The New Jersey Legislature
chartered the Morris Canal and Banking Company
on December 31, 1824, as a private corporation for the purpose of building the Morris Canal
The corporation issued twenty thousand shares of stock at one hundred dollars a share, providing two million dollars of capital, which was divided evenly between funds for building the canal and funds for banking privileges. The charter had provision that the State of New Jersey could take over the canal at the end of ninety-nine years. In the event that the state did not take over the canal, the charter would remain in effect for fifty more years, after which the canal would become the property of the State without cost. The banking privileges were dropped when the company was reorganized in 1844, leaving the corporation as canal-operating business only.
The idea for constructing the canal is credited to Morristown
businessman George P. Macculloch
, who reportedly conceived the idea while visiting Lake Hopatcong
. In 1822 Macculloch brought together a group of interested citizens at Morristown to discuss the idea.
The Palladium of Liberty
, a Morristown, New Jersey, newspaper of the day, reported on August 29, 1822: "...Membership of a committee which studied the practicality of a canal from Pennsylvania to Newark, New Jersey, consisted of two prominent citizens from each county (NJ) concerned: Hunterdon County, Nathaniel Saxton, Henry Dusenberry
; Sussex County, Morris Robinson, Gamaliel Bartlett; Morris... Read More