Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Antoine Terrasson, 29 April 1788

From Antoine Terrasson

Paris 29th April 1788.


I have the honour to inclose to your Excellency some English and french papers relating the Enterprize of a canal in the state of South carolina and a writing from marquis De La fayette desiring a conversation on the matter at your leizure. As I am a stock holder and I have been elected one of the Directors in March of Last year, what you can verify by the news papers of that time, I have some mind to get a sufficient sum of money to carry the Enterprize in execution, since we have been obliged by the circumstances of the country to suspend it tho’ an excellent one very safe and very advantageous for the south and nort carolina and the undertakers too: You can judge of the credit it deserves by the Names of the subscribers.

I am with Great respect your most humble and most obedient Servant,

Hotel De valois Cul de sac de la fosse aux chiens

RC (MoSHi); endorsed. Enclosures not found; they pertained to the canal between the Santee and Cooper rivers, which was 22 miles long, rising by a series of three locks 34 feet to a summit and then descending by seven locks 69 feet to the Cooper river. The Santee Canal originated on 10 Nov. 1785 when a group of South Carolinians gathered at the State House in Charleston to consider plans and agreed to petition the legislature for a charter incorporating them as a company and authorizing a capital of 1,000 shares at.£100 sterling each. Col. John Christian Senf, with whom TJ had been associated while governor of Virginia, was the engineer who designed the canal (F. A. Porcher, History of the Santee Canal, Charleston, S.C., 1903).

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