Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Thomas Moore, 3 March 1807

Retreat 3rd. Month 3rd. 1807—

The President of the U. States/

Agreeably to thy request I have endeavoured from such data as I could collect without actual measurment on the ground, to ascertain the expense of continuing the Canal from the Locks at the little Falls to the Navy-Yard in the City of Washington, for the purpose of Boat-Navigation; confining my calculations to the work itself, without taking into the account the cost of the Land over which it may pass; not being in possession of evidence on which I could state any thing satisfactory on that subject—

The Estimate is made for the level line, or as near it as circumstances will permit; having found by calculation that a Tunnel from north I Street, to the front of the Treasury-Office, 5700 feet in length, would cost at least $90,000. and therefore under present circumstances concluded the level line would be the most eligible, although the distance will be encreased perhaps 200 perches.

The Estimate is annexed, & with great respect is submitted to thy consideration

By Thos. Moore

DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.


Estimate of the expense of a Canal from the Locks at the little Falls to the Navy Yard

No 1. Leveling the surface along the line from the Locks to the upper end of Geo. Town 2 Miles at $1000 per mile $ 2000.
2 Leveling & cutting down streets &c. through the City in order to conduct the Canal as much as possible along the Streets & Avenues. 5 miles at $2000 per mile 10  250.
3 Removing 87600 yds of Earth to form the Canal 16 feet wide at top 12 at bottom 4 deep & 8 miles long at 20 Cents per yd 17 520 
4 Dam at Foxall: 3 000 
5 Aquaduct Bridge at Rock Creek 8 000 
6 Aquaduct at Hotel 3 000 
7  do across Tiber Creek Valley 15 000 
8 Conduits & small Bridges $1000 per mile, 8 miles 8 000 
9 Extra expense in Geo. Town of a mile (say) 10 000 
$ 76 770 
Add 10 per Cent for incidental expenses & Superintendance 7 677 
$ 84.447.


No 1.  From the Lock, to the upper end of G. Town is a hill side nearly the whole distance, the estimate for leveling this part is made on the supposition that it will require cutting 4 feet on an average on the upper side to bring it to a level the width of the Canal at 16 Cents per yd.
2  This Item of expense is very uncertain; the sum stated will however remove 2½ feet of Earth the width of the Canal & the whole length through the City, (which perhaps will be equal to the average) at 25 Cts. per yd.
3  No allowance is made for breaking and removing rocks which may chance to lie in the line of the Canal, on the supposition that the Stone will always pay the expense. The calculation for this Item may be relied on.
4, 5, 6, 7, & 8 probably near the truth
9 Very uncertain

Thos. Moore

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