Proprietors of the Locks and Canals on Merrimack River records, 1792-1947 (inclusive), 1825-1900 (bulk), v.EB-4
About this Item
- Proprietors of the Locks and Canals on Merrimack River
- 40 linear ft. (294 volumes, 29 boxes)|Copies: 4 microfilm reels
- Baker Library, Harvard Business School, Harvard University
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Includes an extensive bound series of incoming letters and papers, a series of letter books, general accounting records, and payrolls. There are records for construction of canals, for collection of tolls, for kyanizing of lumber, and for a grist mill. There are papers of James B. Francis, engineer and agent, Uriah A. Boyden, hydraulic engineer, Col. James Francis, William Badger, Hiram F. Mills, Patrick T. Jackson, Kirk Boott, and George W. Whistler. Companies represented by material include Merrimack Manufacturing Company, Bigelow-Hartford Manufacturing Company, Ipswich Mills, Middlesex Company, Nashua Manufacturing Company, Saco-Lowell Shops, Pepperell Manufacturing Company, and Tremont and Suffolk Mills.
- Is available on microfilm (1 reel, 35 mm.) for use in the Historical Collections Reading Room, Baker Library. Order no. 69- 1174.|Is available on microfilm (1 reel, 35 mm.) for use in the Historical Collections Reading Room, Baker Library. Order no. 83-2172.|Are available on microfilm (1 reel, 35mm) for use in the Historical Collections Reading Room, Baker Library. Order no. 98-1754, reel 1.|Are available on microfilm (1 reel, 35mm) for use in the Historical Collections Reading Room, Baker Library. Order no. 98-1754, reel 2.
The Locks and Canals company was chartered in 1792 by a group of merchants and shipowners from Newburyport, Mass. interested in improving the navigability of the Merrimack River and thereby boosting commerce at Newburyport. They constructed the Pawtucket Canal around the rapids at East Chelmsford. By 1803, however, construction of the Middlesex Canal linking the Merrimack with Boston had diverted shipping to Boston rather than to Newburyport. The Locks and Canals company was revived with the establishment of the Merrimack Manufacturing Company at East Chelmsford in 1821. Many of the persons involved in the new textile enterprise also had interest in the older Locks and Canals company. In 1825 the charter of the company was amended to allow it to own real estate, water rights, and mill privileges. Consequently the Locks and Canals company became the prime instrument in the development of Lowell, as the new community was named in 1826. It built new mills, canals, and machinery, and owned the land and water rights which made Lowell a premier textile manufacturing center.