ItemPreservation of historic New Castle: a study in perception(University of Delaware, 2003) Wildes, Kristen LahamThis thesis studies the preservation of New Castle, Delaware. Because of its prominent history and remarkable architecture, several individuals set out to restore New Castle as a museum attraction in the 1940s and 1950s using Colonial Williamsburg as a model. The planners wanted to ensure the future of the town and use it for the patriotic education and inspiration of Americans. However, their extensive vision failed to become a reality. ☐ During interviews, several long-time residents of New Castle talked about the proposed restoration plan. Their experiences reflect opinions that differ from the planners about how a comprehensive restoration would have impacted the town. Informants felt that the community was primarily responsible for the fact that the plan was never carried out. Instead, New Castle enacted zoning legislation to protect its historic properties. Residents expressed concern about preventing too much change in New Castle and reflected on many changes that have occurred since the time of the proposed restoration. ItemBusiness and government in nineteenth century Delaware(University of Delaware, 1964) Whitham, William BolesbridgeIt is suggested in this thesis that the development of law touching business in Delaware was evolutionary, and comprised three major themes: the establishment of a reasonably secure financial system, the development of a transportation system serving the state, and the establishment of a diversified manufacturing and commercial sector of the overall economy. In any given period all three themes were present, but one was the predominant preoccupation of the day. ☐ After a period of slow but steady growth in the eighteenth century, the time between 1791 and 1831 is suggested as having been perhaps the most significant stage in the course of events with which this study is concerned. In this period, the basis for later development was laid and the lines which this development would follow first became visible. Although the preoccupation of the period was with establishing a financial system adequate to the needs of the state, the first industry and manufacturing appeared, and the first attempts at creating a transportation network were made. From the 1830's to the 1850's, transportation was the predominant interest, since the banking system of the state had crystallized by slightly after 1820. From the 1850's onward, manufacturing and industry were of more interest than transportation and banking, and the state moved increasingly into regulation of business and associated practices. ☐ The organization of business developed parallel to these changes. In the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, the typical Delaware business was a small single proprietorship or a small partnership. Increasingly, however, incorporation began to be used, and the first extended remarks upon this subject appear in the 1831 State Constitution. As the practice of incorporation spread and became more and more widely used, this basic law was amended and extended. A very limited general incorporation law was enacted in the 1870's, extended in the 1880's, and replaced at the very end of the century. The State Constitution was revised in 1897, at which time the legislature was empowered to enact a general incorporation law. This it did in the 1899 session, and the resulting statute was the basis of the twentieth-century incorporation law of the state. This is not discussed, as the enactment of the 1899 law formed the last chapter in the century of change examined. ItemThe Brandywine mills, 1742-1815(University of Delaware, 1956) Welsh, Peter CorbettIn 1740, Oliver Canby moved from Bucks County, Pennsylvania, to the newly chartered town of Wilmington in Delaware. Oliver Canby, like many others who came to Wilmington, was a Quaker and as a member of the Society of Friends he had acquired early in life a useful trade or craft. Canby was a millwright by profession and in less than 15 years after coming to Wilmington he had gained, besides several promising mill seats, the control of important water rights on the Brandywine. During this period (1742-1755) Canby built the first mill of size or consequence on Brandywine Creek. The Canby Mill began the history of the merchant flour industry in this area known as the Brandywine Mills. ☐ The initial work of Oliver Canby was followed by that of Thomas Shipley who, in less than ten years after Canby's death (1755), transformed the flour mills on the lower Brandywine from custom mills to merchant enterprises. This was accomplished by building large mills with overshot wheels below the last falls of the stream. These mills were built on the south bank of the creek where, for the first time, they could begin to make full use of the water power so readily available. Even more important than power was the fact that these new mills were at tidewater; therefore they were convenient to ocean navigation by way of the Christina and Delaware Rivers. Similar mills were built on the north side of the stream in the 1770's. The development of this area was mainly due to the resourcefulness of Joseph Tatnall who is correctly thought of as Delaware's first great industrialist. ☐ Prior to the revolution the energy of three men -- Oliver Canby, Thomas Shipley and Joseph Tattnall -- had given impetus to the building of eight tidewater mills on the Brandywine. There