of the timber used in ship-building; and work was sometimes seriously retarded by low water in the Merrimac
, which interfered with transportation.
The supply of oak and pine about Lake Winnipiseogee, and along the Merrimac
and its tributaries, was thought to be practically inexhaustible.
In the opinion of Daniel Webster, the value of this timber had been increased $5,000,000 by the canal.
Granite from Tyngsborough
, and agricultural products from a great extent of fertile country, found their way along this channel to Boston
; while the return boats supplied taverns and country stores with their annual stock of goods.
The receipts from tolls, rents, etc., were steadily increasing, amounting
|in 1812 to||$12,600|
| “1813” ||16,800|
| “1814” ||25,700|
| “1815” ||29,200|
| “1816” ||32,600|
Yet valuable, useful, and productive as the canal had proved itself, it had lost the confidence of the public, and, with a few exceptions, of the proprietors themselves.
The reason for this can easily be shown.
The general depression of business on account of the embargo and the War
of 1812 had its effect upon the canal.
In the deaths of Governor Sullivan
and Colonel Baldwin
, in the same year 1808, the enterprise was deprived of the wise and energetic counsellors to whom it owed its existence.
The aqueducts and most of the locks, being built of wood, required large sums for annual repairs; the expenses arising from imperfections in the banks, and from the erection of toll-houses and public-houses for the accommodation of the boatmen, were considerable; but the heaviest expenses were incurred in opening the Merrimac
From Concord, N. H.
, to the head of the canal the river has a fall of 123 feet, necessitating various locks and canals.
The Middlesex Canal
Corporation contributed to the building of the