New York State Canals: A Short History - Purple Mountain Press


by F. Daniel Larkin

From the introduction:

"New York's Erie Canal has long been heralded in story and song and the legendary waterway is well known to people throughout the world. Far fewer are aware of the vast, 524-mile canal network that still exists in the state. Although canals in New York first appeared in the eighteenth century, it was the building of the Erie Canal in the first quarter of the nineteenth century that lauched New York State and the nation into the canal era; arguably, no other enterprise was as responsible for creating the `Empire State' as was the Erie. There is no question that the Erie Canal was an economic success. In addition to the business it brought the state, more than $120 million in tolls wre collected on it during the the nineteenth century, paying for its original cost and the first enlargement, as well as maintenance. But many of the state's other canals did not share the Erie's triumph, and the story of New York's canals is one of contrast between those that contributed to the growth and development of the state and those that did not."

This accessible history is the first treatment of all of the state's canals in more than 100 years. Included are the Erie Canal and its laterals (Champlain Canal, Oswego Canal, Cayuga and Seneca Canal, Chemung Canal, Crooked Lake Canal, Oneida Lake Canal, Chenango Canal, Genesee Valley Canal, Black River Canal), Delaware & Hudson Canal, Junction Canal, Long Island's canal, St. Lawrence Seaway, and New York State Barge Canal System.

F. Daniel Larkin is a SUNY Oneonta professor and the author of Pioneer American Railroads: The Mowhawk and Hudson & The Saratoga and Schenectady, published by Purple Mountain Press and a biography of engineering genius John B. Jervis.

120 pages, illustrated, 5.5 x 8.5, index, 1998
$12.00 paperback--A Purple Mountain Press original

Copyright © 1998 Purple Mountain Press. All rights reserved.