were four mills on each side of the stream in this period and they ground the grist brought from the rich wheat fields of Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. These meals were located in the heart of America's first extensive wheat belt and we're readily accessible to the wheat growers of the middle colonies via river, road and ocean. The Brandywine millers, during the Revolution, the Confederation and the early Republic, expanded the business that had been founded in the colonial period. After the Revolution these mills produced flour for domestic and foreign consumption and provided a stimulus for Wilmington's prosperous economic and commercial life. ☐ The Brandywine Mills between 1770 and 1815 increased in number from eight to fourteen merchant mills, all tightly clustered about the tidal basin of Brandywine Creek. It was during this period that Oliver Evans introduced the idea of automation to flour mill machinery; and subsequently the mills at Brandywine were mechanized. These mills, despite, mechanization, provided work for hundreds of individuals including millers millwrights, coopers, blacksmiths and shallopmen. By the 1790’s, mills at Brandywine annually ground 300,000 to 100,000 bushels of wheat. Every year local merchants shipped thousands of barrels of Brandywine flour to the four corners of the globe and the Quaker millers reaped a return of a half million dollars in profits from their mill operations. The Brandywine Mills were, in every sense, a large scale enterprise and their history is the story of the industry that preceded du Pont as the industrial giant on Brandywine Creek. This story “fully written out … would afford a complete picture of the rise of the milling interest in the United States. ItemThe senatorial career of Willard Saulsbury, 1859-1871(University of Delaware, 1966) Smith, Wayne Sylvanus ItemGeorge Strausser Messersmith: arms, Argentina, and the Rio Pact(University of Delaware, 1969) Rodan, Wayne David ItemHorticulture at Peirce's Park, 1789-1905(University of Delaware, 1971) Roberts, Frederick EdwardThe development of horticulture on the Peirce property is significant both in its historical aspects and in its relation to the subsequent development of Longwood Gardens. The original land grant to George Pearce in 1700 marked the beginning of a horticultural history which developed in varying degrees under numerous owners until its final purchase in 1906 by Pierre S. duPont. ☐ The original grant from William Penn to George Pearce on December 14, 1700, conveyed 402 acres and 54 perches in East Marlborough Township. This land was developed for agricultural purposes -- first by his son Joshua and later by his grandson Caleb. ☐ Samuel and Joshua Peirce, great-grandsons of George Pearce, received approximately 189 acres of the original Penn grant. In the year 1798 they began to plant a portion of this property as an arboretum and thereby began the development of Peirce's Park. By the year 1830 they had one of the finest collections of woody plant materials of any park or arboretum in the country. They associated with several important botanists during the early years of the nineteenth century, including Josiah Hoopes, Humphrey Marshall, and Dr. William Darlington. Plant materials found on the property were mentioned in several publications such as Flora Cestrica by William Darlington in 1837, the American Handbook of Ornamental Trees by Thomas Meehan in 1853, and the Book of Evergreens by Josiah Hoopes in 1868. ☐ After the death of Joshua Peirce in 1851, the Park passed into the hands of his son George W. Peirce. During the time of his ownership there was more emphasis on the Park as a place for social gatherings than for scientific effort, and it became known and appreciated as a place for picnicking and other outdoor activities. ☐ After the death of George W. Peirce in 1880, the ownership of the property was held by the nine children of his sister Mary Ann Peirce Stebbins. This division marked the beginning of a decline which continued through subsequent transfers of Park ownership to various individuals. Finally in 1906, the ultimate and complete destruction of the Park seemed inevitable with the signing of an agreement between the then-owner, Lydia v. Bevan, and a Lancaster lumber company. This agreement granted permission for trees on the property to be cut and used for lumber production. In an effort to save the trees from destruction, Pierre S. du.Pont bought the property in 1906. This purchase marked the beginning of a new horticultural and social era on the Peirce property with the development of Longwood Gardens. The heritage of the Peirce family and their development of the Park provided the impetus for this new growth and is now an integral part of modern-day Longwood. ItemThe Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad, 1831-1840: a study in early railroad transportation(University of Delaware, 1960) Potter, Jack C.The Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore railroad was the result of the union between four small lines stretching from Philadelphia across the Delaware peninsula to the Susquehanna River and down the western side of the Chesapeake Bay to Baltimore. Built in the second quarter of the nineteenth century, the line represented the first link in a chain of roads connecting north and south, New York and New England with Baltimore, Washington and Virginia. ☐ The impetus for this and other railroads originated in the