Department of History

of the
Erie Canal
View of Erie Canal by John William Hill, 1829. Watercolor on paper, 9 3/4 x 11 3/4 inches. - click on picture for a larger version (440 kb).

October 27, 1825, the Seneca Chief approaches the stone aqueduct in Rochester:

"Who comes there?"
"Your brothers from the West, on the waters of the Great Lakes."
"By what means have they been diverted so far from their natural course?"
"Through the channel of the Erie Canal."
"By whose authority and by whom was a work of such magnitude accomplished?"
"By the authority and the enterprise of the people of the State of New York."

| Visit the official WWW page of the New York State Canal System at: |

The Erie Canal had an enormous impact on New York and America in the nineteenth century. University of Rochester students are writing the history of the Erie Canal and its successor, the New York State Barge Canal, to be placed on line here. Topics will include:

For information please contact Morris Pierce.

In the meantime, browse through the New York State Archives' Canal Records.

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