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Such a result would have broken down any ordinary man; Judge Blodget, only exerted himself the more to accomplish the undertaking he had so much at heart.

He had obtained a charter for his lock and canal in December, 1798, after the destruction of his lock. He now went seriously to work to sell the stock. In order to create confidence in the public mind, he employed Col. L. Baldwin, to make a survey of a route for a canal, and to estimate the cost of finishing the work. Col. Baldwin made a favorable report, estimating the cost of completing the locks and canal at $9,000, but he recommended a route for the canal east of the old one, in order that it should be free from freshets--and closed his report by assuring the Judge "that it would not do to depart much from established principles, nor presume much on new theories, or to introduce works of speculation in canaling."

These hints were not lost upon Judge Blodget, and he determined upon carrying out the suggestions of Col. Baldwin.--He published the Colonel's report, and upon the strength of it, succeeded in selling some of the stock, reserving a controling [sic] interest in the same in his family.

In December of the same year he obtained from the Legislature of New Hampshire, authority to raise the sum of $9000 by a lottery, for the purpose of completing "Blodget canal." During the following three years, he realized $5000 from his lottery, and $7000, from sale of stock, and other sources, which he expended in finishing the canal according to the survey and plan of Col. Baldwin.

Meantime, the expenditures exceeding the estimates by some thousands, and the canal yet unfinished, in 1802, Judge Blodget received another grant of a lottery from the Legislature, by which he might raise $10,000.

The tickets in this lottery were as follows

     LOTTERY No. 2.    }
THIS ticket shall entitle the bearer to receive the prize that may be drawn against its number, Agreeably to an Act of the General Court of New Hampshire, passed June 17th. 1802, if demanded within six months.
Samuel Blodgett's Signature

Upon the grant of this lottery, a resolution passed the Legislature authorizing the governor to appoint a committee to settle the accounts of the managers of the Lottery granted in 1799. This had become neccessary, as difficulties had arisen betwixt the managers and Mr. Blodget. The managers had been dilatory in the affairs--had paid to Mr. Blodget but $5,000 of the proceeds, and refused to account to him, or allow his services. Mutual recriminations took place, and while the managers and their friends accused him of using the funds arising from the lottery for his own private use, in building a splendid mansion he publicly accused them of the most gross mismanagement in the affair--among other matters, that they charged five dollars a day as their regular wages, and that they charged for their expenses during the time of drawing the lottery, an amount equal to three dollars per minute, when the act only allowed them reasonable compensation; that they exhibited two sets of accounts differing from each other; that their lists of prizes were false and counterfeit; that they had refused to let him see the books; and that most of the books and tickets had been burned, thus placing it beyond the power of any one to investigate their management. These were grave charges. The committee of investigation, were not appointed, and did not commence the duties of their commission, until just before the June session of 1803, and did not inform Judge Blodget of their appointment, or of the time and place of making the investigation, until the 16th of May. He of course did not attend as he was out of the state, and had been denied access to the books, although he had "demanded them fifty times," and had not had the means, if there had been time, to prepare himself for the investigation. The committee reported alone from such data as were furnished by the manager, and of course were forced to make a report favorable to them.

To this report, Judge Blodget replied in a public manner, reiterating his charges against the managers, and offering as he repeatedly had before, to settle the whole matter by arbitration. One great object of Judge Blodget in constructing his works at Amoskeag, was to take advantage of the hydraulic power afforded by the falls. To carry out this object, he had formed at the upper end of his canal a basin which afforded any amount of hydraulic power. He had only been able to use this power in driving a grist and saw mill, but he was anxious to induce capitalist to invest here in other mills,--and under the date of September 24, 1803, wrote that noted capitalist Wm. Gray, Esq., of Boston, setting forth the advantageous position of his great water power, and endeavoring to induce Mr. Gray to set up a nail factory, at Amoskeag. In this he did not succeed, and was equally unsuccessful in inducing others to invest their money in mills at this place. But he was ever eloquent, when he could find hearers, in descanting upon the advantages to be derived by this State from the water power at Amoskeag. In his mind's eye it was to be the Manchester of America, and he could see the brick walls upon his canal, as plainly, if not as substantially, as we, who occupy his place, a half a century later. And it is a curious fact, showing at least, the confidence he had in his own speculations, and we think, the correctness of his judgement, that prior to this, he had bought at Hooksett, the lot of land containing the clay banks, for the express purpose of affording the brick to build up Factories at this place! These clay banks have since been owned by the Hon. Richard H. Ayer, formerly of this city, and have furnished most of the brick used in building up the city of Manchester.