trade rivalry between the two terminal cities. By 1825, both Philadelphia and Baltimore were seeking methods of internal improvement that would secure trade from the hinterland. Canal projects ran rampant in the minds of capitalists in both cities. It was felt that whichever city gained easy communication with the interior of Pennsylvania would thereby emerge as the great trading center of the mid-Atlantic region. The Susquehanna River, the largest natural waterway into the interior was, therefore, the prize which both cities sought to control. The Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, for example, was an attempt on the part of Philadelphia to gain hegemony over the trade of the River. ☐ At the close of the first quarter of the nineteenth century, the concept of railroad transportation was becoming popular. Pennsylvania was the first to attempt an application of this innovation to the trade problem. In 1823, the Pennsylvania legislature chartered a railroad to run from Philadelphia to Columbia on the Susquehanna. Agitation for a railroad from Baltimore to the Susquehanna did not begin, however, until 1828. By 1831, there was some hope on the part of a few Philadelphia capitalists that a line might be constructed to connect the two cities. As a result, application was made to the Pennsylvania legislature for a charter to construct a railroad from Philadelphia to the Delaware state line. This action was followed in Delaware with the chartering of the Wilmington and Susquehanna Railroad Company to build a road from Pennsylvania to the Susquehanna River. In Maryland, application was made for a third company to operate under the title of the Delaware and Maryland Railroad. In the following year, the Baltimore and Port Deposit Railroad Company was chartered, thus completing, on paper, the line from Philadelphia to Baltimore. ☐ All tour lines met with failure in their initial funding efforts. Only the Baltimore and Port Deposit succeeded in raising enough capital to permit preliminary organization. As a result, three charters fell into disuse until 1835. At that time, interested capitalists such as Roswell L. Colt, Matthew Newkirk, James Canby, and Nicholas Biddle gained control of all tour railroads. Success followed the efforts of these men, and by late 1837, trains were in operation between Baltimore and the western side of the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia. In February, 1838, an organic union was consummated between the separate companies, and the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad. Company was formed. This important railroad continued its operations until it was finally merged with the Pennsylvania Railroad Company in 1881. ItemThe organization of the Democratic Party in New Castle County(University of Delaware, 1951) Pollari, Wayne JohnThe purpose of this paper is to study the organization of a political party at the county level in order to gain a complete picture of both the formal and actual working arrangements, and to establish who controls the organization and how this control is maintained. The study will be concentrated on one party in order to learn as much as possible about the informal behind-the-scene activities. This type of research requires personal contacts within the party with both workers and leaders. ☐ The importance of the county unit in our two major political organizations is readily conceded by political observers; despite this fact it has been almost completely ignored. An intensive study is called for. ItemLandscape in eighteenth century America and its European sources(University of Delaware, 1969) Miner, Frances AnnConcerned with the relation of American landscape painting of the eighteenth century to European landscape traditions, this thesis considers mainly landscape painting in the New England area and landscapes by known Colonial artists. The main force in European landscape in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries was classical landscape. This style of landscape was developed from Italian and Northern European traditions by Annibale Carracci and was brought to an apex in the works of Claude Lorrain and Nicolas Poussin. Classical landscape was particularly influential in England in the eighteenth century. This classical tradition can be seen in the Colonies in the Hatheway and Wetmore panels from Connecticut. ☐ Other European landscape traditions were also known in the Colonies, such as Flemish landscape of which elements can be found in the Makepeace-Ray panel. The most numerous American landscape type was the panorama. Generally, this type contains elements from Flemish, Dutch and classical traditions. Landscapes as different as the Burning of Danbury, Connecticut(?) and the works of Winthrop Chandler reveal the number of options available to the Colonial painter, who because of his lack of training had no fear of combining various ideas. The landscapes of Robert Feke and William Williams show the more sophisticated approach. ☐ Along with the landscapes influenced by European tradition, there existed the folk tradition of landscape which made little effort to emulate European forms. Colonial landscape painters, in addition to copying_ European landscape prints, incorporated views of English parks, which appeared in guide books, into their paintings. ☐ In the last decade of the eighteenth century there were three artists working in New England. Michele Felice Corné, who came from Italy to