The James River Canal

March 30, 1867


The use of the Canal and the source of income it brings to the city of Richmond is underappreciated. The new administration of the board that runs the canal sets out to change this and bring in the public support so the canal will continue to prevail.


This work is the most valuable in the State. It is capable of transporting more freight than all the railroads in the State, and is the main stay of Richmond. It has been underrated and depreciated. It should be sustained earnestly and zealously by our citizens. As Richmond will become a manufacturing city, the canal is indispensable for the transportation of the ores and heavy material used in manufacturing as well as the heavy fabrics turned out by the mills and forges. Mines arc in process of development near the canal which will very much increase the transportation upon it as well as afford new incentives to manufacturing enterprise in this city. A new policy, it is understood, is to be pursued in the management of the improvement under the new administration. The public has no idea that there has been maladministration in the old directory; but there was some doubt as to the policy pursued by it : how or in what particular has not been well settled ; but there was what is known as want of confidence, which always demands a change. The new President and the new board, indeed, take charge of the important work under the disadvantage of much being expected of them; but we trust, however much it may be, that they will come entirely up to the public expectations. There is generally no small amount of benefit to public interests from a change of a long continued executive board. The new men always feel the stimulus of public anticipations. They know what is expected of them, and they endeavor to give satisfaction. The new president has the reputation of energy and decided administrative abilities. We all know the new members of the Board, and we have good reason to expect much. So, success to the canal!
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Walker Black




“The James River Canal,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed November 26, 2022,