The Correspondence of Thomas Jefferson

By Subject


I have read with attention the papers on the subject of the canal of the Santee and Cooper rivers, and shall be glad to do anything I can to promote it. But I confess I have small expectations for the following reason: General Washington sent me a copy of the Virginia act for opening the Potomac. As that canal was to unite the commerce of the whole western country almost, with the eastern, it presented a great view. The General detailed the advantages of it, and it had the weight of his name, and was known to be under his immediate direction. It was pushed here among the monied men to obtain subscriptions, but not a single one could be obtained. The stockjobbing in this city offered greater advantages than to buy shares in the canal. I tried whether they would lend money on the security of the canal, but they answered they could get as good an interest by lending to their own government, with a douceur in the outset, and would have their money under their own eye, more at their command, and more sure as to the payment of interest. However, if you find any opening, and can point out to me how I may be useful in promoting it, I shall do it with infinite pleasure.

to Monsieur Terrasson, 7 May 1788