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ford to Norfolk, is less than 130 miles, and the course is nearly due south. The whole route from Philadelphia to Norfolk may be described as one side of a triangle, of which the three angles are Philadelphia, Norfolk and Baltimore; and it is believed that with the same speed now effected by means of steam power, on the other two sides of this triangle, the route from Norfolk to Philadelphia, could be made in less than two-thirds of the time now employed in travelling between those cities. The proofs also establish the fact already stated, of the inexhaustible quantity of pine timber, wood and fuel for the supply of steam engines, on the banks of the river, and the low price of $1,25 per cord for pine wood delivered on the river, at which it can be easily had. A large portion of the extensive country on the sides of the. Nanticoke and its tributaries is highly productive, and when once opened to the observation of capitalists in our cities, must disclose new and most important fields for enterprise. The letter of Dr. Hall, an extract from which is annexed, shows the progress of the breakwater at Cape Henlopen, and the completion of the mole at Lewes.
These documents hint also at one of the causes of the failure of the Philadelphia, Dover, and Norfolk Steamboat and Transportation Company, which about thirteen years ago was in operation, conveying passengers between Philadelphia and Norfolk. But in the opinion of this writer, who had full means of understanding the mode in which that line was conducted, the chief cause of its failure did not arise from the slowness or insufficiency of the boats, though undoubtedly they would, at this day, be considered as but poorly adapted to the purposes of steam navigation. The principal difficulty was in the heavy land-carriage from Seaford to Dona landing, a distance of nearly fifty miles, over which passengers were conveyed in common stages, from the waters of the Chesapeake to those of the Delaware bay. Another formidable obstacle was encountered in the navigation of the Delaware bay during heavy winds, below Reedy Island, and in the stormy roads of Bombay Hook; and still another, in the bad management on the southern end of the line; in consequence of which, the boat from Norfolk generally ran up the James river, often fifteen or twenty miles to meet the Richmond boat, and take passengers from her, instead of proceeding directly on her trip to Seaford; by which means from six to eight hours were often lost, and the northern passengers also thus delayed by this most unnecessary absence of the southern boat. Superadded to all this, was the want of capital in the outset of the enterprise; double the number of boats, stages and horses, being actually necessary to its success. The whole amount of capital but little exceeded $100,000. By the delay occasioned in running from fifty to one hundred miles out of her course, to meet the Richmond passengers, the Norfolk boat sometimes was nearly eighteen hours in arriving at Seaford, when she could readily at any time have made the trip, as indeed she sometimes did, in from ten to twelve hours, though she was a very slow
and heavy boat. Yet, even as this line was then managed, it was generally in advauce of any other, in conveying passengers between Norfolk and Philadelphia, and its failure was a subject of general regret, especially in the south. With the aid of a rail road from Seaford to Philadelphia, and with the new improvements in steam navigation, it is believed that passengers could be easily carried from Norfolk to Philadelphia by this route in fifteen hours. The completion of such a rail road would lead at once to the establishment of a separate steamboat line from Seaford to Richmond, and a great accession of passengers to the line of road would thus undoubtedly be secured. Should these hasty remarks meet the eye of any southern gentleman acquainted with the subject, it is much to be desired that he may cause to be speedily laid before the public, a probable estimate of the southern travel from Norfolk and Richmond by this route.
In conclusion, permit me to notice another remark which is too often heard among certain citizens of this State—that the chief benefits, which all admit must be immense from this undertaking, if completed, will enure to the city of Philadelphia or “foreigners," and not to ourselves alone. It is true, that a vast increase both of trade and travel, will be brought to Philadelphia by the improve. ment. But shall we not participate in these advantages? By such a road a citizen of Smyrna, Dover, Camden, Frederica, Milford, Milton, or even of Leweşton, might breakfast at home, dine in Philadelphia and sup at home on the same day? Does any man among us object, because the merchant or business man of Philadelphia might eat his breakfast in the city, bathe in the Atlantic and dine at Lewestown, yet return the same day and sup at home, without any other fatigue than that of riding in a car over a level and beautiful country? One of our retail merchants or country shop keepers, while in conversation on this subject, strenuously urged that should the road be made, he should not be able to sell a mug--but that every body would go to Philadelphia to get their merchandise. The implied admission made by this gentleman, that the people were virtually taxed to support him and his fellows, with their profit on the sale of every article of consumption, and that this tax would be abridged by the facilities of commerce to be introduced by the road, spoke volumes in favor of the enterprise; and when I heard it I felt an anxious hope. that his declaration might be heard at every cabin in the State. It cannot be too strongly impressed upon us, that the chief reason why our lands sell for a nominal price, why enterprise is paralyzed among us, and monied men shun our country as a place of residence is, that we have no ready or pleasant means of communication with the rest of the world; and we shall never emerge from our present condition until those means are supplied to us.
Let us then go forth with what strength me may, to accomplish an enterprise upon which the hopes of our families and our posterity must eminently depend. Let every man among us put forth his arm in the great work, and relying on the co-operating spirit
publicontinue open ripened this day road. The su
of enterprise in the noble city, with whose destinies we are inseparately connected, let us make the road. The subscription books, we learn will be opened this day (the first day of August,) and will continue open till the stock is taken, or the commissioners shall publicly announce that they are closed.
