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[p. 35] market of New York, it was reasonable to assume, would thus be secured to Boston. He consulted his friend Colonel Baldwin, Sheriff of Middlesex, who had a natural taste for engineering, and they came to the conclusion that the plan was feasible. Should the undertaking succeed between Concord and Boston, the gradual increase in population and traffic would in time warrant the completion of the programme; even should communication never be established beyond Concord, the commercial advantages of opening to the market the undeveloped resources of upper New Hampshire would be a sufficient justification. Accordingly, James Sullivan, Loammi Baldwin, Jonathan Porter, Samuel Swan, Benjamin Hall, Willis Hall, Ebenezer Hall, Ebenezer Hall, Jr., and Andrew Hall petitioned the General Court for an act of incorporation. A charter was granted, bearing date of June 22, 1793, ‘incorporating James Sullivan, Esq., and others, by the name of the Proprietors of the Middlesex Canal,’ 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 such assessments from time to time as might be required for the construction of the canal.

At their first meeting the proprietors intrusted the management of the corporation to a board of thirteen members, who were to choose a president and vice-president from their own number, the entire board subject to annual election. Boston capitalists subscribed freely, and Russell, Gore, Barrell, Craigie, and Brooks appear among the earliest directors. This board organized on the 11th of October by the choice of James Sullivan as president and Colonel Baldwin and John Brooks (afterwards Governor Brooks) as vice-presidents. The first step was to make the necessary surveys between the Charlestown basin and the Merrimac at Chelmsford; but the science of engineering was in its infancy in New England, and it was difficult

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