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[p. 7]

The wheels of Amofkeag Lottery are on the trot and they want to gallup. Tickets and quarters warranted undrawn, to be had of S. Gilbert, Centinel Office. It ought to be mentioned that many have bought, with the noble view of aiding the canal.

“Go thou and do likewife.”
Nov. 14th.

From the foregoing extracts it seems that people had ‘wheels,’ even in that time; but the growth of cities and towns of the Merrimack valley was assured by the building of these locks and canals, thus bringing the vast power of the river to turn the legitimate wheels of industry, even though assisted by these fortuitous ‘wheels’ of chance.

Such were the difficulties with which this eighteenth century enterprise had to contend in the early years of its nineteenth century history. Nor were these all. With the exception of the guard locks at Billerica and Chelmsford, which, of hammered granite, were equalled by nothing then in our country, the various locks and aqueducts were constructed of wood, and necessarily perishable. The aqueduct at Shawsheen river was renewed in 1817, at an expense of $7,646.86 (about one-fourth of the net receipts of the previous year), and an additional loss entailed by the suspension of business for six weeks. When we recall that business was entirely cut off by the ice of winter, it will be readily seen that these were expensive repairs, and such repairs delayed the payment of dividends.

In the year 1808, both the president, who was then the governor of Massachusetts, and the agent, Col. Baldwin, died, and the outlook for the future of the canal was dark indeed. John Langdon Sullivan, the son of the governor, was appointed agent, and brought to its service the executive abilities and talents he possessed. Under his management the business and income of the canal increased, as the years passed on. On April 4, 1808, he issued a rigid code of ‘Rules and regulations.’

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