examination. We have Professor Johnson's report, and appreciate it as one of the best documents ever printed by Congress.
The remarks of Professor Johnson on coal as a fuel for steamboats will arrest attention, and they should set some of our steamboat men to studying out results. The country is full of produce far beyond the wants at home, and in order to seek a market, even the present low rates of freights must be lowered. In order to accomplish this, a system of greater economy in working the boats must be introduced, and the item of fuel is the most important one to commence with. If $30 worth of coal fuel will answer in place of $100 worth of wood fuel, a fine opening for economy is at once made.
Boats can be worked from Pittsburgh to St. Louis with coal. From Pittsburgh to Louisville there is no difficulty below this point, at Cannelton, 120 miles from Louisville, at Bon Harbor 150 miles below, and at Trade Water, 290 miles, coal can be obtained in abundance, and can be placed at the mouth of the Ohio from these points. Then there is coal of an excellent quality 12 or 14 miles back of the Grand Tower between the mouth of the Ohio and St. Louis. A depot is soon to be made at the Grand Tower, it is said, by a Boston company. That boats which use coal, can run at a great saving is certain, and all that is necessary to make a supply for them, is to commence the use of the article. The use of wood is becoming a serious expense to steamboats, and some means must be devised for economising in this important article of consumption. The letter of Professor Johnson is to the point, and we hope it will receive the attention of steamboat owners and captains.
Washington, June 20, 1848.
Hamilton Smith, Esq.
Dear Sir. I have never entertained a doubt that sooner or later coal is destined to supersede wood as fuel for steamboats. It is not now ten years since wood was almost the only fuel used on all the finest boats, on the Eastern waters especially, those on the Long Island Sound, the Hudson, the Delaware, and the less important streams. Now scarcely any other