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ANNUAL REPORT of the Superintendent of the
St Mary's Falls Ship Canal.
25th, To His EXCELLENCY, Austin BLAIR,
Governor of the State of Michigan: In compliance with the law defining the duties of the Superintendent of the St. Mary's Falls Ship Canal, I hare the honor to submit this, my annual report for 1861, sbowing the amount of money received from all sources, the amount deposited with the State Treasurer, the amount expended for all purposes, the whole number of vessels, the number and tonnage of each class of vessels, the number of tons of copper, iron, grain, flour, &c., that has passed through the canal, a reference to improvements made this year, and to those that I deem absolutely necessary to be made the coming year; and a reference to such amendments to the law, regulating the affairs of the Canal, as is deemed to be requisite for the better management and protection of the same, and in order to more effectually secure the commercial interests connected with and growing out of the efficiency and permanency of this great National work.
I received my commission in February, 1861, from which I learned (also from the conditions of the bond required and given) that I must assume the responsibility of opening, operating, and managing the Canal, from and after the 1st day of April following, which was at least one month prior to the opening of navigation. I resolved to be at my post on the day assigned, from and after which I would be held responsible for all acts and accidents connected with the opening and preparing of the Canal for the passage of vessels, let the dangers and hardships of an overland trip be what they might. I ac cordingly left Jackson on the 1st of March, and reached this place on the 25th day of the same month, traveling a distanco of nearly four hundred miles, in company with Guy H. Carle ton and two Indian mail carriers. I took possession on the 1st day of April, receiving from L. C. Mead, a son of Ex-Superintendent Mead, the keys, books, &c., belonging to the office.
The ice in the Canal, when we arrived, was from five to seven feet thick, but by opening the valves in the gates of the locks we were enabled to clear it out by the 10th day of April, and by the 25th had everything in good order for tho passage of vessels.
I received from L. C. Mead, as aforesaid, the sum of thirty two dollars and ninety seven cents.
I have received in tolls, sixteen thousand six hundred and Beventy-two dollars and sixteen cents. Deposited with the State Treasurer, to be placed to the credit of the St. Mary's Ship Canal Fund, ten thousand one hundred and thirty-six dollars and sixty-seven cents. Expended on embankment, two thousand one hundred and fifty-seven dollars. Expended for all other purposes, three thousand eight hundred and seventy dollars and sixty thrce cents. Cash on hand in office, five hundred and seven dollars and eighty-six cents.
For the particular purposes for which the above sum of $3,870 63 was expended, I would most respectfully refer you to my monthly reports, made to the Hon. L. G. Berry, Secretary of the Board of Control, in which you will find tho name of
every person to whom money bas been paid and the purpose for which it was paid.
The whole number of vessels, steam and sail, that have passed through the Canal from and including the third day of May last, up to and including the 25th day of November, inst., is 527, (not including government vessels from which no tolls are collected). The aggregate tonnage of these vessels is 276,639 tons, which, at six cents per ton, would amount to $16,598 34. The balance received, $73 82, was from small boats without any particular tonnage.
By the following table, showing the receipts, the expenses, the average expenses for two years, the amount deposited, &c., for each year since the opening of the Canal, you will see that the receipts for this year are one-third less than they were last, yet while nearly the same amount has been expended upon the embankment, the expenses are over one-third less than they were last year. And if you add to the expenses of the Superintendent last year the expenses of the former Board of Contol, and add the expenses of the Board of Control this year to my expenses, you will see that the net gain to the fund this year, with receipts from all sources of $16,672 16, is $123 95 more than it was last year with receipts from all sources of $25,582 80.
The present Board of Control are entitled to much credit for the economical manner in which they have looked after the affairs of the Canal.
The annexed table, marked-A, will show a comparative statement of receipts, expenses, average expenses for two years, amount deposited, amount cxpended on embankment, amount in office in the autumn and spring, amount delivered to successor, the name of cach Superintendent, and the expenses of cach and every Board of Control since the Canal was opened.
Perhaps an explanation is necessary in regard to receipts and expenses, under Superintendent S. P. Mead. In his annual report for 1860, he sets down his receipts from all sources, at $25,464 98, up to the 1st of December of that year; but after
that time he received $117 82 in tolls, which was not included in the above amount. He reports his expenses for the year as follows: On embankment, ..
$2,753 87 Salaries and wages for year,..
4,938 34 Expenses painting, &c.,..
1,04+ 33 In office,....
798 31 These amounts should be, and are in my table, set down as espenses, for he not only expended the above named sums, (ex. cepting the $32 97 delivered to me,) but contracted a debt of $62 00 besides, which I have paid by order of the Board of Control, and should therefore be deducted from my estimated expenses, because it is included. That I may be understood correctly, I will make another statement of his last year's account: On hand in Spring,..
$804 98 Received in tolls,.....
24,660 00 Received after 30th Nov.,.....
It will be seen that the expenses of each Superintendent are greater the second year. This is partly in consequence of the painting of locks, gates, snubbing posts, and houses every two years, and the second year of each term. But in my,case the expenses will probably be no more next than they have been this year, for the reason that I have purchased the paint and oil, which are included in this year's expenses. I purchased them this fall, because the painting has to be done before tho