Stairway to Empire: Lockport, the Erie Canal, and the Shaping of America

Stairway to Empire: Lockport, the Erie Canal, and the Shaping of America

by Patrick McGreevy
     
 

ISBN-10: 1438425279

ISBN-13: 9781438425276

Pub. Date: 04/09/2009

Publisher: State University of New York Press

The stunning achievement of the Erie Canal’s completion is brought to life in this riveting story. In the spring of 1821, thousands of workers descended on the isolated village of Lockport, New York, twenty miles east of Niagara Falls. Their goal was to dig and blast a waterway through the so-called Mountain Ridge, the escarpment over which the Niagara River

Overview

The stunning achievement of the Erie Canal’s completion is brought to life in this riveting story. In the spring of 1821, thousands of workers descended on the isolated village of Lockport, New York, twenty miles east of Niagara Falls. Their goal was to dig and blast a waterway through the so-called Mountain Ridge, the escarpment over which the Niagara River flows, and to divert some of that river’s flow eastward, thus completing the Erie Canal. This final obstacle would take five years to overcome, and the Lockport Locks, the ingenious device that carried boats to the top of the ridge, would come to be seen as an icon of American achievement—like the Erie Canal itself, a stairway to empire.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781438425276
Publisher:
State University of New York Press
Publication date:
04/09/2009
Series:
Excelsior Editions
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
328
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Prologue

1. Leaving Lockport: And Returning to the Canal’s Beginning

2. Locating Lockport: The Canal and the Continent’s Last Barrier

3. Cutting Lockport: Laborers, Citizens, and Five Years at the Mountain Ridge

4. Writing Lockport: A Dialogue on American Progress

5. Losing Lockport: Afterlife of the Mountain Ridge Conquest

APPENDIX: Mountain Ridge Contractors

Notes
Index

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