for their adoption or rejection.

not to be sanctioned by either State.

A great error was committed in the location of the Pennsylvania canal, by not making its bottom level two feet lower. Had this been done, it might have been supplied with water from the river, through the feeder, without the aid of a dam. This mistake was not dis covered until it was too late to be corrected without great expense and trouble, and without abandoning the use of the whole canal, until the section immediately below New Hope could be excavated to the proper level. It then became proper to obtain the consent of New Jersey to the erection of such a dam as would, at all times, supply the Pennsylvania canal with water, and thus place it on an equal footing with the Delaware and Raritan canal, which, by means of the admirable position of this feeder, abstracts the water from the river without any dam.

The agreement secures to Pennsylvania the right of constructing a dam at Wells' Falls, not exceeding three feet in height above the surface of low water at the head of the Falls, with a sluice sixty feet wide. In the opinion of Mr. Gay, the engineer employed by the Pennsylvania commissioners, such a dam of two feet in height, would be sufficient to answer the purpose. In making a permanent provision, however, it was thought best to insert three feet, and thus avoid all difficulties which might occur in time to come. This was deemed the more proper, as Mr. Douglas, the engineer of the New Jersey commissioners, is of opinion that a higher dam than two feet would be required. It is strongly recommended that this dam shall be raised no higher than may be absolutely necessary.

In considering the provisions made to secure and facilitate the river navigation, it will be necessary to view them both as regards the descending and the ascend ing trade. And first in regard to the descending trade:

Wells' Falls have presented more difficulties to waWhen they visited the Delaware, in September last, termen than any other portion of the river between they found that the Delaware and Raritan canal compa- Easton and tide. Indeed they have, at this place, been ny, were enjoying the use of the waters of the river, obliged to employ pilots at considerable expense; and for the purpose of supplying their canal, by means of a even then, their craft have often been cast away. The feeder at the head of Bull's Island. The Canal Coni-channel, for about one hundred and fifty feet below the missioners of Pennsylvania, had also erected temporary but very inadequate works at Wells' Falls, by means of which, the Delaware division of the Pennsylvania canal below New Hope was partially supplied with water.These works had, on both sides, been constructed in violation of the spirit of the compact of 1783, between the two States, for the purpose of settling the juris, diction of the river Delaware." What then was to be done? It could not be supposed that either State would abandon the use of her canals for want of water, whilst the river was flowing past them. The true policy, then, was to grant to each as much and only as much water as might be necessary to supply her canals, but under VOL. XV.

contemplated dam, passes between two ledges of rocks, each terminated by large and high rocks between fifty and sixty feet apart. If this channel be missed, the descending raft or boat is made a wreck, unless when the water is very high. The proposed sluice will be a perfect security against this danger, and will render the employment of pilots unnecessary. According to the language of the agreement, its walls must be made of substantial timber crib work, filled with stones, and the upper ends thereof, extending into the dam, shall be made sufficiently high to afford an index to watermen of the channel prepared for them. It must be at least three hundred feet long, or longer if necessary, to make

a secure descending navigation.” The descending craft will thus be safely passed through these ledges of rocks which constitute the greatest danger in the Falls, with the increased depth of water which will be forced into the channel by the dam. Indeed, judging from the opinions of the engineers, as well as those of experienced watermen, a similar dam and sluice ought to have been constructed, merely to improve the descending naviga. tion of the river, without any reference to the supply of the Pennsylvania canal with water. The experience which we have had of the effects of dams and sluices on our other rivers, proves that such works as those proposed ought not to alarm the fears of the most timid. That they will be executed in good faith, according to the terms of the agreement, should it be sanctioned, cannot for a moment be doubted.

Next in regard to the ascending river trade. This is now conducted by what are called Durham boats. These are falling gradually into disuse, and it is probable that they will disappear in the course of a few years. The whole ascending trade, from the nature of things, must ere long pass through the canals on either side of the river. Whilst any citizen, however, desires to use the natural stream for this purpose, his right to do so is unquestionable. The proposed agreement provides for such persons a much better and more secure navigation than they have ever enjoyed. It takes their boats into the Pennsylvania canal below the Falls, by two wooden locks at the mouth of Neely's creek, and passes them out into the dam above the Falls through the guard lock; and this free of toll. The most difficult and dangerous navigation of the whole river is thus avoided.

The cost of these improvements, according to the estimate of Mr. Gay, will amount to $27,000.

Whilst this arrangement se cures both the ascending and descending trade of the river, it provides the means, without any additional expense, of a communication between the Pennsylvania and the Delaware and Raritan canal. The guard lock necessary at the head of our feeder, and the deep water which will be created across the river by the dam, will, should the Delaware and Raritan company lock down into it from their feeder, make this communication complete. Although the agreement does not stipulate that this shall be done, and both parties are at perfect liberty to act as they think proper, yet the public interest and convenience must soon accomplish this purpose. Indeed we have good reason to believe that the Canal Commissioners have it already in serious contemplation.

