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missioners, (to whom were added Robert Fulton and R. R. Livingston), to consider all matters relative to the inland navigation of the state; to make application to the general government, and to any of the states or territories, for aid or coöperation; to ascertain on what terms loans could be obtained, and at what price the rights of the Western Inland Lock Navigation Company could be purchased.

The general government having declined to offer aid in the enterprise, and the adjacent states and territories affording only their good wishes, the commissioners in 1812, proposed that the state should construct the canal without foreign assistance; and a bill was passed, directing them to procure loans and grants of land on the proposed route, but forbidding them to commence the canal.

During the period from 1812 to 1815, the war with Great Britain diverted all thoughts from this enterprise, to the more ur ent one of defending their own firesides from ruthless invasion; but, when peace returned, again this great undertaking engaged the hearts of community. The Holland Land Company had yranted to the commissioners ! re than 100,000 acres of land ; and individuals some 7000 or 8000 more, towards the completion of the work.

In 1815, those opposed to the canal were so far in the majority, as to obtain the repeal of the act authorizing the commissioners to borrow $5,000,000.

This was, for the time, a virtual abandonment of the canal policy; but, with the peace, the hopes and energies of its friends revived, and, in 1816, D. D. Tompkins, then governor, recommended the consideration of the enterprise to the legislature, while a host of petitions, ably drawn up, and numerously signed, were brought before that body, praying them to proceed in this great enterprise. Among the most forcible of these, was the petition from New York, drawn up by DeWitt Clinton.

The report of the canal commissioners was full of interest. They recommended the construction of the middle section first, as it would be a source of profit, and would divert the trade from the St. Lawrence.

A bill was proposed to commence the canal immediately, but was modified in the senate, and finally passed, giving the commissioners power to take the preliminary measures, such as causing a thorough survey and estimate of the expense of the route to be made, employing engineers, making further efforts to obtain aid, either from the general, or state governments, and arranging for loans and grants of land.

In 1817, a bill was passed, authorizing the immediate construction of these works; although in view of their magnitude,


alternate emotions of hope and fear predo nin ted in the minds of the legislature. There were some who opposed the passage of the bill. Under the new ac , Stephen Van R: s ela. DeWitt Clinton, Samuel Young, Joseph Ellicott, and Myron Holley, were appointed commissioners.

So much distrust in regard to the result of the enterprise was felt, by those living remote from the line of the canals, that they insisted on the introduction of a clause in the bill, levying a tax of $250,000, upon the lands contiguous to them. This, however, was never collected, as the means provided by the commis sioners, proved amply sufficient, without resorting to direct taxation,

The ground was first broken for the Erie canal, on the 4th of July, 1817, at Rome, with appropriate ceremonies. De Witt Clinton, then governor of the state, was present, and took part in the services on this interesting occasion.

In 1818, the governor congratulated the Icgislature on the progress of the enterprise, and urged them to persevere in its prosecution. Laws were passed, during the session of this year, authorizing the construction of the Chittenango canal, and a navigable feeder to the Erie canal; also, the examination of Buffalo creek, with a view to the construction of an artificial harbor on the western terminus of the canal.

An act was likewise passed, improving the financial schere of the previous year, and authorizing the commissioners to obtain a further loan of one million of dollars.

In 1819, measures were taken for the commencement of the Oswego canal. In October, of the same year, that portion of the Erie canal extending from Utica to Rome, was opened for navigation; and the Champlain canal admitted the passage of boats. From this period all open opposition to the enterprise ceased.

In 1820, the property, right and title of the Western Inland Lock Navigation Company was transferred to the state, for the eum of $150,328. Messrs. Young, Holley, Seymour, and Bouck, were designated as acting canal commissioners, and received a salary for their services; hile the remainder of the commissioners received no salary, and retained only advisory powers.

An act was passed in 1822, directing the construction of a navigable canal, to connect the Erie canal with the Onondaga lake and Seneca river. This, in connection with the act of 1819, completed the plan of what was afterwards known as the Os

wego canal.

In July, 1823, the Erie canal was navigable from Schenectady to Rochester. The price of wheat, west of the Seneca river, in consequence of the facilities afforded by the canal, had already advanced fifty per cent.

In 1824, the Champlain canal was reported as finished. Acts were passed, authorizing further loans for the completion of the Erie canal; for the constructionof a canal to connect Lake Champlain with the St. Lawrence, and for fixing the termini of the Erie canal, at Albany and Buffalo.

Just at the close of the session, by a most ungenerous party maneuvre, De Witt Clinton was removed from the office of canal commissioner. This was a short lived triumph, however, as in the succeeding autumn, he was elected governor, by a large majority, and of course became one of the canal commissioners, ex officio.

In 1825, Governor Clinton congratulated the legislature on the prospect of the speedy completion of the Erie canal, and proposed the extension of the system of internal improvements, to render the Susquehanna, the Delaware, and other rivers in the state, navigable, thus affording facilities for bringing into market, the agricultural wealth of the state.

The canal was completed in October, 1826, and on the 4th of November, the first canal boat from Lake Erie, having reached New York, the occasion was celebrated with rejoicings, such, perhaps, as have seldorn been equaled in this or any other state of the union.

The different trades and professions of the city, each with suitable badges and banners, joined in the long procession ; an immense squadron of ships, steamers, barques, &c., assembled in the bay, to witness the ceremony of the wedding of Lake Erie with the Atlantic ; and amid numerous ceremonies, and eloquent orations, the glad shouts of the people went up, as with one voice. Medals were struck, commemorative of the interesting event, and forwarded to the soldiers and officers of the revolution, and to distinguished men, in our own, and other lands.

