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Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company archives

Abstract

Title:
Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company archives
Author/Creator:
Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company
Collection number:
92-118
Size:
3.75 linear feet
Bulk dates:
1889-1945
Inclusive dates:
1880-1945
Collection Area:
State of Maryland and Historical Collections
Repository:
Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries, Hornbake Library, College Park, MD 20742. Tel: 301-405-9212, Fax: 301-314-2709, Email: askhornbake@umd.edu
Abstract:

This collection consists of legal and financial records, correspondence, and maps documenting the construction and operation of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. Many of the materials concern land transactions and there is also a significant amount of documentation of court cases involving the company.

Important Information for Users of the Collection

Restrictions:

This collection is open for research.

Preferred citation:

Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company archives, Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries.

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1903.1/1226
Publication rights:

Photocopies of original materials may be provided for a fee and at the discretion of the curator. Please see our Duplication of Materials policy for more information. Queries regarding publication rights and copyright status of materials within this collection should be directed to the appropriate curator.

Status:

This collection is PROCESSED.

Historical Note

Now a national park, the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal was once a major transportation artery that ran parallel to the Potomac River from Cumberland, Maryland, to Georgetown in the District of Columbia. The canal operated from the mid-nineteenth century into the 1930s and was used primarily for the transportation of coal and bulk agricultural products. These products, produced in the inland regions of the developing nation, were vital to the continuing prosperity of Tidewater cities and towns such as Baltimore and Washington.

The need for an accessible and dependable transportation corridor connecting inland regions with the Tidewater was recognized as early as 1750. George Washington called for construction of a series of short canals and locks to circumvent unnavigable stretches of the Potomac River and helped to organize the Pawtomack Company to achieve that end in 1785. The Pawtomack Company failed after Washington resigned to become President of the United States. That company was succeeded by the Potomac Canal Company, which functioned between 1819 and 1823. In 1823, this company was reorganized to form the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company.

The goal of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company was to build a canal that would join the Ohio River with the Chesapeake Bay as a part of the development of a water transportation system throughout the United States. At the height of enthusiasm for the project, a possible connection with the Erie Canal and the Great Lakes was also considered. Between 1823 and 1828, the company developed a finance plan that depended on contributions from private citizens, the federal government, and the governments of Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. After the canal was planned for the Maryland side of the Potomac between 1823 and 1825, Virginia withdrew financial support from the corporation, thus precipitating the first of many financial crises that characterized the history of the canal.

By 1827, enough funds had been raised, largely through greater emphasis on private subscriptions, to plan for construction, and on July 4, 1828, construction was begun. Somewhat ironically, construction of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad was initiated on the same day. Bitter competition persisted between these two firms throughout the history of the canal. Development and modernization of railroad technology eventually had a significant impact on canal transportation throughout the United States, and the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal was no exception.

Partially as a result of the developing political influence of the railroad, the federal government withdrew financial support for the construction effort in 1834. As a result, the pace of canal construction slowed; eventually an issue of bonds to complete construction was approved by the Maryland state legislature in 1844. These bonds were mainly purchased by private speculators, and funds raised enabled completion of the canal as far as Cumberland, Maryland, in October 1850.

The population of the inland Potomac River valley grew sharply following completion of the canal. The economy also greatly expanded and diversified during the period preceding the Civil War as enhanced transportation allowed greater access to Tidewater markets such as Baltimore and Washington.

The Civil War had a direct impact on the operation of the canal. Many of the battles were fought in close proximity to the it. The earliest of these was John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry in 1859. The canal lay near the border between the North and the South, and throughout the war Confederate troops made repeated attempts to destroy aqueducts and feeder dams along the canal. Although trade resumed shortly following the end of the war in 1865, the rapid development of railroad technology during the conflict had a lasting negative impact on canal transportation of building materials, agricultural products, and coal.

