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Bland's Reports, Chancery Court 1809-1832
Volume 201, Volume 2, Page 165   View pdf image (33K)
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BINNEY'S CASE. 165

over the whole space, from the ship of the east to the steam-boat
of the west. It is not said, that the western termination shall be
at the highest point to which a steam-boat may go, but, Ho the ,
highest steam-boat navigation;' that is, to the highest point at
which such vessels usually go, and where they make their port.
And so, as to the eastern termination, the canal boat is to meet a
ship; but that kind of vessel is hardly ever found at the highest
point of tide, to which she may go, but at the highest port. And
therefore the canal must necessarily be extended down to the port;
since the ship can meet and have intercourse with the canal boat
no where else.

It is universally understood, that all canals, which have for their
chief object the exportation of ponderous and cheap commodities,
in co-operation with marine navigation, must be extended into the
very port itself. But, in this instance, more is expected; and
therefore, there is, if possible, an increased necessity for extending
this canal into the very port. The greatest and most important
political results, it is declared, are expected to flow from connect-
ing, in this way, the navigation of the east with that of the west;
and hence, it must have been intended, that the connexion should
be made in the most complete and perfect form; that there should,
if possible, be not the least break or interruption in any part of
the whole line from the ship of the east to the steam-boat of the
west. Five miles of land transportation would cripple the inter-
course most prodigiously; thirty miles of land portage would
destroy the line of connexion totally.

Taken in this point of view, this law, by calling for a begin-
ning of this canal 'from the tide water of the river Potomac, in
the District of Columbia,' must be construed to have a reference
to one, or to all of the three ports on that tide, at which the marine
navigation ends. A different construction would confessedly allow
of a termination, that might be greatly injurious, or even absurd;
one which might mar the whole project, by stopping the great
mass of ponderous canal borne commodities some miles short of
their destination, there to be taken up and moved on again in
another form. But it is manifest, from the nature of the subject
provided for by this law, that the chief port of the District of Co-
lumbia must have been contemplated as the most suitable eastern
termination of this canal. Whence this court is perfectly satisfied,
that this company not only have a right, but that it is their duty to
extend this canal into the port of Washington, as being the most
22 v.2

 

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Bland's Reports, Chancery Court 1809-1832
Volume 201, Volume 2, Page 165   View pdf image (33K)
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