Meantime while Judge Blodget was speculating upon the prospective advantages of his works at Amoskeag, the managers of the lottery with their friends and others of his enemies, were accusing him of neglecting the locks and canal, and of appropriating the money, received from the lottery, to his own private purposes.

To show the progress of the work and to refute the charges of his enemies, he made a statement to the public, as to his proceedings, bearing the date of Dec. 6, 1803. The following extracts shows the state of the locks and canal at this time.

"It has been a misfortune, that until within a few weeks past, the interruption by rocks and ledges, from the head of the Falls to the Canal, has had such an effect upon strangers, that they dare not venture into it with their rafts, without a pilot. The proprietors therefore have been to an expense of cutting a new Canal, from the head of the Falls into the old Canal by the eastern bank of the river, and nearly parallel with the same. This work is so well executed, that the water shoots directly into the old Canal, and such are the natural monuments on each side of this canal, that the stranger cannot fail, and will enter with ease and safety into the canal.

There has been erected, at great expense, during the last season, below the second guard gate, a Basin, to receive all loose logs, drift stuff, so that a stranger, without the aid of a pilot, can pass from the head of the Falls directly into the basin below the mills, without interruption, and in less than half the usual time. From the basin to the lower canal are two locks of 100 feet each, through which we pass in twenty minutes. About thirty rods below these locks, there is a gate erected for the conveniency of stopping the water, by which we expedite the passage through the locks at half the usual time. By these alterations, business is done with great despatch, besides the saving of much labor, and the expense of a pilot. The last rafts that have passed the canal, have experienced all this. The canal below the last mentioned gate, is every way complete, so far as the slip through which the lumber passes into the Merrimack river again. From this slip to the river, requires four locks to be put down, of 9 feet lift, and 100 feet in length each, including that which must be placed in the river. Three of these locks are 100 feet each, are framed, and have lain at the spot over two summers, and are unavoidably in a mouldering condition. * *

At the time I petitioned the Legislature of New Hampshire, for a lottery, to raise $9000, my sufferings proved much more; for by taking a new route, which was recommended to me, and complied with, out of this $9000 exclusive of neccessary charges, I have received only $5000, all of which, and many thousands more, have been actually expended upon the canal, besides $1300 of tolls received the last season.

So the reports now circulating of my being indifferent whether I complete the canal or not, and that I have made use of lottery money, in building a house, are both false and without foundation. So far from making use of the money I received by the lottery, I have expended more than $7000 upon the canal, besides the $5000 received by the lottery. This I am ready to prove, when called upon."
From this statement it seems that instead of using the canal funds for private purposes, he had expended $7000 of his own upon the works since the granting of the lottery.

It is difficult at this distance of time to come at the true state of the case, but it is evident that the sympathies of the community were with Judge Blodget; as in March following, the legislature of Massachusetts granted a lottery in aid of the Blodget canal, to raise $10,000 to he expended under the direction of that experienced engineer, Col. L. Baldwin, and in 1805, the legislature of New Hampshire passed an "Act to extend the time which was allowed Samuel Blodget for drawing a Lottery," granted July 18, 1802.

We cannot refrain from remarking in this connection, that Judge Blodget was mainly in the right; and the embarrassments consequent upon the failure of his locks and the destruction of his canal by a freshet, placed him in the hands of a set of speculators and sharpers, who taking advantage of his age and embarrassments, threw every obstacle in the way of completing the work; that the same in an unfinished state might become so depreciated, as to pass into their own hands at a mere nominal price.

But, blessed with a strong constitution, and possessing the confidence of the public, he lived down the aspersions of his enemies, and long enough to see the completion of his stupendous work.

