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[52] to an appreciation of the vast changes which accompanied this transition if we will remember that, roughly speaking, the Middlesex Canal belongs to the first half of the nineteenth century, while the railroad belongs to the latter half of that period.

In the month of May, 1793, a certain number of gentlemen assembled for the purpose of ‘opening a canal from the waters of the Merrimac, by Concord River or in some other way, through the waters of Mystic River to the town of Boston.’ There were present at this meeting the Hon. James Sullivan, who was at this time attorney general, and later governor of Massachusetts, and in whose fertile mind the idea originated; Benjamin Hall, Willis Hall, Ebenezer Hall, Jonathan Porter, Loammi Baldwin, a leader in the enterprise and superintendent of construction, Ebenezer Hall, Jr., Andrew Hall, and Samuel Swan, Esq. After organizing by the choice of Benjamin Hall as chairman, and Samuel Swan, Esq., as clerk, the Hon. James Sullivan, Loammi Baldwin, and Captain Ebenezer Hall were chosen a committee to attend the General Court, in order to obtain an Act of Incorporation, 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 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. It was further provided that the proprietors might hold real estate to the value of $30,000 over the value of the canal; also to render Concord River boatable as far as Sudbury Causeway, through Billerica, Carlisle, Bedford, Concord, to Sudbury, a distance of twenty-three miles. This formed a portion of Mr. Sullivan's far-reaching plan for inland waterways, extending well into the interior of Massachusetts, and by way of the Merrimac River to Concord, New Hampshire, through Lake Sunapee to the Connecticut River, at Windsor, and thence to the St. Lawrence River. This seemed a good and practical plan, and if the railroad had been delayed

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