Credit Side Annotation
Line 5 - On 4 May 1772 John Ballendine, an operator of mills, ironworks, and canals, went to Mount Vernon to seek support from GW for his plan to travel to England, where he proposed to investigate the canals financed by Francis Egerton, third and last duke of Bridgewater (which included the canal connecting Worsley to Manchester, as well as a newer canal linking Manchester and Liverpool), in order to learn the principles of canal construction. Ballendine's objective in acquiring this knowledge was to promote efforts to open the upper Potomac River to navigation. In a letter of 5 May 1772, in which GW advised Anglican minister Jonathan Boucher of Ballendine's scheme and of the latter's attempts to secure support from Maryland governor Robert Eden and others, GW suggested that the scheme offered potential benefits. He wrote in part: "for my part I think if he applies the Money Subscribd, to the end proposed, the Publick will derive great advantages from it; on this acct it is, alone, I wish to see him encouraged [. . .] because, I think the opening of the Potomack will at once fix the Trade of the Western Country (at least till it may be conductd through the Mississipi, by New Orleans) through that Channel; and end, in amazing advantages to these two Colonies."
Ballendine ultimately traveled to England and returned to America in 1774, at which time he organized a company of investors to promote his plans to open the Potomac to navigation at the lower falls. GW was one of the trustees of the company, and was among those who subscribed money to support Ballendine's proposals. See Diaries, 3:106-7 [Rotunda | Founders Online]; GW to Jonathan Boucher, 5 May 1772, and n.1 to that document [Rotunda | Founders Online | Print (Colonial Series, Volume 9, pages 40-42)]; and Thomas Johnson to GW, 24 Jan. 1775, and n.1 to that document [Rotunda | Founders Online | Print (Colonial Series, Volume 10, pages 242-44)].