The avails of the lottery granted by Massachusetts, were not immediate or reliable, and but little progress was made upon the locks by Col. Baldwin, in the summer of 1805, and after November, the work was entirely suspended until September 4, 1806. Meantime Judge Blodget was not idle, and in the following winter brought the advantages to be derived from the completion of the Blodget Canal, before the public in a forcible manner, by contrasting the business done through his canal and slip, with that done through the Middlesex Canal, thus;

   "It will be acknowledged by all enquirers into canaling business, that the canals are, and soon will be of inconceivable advantage to the public at large, especially when the Blodget canal, so called by his charter, (but by the old Indian name Namoskeag,) is completely finished; here are the locks that command an immense property of a great and goodly country of many hundred miles in circumference, round the lakes and heads of streams that empty into and form [sic from?] the Merrimack before they reach the locks at the Blodget Canal; this goodly country abounds with beef cattle upon a thousand hills, and all kinds of produce, and lumber in abundance, with wealthy in habitants suitably interspersed all over it, who wish a commercial intercourse with the inhabitants of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
   As the committee of the Middlesex Canal has published the particular articles that passed through their canal the last season the amount of which was 9405 tons of various articles, the toll of which amounted to 11,832 dollars, it may not be amiss to inform the public the particulars and the quantity of each articte that passed through the locks and the slip of Blodget's canal the last season, which is as follows;
941,647 feet pine boards 1134 tons.
1,333 feet oak boards       3 "
49,881 feet 2 1-2 inch oak plank   249 1-2 "
13,000 feet 5 inch pine plank     75 "
13,800 feet 2 1-2 inch pine plank     38 "
15,250 clapboards     15 1-4 "
343,500 singles     68 3-4 "
116,430 hogshead staves   204 "
35,750 barrel staves     35 3-4 "
122,579 hogshead hoops   245 "
513 tons feet oak timber   526 "
1,434 tons 27 feet pine timber 1230 "
62 tons 20 feet ash and elm timber,     62 1-2 "
240 empty hogsheads,     12 "
1,030 empty barrels,     25 3-4 "
294 shooks,       5 "
2 empty boats for the Middlesex canal,     60 "
Amounting in the whole to, 3989 1-2

Eight tenths of said lumber was carried through said canal and slip, in two months, viz; from the 5th of April, to the 5th of June, 1805, after which a very small quantity of Lumber passed through the canal owing to a failure of water and the Dam that is to be built for the purpose of turning the water into the head of said canal not yet being erected, the toll amounting only to 1080 dollars being fixed at the low rate of sixteen cents per ton for pine timber, and other articles in proportion which is done to encourage the business, the locks at the lower end of said canal being yet in an unfinished state, those people who come down the river with lumber are obliged to break their rafts in order to pass through the slip, and then re-raft said lumber, which not only subjects them to an extra bill of cost, but often detains them so long that they are obliged to haul up their rafts and wait for another rise of water, before they can proceed down the river, to the Middlesex canal, it's worthy of observation that the whole amount of every article that passed through the Middlesex canal both up and down the last year was

9405 tons.
The whole amount of every article that passed Blodget's slip at Amoskeag the last season was 3989 1-2 "

5415 1-2
Deduct the articles of wood and cider which was carried through Middlesex in boats amounting to 5405

    10 1-2
   Then there passed through the Middlesex canal only ten and a half tons more than passed through Blodget's slip the last season. What may be expected when the Locks are completed at Blodget's canal; how must the merchants and the people of all descriptions in the country and in Boston and vicinity, rejoice to see that day?"
This expose could not fail to produce a decided effect. March 14, 1806, the Legislature of Massachusetts granted a second lottery in aid of the "Blodget Canal." This was put in immediate operation, and by fall an amount of money was raised from this and the lottery in New Hampshire, to authorize the prosecuting the work with vigor, and by the end of December 1806 the locks were finished. But the completion of the locks and canal brought neither rest or quiet to Judge Blodget. He had offered the managers of the old lottery to settle their difficulties by arbitration, and after much delay, they had consented, and the winter and spring of 1807, he was busy in getting his accounts in readiness for the "Rule," and in getting the day of "sitting" appointed by the chairman of the "Rule." But during this time, borne down with age and trouble, his spirits were kept up by the anticipations of the coming "May Day." That day had been appointed for the "opening of Blodget's Locks and Canal," and the Judge looked foward [sic] to it as the proud day of his life, the day of his triumph, purchased at the price of a handsome fortune, and thirteen anxious years of his life!