There is no place on the river where this communication can be conveniently effected, with a due regard to the interests of Pennsylvania, except at Wells' Falls. It is natural for the Delaware and Raritan canal company to prefer that it should be made at Black's Eddy, which is but a very short distance above the head of their feeder. But the consequence would be, that Pennsylvania must lose a large portion of toll upon her canal, between Black's Eddy and New Hope, a distance of about ten miles, without any corresponding advantages to the public. For whether a boat passes out of one canal into the other, at Black's Eddy, or at New Hope, can make no material difference except to those who receive the tolls.

From this connection at New Hope, the Delaware and Raritan canal company must, notwithstanding, derive important advantages. It would be difficult to form any estimate of the quantity of coal from the Lehigh which must thus be drawn into their canal for the purpose of seeking a market at New York. Suffice it to say, that it would be a fruitful and annually increasing source of revenue.

ties through the same channel to the city of New York. Besides, the feeder was originally destined merely to supply the canal with water, and not to become a source of profit to the company. By the proposed connection, however, that part of it between Lambertsville (opposite to New Hope) and Trenton, will become in itself an important and profitable canal.

A connection at this point will furnish to the people of both States, along the Delaware, the benefits of the rival markets of New York and Philadelphia; and being made as near to the latter city as practicable, will yield no undue advantages to the former.

Had the views of the Commissioners been limited to the best mode of supplying the canal below New Hope with water, they might probably have recommended a dam and feeder at Cutbush's Island. But when they consider this subject as essentially connected with a communication between the two canals, they have no hesitation in recommending Wells' Falls as the place from whence Pennsylvania ought to take the water for this purpose.

The whole of this branch of the question has been so clearly elucidated in a paper presented to the Commis sioners by Mr. Ingham, who resides near the spot, and possesses both a general and local knowledge of the subject, that they take the liberty of transmitting it with their report.

From the report of Mr. Kneass, the engineer former-/ ly employed by Mr. Sergeant, under the direction of the board, it appears that at the time he made his examinations, a serious obstruction to the navigation of the river existed at Scudder's Falls, which had been placed there by the Trenton Delaware Falls company. In October last, when the Commissioners of both States met at Trenton, they went upon the ground, and found that it had been so far removed as no longer to present any very serious impediment. The company have since adopted a resolution pledging themselves that there shall not in future be any cause of complaint; and the State of New Jersey has, by the agreement, undertaken, that this obstruction shall be removed or otherwise obviated.

The undersigned Commissioners herewith transmit the report of Mr. Kneass, of the 2d April, 1834, together with his drawings of the river from Easton to tide; the copy of a letter of instructions addressed to Mr. Gay on the 17th October last, with his report of the 27th of the same month; a copy of the report of Mr. Douglas to the New Jersey Commissioners; and the paper submitted by Mr. Ingham to the Pennsylvania Commissioners, at New Hope, on the 27th September last.

In conclusion, the undersigned embrace this occasion publicly to express their sense of the liberal, frank and friendly disposition manifested by the New Jersey Commissioners, throughout the whole of the proceedings. With sentiments of the highest consideration, We remain truly yours,

December 1834.

JAMES BUCHANAN,
JOSEPH BURKE,
ROBERTS VAUX.

AGREEMENT

Between the Commissioners of the States of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, relative to the use of the waters of the river Delaware.

An Agreement made and concluded between James Buchanan, Joseph Burke, and Roberts Vaux, Commissioners appointed by virtue of certain resolutions of the Legislature of Pennsylvania; and Garret D. Wall, John M. Sherrerd, and Peter J. Stryker, Commissioners appointed by virtue of similar resolutions of the Legislature of New Jersey:

That portion of New Jersey along the route of the canal is greatly in need of lime,and the country around New Hope, in Pennsylvania, can supply this want to First. It is declared that the State of New Jersey any extent which may be required. Indeed it is highly may take, or cause to be taken, from the Delaware riprobable that this article may be sent in large quanti-ver, by means of the feeder at the head of Bull's Island,

tion.

this view. Should you find it practicable, you will report to the Commissioners the best mode of supplying the canal from this point, with the least possible injury to the navigation of the river. Please to be particular in stating the height of the dam which may be necessa ry for this purpose, and describing it in other essential particulars. You will, also, direct your attention to the best mode of counteracting the impediments which such a dam may interpose to the ascending and descending trade by the natural channel.