The whole cost of the Erie and Champlain canals was $9,130,000; the canal debt, at their completion, was $7,738,000; and its interest $413,000. The income arising from tolls, the year after the completion of the canals, was estimated at $750,000, exceeding, very considerably, the interest of the debt. In 1835, the debt of the canal was extinguished, mainly from the tolls.

The year 1826 was the commencement of the railroad policy in the state. In that year, Stephen Van Rensselaer and others received a charter for the construction of a railroad from Albany to Schenectady, with the right of enjoying the profits of the enterprise for fifty ycars.

The state reserved to itself, however, the power of purchasing the road, by paying to the company the excess of the cost, with interest thereon, over the profits of the work. This feature has been incorporated in all railroad charters since granted.

In 1827, the legislature made an appropriation in aid of the Delaware and Hudson canal, and determined on the most feasible route for connecting the Erie canal and Susquehanna river.

An act was passed in 1832, chartering a company, to construct a railroad to connect the Hudson with Lake Erie, running through the lower tier of counties; and in 1836, a loan of the public credit to the amount of $3,000,000, was granted to the company.

In 1833, an act was passed authorizing the construction of the Chenango canal, a work involving a large expenditure, but which, on its completion, opened a market to a large agricultural region.

In 1835, it was found that the size of the Erie canal was inad. equate to the business transacted upon it; and that the locks were worn by use, and required enlarging, and to be made double, to facilitate transportation. The legislature, therefore, the same year, authorized the application of the surplus revenues, arising from the tolls, to be applied to the enlargement of the canal.

In 1836, the legislature directed the construction of the Gene. see river and Black river canals, which were soon after commenced.' The financial distress in 1837–8, produced some delay and timidity in regard to internal improvements. But, in 1838, $4,000,000 were appropiated to the enlargement of the Erie canal, and the credit of the state loaned to the Catskill and Canajoharie, the Auburn and Syracuse, and the Ithaca and Owego railroad companies, to the amount of $8,000,000. The loan to the New York and Erie railroad company was modified at the same time.

Since that period, several companies have constructed railroads, forming a continuous line between Albany,and Buffalo, and the whole distance (about 400 miles) is run in less than twenty-four hours.

The Black River Canal is as yet incomplete, and the Genesee Valley Canal is only finished as far as Dansville. The New York and Erie Railroad, after long delays, is now in progress of construction, and will be completed, probably, in two or three years. The Harlaem Railroad is also rapidly progressing toward Albany. It is in contemplation to unite this with the Housatonic Railroad.

Railroads have also been projected from New York to Albany along the Hudson river; from Ogdensburg to Plattsburg; from some point on the Harlaem Railroad 10 New Haven, Conn.; and from Buffalo to Erie, Pennsylvania.

In this connection, too, the Magnetic Telegraph should be mentioned. Telegraph lines have been constructed from Albany and Troy to Buffalo, and by way of the Housatonic Railroad, to New York city, and others are projected. The facilities afforded for business transactions, by this instantaneous mode of transmitting intelligence, appear almost incredible. It is indeed one of the most wonderful discoveries of the present age.

PURSUITS OF THE PEOPLE. In three of the four great departments of national industry, New York occupies the first rank. Her fertile lands, under the skillful and scientific cultivation they have received, render her preeminent in the culture of the soil; her commerce is greater than that of any other state of the confederacy; her sails whiten every sea, and bring the productions of every clime to her marts ; in manufactures, she divides the palm with her sister states, Massachusette and Pennsylvania; in mining operations, though distinguished, she is inferior to Pennsylvania, and the new states of Missouri, Wisconsin and lowa.

1. AGRICULTURE. New York, though usually reckoned as one of the grain growing states, might, from the diversity of its surface, and the attention paid to the rearing of cattle, be ranked, with equal propriety, among the grazing states. Its mountainous districts afford rich and ample pasturage for the immense herds of cattle and sheep which dot its hills; and the quantity, or quality, of its dairy products, are exceeded by no state of the union.

Herkimer, Oneida, Orange, Delaware, Jefferson, Chenango, Chautauque, Onondaga, Madison, St. Lawrence, Otsego, Steuben, Dutchess, Erie, Tompkins, Washington, Ulster, Westchester, Oswego, Schoharie, Cayuga, Allegany, Cortland, Monroe, Wayne, Saratoga, Rensselaer and Putnam, are the most productive dairy counties.

The most prolific grain counties are Monroe, Ontario, Livingston, Niagara, Dutchess, Columbia, Orleans, Genesee, Cayuga, Onondaga, Wayne, Oneida, Seneca, Yates, Montgomery, Jefferson and Albany. In most of these counties, wheat is the principal grain; in a few, oats and corn are the chief crops.

The state Agricultural Society, the county societies connected with it, and the numerous and ably conducted agricultural journals, have done much for the improvement of this department of national industry, in the state. The most improved breeds of cattle, horses, sheep, and swine, have been imported; every new implement of husbandry, which possesses real value, and every improvement in farming, is readily adopted.

Under the influence of this commendable zeal, much of that pors tion of the soil, which is naturally sterile, has been reclaimed; the wilderness has become like a garden, and the desert been made to bud and blossom as the rose.

2. COMMERCE. In commerce, New York not only stands foremost among the American states, but she occupies a very high position among the commercial nations of the world. New York city, her principal seaport, is second only to London in commerce, and when her vast lake and internal commerce is added to this, it will be seen that she has but few rivals in this department.

New York has an extensive trade with all the commercial states of Europe ; with Arabia, India, China, Japan, and the dependencies of each; with the various ports on the coast of Africa and South America; with New Holland, and the islands of the Pacific and Indian oceans; with the West Indies, and the various ports of our own country.

The internal commerce of the state is principally confined to the transportation of emigrants and their furniture, the conveyance of

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