The day came, and with it an assembled multitude to witness the ceremony. Judge Blodget rode to the head of the Canal, at the age of eighty three years and a month, went on a raft with a few of his friends, passed through the length of the canal, and through the locks into the Merrimack! The burst of applause at the completion of the feat, from the multitude on shore, sealed his triumph! He returned to his house, and remarked as he left the chaise, "I have but one object now to live for, my canal is completed, let my difficulties with the managers be settled qefore [sic before?] the arbiters, and I die content!

From this time he paid close attention to the settlement of his accounts, which was to come off at Haverhill the first of July. He was present as active as ever, at the sitting of the Rule, but returning from Haverhill to Derryfield on the third of July, he took cold, and on the fourth was confined to his room, and never left it until he departed to render his account to the great Arbiter of the Universe, the 1st of September.

After the death of Mr. Blodget, the legislature granted a lottery to his heirs, June session 1810, for the purpose of completing the canal, but after a short time, it mainly passed from his family, into the hands of the owners of the Middlesex Canal.

Meantime, while this great enterprise was being other completed, other improvements were being made in the town, that indicated increasing prosperity.

In 1794, the general government called upon this state for troops. At a special meeting held December 8, the subject of bounties to be paid soldiers from this town being before the meeting, it was

   "Voted to give those minutemen one dollar as bounty when they enlist, and one dollar when they pass muster, and one dollar when they march, and to give them the wages the Congress has voted, and as Much More as will make Eight dollars pr Month while they are in active Service and no longer."
This requisition for troops was made by the general government in anticipation of more serious trouble from what has been called the "Whiskey Rebellion" in Pennsylvania. However the insurrection was easily quelled by the troops under Gen. Lee, and the troops from this state were not called out.

The grave-yard near the meeting-house was not fenced, and at the annual meeting, March, 2, it was

"Voted, that the front of our grave-yard be fenced with good Stone-wall."
The building of the wall was set up at auction, and struck off to Isaac Young, at 6s 6d per rod, the wall to be three feet thick at the bottom, and four feet two inches high.

In the latter part of 1795 the project of a social library was started by the inhabitants of Derryfield and vicinity. Those interested in the project, associated under the name of the Proprietors of Derryfield Library. January 4, 1796, they bought their first books, of E. Larken, of Boston, at a cost of $32,94. On the 12th of December of the same year, they voted to form a society by the name of The Proprietors of the Social Library in Derryfield. The number of the first proprietors or their names is unknown.

The proprietors were incorporated in December 1799, at which time they numbered forty-six and had seventy-eight volumes of valuable books in the library. Additions were made from time to time, but the interest in it began to abate and at length, in 1733, no annual meeting was held, and the library was at an end, each proprietor appropriating such books as he chose.

On Monday, Nov. 7, 1796, the Presidential election took place in this town. The state of the balloting was thus;

Benjamin Bellows, 27
John T. Gilman, 13
Timothy Walker, 28
Timothy Farrar, 28
Oliver Peabody, 28
Eben'r Thompson, 10
Robert Wallace, 18

The electoral vote of the State was thrown for John Adams, who was elected President of the United States.

In 1791, the Legislature had passed an act, requiring the assessment of a tax of seven thousand five hundred pounds upon the several towns in the state, in proportion to their taxable property, for the support of common schools. This law soon excited a more general attention to schools, as the money had to be raised and expended. In Derryfield they were dilatory, and until 1795, there was not a school house in town. In that year a school house had been built by private subscription, near the Falls, for the accommodation of a school in that neighborhood. This was the first school house built in town, and was upon the same lot upon which the Falls school house now stands.

The subject of building school houses at the expense of the town began to be agitated, and in the warrant for the annual town meeting for 1797, the ninth article was as follows;
   "To see if the town will vote to pay for the school house which is now Built, and to Build two more for the town use."
At the adjourned meeting, March 23, 1797, upon this subject, it was

   "Voted, not to Build School Houses in town agreeable to the ninth article in the Warrant."
The friends of schools were beaten at this time, but the subject was fairly before the people, and they were soon to triumph.