Deposition of Hugh Martin. I, Hugh Martin, of Seaford, have been engaged in a seafaring life for the last thirty-one years, upwards of twenty-one of which I have been master of a vessel. I have been and now am, intimately acquainted with the navigation, course, distance, soundings, lights, points, and all other necessaries for the mariner to be conversant with, from hence to Norfolk. The following statement is the result of my experience, to wit:
Miles. The distance from Seaford on the Nanticoke, to Vienna on the Nanticoke, is
20 “ Vienna on the Nanticoke, to the mouth
of the Nanticoke - - 20 Haine's point, which is the mouth of the
Naticoke, to Watts' island, which
sound - -
Making from Seaford to Yorktown 105 66 66 Norfolk to Richmond, about : 140 Norfolk lies on the Elizabeth river, about ten miles above its junction with the James river, at Hampton roads. The course from Seaford to Norfolk is nearly due south. The foregoing distances are taken on the channel or in the deepest part. Vessels drawing a light draft of water,cancut acrossin many points and much curtailor lessen the distance. The distances above specified, I am satisfied are sufficiently long, and if there be any error in my statement, it is in overrating the distance. The navigation of the Nanticoke is fine, clear of shoals, rocks, or any impediments, for vessels drawing ten feet water from Seaford bridge, and twelve, one mile below, with sufficient working room for vessels of about two hundred tons, several of which have been built at Seaford. The sound between "Haines' point,” the mouth of the river Nanticoke, and “Watts' island," the lower mouth of the Tangier sound, is sufficiently deep for a ship of the line, and actually was the rendezvous of admiral Cockbourne, in the Lion seventy-four, with the rest of the British navy during the late war. Hence it is self-apparent that the navigation from Seaford to “Watts’ island," or the mouth (lower) of
ANNALS OF DELAWARE.
CHAPTER X. Governor Fletcher, soon after the date of his letter to Thomas Lloyd, Esq., arrived at Philadelphia, attended with great pomp and splendor. The officers of the previous administration appear to have given up the government to him without requiring any evidence of his authority, either from the crown of England or the proprietary; of which Penn complains in a letter to his deputy, Lloyd.
Fletcher convened the assembly in April 1693. When there appeared as members on the part of the territory, for New Castle county, Edward Blake, Cornelius Empson, Henry Williams Richard Haswell; for Kent, John Brinkloe, John Walker, William Manloe; for Sussex, Albertus Jacobs, Thomas Pemberton, Samuel Preston.
“The assembly being met on the 16th of the third month, presented their speaker, Joseph Growdon, to the governor, for his approbation; who being accepted, the oaths and tests were presented to the whole house, in the manner of other governments, under the immediate administration of the crown; but some of the members, being scrupulous of taking oaths, and refusing to be sworn, were indulged with subscribing to the declarations and professions, mentioned in the act of parliament, for liberty of conscience, made in the first year of king William and queen Mary. This the governor told them was an act of grace, and not of right, so as to be drawn into precedent in future.
It doth not appear that either the proprietary, or the people of Pennsylvania, had forfeited those rights and privileges, whose enjoyment had been the compact of their settlement of the province; of whïch privileges, those which respected their religious or conscientious scruples were the chief; but the contrary rather is manifest: for notwithstanding what was alledged for depriving the proprietary of the government, it was well known that the suspicion of his adhering too much to king James was the principal, if not the only, cause for rendering him incapable of attending so properly to it, as it seemed at that time to require: but nothing was ever proved, to confirm what was alledged against him, in that respect; though it injured him so far, as to oblige him, for a time, to be in secret, and to be absent too long from his province; whereby some disorders happened in it, that in all probability, would otherwise have been prevented; but none of such magnitude, as to violate, or prevent, ihe regular administration of justice, as seems to have been alledged by the enemies of the prosperity of the province; much less to give just occasion for depriving the colonists of their dearly bought rights and privileges, granted by charter, confirmed by laws, and familiarized by custom; though it might be called a favor, to enjoy them, where power alone has the rule, without having any regard to justice: for notwithstanding the governor was changed, yet it was presumed the government, or constitution, was not, in consequence thereof, to be violated, or altered, and that the inhabitants of Pennsylvania had as just a right to be governed according to the usage of Pennsylvania, and their own laws, then in force, as those of New York had to be governed according to the usage of that province, though their usages were different, so long as justice was equally well administered by the former, as by the latter, and in a manner more agreeable to them.
The assembly, however, in consideration of the present circumstances of affairs, thought it most prudent to submit, though not consistent with a privilege, to which, in their apprehension, they had a right, and below the justice of their claim; and, for the present, acknowledged the same, as an act of grace and favor, proceeding from the justice and kindness of the governor.
The assembly being qualified, the governor communicated to them a letter,* which he had received, in the last year, from the
* The queen's letter to Benjamin Fletcher, Esquire, captain-general, and governor-in-chief, in and over the province of Pennsylvania, &c. Mary R.
"Trusty and well-beloved, we greet you well. Whereas, it has been represented unto us in council, in behalf of our province of New York, in America, that the same having been at great expense, for the preservation and defence of Albany, its frontiers, against the French (by the loss of which province the inhabitants of Maryland and Virginia would not be able to live, but in garrison) and having hitherto preserved that post, the burthen thereby is now intolerable to the inhabitants there. We think it reasonable and necessary that our several colonies and provinces of New England, Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania should be aiding and assisting, from time to time, to the governor, or commander-in-chief, of our said province of New York, in the maintenance and defence of it, during the present war; and accordingly our will and pleasure is, That upon the application of the said governor, or commander-in-chief, you do immediately send him such aid, or assistance, in men or otherwise, for the security of the said province, from the attempts of the French or indians, as the condition of the said plantations, under your government, shall permit; and our further pleasure is, that as