A. P. Gorman assumed the presidency of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company in June 1872. As a result of his administration, the political influence of the Democratic Party became a powerful force in the operation of the canal, and the company eventually became a patronage tool for the party. The period of 1870 to 1875 was one of unprecedented prosperity for the canal, partially as a result of this political favoritism.

The profitability of the canal was deeply affected by the great nationwide depression that gripped the country in the latter half of the 1870s. In addition, the canal was nearly destroyed by massive flooding in 1877. Following this flood, the Maryland legislature approved the sale of bonds to finance repair work aimed at partially restoring profitability of the canal. A measure of profitability was accomplished by means of the political connections established by those operating the canal at the time of the bond issue.

The operators of the company, led by A. P. Gorman, developed a plan to sell the authorized repair bonds to make capital improvements and enhance competitiveness. This scheme was challenged in court in 1880 by Daniel K. Stewart, a holder of bonds issued in 1844 for the original construction. The company achieved a partial victory enabling them to sell the bonds, but the capital improvements plan was effectively scuttled following public criticism of it by the Governor of Maryland and other public figures who were political rivals of Gorman.

The canal was again nearly destroyed by flooding in 1887, and another large scale sale of bonds authorized by the 1878 legislation was initiated. These bonds, unlike the bonds issued in 1844, mortgaged the physical property of the canal rather than its future earnings. Most of these were purchased by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company through several holding corporations. The railroad, which had also been buying bonds from the earlier issue of 1844 through other holding companies, eventually held the majority of canal bonds from both 1844 and 1878.

The canal was virtually destroyed by a flood of unprecedented proportions on June 1, 1889, and, in December of that year, the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company petitioned the Washington County Circuit Court for the appointment of trustees for purposes of foreclosing on its bonds. The petitions were consolidated as George S. Brown et al. vs. the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company and were assigned case numbers 4191 and 4198 equity.

These two cases were, in essence, bankruptcy proceedings ostensibly intended to pay off the canal company's debts through the sale of its assets. However, the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company wanted to protect its interest in the right-of-way to thwart competition from other railroads. This was accomplished in two ways. The railroad purchased the canal interest of the state of Maryland in small increments between 1904 and 1908. At the same time, the trustees operated the canal company at a loss, while railroad backers founded the Chesapeake and Ohio Transportation Company. This transportation firm utilized the canal to realize a small profit, thus preventing a court-ordered sale by creating the illusion that the company would eventually be able to pay off its debts. This strategy remained effective until 1938.

In 1938, as a result of the Great Depression, the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company was itself in difficult financial straits. When the last of the canal trustees died, a board of receivers was appointed on May 4, 1938, by the Washington County Circuit Court at the request of the railroad. The close ties between the receivers and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, revelations that the majority of the bond issues of 1844 and 1878 were also held by the railroad, and public disclosure that the railroad had purchased Maryland's interest in the canal made it evident to the public that the receivers intended to dissolve the canal's property and assets solely to profit the railroad company. A part of this strategy was the development of a court-approved plan for disposal of debt in which the bonds of 1877 would be honored before all other debts, allowing the profits from sale of canal property to go directly to the railroad; minority bond holders and contractors who had performed work on the canal would be forced to sustain losses. This plan precipitated a flood of claims against the canal company ranging from charges of non-payment of wages and materials costs to illegal transfer of leases.

The canal and its associated lands and structures were sold to the federal government through the Reconstruction Finance Corporation in 1938. As a precondition of this sale, lands that the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company wished to acquire were excluded from the sale and directly transferred as payment for outstanding bond debts. The proceeds from the sale to the federal government were approximately two million dollars, the vast majority of which also went to the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company.

Most of the claims filed as a result of the dissolution plan were subsumed under Brown et al. vs. the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company. However, an independent appeal of the dissolution plan was filed by Rinehart S. Cohill in October 1939. Cohill was a minority holder, through inheritance, of a series of bonds issued under the authority of 1844. Cohill filed an appeal to block disbursement of the federal funds directly to the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company. This suit was also settled to the advantage of the railroad.