In this same year, Congress made a requisition for troops, to meet any emergency pending our difficulties with France. A special meeting was called of the town, on the 30th of October, for the purpose of voting a bounty as an inducement for soldiers to enlist. Meantime the officers of the militia company in the town, called their company together, and the required number volunteered at once, without waiting for, or desiring any bounty. On the 20th of October the meeting was held as notified, but there was no necessity of any action of the town as to bounty to the soldiers, and the following complimentary vote was passed;

   "Voted, that the thanks of the Town be given to the officers and Soldiers of the town, for turning out Voluntarily to supply their Quotio [sic] requested by the requisition from Congress."
The spirit of '76 was still rife in the town.

At the annual meeting, March 5, 1798, the friends of schools triumphed, and carried a vote to build two school houses, and to take that one already built near the Falls.

A building committee was appointed, and the houses were built in the course of the summer and Fall. Those who had contributed towards building the school house near the Falls, were to be allowed the amount paid, in their taxes, and if they had contributed more than their tax, the overplus was to be refunded.

The committee chosen to locate the school houses, located the first near the Falls, the second near a spring on the road betwixt Capt. Samuel Moor's and Mr. Enos Webster's, and the third on the road betwixt Mr. Archibald Gamble's and Major John Webster's. This report gave some dissatisfaction, but the people soon came to the conclusion that the locations were just and proper.

At the annual meeting, March, 3, 1800, it was voted to build a Pound 32 feet square and 7 feet high, of square posts and rails of yellow pine "heart stuff." The building of the same was "struck off" for thirty dollars to Mr. Daniel Hall. This Pound was located upon the south end of the meeting house lot and continued in use until about 1830.

The population of the town in 1800 was 557, being an increase of 197 persons in the previous ten years.

About this period, the subject was started of "slipping" or locking Cohas Brook, so that the lumber adjacent to Lake Massabesic, might be readily run into the Merrimack. At length in 1803, it was proposed that the town carry the project into execution, and in the warrant of February 10, of that year, was the following article in relation to it;

   "9thly, To See if the Town will petition the General Court, for an act of Incorporation to Lock or Slip the great Coos Brook from the pond to Merrimack river, at the expense of the town of Derryfield, or any part thereof."
At the annual meeting March 7, the town voted to petition the Legislature for an act of incorporation for such purpose, and chose Samuel P. Kidder, Joseph Moore and Benjamin F. Stark, a committee to draft the petition. An act of incorporation was obtained, but in the year 1806, at an adjourned meeting holden March 18 of that year, it was

   "Voted, to give up the slipping of Cohas Brook to individuals in town who will do it."
May 14, 1803, it was again,

   "Voted, to fence the grave-yard, on the south side, with a good stone-wall.
From which it oppears [sic appears?] that Mr. Young, who "bid off", the fencing the same in 1795, did not fulfill his agreement with the town. The building of the fence, "4 1-2 feet high, 3 feet thick at the bottom," was again put up at auction, and bid off by Mr. William Farmer, at $3,40 per rod. Mr. Farmer built the wall, the same that remains.

The annual meeting had heretofore been held on the first Monday in March, but at a special meeting held on the 4th day of February, 1804, it was

   "Voted, to have the annual meeting for the future on the Second Tuesday in March."
From the first Presidential election to that of 1800, the electors had been chosen directly by the people. In that year the Legislature assumed to choose the electors, having altered the electoral law. But in June, 1804 the Legislature passed an act referring the Presidential election again directly to the people.

The election took place in this state November, 5, 1804, and the vote in this town was thus:

John Goddard 29,
Oliver Peabody, 19,
Levi Bartlett, 29,
John Prentice, 19,
John Steel, 29,
William Hale, 19,
Robert Allcock, 29,
Timothy Farrar, 19,
Tim'y Walker, 29,
Robert Wallace, 19,
Geo. Aldrich, 29,
Benjamin West, 19,
Wm. Tarleton, 29,
Charles Johnston. 19

The electoral ticket receiving the highest vote in this town was elected in the state at large, and the electoral vote of the state was thrown for Thomas Jefferson, for President, and for George Clinton, for Vice President.

