National Geographic : 1932 Feb
Photograph by Chesapeake Aircraft Co. HARPERS FERRY, SHOWING THE RAPIDS WHICH GENERAL WASHINGTON RAN, AUGUST 9,1784 Here, where Shenandoah River (left) meets the Potomac and the latter breaks through the Blue Ridge,Washington found one ofhis knottiest prob lems in trying to develop an inland waterway to what he called "the Western Waters," meaning those ofthe Ohio Valley. "At the foot ofthese falls the Directors and myself (Govr. Lee having joined us the Evening before) held a meeting," he wrote in 1785, "atwhich itwas determined, aswe con ceived the Navigation could be made through these (commonly called the Shannondoah) Falls without theaid ofLocks, and byopening them would give eclat to the undertaking and great ease to the upper Inhabitants, as Water transportation would be immediately had tothe Great Falls from Fort Cumberland, to employ the upper hands in this work instead of removing the obstructions above." Harpers Ferry isnot tobeconfused with near-by Keys Ferry of colonial times (see text, page 59, and map, page 36).