April 25, 1870

Columbus, Ohio


I have the honor to transmit herewith Joint Resolution “Requesting the aid of Congress relative to the central water line of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal,” adopted by the General Assembly of Ohio, April 16th, 1870, with the request that the same be laid by you before Congress.


Very respectfully,

R. B. Hayes





Requesting the aid of Congress relative to the central water line of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal.


WHEREAS, The State of Virginia and the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company have resisted every overture made to them by foreign capitalists for the surrender of their franchises in the Kanawha and James River Canal route, and have thus given evidence that it is the wish of Virginia, the magnanimous donator of the great Northwest Territory, to provide for that territory a highway from the Ohio river to tide water, that shall be divested of all private interest, and as near as possible free to the whole nation; therefore,


Resolved, by the General Assembly of the State of Ohio, That we look upon this channel of communication, first advocated by GEORGE WASHINGTON, between the valley of the Mississippi and the Atlantic, as a work of national importance, one involving vital interest not only to the Western States, but to those on the western and eastern slope of the Alleghenies, a promoter of the welfare of all.


Resolved, That said line of water communication of the Kanawha and James rivers, their head waters being but twenty-eight and a half miles apart, is entitled to receive the careful consideration of Congress, to the end, that being a work of national importance, it may receive such aid from the general government, under its authority to regulate commerce between the States, as will secure its early completion.


Resolved, That we recommend that the work of construction and operation be place by Congress in charge of nine trustees, one of whom should be the Secretary of the Interior, four appointed by the President of the United States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, and one each in like manner by the States of Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky.


Resolved, That the Governor of Ohio, is hereby requested to forward copies of the foregoing resolutions to the President of the United States with the request that the same shall be by him laid before Congress; that copies be also forwarded to the Governor of the several States, with the request that they be laid before their respective Legislatures, and that our Senators and Representatives in Congress be requested by the Governor to use their best endeavors to secure the passage of such measures as will conduce to the early construction of this work.