Salem, Massachusetts, painted landscapes that belonged stylistically to the eighteenth century and were not very different from those of his American counterparts. Ralph Earl received some training in England and returned to this country where he painted landscapes with an expansive quality reminiscent of nineteenth century American landscape. Most important was John Trumbull who studied and copied landscape prints. His Monte Video displays new ideas and at the same time tiresome repetition of European landscape elements. However, Trumbull was able to experiment with European ideas and was able in his position as head of the American Academy of Fine Arts in New York to influence the young American artists. Although there are many reasons for the development of the Hudson River School of landscape in the nineteenth century, such as the new wealth to support the arts and the conscious desire to create an art form for the new nation, it must be remembered that there was a Colonial tradition of landscape and that this tradition was particularly important in an area in close proximity to the Hudson River. ItemJacob Eichholtz, 1776-1842: Pennsylvania portraitist(University of Delaware, 1960) Milley, John CalvinThe Lancastrian tinsmith and self-taught artist, Jacob Eichholtz, entered the arena of Pennsylvania portraiture on a full-time basis in 1813. Contact with Thomas Sully in 1809, and with Gilbert Stuart in 1811, had supplied him with the technical rudiments of his art, but the lasting influence on his work came as a result of the artist's long and laborious study of the Discourses of Sir Joshua Reynolds, and the Works of Sir Anton Raphael Mengs. ☐ The practicality of Eichholtz' Pennsylvania-German heritage left an indelible stamp on both his nature and his art. His sense of filial devotion and the sacrifices it entailed, gave restrictions to the geographical area within which he could work, and necessitated a relentless practice of portraiture. He aspired to the "higher" branches of his art. Persisting responsibilities, and a patronage which commissioned only portraits, precluded the fruition of these ambitions, but did not frustrate his attempts to communicate ideals of "Beauty" in portraiture. ☐ Eichholtz' art followed a natural pattern of development -- from the simple to the complex in composition -- from the complex to the simple in technique. From a corpus of approximately one hundred and thirty-five documented paintings of known location, this development has been divided into the following stylistic periods: ( 1) Early Period, c. 1806- 1810, (2) Classical Period, 1811-1822, (3) Transitional Period, 1823-1830, (4) Period of Technical Proficiency, 1831- 1842. ☐ It is significant that these periods should coincide roughly with incidents of importance in the artist's personal life. In Eichholtz' work is to be found the naiveté of a craftsman practising a "Fine Art", the struggles for attainment of success, and the self-assurance which success brings. And within the work of this one artist is to be found a summation of the evolution in portraiture from eighteenth century traditions to those of the early nineteenth century in America. ItemQuakers in Delaware, 1672-1872(University of Delaware, 1957) Lindell, Alice JaquetteQuaker colonists in Delaware have exerted an influence on the state in many ways. After the days of Penn this influence was not as discernible in the political field as it was in the development of industrial prosperity and the advancement of education and social welfare. Since the greatest concentration of Quakers was around Wilmington, it is in this area that we can most easily trace their actions. But each of the counties had at least a few members of The Society of Friends. ☐ Quaker influence is seen in the prosperity of the state and in the advantages enjoyed by individuals. The Quakers were a hard working, thrifty people, with a great deal of business ability coupled with a high regard for the dignity of the individual. Their interest in the welfare of others as an important factor in the progress of social reform, public welfare and education. ☐ Quakers were successful farmers, millers, merchants, and manufacturers. They used their wealth to improve general social conditions and to eliminate the causes of distress. They felt it a Christian duty to help the poor and to provide education for all, without regard to race, color, or condition of servitude. They attempted to have a just and merciful penal code established. The abolition of seemed to them an absolute necessity. Nowhere is there influence so easily discernible as the history of the freeing of the Negro in Delaware. ItemIdeology and urbanization: business response to social needs in late nineteenth century Wilmington, Delaware(University of Delaware, 1964) Kerr, William ThomasWilmington, Delaware, emerged from the Civil War as an important industrial center, with the greatest part of its population earning its livelihood in the city's ubiquitous iron, leather, powder, shipbuilding, and carriage manufactories. Behind Wilmington’s industrial upsurge were a number of entrepreneurs who began modest concerns before the Civil War and nurtured them to large and complex industrial enterprises. Some new firms appeared in the period immediately after the Civil War, but the establishment of important new industries became increasingly rare in the late decades of the nineteenth century. ☐ As a result, the business elite of post-Civil War Wilmington was