Thomas Jefferson Papers

Charles G. Paleske to Thomas Jefferson, 16 September 1811

From Charles G. Paleske

Philadelphia September 16th 1811


Equally convinced with You of the incalculable benefit, which would result to the United States,—a country enjoying all climates and productions of the earth,—and particularly in its present situation in regard to external commerce, equally hazardous and unproductive in future—from well constructed canals— am induced to inclose the law passed the 2d April last, the proclamation of our Governor and the byelaws, also the terms of the intended Loan for $100,000, and the address to the citizens, which were intended (perhaps with some alterations) to be printed and annexed to the printed Laws. But the many failures during last forthnight and the number apprehended during this autumn have induced the board to postpone the application for the present. And we further apprehend, that the revolution it will create in all mony transactions will be felt sufficiently long to prevent any attempt of making surveys next Year, unless the United States will make the said Loan to our corporation free of Interest for seven Years, on condition of our paying the Surveys and estimates to Lake Erie,—to which effect it is intended to make application to the next Congress as early as may be adviseable, hoping it will meet Your approbation and countenance.

Inclosed blank certificate for the new Stock hope will be found a good specimen of the improvements made in the art of engraving.—

I have the honor to be with great respect and consideration Sir Your obedient Servt

Charles G: Paleske

RC (MHi); dateline adjacent to closing; at foot of text: “Thomas Jefferson Esquire Late President of the United States of America”; endorsed by TJ as received 22 Sept. 1811 and so recorded in SJL.

Charles Gottfried Paleske (1758–1816), a native of Gdánsk, immigrated in 1783 to Philadelphia, where he became a merchant and served as Prussia’s consul-general, 1792–1802. He was elected one of the managers of the Schuylkill and Susquehanna Navigation Company in 1806. When it merged in 1811 with the Delaware and Schuylkill Canal, Paleske became president of the resulting Union Canal Company and served until his death. He was also a notary public, 1814–16 (PTJ description begins Julian P. Boyd, Charles T. Cullen, John Catanzariti, Barbara B. Oberg, and others, eds., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, 1950– , 31 vols. description ends , 24:99–101, 285; Paleske to Benjamin Franklin, 7 Mar., 27 May 1783 [PPAmP: Franklin Papers]; Philadelphia Pennsylvania Packet, and Daily Advertiser, 11 Aug. 1785, 16 May 1786; Madison, Papers description begins William T. Hutchinson, Robert A. Rutland, John C. A. Stagg, and others, eds., The Papers of James Madison, 1962– , 29 vols.: Congress. Ser., 17 vols.; Pres. Ser., 5 vols.; Sec. of State Ser., 7 vols description ends , Sec. of State Ser., 2:351; Paleske, Substance of an Address Intended to be delivered on the 25th of January, 1812 [Lancaster, Pa., 1812]; Philadelphia Poulson’s American Daily Advertiser, 5 Aug. 1812, 27 Mar., 4 Nov. 1816; Boston New-England Palladium, 6 Sept. 1814; Philadelphia Will Book, 6:271 [PHi]).

The act of incorporation for the Union Canal Company, which the Pennsylvania legislature passed on the 2d april 1811, Simon Snyder’s 30 May 1811 gubernatorial proclamation putting the law into effect, and the company’s 24 July 1811 byelaws were subsequently printed as pp. 3–18, 19–20, and 21–4 of the enclosure to Paleske to TJ, 7 Dec. 1811. Other enclosures not found. The act authorized the company to improve navigation on and between the Delaware, Schuylkill, and Susquehanna rivers; supply Philadelphia with water; and construct a canal linking Pennsylvania rivers to lake erie.

Index Entries

  • canals; Union Canal Company of Pa. search
  • Delaware River; act to improve navigation on search
  • Lake Erie; proposed canal to search
  • Paleske, Charles Gottfried; and Union Canal Company of Pa. search
  • Paleske, Charles Gottfried; identified search
  • Paleske, Charles Gottfried; letters from search
  • Pennsylvania; canals in search
  • Philadelphia; and drinking water search
  • Snyder, Simon; governor of Pa. search
  • Susquehanna River; acts to improve navigation on search
  • Union Canal Company of Pennsylvania search