The Earliest Susquehanna River Bridge to York County is Authorized in 1793; Part 4, Schedule of Bridge Tolls
The illustration contains a photocopy of the introduction to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania act passed April 11th 1793, authorizing a Susquehanna River Bridge from Blue Rock, Lancaster County to Pleasant Garden, York County. This was the earliest river bridge authorized to York County and although the bridge was never built, the act provides some interesting details.
The act is recorded in The Statutes at Large of Pennsylvania, Volume XIV, 1791-1793, Harrisburg, PA, Pages 444 to 454. Since the act is lengthy, I’m posting a transcript of the act in five parts. In the introduction to each part, I’ll provide some relevant comments; followed by a summary and then the direct transcript of the act. This is the fourth of five parts; the other posts in this series include:
- The Earliest Susquehanna River Bridge to York County is Authorized in 1793; Part 1
- The Earliest Susquehanna River Bridge to York County is Authorized in 1793; Part 2
- The Earliest Susquehanna River Bridge to York County is Authorized in 1793; Part 3
- The Earliest Susquehanna River Bridge to York County is Authorized in 1793; Part 5, Increasing Bridge Tolls to Guarantee Profits for Shareholders
Pleasant Garden is currently the Long Level area of Lower Windsor Township; therefore by the act of April 11, 1793 a bridge across the Susquehanna River to this area of York County was authorized. As noted in Part 1 of this series, this was sixteen years before the same process was started on the initial Susquehanna River Bridge from Columbia to Wrightsville. When standing at Highpoint and looking Southeast, one can imagine what that earliest bridge would have looked like; that is my depiction in the illustration at the beginning of this post.
The act authorizing a Susquehanna River Bridge from Blue Rock, Lancaster County to Pleasant Garden, York County contains 14 sections. This post will concentrate on Sections VIII, IX, X and XI.
Section VIII deals with the proper treatment of neighbors whom live in vicinity of the property required for building the Susquehanna River Bridge from Blue Rock, Lancaster County to Pleasant Garden, York County. Within Section IX, are the requirements of the president and managers of the company for dealing with the finances and for the keeping proper financial records.
Section X and XI set the initial bridge tolls; later sections define how the tolls may be raised or lowered. A general schedule of bridge tolls follows; see actual wording in the public law for additional details.
- $1.00 4-Wheeled Drawn by 4-Horses
- $0.75 4-Wheeled Drawn by 2-Horses
- $0.50 2-Wheeled Drawn by 2-Horses
- $0.33 2-Wheeled Drawn by 1-Horse
- $0.67 Sleigh Drawn by 4-Horses
- $0.16 Sleigh Drawn by 1-Horse
- $0.15 Horse with Single Rider
- $0.10 Horse
- $0.06 Person on Foot
- $0.06 Each Horned Cattle
- $0.03 Each Sheep or Swine
- Every 2 Oxen charged Equivalent to 1 Horse
- Every 1 Mule charged Equivalent to 1 Horse
(Section VIII, P. L.) And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That it shall and may be lawful to and for the president and managers aforesaid, their superintendents, engineers and artists of every kind, to enter into and upon all the lands, tenements and enclosures near to where the said bridge is to be built, and to take all the stones convenient in the fish dams, and to examine the ground most proper for the purpose of the quarries of stone, gravel or sand, and other materials necessary for building said bridge, and that it shall and may be lawful for the said managers, overseers, superintendents, or any other persons employed in building said bridge, to enter with horses, wagons, carts, sleds or sleighs, or beasts of burden or draught of any kind whatsoever, that shall be employed in building said bridge, by first giving notice to the owners thereof, they doing as little damage as possible, and repairing any breaches of fences they may have occasion to make in the enclosure thereof, and making amends for any damages that may be done to any improvements thereon, by agreement, if they can agree, of if they cannot agree, then upon appraisement to be made as hereinafter directed, upon oath or affirmation by three indifferent freeholders, or any two of them agreeing, to be mutually chosen, or if the owners, upon due notice, shall neglect or refuse to join in the choice, then to be appointed by any justice of the peace of the county not interested on either side, and tender of the appraised value, to dig, take and carry away any stone, gravel, sand or earth, there being most conveniently situated, for making or repairing the said bridge.
(Section IX, P. L.) And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the president and managers of the said company shall keep fair and just accounts of all moneys received by them from the said commissioners, and from the subscribers to the said undertaking, on account of their several subscriptions, and of all penalties for delay in the payment thereof, and the amount of the profits on shares that may be forfeited as aforesaid, and also of all moneys by them expended in the prosecution of the said work, and shall at least once in every year submit such accounts to a general meeting of the stockholders, until the said bridge is completed and until all the costs, charges and expenses for effecting the same shall be fully paid and discharged, and the aggregate amount of all such expenses shall be liquidated and ascertained, and if, upon such liquidation, or whenever the whole capital stock of the said company shall be nearly expended, it shall be found that the said capital stock is not sufficient to complete the said bridge according to the true intent and meaning of this act, it shall and may be lawful for the said president, managers and company, at a stated or special meeting to be convened according to the provisions of this act or their own by-laws, to increase the number of shares to such extent as shall be deemed sufficient to accomplish the work, and to demand and receive the moneys subscribed for such shares, in like manner and under the like penalties, as are hereinbefore provided for the original subscriptions, or as shall be provided by their by-laws.
(Section X, P. L.) And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That when a good and complete bridge is erected over the said river Susquehanna, at the place aforesaid, the property of the said bridge shall be vested in the company as aforesaid, their heirs and assigns, may demand and receive toll from travelers and others, agreeably to the following rates, viz.: For every coach, landau, chariot, phaeton or other pleasurable carriage with four wheels, drawn by four horses, the sum of one dollar; and for the same carriages with two horses, the sum of seventy-five cents; for every wagon with four, the sum of one dollar, and for every carriage of the same description drawn by two horses, the sum of sixty-seven cents; for every chaise, riding chair, cart, or other two-wheeled carriage with two horses, the sum of fifty cents; and for the same with one horse, the sum of thirty-three cents; for every sleigh or sled with four horses, the sum of sixty-seven cents; and for the same with one horse, the sum of sixteen cents; for one single horse and rider, the sum of fifteen cents; for every horse the sum of ten cents; for every foot passenger, the sum of six cents; for every head of horned cattle, the sum of six cents; for every sheep and swine, the sum of three cents.
Provided nevertheless, That the said bridge shall in nowise injure, stop or interrupt the navigation of said river, or prevent boats from crossing, or persons from fording, the said river.
(Section XI, P. L.) And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That all such carriages as aforesaid, to be drawn by oxen in the whole, or partly by horses and partly by oxen, two oxen shall be estimated as equal to one horse, in charging all the aforesaid tolls, and every mule as equal to one horse.
Check back next week for Sections XII, XIII & XIV of the 1793 act authorizing a Susquehanna River Bridge from Blue Rock, Lancaster County to Pleasant Garden, York County.
This is my 106th post. An inventory of the general topics and locations that have been the subjects of my first 100 posts are presented in a 100-tile mosaic that breaks down these posts into seven general categories.Reading the Headlines: A Quick Index to All YorksPast Posts