composed mainly of the "self-made men" who had begun their industrial careers previous to that conflict, the sons of these pioneer manufacturers, and the relatively few men who were able to organize successful companies in the years after 1865. Many of the leading businessmen were native Wilmingtonians and descendants of the Quaker community that had existed in the city since its founding in 1732. The business leadership of Wilmington in the late nineteenth century, then, had a stability stemming not only from the strength of old firms and the rarity of new ones but also from traditional ties with Wilmington's past. These characteristics of the late nineteenth century Wilmington businessmen are possible explanations of both their ability and willingness to deal with the social needs which arose as a result of the city's development into a complex industrial center. ☐ Evidence indicates that the Wilmington businessman embraced the prevailing business philosophy which tended to explain social problems in terms of individual weakness and consecrate the successful industrialists as a virtuous elite. The Wilmington. businessmen, however, supplemented the "gospel of wealth" by recognizing themselves as a leadership group whose responsibility and self-interest lay in making Wilmington a prosperous, attractive, and stable societal unit. Also, since they identified themselves with -- and were accepted as the leaders of -- Wilmington Society, it seems that notwithstanding their avowed motive of self-interest, "noblesse oblige" may have played a part in their ameliorative efforts. ☐ When the businessmen acted to improve Wilmington, and they did so often, they were always guided by their beliefs. To combat maladministration in city government, businessmen acted through the State legislature to create autonomous commissions (i.e., the Water Commission, Board of Park Commissioners, and the Street and Sewer Department) on which they served as appointees.: In this way they dealt with a problem · and, at the same time, circumvented the broils of local politics which they considered inherently nefarious and demeaning as well. 1he businessmen also served as the organizers and administrators of several welfare institutions. In this role they accepted public money for the support of the institutions but retained full control of the establishments, running them as private corporations. At every opportunity the businessmen kept public services from government control, guided by their belief in the efficacy' of severely limited public administration. ☐ In their approach to poor relief the businessmen utilized the Charity Organization program, by which they administered relief and influenced the doles of other ·charitable agencies without abandoning their concept of poverty as basically the result of individual incapacity. Ideology was also in evidence when the businessmen created a public library in the 1890’s. The arguments which served to actuate business interest in such an institution pictured the library as an instrument of self-help and a buttress of the "status quo." ☐ In sum, the business community often acted in the public interest and made a not insignificant contribution to Wilmington’s social progress in the late nineteenth century. A business ideology which if pushed to an extreme might have resulted in a supercilious disregard of urban needs was tempered with a recognition of the responsibilities of community leadership and the perception that a prosperous and stable city served the interest of the business fraternity. Still, the business creed shaped and influenced the businessman’s mode of dealing with urban needs, not by generating irresponsible rationalizations but by molding responsible action. ItemDevelopment of local government in Delaware, 1776-1831(University of Delaware, 1941) Hitchens, Emory Dallas ItemDevelopment of Methodism in Delaware, 1739-1830(University of Delaware, 1956) Herson, Jane McClellanThere were three factors which combined to make Delaware the Garden of Methodism in the years before 1830. The phenomenal success of the Methodists in the state can be traced to an exceptional leader, inspired native preachers, and waiting congregations. ☐ Francis Asbury was the leader who elected to stand by the infant societies when Wesley’s missionaries and most of the Anglican clergy returned to England on the eve of the Revolution. Asbury found influential friends in Kent County who sheltered and encouraged him during two years of forced seclusion in the Delaware State. His fame rests on his ability to organize and administer the independent church which evolved after the separation from England. By an industrious life and a holy example, Francis Asbury developed the Methodist Church not only in Delaware but through the length of the new country. ☐ Catching inspiration from such a leader, a group of native preachers developed. For the most part they were poorly educated, but their sincerity in spreading John Wesley’s doctrines could not be questioned. Delaware heard the best of these early pioneers as they rode the circuits assigned to them. ☐ Leader and preachers found, in Delaware, congregations anxious for their message. People who had rarely heard a minister gathered in great crowds at the feet of men who preached an ardent and effective evangelism. Salvation was held out to all who would follow the simple rules. Social class lines disappeared at the campmeetings, where in services noted for their freedom