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circuitous Canals round the
When the Mariensky Canal was begun, in Project for 1799, the practicability of a circuitous inland navigation, round the Onega and Ladoga Lakes, Lake Lawas also examined into, to avoid passing any one can part of them: the first by means of the rivers Svir and Vitegra, the latter through the Sasy to the Svir. This last was ordered to be carried into execution in 1802, and its chief object is to facilitate the return of barks homeward. The canal from the Sasy to the Svir was ordered in 1802'.
To make a communication by water, between The Norththe Caspian and White Seas, or the Volga and rinskoy the Northern Dvina rivers, was in agitation in the reign of PETER THE GREAT; but the first survey was only made in 1785; and, as hardly any natural obstacle was found to oppose the execution of the plan, it was adopted, and a canal' begun to be dug, named the Northern Katherinskoy, which was to unite two small rivulets, having a morass of an immense extent for their common source, situate on the frontier of Permia and Onstnhk. One of these rivulets has a communication, by means of the Kama, with the Volga; and the other with the Northern Dvina, through the river
(1) It is however not begun.
(2) 600,000 roubles was assigued, aud 100,000 expended; but the war put a stop to the work.
Vitchágda. But the canal remains unfinished; and the only advantage that resulted from the attempt was, the opening of a new track, or road, by land, through a country then totally waste and uninhabited. This canal could have supplied Archangel, at a trifling expense, with merchandize, not only from the province of Viatka, but through the river Belaya, from the Government of Oufimsk and Tensiovaya from that of Permia, in the course of one summer. The importance of this canal is enhanced, by the facility it affords of conveying timber for ship-building to Archangel, from the immense forests in its vicinity, abounding, particularly,
in the Listvinitzna wood, at Tchardina. The junc- The junction of the Volga and the Don was tion of the Volga with ever an object in view with PETER THE FIRST; means of and he himself discovered two practical tracks;
one from the Lower Volga, by the union of the rivulet Kamishinka with that called Hafia, by a canal of four versts : the other was by uniting the source of the Don, twenty-five versts from the town Ghepisan, with the rivulet Shata, which falls into the Oupa, one of the chief branches of the Oka, which empties itself into the Volga. Of the latter, a considerable part was carried into
carried into execution ; twenty-four sluices of limestone were built; and the canal dug the extent of the Vale of
Bobriky', answerable to the depth of the bed of the Don. Why a work thus far advanced was abandoned, is not known; some supposed it was for want of water; but the situation of the Vale of Bobriky confutes this statement, as being capable of becoming an immense receptacle of water, and quite sufficient for this navigation. The hydrography of this place will, however, not admit the navigation of vessels of greater length than ninety feet, fourteen feet of breadth, and drawing three feet of water, with a full lading. The other plan proposed, of joining the Don and the Volga by means of the Kamishinka and the Hafla, proved abortive: though actually begun, an insufficiency of water was apparent. The reservoir was intended to be placed at the sources of the Kamishinka; but they were found hardly sufficient to supply the common stream of the river. The Hafla being fifty feet higher than the level of the Volga, could furnish a reservoir of water (point of separation in the original): yet, even with this advantage, the navigation must be carried on in caravans, or in large collective bodies of barks; otherwise the passage will not be effected, for want of water.
(1) Better expressed by the pame of the Hollows of Bobriky.
Division of the BLACK SEA, Inland Navigation.
The Dnieper is most certainly the chief river of all the provinces adjacent to the Euxine. This river is the younger sister of Volga; and has its source near the same place with the above, and the Southern Duina. It may be called navigable from Smolensk, if not from Dorogobush. Two very great obstacles render the navigation of this river inconvenient. First, flats, or rather moving sands, a circumstance common also to the rivers of the North of Russia: from above Kiof, down to Krementchủk, they greatly incommode the navigation, during the middle of the summer, Near the shore, on both sides, are passages or channels, of considerable depth; but they are uncertain, as they frequently shift during the high waters. It is confessed, that there are no other means whatever to remedy this inconvenience, the considerable quantity of moving sand contained by the Dnieper being taken into consideration,) unless a body of pilots be established, divided into districts, to sound, and put beacons or directions in the proper channels, for vessels to go by, after the high water subsides; as is done in the North, particularly on the Svir; and which
regulation has not, as yet, taken place on the Dnieper. The Second fatal obstacle to the safe navigation of this river is, the Cataracts, which limit the passage to the time of high water during the spring; and even then attended with some difficulty, and only of a fortnight or three weeks' duration. Nothing but the enaction of a code of commercial laws can ever render the Black Sea useful to the empire. Since Russia has acquired the dominion thereof, the inconvenience and obstacles which trade has suffered are manifest, and severely felt. During Prince Potemkin's government of these provinces, a vain attempt was made to clear the Cataracts: the war in 1787. put a stop to the work. The Board of Inland Water Communication have begun the following works: First, The deepening a passage between the Cataracts, by means of temporary dikes, through which vessels may pass in the very middle of summer, both up and down the river. Secondly, The great Nenasitez Cataract, having baffled all attempts made to render a safe passage practicable, particularly for vessels going up the river, it was resolved to dig a circuitous canal round it, provided with sluices, through a rocky shore; which is now in hand. Three other