Following the sale to the federal government, the canal right-of-way was initially considered for construction of a multi-lane federal highway. Public opposition to this plan was immediate and widespread. The leader of the opponents of the highway plan was Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, who in 1954 led a hike of the length of the canal to publicize its scenic beauty. The media attention given the hike and growing opposition to the planned highway led the federal government to reconsider, and the highway plan was scrapped. By the end of 1954, the Department of the Interior decided to create the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historic Park.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

This collection consists of portions of the records of several lawsuits filed against the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company between 1880 and 1939; many of the legal issues raised were not entirely resolved until the early 1940s. The documents in this collection date from 1880 to 1945 with the bulk of the material dating from 1920 to 1943.

Financial problems resulting from poor trade conditions, competition, and natural disasters characterized the history of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal from 1878 to 1938. The legal documents in the collection record some of these financial problems and the canal's receivers attempts to resolve the debts of the company.

The legal representative and advisor to the trustees and receivers of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company between 1920 and 1945 was William Preston Lane, Jr. Lane simultaneously served as the Hagerstown area general counsel for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and as a partner in several law firms during the course of this work. When Lane was admitted to the Maryland Bar in 1916, he immediately entered into partnership with the firm of Keedy and Lane. He was associated with Lane, Bushong, and Byron of Hagerstown, Maryland, from 1919 until 1922 and was a senior partner in the firm of Lane and Mish in the 1930s. The nineteenth-century documents in the collection do not appear to have originated in his offices but may have been transferred there by the receivers of the canal company to provide background information. All documents in the collection created after 1920 appear to have originated in Lane's, the trustees,' or the receivers' offices.

Part of this collection is composed of records generated during the case of Daniel K. Stewart vs. the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company. These records consist solely of transcripts of testimony and are not a record of the entire case either from the complainant's or the defendant's side. Much of the testimony consists of discussions of the political maneuvers of the canal company officials in local elections in the 1870s.

Records generated by the resolution of claims issues and the disposal of the canal property through actions ordered as a result of George S. Brown et al. vs. the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company form the bulk of the collection. The documents do not fully explain Brown's identity, but he was probably a representative of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company who filed the original suit in 1889. This portion of the collection is comprised of correspondence, records of testimony, appeals, petitions, claims filed as a result of these cases, handwritten research notes, maps, and deeds. The case was originally filed in 1889, but the majority of the documents in this collection date from 1938 and 1943 when the canal and its assets were being liquidated and dispersed by the receivers. All issues relating to the disposal of canal lands were apparently resolved by 1945, and the receivers were discharged late that year.

Records of an appeal filed in 1939 against the receivers of the canal by Rinehart S. Cohill comprise the third series in the collection. These materials consist of court briefs, a trans- script of court records, petitions, and related correspondence.

The final series in this collection is comprised of a variety of records that were generated through correspondence between the trustee who acted as general manager of the canal company in the period between approximately 1920 and the late 1930s and the law firm of Keedy and Lane. These records pertain to legal issues that were not related to the case of Brown et al. but were generated as a result of the day-to-day operations of the canal. Many of these records pertain to trespassing and other disputes relating to the boundaries of the canal's right-of-way. Portions of the records of several possibly associated law suits are also included in this series, as well as some miscellaneous correspondence.

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company collection was purchased from Spring Mount Collectibles in March 1992.

Processing Information

Processed by:

Processed by James M. Harmon, July 1995.

Processing note:

Initially housed in three cardboard boxes, the collection contained some evidence of its original arrangement, although there was some mixing of file types. In addition, several files had been emptied, and their contents evidently intermingled with documents from other files.

Following initial assessment, the collection was divided into series. The original order of the collection, where discernible, was restored.

Most of the collection is comprised of multiple-page documents, and many of these have correspondence or notes attached. These groupings were kept intact as the collection was processed. Documents with clearly associated correspondence were fastened together with padded, non-reactive fasteners. Items filed together but not clearly originally associated were placed individually in their original order within file folders. Individual folders containing a large volume of items were separated into two or more folders for preservation and ease of access.

