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wide and fifty or sixty feet long, and of light draught, owing to the physical limitation of her route, the fresh shallow water of the Middlesex canal and the Merrimack river. The former had been in operation but fifteen years, and as yet had paid no dividends, when the steamboat Merrimack first ploughed its placid waters. With a steam service from Boston to Salem and Newburyport, and the Merrimack river navigable to Haverhill, the canal's interests would be endangered, and its enterprising manager set about their defense. A steamboat line on the inland route would open the Merrimack valley direct to Boston, as locks just constructed made navigation posal, the railroad, had not gained so easy a victory. The answer may be found, partly in the natural conditions then existing and partly in the financial. The Merrimack river, with its many rocks and the sunken logs of the lumber drives, all difficult to remove, was a continual menace; while the artificial banks of the canal were e