Notes & Documentation

working notes(PDF format, 34 MB, 225 pages) Exploring canal suplement documentation(PDF format, 34 MB, 225 pages) Additional Illustrations & Documentary Material:

New in the Second Edition

A new, expanded edition of the C&O Canal Companion was published in January 2015. This second edition includes new information on:

  • Conoy, Shawnee, and Tuscarora settlements along the Potomac during the colonial period, as well as the presence of Pennsylvania traders from the Conestoga community on the Susquehanna River.
  • Early explorations of the upper Potomac and the Shenandoah by Franz Ludwig Michel, and his plans for a Swiss settlement on the river.
  • The first settlers beyond the Blue Ridge, including Finno-Swedish Indian traders whose families came from the former colony of New Sweden (Delaware).
  • Thomas Cresap's frontier outpost at Shawnee Oldtown and his multiple roles as Indian trader, hosteler, surveyor and land speculator, road builder, army contractor, and Maryland delegate.
  • George Washington's efforts to promote Virginia's route to the west over alternate routes through Maryland and Pennsylvania.
  • Thomas Johnson's early ironworks on the Potomac and his cooperation with George Washington in sponsoring Potomac navigation projects.
  • Charles Carroll, Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence, and his "manor" and other properties on the Potomac.
  • The friendship of Horatio Gates, Charles Lee, and Adam Stephen-three veterans of the French and Indian Wars who settled near Shepherdstown and became major generals in the Continental Army.
  • John Mason's garden estate on Analostan Island (now Roosevelt Island) and his role in the creation of the early capital-serving as president of the Patowmack Canal and the Bank of Columbia, commander of the District militia, and Superintendent of Indian Trade.
  • The critical role of Foxall's Foundry in the War of 1812.
  • The use of Potomac ferries and the C&O Canal by runaways escaping to Pennsylvania.
  • Confederate attempts to destroy the C&O Canal and the B&O Railroad, and how the B&O determined the shape of West Virginia.
  • The continent-spanning career of John S. Geary, owner of the Potomac Furnace at Point of Rocks, veteran of the Mexican War, last alcade and first mayor of San Francisco, territorial governor in (Bleeding Kansas,) and Union colonel charged with protecting the C&O Canal and the B&O Railroad.
  • The end of slavery along the Potomac, and the formation of the 1st U.S. Colored Troops on Mason's Island.
  • Philip Sheridan's scorched-earth tactics in the fall of 1864 and his successful counter-insurgency campaign against John Mosby and other partisan border raiders.
  • The resurgence of the canal under Arthur Pue Gorman, formerly a star shortstop on the Washington baseball team, who later became the most powerful dealmaker in the Senate.
  • The changing nature of labor in the Potomac valley, including the canal strike of 1877 and its connections with the Great Railroad Strike of 1877.
  • Railroad wars between the B&O and the Pennsylvania networks for control of the Shenandoah Valley and the upper Potomac.
  • The use of the canal by Coxey's Army in 1894.
  • The effects of Jim Crow politics in the upper Potomac valley.
  • George Gould's extension of the Western Maryland Railroad up the Potomac as part of his vision of a transcontinental rail line.
  • The deforestation of the upper Potomac by the (timber barons), Maryland's pioneering conservation efforts, and the creation of the Green Ridge State Forest.
  • The decline of mining and industry along the upper Potomac, and the long campaign to convert the C&O canal property to a national park.
  • Updates on the Great Allegheny Passage rail-trail, which now completes the trans-Appalachian route from Cumberland to Pittsburgh.

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