The collection also contained numerous claims documents that had been folded into solander boxes. Many of these documents had become separated from their file boxes, and any original order was lost. These documents were flattened, smoothed, and interfiled in chronological order within the lawsuit series with which they were associated.

There were also several sets of records of court testimony in the collection. Ribbons holding these sheets in bundles were removed, as were staples and other metal fasteners. These testimony records were then placed into individual, acid-free file folders, maintaining their original order.

In addition, the collection contained several maps that were attached as evidence to court petitions. The majority of these are oversize and were folded to fit into the legal-size folders that originally contained the files. These maps were separated, flattened, and placed in oversize storage. The locations of these maps in the files has been marked by separation sheets.

The original file folder headings were utilized when they accurately reflected the contents of the files. Artificial headings were created for loose materials and for records removed from mixed files. These headings are indicated by square brackets on the folders and in the attached box inventory.

Following arrangement, all items were placed in acid free folders and acid-free storage boxes.

Encoded by:

EAD markup created using EAD database in Microsoft Access. Markup completed by Sarah Heim, May 2004.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Daniel K. Stewart vs. the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company, 1880 (0.50 linear feet)

This series consists of testimony from the case of Daniel K. Stewart vs. the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company. The case was filed to contest the canal company's sale of repair bonds authorized in 1878 to make capital improvements to the canal facilities. This series consists of eight bound or grouped transcripts of testimony from the complainants and respondents in the case. Three of the transcripts are handwritten. All the testimony dates from 1880.

The testimony of over one hundred individuals is included in the documents. Prominent among these are William H. Gorman, the president of the canal company at the time, and Stephen Gambrill, past president. Both men became prominent Democratic politicians in the state of Maryland following their involvement with the canal company.

The testimony primarily covers the role of the canal company in local elections in Cumberland and other Maryland cities during the 1870s. The relation of this testimony to the sale of bonds by the company is unknown. The majority of individuals testifying for the respondents were former or current officials or loyal employees of the company, while complainants' testimony came from former employees who had been involved in the actual operation of the canal. Examiner for the complainant in these testimonies is John P. Poe, and the cross-examiner for the respondent is Mr. Carter or Mr. Johnson.

This series is arranged alphabetically by type of testimony, with the exception of the final item in this series, a transcript of testimony that could not be assigned either to complainant or respondent.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Testimony for Complainants, 1880 series 1box 1folder 1
Testimony for Complainants, 1880 series 1box 1folder 2
Testimony for Complainants, 1880 series 1box 1folder 3
Testimony for Complainants, 1880 series 1box 1folder 4
Testimony for Complainants, 1880 series 1box 1folder 5
Testimony for Complainants, 1880 series 1box 1folder 6
Testimony for Complainants, 1880 series 1box 1folder 7
Testimony for Respondent, 1880 series 1box 1folder 8
Testimony for Respondent, 1880 series 1box 1folder 9
Testimony for Respondent, 1880 series 1box 1folder 10
Testimony for Respondent, 1880 series 1box 1folder 11
Testimony for Respondent, 1880 series 1box 1folder 12
Testimony of T. J. McCardell, undated series 1box 1folder 13

Series 2: George S. Brown et al. vs. the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company, 1889-1945 (2.50 linear feet)

Series II consists of records generated during the course of the case of George S. Brown et al. vs. the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company. This suit was filed by agents of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company seeking to foreclose on bonds held against the canal's profits and physical property. Although the suit was initially filed in 1889, the material in this collection concerns the period when the canal and its associated property were under the control of the board of receivers appointed in 1938. Much of the material post-dates the sale of the canal and its associated properties to the federal government and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, which also took place in 1938.

