Split on paying for bridge goes back to Washington

info@islandpacket.comDecember 15, 2012 

I was pleased to note that South Carolina needs to supply only 10 percent of the money to build the new Back River Bridge, which is part of the link betweeen South Carolina and Georgia. The reason is that George Washington wanted a patent to place a steamboat on the Potomac River for profit in 1786. The Articles of Confederation at that time did not have a provision for the boundaries of the several states. This led to a disagreement between Maryland and Virginia over Washington's request.

Washington decided to solve this disagreement by calling for a convention in 1786 in Annapolis, Md. Five states sent delegates and several states objected to the limited scope of the convention, so Washington closed the Annapolis Convention in favor of a new convention in 1787 in Philadelphia. We all know that this new convention produced our Constitution. It also provided for the boundaries between the several states to be established.

The boundary between South Carolina and Georgia was established at the South Carolina side of the Savannah River. Thus, South Carolina is responsible for only the approach to the bridge and the main part of the bridge is Georgia's. So Georgia must pay 90 percent of the cost of the bridge and South Carolina only 10 percent because Washington wanted to run a steamboat for profit on the Potomac River.

Alexander D. Kline


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