William Hamilton Merritt Welland Canal circular, July 12, 1823
Merritt, William Hamilton 1793-1862
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This circular, dated at St. Catharines, July 12, 1823, and addressed to Alexander Hamilton, Esq., from W. Hamilton Merritt, is one of the earliest printed references to the construction of the Welland Canal. That same year, Merritt had organized local meetings to gain support of his plan to build a canal connecting Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. The circular reads 'the accompanying Report and Address to the Public, together with the Proceedings of the Meeting, will point out to you the object of this Circular…'. The report and address are not enclosed. Merritt asks for Hamilton’s assistance in 'promoting so necessary an undertaking…I have taken the liberty of appointing you an Agent for Queenston without your previous concurrence. If you decline acting, have the goodness to hand it to some respectable person of your acquaintance who will exert himself…'