There are several internal divisions within this series that reflect the resolution of problems associated with the sale of the canal and disbursement of the proceeds. The first of the internal divisions consists of audits of the canal company's assets. An audit of the accounts of the trustees was performed at the time the receivers were appointed in 1938, and a listing of all assets and liabilities of the canal company was prepared prior to the sale of property to the federal government. After the sale was complete, a series of sixteen auditor's reports was compiled to account for all funds that were not immediately disbursed to the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company. These audits were performed between September 1938 and August 1945. The files containing these reports also include correspondence commenting on various aspects of the audits, and some contain court petitions and other documents regarding changes or problems with the reports. In some cases, the audit reports are themselves incomplete.

The second portion of this series is composed of the records pertaining to claims filed against the canal company receivers following their appointment in May 1938. Some of these claims were initially made against the canal company following the initial filing of George S. Brown et al. vs. the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company in 1889 and were not settled until the receivers were appointed. During the course of the suit, several firms in the Hagerstown and Baltimore areas made a practice of buying small claims against the company at a reduced rate and then negotiating with the receivers for settlement. These claims are discussed in groups in correspondence between the receivers, the law firms with which William Preston Lane, Jr., was associated, and the law firms of the claims purchasers. In addition, many claims were individually pursued by their holders, and these also generated court petitions and correspondence. Also included in this division of the series are petitions filed in court for collection of solicitors' fees.

The next major division in this series consists of court records and petitions that pertain directly to the progress of the case of George S. Brown et al. vs. the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company. These records include a bound volume containing the original complaint filed in 1889, files relating to the destruction of the 1878 bond issue, petitions for issuance of orders reducing the performance bonds of the receivers, and, finally, records relating to the official closing of the case.

The final portion of the series consists of materials pertaining to the disposal of the canal property. The majority of these records relate to the sale of the canal lands to the federal government. Additional records relate to the sales made to the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company. Files documenting the sales consist of draft deeds, agreements, petitions, court orders, and correspondence discussing various aspects of the property transfer.