and warmth, Methodists worked out their own salvation and aided others in finding theirs. The success of the Methodist Church, illustrated by its thousands of converts and some sixty-seven chapels and churches built in Delaware by 1830, was the fulfillment of Bishop Asbury’s Dream. ItemMichele Felice Cornè(University of Delaware, 1962) Greenlaw, Barry ArthurMichele Felice Cornè (c 1757-1845) was born in the Kingdom of Naples, possibly on the Island of Elba. Trained in his native country, he was an accomplished marine and landscape painter at the time he left Italy and emigrated to Salem, Massachusetts in 1800. ☐ During his 45 years in America, Cornè lived a quiet life, and were it not for his painting, his obscurity would be complete. For the first 15 years of his residence in this country he was an extremely prolific and versatile craftsman, painting on canvas, paper, wood, metal and plaster, and in such media as oil, water color and india ink. Although best known for his ship portraits and panoramic views of naval battles and landscapes, he also drew portraits, painted charming genre scenes, and copied works of other artists. A testimony of his success in portraying the naval actions of the War of 1812 was the wholesale copying of his paintings of these subjects by other artists, and by craftsmen who utililized them to decorate ceramics, clocks, mirrors and other household items. A catalogue appended to this paper will present the most comprehensive listing of Cornè’s work thus far assembled. ☐ This paper will attempt to discuss the following points in the career of Cornè: I. A biographical survey, included in which will be an attempt to correct several erroneous facts which have long been attached to his name. II. A discussion of Cornè as a painter, particularly illustrating the influences on his style. III. A short chapter on Cornè's place in American art, his influence on later American painting, and a critical discussion of his work from both a contemporary and modern viewpoint. ☐ Although Cornè is certainly not the most important, or most influential painter of his time, he is a colorful and interesting artist, whose work has been overlooked by the great majority of the chroniclers of American art. This paper will try to set the artist in his proper place in the history of American painting. ItemDelaware and its canal: the early history of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, 1769-1829(University of Delaware, 1928) Gray, Ralph D.The peninsula separating the Chesapeake and Delaware bays is indented with numerous streams. A dividing ridge, approximately eighty feet in height at its summit, causes them either to flow eastward into the Delaware or westward into the Chesapeake. The headwaters of these streams feeding the two bays are within a few thousand yards of each other, a fact which suggested at an early date a project to connect by an artificial waterway the Chesapeake and Delaware bays. The eighteenth century visionaries of this plan were succeeded in the nineteenth century by active proponents, such as Joshua Gilpin, who labored to achieve the waterway. ☐ At no time was the project far removed from the minds of the farsighted after 1769. In 1803 a company, jointly chartered by Maryland, Delaware, and Pennsylvania, was finally formed which began construction the following year on a Chesapeake and Delaware canal to run from the Elk River in Maryland to the Christina River in Delaware. The attempt soon proved abortive when money sufficient to complete the canal could not be obtained. The canal company lay dormant for eighteen years. Stimulated in 1821 by the desire of Philadelphia merchants for an all-water route to Pennsylvania’s interior and by New York’s great example of canal construction, the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal Company was reorganized and refinanced in 1822-1823. The canal, relocated and enlarged, was pushed to a successful completion in 1829. ☐ When the canal line was placed to the south of its original location near Wilmington and New Castle, most of Delaware’s support of the waterway was alienated. Although opinion in the state had always been divided, strong encouragement for the earlier canal route was found in northern New Castle County, especially among Wilmington merchants and industrialists. They opposed the new location, however, for two basic reasons. First, the relocation was seen merely as a jealous gesture towards Wilmington on the part or the Philadelphians who had gained the direction of the canal company. Secondly, it was sincerely believed to be physically impossible to dig a lasting canal through the selected region. ☐ Difficulties met in the construction of the canal lend weight to the force and sincerity of Delaware’s objections to the lower route. Nevertheless, perseverance, aid from federal and state treasuries, and engineering skill enabled the canal builders to achieve what in its day was considered a monumental engineering feat. The canal, whose grand dimensions made it an immediate and notable tourist attraction, proved useful to bay navigation and national defense. A series of misfortunes prevented the waterway from becoming a paying business, but its usefulness cannot be doubted. In 1919 the largest stockholder in the company, the United States Government, purchased the canal property and franchises. Subsequently widened and deepened, the waterway now plays a vital role in the inland navigation of the United States.