Might not the navigation of the river be completely secured by the construction of an outlet lock above and another below the falls? And in case it should be deemed expedient to establish a communication between the Delaware and Raritan canal and the Pennsylvania canal, at this point, would not the upper lock serve, both to pass the river trade, and effect such a communication?

as much water as may be necessary to supply the Delaware and Raritan canal for the purposes of naviga Second. It is declared that the State of Pennsylvania may take, or cause to be taken from the Delaware river, by means of dams and feeders at Wells' Falls, as much water as may be necessary to supply the Dela ware division of the Pennsylvaaia canal, as far as the city of Philadelphia, should the canal be so far extended, for the purposes of navigation. The height of the dam to be constructed by the State of Pennsylvania at Wells' Falls, shall not exceed three feet above the surface of low water at the head of the Falls. There shall be a sluice in the dam sixty feet wide, and at least three hundred feet long, or longer if necessary to make a se. cure descending navigation. The walls of the sluice as well as the dam shal be made of substantial timber cribwork, filled with stones, and the upper end of the sluice walls extending into the dam shall be made sufficiently high to afford an index to watermen of the channel prepared for them. Boats or other craft ascending the river shall be admitted into the Pennsylvania canal, by locks constructed at or near the mouth of Neily's creek; and the said boats or other craft ascend- You are, likewise, requested to examine te obstruction ing the river shall be let out into the river by a guard which has been erected at Scudder's Falls by the Trenlock or lift looks at the head of the Falls, free of ex-ton Delaware Falls company, and inform us, whether pense. The locks shall be of sufficient capacity to admit all boats or other craft which can navigate the Pennsylvania canal. A good and sufficient channel shall be kept open above the dam, of sufficient depth at low water to float said ascending boats or other craft which may pass from the said canal, to a corresponding depth of water in the river, and above the suction of the said sluice, and such a tow path as may be necessary for this purpose shall be constructed. Such locks, channel and tow path shall, at all times, be kept in good repair by the State of Pennsylvania.

Third. The State of New Jersey shall cause the obstructions to the navigation of the river Delaware, at Scudder's Falls, which have been placed there by the Trenton Delaware Falls company, to be removed or otherwise obviated.

Fourth. Nothing herein contained shall be construed to impair or alter the contract made between the States of Pennsylvania and New Jersey on the twentysixth day of April, one thousand seven hundred and thirty-three, except so far as the same is herein declared.

Fifth. This Agreement shall be considered as a joint compact between the said States, and the citizens thereof respectively, whenever the Legislatures of the said States shall severally have passed laws, approving of and ratifying the same; and shall thereafter forever be irrevocable by either of the said contracting parties, without the concurrence of the other.

In witness whereof, we, the Commissioners of the aforesaid States, have set our hands and seals to two instruments of the Agreement, one for each State, at the city of Philadelphia, this twenty-second day of November, one thousand eight hundred and thirty-four.

JAMES BUCHANAN,
JOSEPH BURKE,
ROBERTS VAUX,
GARRET D. WALL,
JOHN M. SHERRERD,
P. J. STRYKER.

COPY OF A LETTER

Of Instructions addressed to Edward F. Gay, Esq.

LANCASTER, 17th October, 1834. Dear Sir:-Mr. Kneass, the former engineer of the Commissioners, having made no report concerning the practicability of supplying the Pennsylvania canal with water from Wells' Falls; you are hereby requested to make an examination of that portion of the river, with

We should be pleased to have an estimate of the expense of all these works.

Does the Lehigh, in your opinion, afford sufficient water, at all seasons, to supply the canal from Easton to New Hope?

there is, in your judgment, any mode of restoring the navigation, except by entirely removing the nuisance.

There is good reason to believe that, within the last few weeks, the Delaware and Raritan canal company have caused their feeder, at Bull's Island, to be deepened a foot or more. If this be true, what will be the effect upon the navigation of the river?

The joint commission will meet at Trenton, on Tuesday the 29th instant: at which time it is expected that your report will be prepared.

By order of the Board of Pennsylvania Commmis-
sioners.
JAMES BUCHANAN, Chairman.
EDWARD E. GAY, Esq. Engineer.

MR. GAY'S REPORT.

LANCASTER, Oct. 27th, 1834.

To the Hox. JAMES BUCHANAN,

Chairman of Board of Pennsylvania Commissioners. Sir: In conformity with your instructions of the 17th inst., I have made such examinations as were deemed necessary, to ascertain the practicability of supplying the Pennsylvania canal with water, at Well's Falls, on the Delaware river, The result of which is an assurance, that it is practicable to supply the canal at that place.

As my limited time will not allow me to enter into a general description of the river at Well's Falls, I will therefore proceed immediately to describe the mode which appears to me best calculated to obtain the desired supply, without injury to the navigation of the

river.

The present dam at the Falls as constructed by the State of Pennsylvania, extends up stream from its connection with the western shore, at an angle of about twenty degrees deflection from it. It is proposed to extend this dam two hundred and sixteen feet further up the stream, thence at a right angle with the course of the river, to connect the dam with the Eastern, or Jersey shore, leaving a sluice of sixty feet wide in the centre or main channel of the river, for the passage of arks, rafts, or other craft, descending the same.

The height of the dam contemplated, is two feet above the furface of low water mark at the head of the Falls, and its length exclusive of the old dam will be eight hundred (800) feet.

The sluice is designed to be three hundred feet long. extending parallel with the stream one hundred and fifty feet above, and the same distance below the dam, both the sluice and dam, should be formed of substantial

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