This series is arranged alphabetically under the following rubrics--audits, claims, court documents, and property disposal--and then chronologically within those divisions.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Audits -- Assets and Liabilities-C & O Canal, August 12, 1938 series 2box 1folder 1
Audits -- Audit of Accounts of Trustees, October 31, 1937 - June 9, 1938 series 2box 1folder 2
Audits -- Auditor's Report No. 1, September 30-October 1938 series 2box 1folder 3
Audits -- Auditor's Account No. 2, November 29, 1938-1939 series 2box 1folder 4
Audits -- Auditor's Account No. 3, November 23-December 1938 series 2box 1folder 5
Audits -- Auditor's Account No. 3-A, December 1938-February 1939 series 2box 1folder 6
Audits -- Auditor's Account No. 4, 1938-1939 series 2box 1folder 7
Audits -- Auditor's Account No. 5, 1938-1940 series 2box 1folder 8
Audits -- Auditor's Account No. 6, March-June 1940 series 2box 1folder 9
Audits -- Auditor's Account No. 7, January-July 17, 1940 series 2box 1folder 10
Audits -- Auditor's Account No. 8, July 1940-January 1941 series 2box 1folder 11
Audits -- Auditor's Account No. 9, December 26, 1940-January 1941 series 2box 1folder 12
Audits -- Auditor's Account No. 10, July-August 1941 series 2box 1folder 13
Audits -- Auditor's Account No. 11, September-December 1941 series 2box 1folder 14
Audits -- Auditor's Account No. 12, December 8, 1941-December 1942 series 2box 1folder 15
Audits -- Auditor's Account No. 13, December 1941-September 1943 series 2box 1folder 16
Audits -- Auditor's Account No. 14, July 6-October 1944 series 2box 1folder 17
Audits -- Auditor's Account No. 15, July-August 1945 series 2box 1folder 18
Claims -- Claims, 1884-1929 series 2box 1folder 19
Claims -- Claims, 1884-1929 series 2box 1folder 20
Claims -- Claims, 1884-1929 series 2box 1folder 21
Claims -- Claims, 1884-1929 series 2box 1folder 22
Claims -- Purchase of Claims, 1919-1938 series 2box 2folder 1
Claims -- Claims, 1901-1938 series 2box 2folder 2
Claims -- Claims, 1926-1943 series 2box 2folder 3
Claims -- Claims, 1926-1943 series 2box 2folder 4
Claims -- Claims, 1926-1943 series 2box 2folder 5
Claims -- Claims, 1926-1943 series 2box 2folder 6
Claims -- Claims, 1926-1943 series 2box 2folder 7
Claims -- Claims, 1926-1943 series 2box 2folder 8
Claims -- Petitions for Solicitor's Fees, 1932-1941 series 2box 2folder 9
Claims -- Claims, 1937-1938, undated series 2box 2folder 10
Court Documents -- J. C. Lane Cases In Court of Appeals--Canal Case, 1889-1891 series 2box 3folder 1
Court Documents -- Contracts, 1913 series 2box 3folder 2
Court Documents -- Financial Operations Petitions, 1938-1940 series 2box 3folder 3
Court Documents -- Cancellation and Destruction of Bonds of 1878, 1940 series 2box 3folder 4
Court Documents -- Chesapeake and Ohio Canal-Closing, 1940-1941 series 2box 3folder 5
Court Documents -- Chesapeake and Ohio Canal-Closing, 1940-1941 series 2box 3folder 6
Court Documents -- Order Reducing Receiver's Bonds, 1939-1941 series 2box 3folder 7
Court Documents -- Chesapeake and Ohio Canal-Final Closing, 1938-1945 series 2box 3folder 8
Property Disposal -- Deeds, 1937-1938 series 2box 4folder 1
Property Disposal -- Sale of Parcel, 1930 series 2box 4folder 2
Property Disposal -- Leases, 1931-1940 series 2box 4folder 3
Property Disposal -- Description of Parcels [Exhibit A], 1940 series 2box 4folder 4
Property Disposal -- Sale of Property, 1938-1939 series 2box 4folder 5
Property Disposal -- Description of Parcels (Revised) [Exhibit "A"],, 1939 series 2box 4folder 6
Property Disposal -- Agreement--U. S. A. with Receivers of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company, 1939-1941 series 2box 5folder 1
Property Disposal -- Chesapeake and Ohio Canal--Petition and Order of Court Re: Corrected Description of Exhibit "A", 1941 series 2box 5folder 2
Property Disposal -- Chesapeake and Ohio Canal--Petition of Real Estate and Improvement Company Relinquishing 12 Parcels, 1941 series 2box 5folder 3
Property Disposal -- Department of the Interior Comments on Exhibit "A", 1941 series 2box 5folder 4
Property Disposal -- Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company Re: Western Maryland Railroad, 1941-1942 series 2box 5folder 5
Property Disposal -- Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company Re: Baltimore and Ohio Right-of-Way, 1942 series 2box 5folder 6
Property Disposal -- Appeal--U. S. Court of Appeals for District of Columbia, 1942-1943 series 2box 5folder 7

Series 3: Rinehart S. Cohill vs. the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company, 1939-1940 (0.25 linear feet)

The case of Rinehart S. Cohill vs. the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company was filed as a result of the dispersal of funds from the sale of canal property to pay off the bond issue of 1878 without satisfying debts from the bond issue of 1844. This series consists of three bound court documents and one file of related materials. Two of the three bound court documents consist of briefs filed in the case, one for the appellant and one for the appellees; both are dated October 1939. The appellant brief outlines the basis of Cohill's appeal, and the appellee brief responds to each of Cohill's objections. The third bound document is a transcript of record for the case, dated March 20, 1939.

The file of related documents consists of correspondence between William Preston Lane, Jr., Leo H. Miller, and E. A. Howell (Cohill's lawyers), and R. S. B. Hartz, one of the canal company receivers. This file also contains Lane's research notes, several reproductions of earlier precedent-setting court documents, and petitions originating from the George S. Brown case that contain auditor's information pertaining to Cohill's appeal. This series also includes the appeals court finding in the case, dated December 13, 1939.

