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“ [396] with suitable powers relating to the premises.” In conformity with this vote, a petition was presented to the General Court, and a charter obtained ( “incorporating James Sullivan, Esq., and others, by the name of the Proprietors of the Middlesex Canal” ), bearing date June 22, 1793; and on the same day was signed by his excellency John Hancock, Governor of the Commonwealth.

By this charter, the proprietors were authorized to lay assessments, from time to time, as might be required for the construction of said canal. At the first meeting of the proprietors, after the choice of James Sullivan as moderator, and Samuel Swan as clerk, the following votes were passed; viz.,

That the Hon. James Sullivan, Hon. James Winthrop, and Christopher Gore, Esq., be a committee to arrange the business of the meeting, which they reported in the following order:--

Voted that the business of the corporation be transacted by a committee, annually elected, consisting of thirteen directors, who shall choose their president and vice-president out of their own number.

Voted that the Hon. James Sullivan, Loammi Baldwin, Esq., the Hon. Thomas Russell, Hon. James Winthrop, Christopher Gore, Esq., Joseph Barrell, Esq., Andrew Cragie, Esq., Hon. John Brooks, Captain Ebenezer Hall, Jonathan Porter, Esq., Ebenezer Storer, Esq., Caleb Swan, and Samuel Jaques, be directors for pursuing the business of the canal for the present year.

At a meeting of the directors, Oct. 11, the following vote was passed:--

“Voted that the Hon. James Sullivan be president; Loammi Baldwin, Esq., first vice-president; and Hon. John Brooks, second vice-president.”

The board of directors being duly organized, the next duty was to commence “the necessary surveys of the most eligible route between Medford River and Chelmsford, by the Concord River.” Here the committee were met by an almost insurmountable difficulty: the science of civil-engineering was almost unknown to any one in this part of the country. They were, however, determined to persevere; and appointed Mr. Samuel Thompson, of Woburn, who began his work, and proceeded from Medford River, at a place near the location of the present lock, and followed up the river to Mystic Pond, through the pond and Symmes's River, to Horn Pond in Woburn, and through said pond to the head thereof. Meeting here bars they could neither let down nor remove, they went back to Richardson's Mill, on Symmes's River, and passed up the valley, through the east part of Woburn, to Wilmington, and found an easy and very regular ascent until they reached Concord River; a distance travelled, as the surveyor says, “ from Medford Bridge to the Billerica Bridge, about twenty three miles; and the ascent he found to be, from Medford River to the Concord, sixty-eight and one-half feet. The actual elevation, when afterwards surveyed by a practical ”

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