University of Virginia Library

Search this document 

7639. RIVER, Kanawha.—

The Great
Kanawha is a river of considerable note for
the fertility of its lands, and still more, as leading
towards the head waters of James river.
Nevertheless it is doubtful whether its great and
numerous rapids will admit a navigation, but
at an expense to which it will require ages to
render its inhabitants equal. The great obstacles
begin at what are called the great falls,
ninety miles above the mouth, below which are
only five or six rapids, and these passable, with
some difficulty, even at low water. * * * It is said, however, that at a very moderate expense
the whole current of the upper part of the
Kanawha may be turned into the South Fork of
Roanoke, the Alleghany there subsiding, and
the two rivers approaching so near, that a canal
nine miles long, and thirty feet deep, at the
deepest part would draw the water of the
Kanawha into this branch of the Roanoke; this
canal would be in Montgomery County, the
court-house of which is on the top of the Alleghanies.—
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 259. Ford ed., iii, 96.