This series is arranged chronologically.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Appeal - Cohill, 1938-1940 series 3box 1folder 1
Transcript of Record, 1939 series 3box 1folder 2
Brief for Appellees, 1939 series 3box 1folder 2
Brief of Appellant, 1939 series 3box 1folder 2

Series 4: Miscellaneous Records, 1915-1942 (0.25 linear feet)

This series is comprised of records that were not generated during the course of any of the cases discussed above. The majority of the records in this series consist of correspondence and related documents exchanged by George Nicolson, one of the trustees of the canal company, and the legal firm of Keedy and Lane. These records consist of correspondence related to problems encountered during operation of the canal after the filing of George S. Brown et al. vs. the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company but before the receivers were appointed in 1938. These records cover the period 1915 to 1936.

Correspondence between Charles A. Ritchey and the Harrisburg Pipe and Pipe Bending Company regarding the sales of low sulphur foundry coke is also included in this series. The origin of the correspondence and the mechanism by which it was incorporated into the collection is unknown. This correspondence was exchanged between January and March 1921.

Series IV also contains records from several lawsuits that were handled by William Preston Lane, Jr. or his partners, but apparently did not relate to the canal. These include claims for compensation brought against the Director-General of Railroads as a result of work-related injuries and records associated with a disbarment proceeding. These records were generated between 1914 and 1942.

The final item in this series is a "Statement of Creation and Operation of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company" and attached correspondence. This document was provided to a researcher by one of the canal company receivers following a request to William Preston Lane, Jr. The statement of creation and operation is dated January 28, 1938, and the related correspondence was produced in December 1942.

This series is arranged alphabetically by document type. Correspondence is arranged chronologically under primary correspondent divisions.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Correspondence -- George Nicolson, 1915-1936 series 4box 1folder 1
Correspondence -- George Nicolson, 1915-1936 series 4box 1folder 2
Correspondence -- George Nicolson, 1915-1936 series 4box 1folder 3
Correspondence -- George Nicolson, 1915-1936 series 4box 1folder 4
Correspondence -- George Nicolson, 1915-1936 series 4box 1folder 5
Correspondence -- George Nicolson, 1915-1936 series 4box 1folder 6
Correspondence -- Charles A. Ritchey, 1921 series 4box 1folder 7
Court Cases -- Baechtel vs. Director General of Railroads Operating the Cumberland Valley Railroad, 1920 series 4box 1folder 8
Court Cases -- Bar Association of Washington County vs. C. Walter Baker, 1942 series 4box 1folder 9
Court Cases -- Gray vs. the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company, 1914 series 4box 1folder 10
Court Cases -- Healy vs. Director General of Railroads, 1920 series 4box 1folder 11
Court Cases -- Monath vs. the Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Company, 1939 series 4box 1folder 12
Statement of Creation and Operation of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, 1938-1942 series 4box 1folder 13

Related Material

The library of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company Museum, located in Baltimore, has an attached library that holds some material related to the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. The Maryland Historical Society holds several manuscript collections that contain primary material relating to the canal, including the papers of John Thomas Scharf and George Corbin Washingon. The Society also has two stock-holder letters relating to the completion of construction of the canal. The National Archives was the source of several of the documents used to support court petitions present in this collection and holds other related materials as well. The Archives and Manuscripts Department of the University of Maryland at College Park Libraries also holds the Papers of William Preston Lane, Jr.

The Marylandia and Rare Books Department and the general collections of the University of Maryland at College Park Libraries hold numerous secondary materials on both the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Companies.

For other related archival and manuscript collections, please see the following subject guides.

Selected Search Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the University of Maryland Libraries' Catalog. Researchers desiring related materials about these topics, names, or places may search the Catalog using these headings.

Subjects

Names (Added Entries)