[p. 42] Directors contemplate no further extension of the canal. The work is done, both the original and subsidiary canals. . . Let the actual incomes of the canal be as great as they may, so long as they are consumed in payments of debts and interest on loans, the aspect of the whole is that of embarrassment and mortgage. The present rates of income, if continued, and there is every rational prospect, not only of its continuance, but of its great and rapid increase, will enable the corporation—when relieved of its present liabilities—at once to commence a series of certain, regular, and satisfactory dividends.They accordingly recommended a final assessment of $80 per share, completely to extinguish all liabilities. This assessment, the one hundredth since the commencement, was levied in 1817, making a sum total of $600,000, extorted from the long-suffering stockholders. If to this sum the interest of the various assessments be added, computed to Feb. 1, 1819, the date of the first dividend, the actual cost of each share is found to have been $1,455.25. The prosperity of the canal property now seemed fully assured. The first dividend, though only $15, was the promise of golden showers in the near future, and the stock once more took an upward flight. From 1819 to 1836 were the palmy days of the canal, unvexed with debts, and subject to very moderate expenses for annual repairs and management. It is difficult to ascertain the whole number of boats employed at any one time. Many were owned and run by the proprietors of the canal; and many were constructed and run by private parties, who paid the regular tolls for whatever they transported. Boats belonging to the same parties were conspicuously numbered, like railway cars to-day. From ‘Regulations Relative to the Navigation of the Middlesex Canal,’ a pamphlet published in 1830, it appears that boats were required to be not less than 40 feet nor more than 75 feet in
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