In the fall of 1804, certain individuals whose names are now unknown, attacked and tore down the house of Alexander Irwin, that stood beside the brook near the house of Mr. John Huse. It was but a mere hovel, but it was his castle, and the outrage produced considerable excitement. Irwin entered a formal complaint to the Selectmen of the town, and in the warrant of Oct. 20, 1804, calling a special meeting of the town, there was an article in reference to the abuse of Mr. Irwin; and at the meeting held Nov. 5, 1804, Isaac Huse and Samuel P. Kidder, were chosen a committee,

   "To inquire into the complaint of Alexander Arwin, [sic Irwin?] and prosecute the offenders if they think proper."
This committee inquired into the complaint, and had the parties arrested; but upon a proposition to them to settle the affair, the committee stayed the prosecution, and paid the costs of the same, upon the respondents giving a bond for the payment of the sum of two hundred dollars.

At the annual meeting, March 11, 1806, it was voted to divide the town into Districts for Highway work, and a committee consisting of John Perham, Daniel Hall, Joseph Moore, David Flint, and Benjamin F. Clark, was chosen to make the division. The town was divided into Districts for Highway purposes before, but the division was annual, not permanent, and made according to the judgment of the Selectmen for the time being.

No record was made of the division save in the warrants directed to the highway Surveyors, and their warrants were not recorded even until 1793. At the adjourned meeting, March 18, 1806, the committee upon the division of the town, made their report and it was adopted, and the division into districts as then made remained substantially the same until the adoption of a City charter in 1846.

At the annual meeting March 10, 1807, the subject of locking the Cohas was again before the town, and it was
   "Voted, the town carry on five Shares in the Locking or Slipping Cohos [sic] Brook."
It was also

   "Voted, To have a committee, consisting of Joseph Moor, Jonas Harvey, and Samuel Moor, Jr. to "dispose of the remaining 145 Shares."
From this vote it seems the stock was divided into one hundred and fifty shares, but of the amount of stock, or what disposition was made of it, is not know.

A requisition having been made on the part of the General Government for troops, a special meeting was held in this town on the 30th day of October, to take into consideration the subject of a bounty to be paid those who should inlist [sic] in this town, and it was voted to raise one hundred dollars to be paid the soldiers if they should be called upon.

The militia company in the town mustered on the same day, and the number desired was immediately furnished by volunteer enlistment. In view of such promptness and patriotism, it was

   "Voted the Town give the Soldiers two Gallons of West India Rum who turned out as Volunteers in defence of their Country."
At an adjourned meeting, in March, 1808, it was voted to redistrict the town for the purpose of schooling, and to divide the same into five districts. A committee was chosen for this purpose, who reported at the annual meeting in 1809, and the report was accepted. The same year a school house was built near the Centre at an expense of $217,02, and a tax to that amount was levied upon the inhabitants of that district.

At the Presidential election, holden on the first Friday of November, 1808, the state of the balloting in this town was as follows:

Jeremiah Smith, 39,
John Langdon, 33,
Oliver Peabody, 39,
Samuel Bell, 33,
Samuel Hale, 39,
Amasa Allen, 33,
Timothy Farrar, 39,
John Goddard, 33,
Robert Wallace, 39,
Robert Allcock, 33,
Benjamin West, 39,
Nat. Shannon, 33,
Jona. Franklin, 39,
Wm. Tarleton, 33,

The ticket headed by Mr. Smith, was successful in the state at large, and the electoral vote of New Hampshire was thrown for Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, of South Carolina, in opposition to Mr. Madison, the successful candidate.

In 1810, the project was started of changing the name of the town to Manchester, and at the annual meeting held March 13th, of that year, the following vote was passed upon the subject:

   "Voted, Thomas Stickney, John G. Moor, and Amos Weston, be a Committee to petition the General Court to have the name of the town of Derryfield altered to Manchester."
The petition was duly presented, and the name of the town was changed to Manchester by the Legislature, at the June session of that year. This change of name was effected out of compliment to the opinion of Judge Blodget, who was wont to say, that the town was "destined to become the Manchester of America." At this time however, the first Factory on the Merrimack had been started at this place, and Mr. Stickney who was a grandson of Judge Blodget fully believed, and many of the people hoped that his prognostication was soon to be realized.

The population of the town this year was six hundred and fifteen, showing an increase of but fifty-eight in the last ten years.

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ALHN Hillsborough County

Email Kathy Chapter 22
History of Manchester
Hillsborough County
ALHN-New Hampshire
Created May 4, 2001
Copyright 2000, 2001