Primary Source Material
Here are three excellent websites with on-line primary source materials about the canal:
1) C&O Canal Association collection includes newspaper reports, payroll records, compilations of canal boat mortgages, family histories, and canal boat registers and logs.
2) The Library of Congress holds an amazing array of primary source materials about the canal including photographs, maps, drawings, and the Edison video "Down the Old Potomac." Just enter "Chesapeake & Ohio Canal" to search the catalog.
3) Western Maryland's Historical Library site hosts historic photographs, maps, and Civil War era documents related to the canal in Allegany and Washington Counties. One document that may be of interest is the Department of Labor report on the working conditions of Canal Boat children, written in 1921.
Other North American Canals
The C&O Canal is just one of many canals built in the United States. Learn more about our nation's commerce and transportation history by visiting the National Canal Museum website or the North American Canals website.