Erie Canal: Linking the Great Lakes

Erie Canal: Linking the Great Lakes

by Tim McNeese
     
 

On October 26, 1826, New York governor DeWitt Clinton proudly announced the opening of the Erie Canal in a ceremony he called the "Marriage of Waters." As he pured the waters of Lake Erie into the Atlantic Ocean at New York Harbor in a symbolic act of union, the governor finally silenced the critics who had referred to his canal dream as "Clinton's Folly." The opening…  See more details below

Overview

On October 26, 1826, New York governor DeWitt Clinton proudly announced the opening of the Erie Canal in a ceremony he called the "Marriage of Waters." As he pured the waters of Lake Erie into the Atlantic Ocean at New York Harbor in a symbolic act of union, the governor finally silenced the critics who had referred to his canal dream as "Clinton's Folly." The opening of this 364-mile waterway allowed boats to travel all the way from New York City to the Great Lakes, and created the largest transportation system in early America. The Erie Canal became a cheaper, faster alternative to overland travel, and businesses and individuals began to spurn the stagecoach and the wagon. The canal is still in use today and is considered one of America's most treasured historical resources. The Eric Canal examines the construction of the waterway and describes the canal's contributions to the explosive growth and development of both the United States and New York City into international centers of finance and commerce.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Sharon Salluzzo
Begun in 1817 and completed in 1825, the Erie Canal was a marvel in its day and opened the door for western expansion. Much of this book presents the reasons for the construction of the canal and why this route was selected, who was instrumental in its creation and the significance of the War of 1812. Facts and details are presented in a logical manner. Drawings and paintings of the regions and locks will help the reader understand the difficulties involved in the creation of the canal. Portraits of important people, such as DeWitt Clinton, give faces to names. There are some major issues with this book, however. There are no maps. This is a significant exclusion. Readers unfamiliar with the location of New York State, the Great Lakes, and Canada, not to mention the Mohawk and Hudson Rivers, cannot fully understand the construction without knowing the geography. The most egregious error is the inclusion of an undated photograph of canal workers. The caption reads, "Starting in Rome, New York, construction on the Erie Canal began with a large group of unskilled canal workers. After eight years of digging, excavating, and building without bulldozers or modern equipment, the canal was completed." There are no photographs from the construction of the first Erie Canal. The reader is given the impression that the photo is from this era, which is not possible. For a livelier and more interesting and accurate presentation, I recommend The Erie Canal by Martha E. Kendall. Reviewer: Sharon Salluzzo

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781604130263
Publisher:
Chelsea House Publishers
Publication date:
01/01/2009
Series:
Milestones in American History Series
Pages:
144
Product dimensions:
6.70(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

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