By Ronald E. Shaw

The development of the Erie Canal may possibly actually be defined as an important occasion within the progress of the younger usa. At a time whilst the inner hyperlinks one of the states have been scanty, the canal's planners boldly projected a method of transportation that may strike from the jap seaboard, penetrate the frontier, and forge a bond among the East and the turning out to be settlements of the West. during this entire background, Ronald E. Shaw portrays the improvement of the canal as considered by means of its contemporaries, who rightly observed it as an engineering wonder and an success of significant monetary and social importance not just for brand new York but in addition for the nation.

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He feared the division of America "into great distinct sections" separating Americans into agriculturalists on the one side and merchants and manufacturers on the other. " Hosack, Memoir of De Witt Clinton, pp. 359-74. Survey and Report 41 the advantages of the Ontario route. 6 Geddes and Benjamin Wright served as surveyors and mapped out the line of the canals. In March of 1811, when public expectation was reported to be "on tip toe," the commissioners made their report. 1 They declared for the interior route.

They called for a survey and exploration of the most eligible and direct route for a canal between the Hudson and Lake Erie to be financed by Congress. These two Federalists from central New York were each known by the title of "Judge," and they shared a room in Albany. Forman had been elected to the assembly on a "canal tick11 Elijah Hawley to Clinton, April 26, 1813, De Witt Clinton Papers, CUL. 30 Erie Water West et," with a Democratic Republican, George McWhorter. Wright had surveyed more than a hundred miles on the Ontario route for the Western Inland Lock Navigation Company.

Ellicott stated candidly the course he would follow: "Should this Canal ever be undertaken, and the Oneida and Ontario route be preferred I shall not subscribe anything towards carrying on the work; because, I am pursuaded [sic] that it will be more advantage at once to make Montreal our market; and it makes no difference to us what Market we go to; the great object is to go to such a Place where we can make the most profits, being the governing Principles with those who have anything to dispose of:'!!

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