|Sir||Albany 10th febr. 1797|
My Short visit at Mount Vernon in Jany 1785 will always be a Source of the Most grateful reflections to my mind, & I trust the important information I derived from afar, at that time as to your views in improveing the Navigation of the Potowmac, in connection with some branches of the Ohio leading in the direction of Detroit, for the avowed purpose of diverting the fur trade from Montreal to Alexandria, has not been lost to this State, altho our Western Canals and the improvement of our interior water to the great Lakes will undoubtedly divert your main object: but considering ourselves as Americans on the great Scale, divested of local attatchments, In this view I persuade myself you will rejoice at the progress we have already made. We now contemplate Locking round the falls of Niagara—altho warmly opposed by Genl Schuyler. 3 or 4 of us are determind to Make an effort to obtain a Law; thus when the improvement are compleat[ed] to Oswego under the Law of 1792, and the last mentioned object is Also effected an uninterupted water communication will be open from Lake Erie to the Hudson. I take the liberty to transmit to you by Mr Van Renssalaer my Short Tour in Holland in 1784, the year previous to my visit to your hospitable mansion. Shou’d it bequite a few moments from the weighty concerns of our new born Nation, in the Solemn crisis in which we are now involved, it will be grateful to me. I am with profound respect & gratitude, Your devoted
N: Elkanah Watson Papers.