14 A SKETCH OF THE HISTORY OF BALTIMORE.
Susquehanna Railroad. In April, the bill authorizing the construction of the
canal to tide of the Susquehanna, was passed by the Legislature of Pennsyl-
vania, and the news was received in Baltimore with great rejoicing. A rage
for speculation prevailed about this time, and shares of Canton stock, of
which $54 had been paid, were sold in some of the eastern cities for $260,—
In August, 1835, great excitement prevailed, mainly arising from the failure,
some time previous, of the bank of Maryland and other institutions, by which
heavy losses were sustained by the public. Mobs assembled,.and, holding for
a time the authorities at defiance, destroyed the dwellings of several citizens;
but the reign of riot was finally checked by the firmness of the friends of
order and by the display of military force. Several lives were lost in the
contests which occurred between the rioters and the armed citizens. Those
who had sustained losses through the violence of the mob, were afterwards
indemnified, at a cost to the city of over $100,000.
On the 25th of August, 1835, the branch railroad was formally opened to
Washington. In 1836, the railroad to Philadelphia was projected. In March
of this year, the City Council voted to subscribe $3,000,000 to the stock of
the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. In May, the books of subscription to the f
stock of the Maryland Canal were closed ; but the ivorkis yet to be commenced.
The stock of the Tide Water Canal was subscribed for in June of this year.
On the llth of May, 1837, the banks of the city followed the example of
those of New York and Philadelphia, and suspended specie payments. The
Green Mount Cemetery was purchased this year, was dedicated in 1839, and
has been rapidly improved. In June, a most extensive and destructive inun-
dation occurred, from the sudden rise of the waters of Jones's Falls ; by which
property to an immense amount was destroyed, not only within the limits of I
the city, but also for some miles along the line of the stream, and many lives
were lost. On the 14th of June, 1838, the Pulaski, a steam packet running
between Baltimore and Savannah, was nearly destroyed by the explosion of
her boiler, while on a return trip to this place. Out of one hundred and
sixty-nine passengers on board, but fifty-nine were saved. On the 13th of
August, the banks resumed the payment of specie. On the 10th of October,
1839, they again suspended specie payments. In 1840, the population of the
city was 102,513.
In February, 1841, the banks resumed the payment of specie, but continued
it only eight days. On the 2d of May, 1842, they again resumed, and have
since continued without interruption. The deranged state of the currency
previous to this period, had given rise to several establishments called " Sa-
vings Institutions;" designed ostensibly for the purpose of supplying the pub-
lic with small notes; but, whatever might have been the views of the project-
ors, they exploded, one after another, inflicting a considerable loss on the public.
Notes, called u orders," issued by the city and by the Baltimore and Ohio
Railroad Company, were also largely circulated during the suspension. It is
certainly a just ground for pride and congratulation that, during the severest
pressure of this gloomy period, when the credit of other cities was reeling
before the effects of distrust and commercial embarrassments, Baltimore sus-
tained herself so firmly, and passed through the storm so well. No more
convincing or satisfactory proof can be given of her substantial resources,
and of the prudence, foresight and noble spirit of her merchants, than the
steadiness with which they met the prostration of trade, and the promptness
with which they sustained each other in the hour of need.
The city, for the past few years, has been so quietly moving on in the path
of prosperity, that but few incidents have occurred worthy of special record.
We must not omit to mention, however, the Magnetic . Telegraph, invented by