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[p. 46] replaced with stone, a new stone dam was built at Billerica, and the service brought to a high state of efficiency. The new dam was the occasion of a lawsuit brought by the proprietors of Sudbury meadows, claiming damages to the extent of $10,000 for flooding their meadows. The defendants secured the services of Samuel Hoar, Esq., Concord, assisted by the Hon. Daniel Webster, who accepted a retaining fee of $100 to ‘manage and argue the case in conjunction with Mr. Hoar. The cause was to have been tried November, 1833. Mr. Webster was called on by me and promised to examine the evidence and hold himself in readiness for the trial, but for some time before he was not to be found in Boston, at one time at New York, at another in Philadelphia, and so on from place to place, so that I am satisfied no dependence can be placed with certainty upon his assistance, and,’ plaintively concludes the agent, ‘our $100 has gone to profit and loss account.’

On the other side was the Hon. Jeremiah Mason, assisted by Franklin Dexter, Esq. This case was decided the following year adversely to the plaintiffs.

With the accession of business brought on by the corporations at Lowell, the prospect for increased dividends in the future was extremely encouraging. The golden age of the canal appeared close at hand; but the fond hopes of the proprietors were once more destined to disappointment. Even the genius of James Sullivan had not foreseen the railway locomotive. In 1829 a petition was presented to the Legislature for the survey of a railroad from Boston to Lowell. The interests of the canal were seriously involved. A committee was promptly chosen to draw up for presentation to the General Court ‘a remonstrance of the Proprietors of Middlesex canal, against the grant of a charter to build a railroad from Boston to Lowell.’ This remonstrance, signed by William Sullivan, Joseph Coolidge, and George Hallet, bears date of Boston, Feb. 12, 1830, and conclusively shows how little the

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