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1766. Parliament suspends power of Assembly. 1767. Tax on tea, glass, paper, etc.

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Non-importation agreement renewed.

Vermont decides to be part of New York. 1768. Assembly asserts rights of colonists. 1769. Moore succeeded by Colden. 1770. MacDougal arrested.

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Committee of Fifty-one.

Philadelphia Colonial Congress.
Declaration of Rights.

1775. Tryon, the last English Governor, leaves.

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Delegates sent to second Continental Congress.
Temporary State government established.
Crown Point and Ticonderoga captured.

Governor Tryon removes to a British man-of-war.
Canadian expedition fails.

1776. Declaration of Independence read to troops (July 9).

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New York ratifies the Declaration of Independence.

Battle of Long Island (Aug. 26-29).

British capture New York (Sept. 15).

66 Nathan Hale executed.

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State government organized.

Burgoyne's invasion and surrender.
Battle of Oriskany.

1778. Indian and Tory raids.

1779. Stony Point captured and recaptured.

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1780. Arnold's treason and André's execution.

1781. Washington's army leaves New York for Yorktown. Articles of Confederation take effect.

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Surrender of Cornwallis at Yorkstown.

1782. New York transfers her western lands to the nation.

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Sir Guy Carleton in command at New York.
American army winters at Newburg.

1783. Washington refuses crown at Newburg.

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1784. State Legislature meets in New York City. Congress removes to New York City.

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1787. Constitution of the United States formed. Geneva and Binghampton started.

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incorporated.

66 Clinton re-elected.

1793. Citizen Genet in New York.

1795. Common schools granted $50,000 for five years.

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1798. Company created to build canal from Lake Erie to Lake

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Clinton and Spencer elected U. S. Senators.

1799. Partial abolition of slavery.

1800. Watertown settled.

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Morris and Armstrong chosen U. S. Senators,

66 Clinton elected U. S. Senator.

1801. Common-school system organized.

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Clinton elected Governor again.

Constitutional Convention meets.

1802. Ambrose Spencer appointed Attorney-General.

1804. Lewis becomes Governor.

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"Free School Society of the City of New York" incor

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1808. Canal from Lake Erie to the Hudson favored.

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1809. German made U. S. Senator.

1810. Board of Commissioners to survey route for Erie Canal. Tompkins re-chosen Governor.

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1811. Canal authorized.

66 Commissioners named to establish common schools. 1812. Common-school system organized.

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II. PERIOD OF INTERNAL IMPROVEMENTS

CHAPTER XXVI.—BEGINNINGS OF THE ERIE CANAL

Need of Canals.-The people of western New York found it very difficult to communicate with the eastern part of the state. The lakes and rivers formed a fine system of inland waterways, but there were numerous shoals, windings, and tiresome carries that made a trip from one end of the state to the other a task of weeks. The rising western civilization demanded that these excellent natural water routes be connected by artificial means. Cadwallader Colden (1724), Governor George Moore (1768), Captain Joseph Carver (1776), Gouverneur Morris (1777), and Washington, who made a trip to western New York with Clinton in 1783, all had visions of a canal system connecting the western waters with the Atlantic.

Canals before the Erie.-As early as 1772 a plan had been presented to the legislature for the improvement of the Mohawk for navigation. In 1784 Christopher Colles was given a monopoly of the navigation of the Mohawk for removing the obstructions. Elkanah Watson, who had studied the canals of England and Holland, discussed the subject with Washington (1785), traveled in western New York, and proposed to join the Great Lakes to the Hudson (1788). In 1791 Watson

sent a letter to the legislature on the subject. The same year that body appointed a committee on surveys and incorporated two companies, one to open a lock passage from the Hudson to Lake Ontario and Seneca Lake, the other to construct a waterway from the Hudson to Lake Champlain. The first company built three small canals and locks at a cost of $400,000, so that by 1796 boats of sixteen tons were running from Schenectady to Seneca Falls and Lake Ontario. But the expenses were so great and the tolls so high that it was cheaper to convey freight and passengers by land. The Champlain enterprise failed.

First Suggestions. In 1800 Gouverneur Morris predicted that ships would sail" from London through the Hudson's River into Lake Erie." From 1800 to 1808 the project was thoroughly discussed. It was denounced as too expensive and sneered at as visionary, yet was favored by many. Jesse Hawley, a prisoner for debt at Canandaigua, wrote a series of essays in the Genesee Messenger in its favor (Oct. 27, 1807). In 1808 Judge Benjamin Wright of Oneida county and Joshua Forman of Onondaga county induced the legislature to vote $600 for a survey of the Erie route. James Geddes made the survey and reported favorably in 1809. The next year seven commissioners, with Gouverneur Morris at their head, were appointed to examine the route. They approved of the Erie route and estimated the cost at $5,000,000. On April 8, 1811, two more commissioners were appointed, and the nine were authorized to accept gifts and borrow money to build the canal. The War of 1812, however, stopped further work for five years.

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