United States Statutes at Large/Volume 4/18th Congress/1st Session/Chapter 139

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May 24, 1824.
Chap. CXXXIX.—An Act to improve the navigation of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers.[1]

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the President of the The President authorized to cause the navigation of the Ohio river to be improved.United States be, and he is hereby, authorized to cause the navigation of the Ohio river to be improved over the following sand bars, or either of them, at his discretion, to wit: the sand bar which crosses said river, one mile and a quarter below Flint Island; the sand bar two miles above French Island; the bar just below Henderson; the bar below Straight Island; the bar below Willow Island, in the Mississippi bend; and the bar opposite to lower Smithland, below Cumberland Island; and, for the purpose of ascertaining and directing the best method of carrying the provisions of this act into effect, he may employ any of the engineers in the public service which he may deem proper:Proviso. Provided, nevertheless, That two experiments shall first be made upon two of the said bars, and if in his judgment they shall be successful, then, and not otherwise, he is hereby authorized to cause improvements to be made upon the remaining bars.

The President of the United States to take effectual measures to render the navigation of the Mississippi and Ohio safe.Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That, for the purpose of improving the navigation of the Mississippi river, from the mouth of the Missouri to New Orleans, and of the Ohio river from Pittsburg to its junction with the Mississippi, the President of the United States is hereby authorized to take prompt and effectual measures for the removal of all trees which may be fixed in the bed of said river; and, for this purpose, he is authorized to procure and provide, in that way which in his discretion may be most eligible, the requisite water craft, machinery, implements, and force, to raise all such trees, commonly called “planters, sawyers, or snags,” as may be found in the current of the said rivers at the lowest stage of water, and to saw or cut them off, as near as practicable to the bottom of the stream; and where trees are found upon sand bars, upon the points of islands, or near the bank of the river, which may, at the lowest stage of the water, endanger the safety of navigating said rivers, they shall in like manner be cut, removed, or sawed off; and all roots or limbs, belonging to those parts of said trees, which are fastened in the earth, shall be carefully cut away.

75,000 dollars appropriated.Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That, for the purpose of carrying into effect the provisions of this act, the sum of seventy-five thousand dollars be, and is hereby, appropriated. And the President of the United States is hereby authorized to draw, from time to time, on the treasury, for such parts, or at any one time for the whole, of said sum, as he shall judge the service requires; which said sum shall be paid out of any money in the treasury not otherwise appropriated.

The President to lay before Congress at the commencement of each session a statement of the proceedings.Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That the President be, and he is hereby, requested to cause to be laid before Congress, as soon as convenience will permit after the commencement of each session, a statement of the proceedings under this act, that Congress may be enabled to adopt such further measures as may, from time to time, be necessary under existing circumstances.

Approved, May 24, 1824.


  1. Appropriations to improve the Ohio, Missouri and Mississippi rivers:

    Toward improving the navigation of the Missouri and Ohio rivers, act of May 23, 1828, ch. 73.

    For continuing to improve the navigation of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, fifty thousand dollars, act of March 3, 1829, ch. 51.

    For improving the navigation of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers, fifty thousand dollars, act of April 23, 1830, ch. 72.

    For improving the navigation of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, to be expended under the existing laws, fifty thousand dollars, act of March 2, 1831, ch. 58.

    For improving the navigation of the Ohio, Missouri, and Mississippi rivers, fifty thousand dollars, July 3, 1832, ch. 153.

    For improving the navigation of the Ohio, Missouri, and Mississippi rivers, fifty thousand dollars, March 2, 1833, ch. 69.

    For improving the navigation of the Ohio, Missouri, and Mississippi rivers, fifty thousand dollars, Jan. 28, 1834, ch. 103.

    For improving the navigation of the Ohio river below the falls, and the Missouri, and Mississippi rivers, fifty thousand dollars, March 3, 1835, ch. 25.

    For improving the navigation of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers from Louisville to New Orleans, sixty thousand dollars, July 2, 1836, ch. 259.

    For improving the navigation of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, from Pittsburg to New Orleans, under the act of second of March, 1831, seventeen thousand eight hundred dollars and four cents, July 1836, ch. 259.

    For continuing the improvement of the Ohio river, between the falls and Pittsburg, sixty thousand dollars, March 3, 1837, ch. 44.

    For continuing the improvement of the navigation of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, from Louisville to New Orleans, March, 1837, ch. 44.

    For continuing the work for the removal of the obstructions to the navigation of the Mississippi river, at its mouth, two hundred and ten thousand dollars, March 3, 1837, ch. 44.

    For continuing the improvement of the Mississippi river, above the mouth of the Ohio, and of the Missouri river, forty thousand dollars, March 3, 1837, ch. 44.

    For improving the navigation of the Ohio, Missouri, and Mississippi rivers, and to replace the steam smag-boat Archimedes, sunk in the Mississippi river, in November last, twenty-three thousand dollars, March 3, 1837, ch. 44.

    For improving the Ohio river between the falls and Pittsburg, fifty thousand dollars, July 7, 1838, ch. 171.

    For continuing the improvement of the Mississippi river, above the mouth of the Ohio and of the Missouri river, twenty thousand dollars, July 7, 1838, ch. 171.

    For the continuation of improvements on the Missouri, Mississippi, Ohio, and Arkansas rivers, one hundred and fifty thousand dollars, act of March 1, 1843, ch. 52.

    For the improvement of the Ohio river, between Pittsburg and the Falls of Louisville, one hundred thousand dollars, June 11, 1844, ch. 44.

    For the improvement of the Ohio river, below the falls of Louisville, and of the Mississippi, Missouri, and Arkansas rivers, one hundred and eighty thousand dollars, June 11, 1844, ch. 44.