Jan 15
A post office is opened at Canal (later Memphis), New York.

Feb 4
The Delaware and Raritan Canal Company is chartered, to build a canal from New Brunswick to Bordentown and Trenton, across the narrow part of New Jersey.

May 9
The Rochester-built steam-powered canal boat Novelty, recently towed on the Erie Canal to Utica to be fitted out with its engines, passes through to Lake Ontario on the Oswego Canal.

May 26
Congress approves a canal through Alexandria, Virginia.

May 27
New York contractors Charles Cook, Samuel Farwell, George Spencer, Asa Cady and others sign an agreement with the State Canal Commission to construct sections 1, 2, 5, 11, and 28-35 of the Chemung Canal.

Jun 1
Maine's Cumberland and Oxford Canal is completed.

Jun 4
The first freight boat from the interior arrives in Portland via the Cumberland Oxford Canal.

Nov 1
The trial run of an inclined plane boat-railway on the Morris Canal is made.

Students from the Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute make a second study tour on the Erie Canal. ** A bridge is built across the Western Canal at Lowell, Massachusetts. ** The Patowmack Canal closes, replaced by the Chesapeake and Ohio. ** Nathan Roberts is stationed in Washington, D. C., to supervise construction on the Chesapeake and Ohio. The U. S. Government employs him as Chief Engineer to investigate a Muscle Shoals canal on the Tennessee River. ** William Roberts is made resident engineer of the feeder canal between Pine Grove, Pennsylvania, and the Philadelphia Water Works. Charles Ellet goes to France to study engineering. ** James Bucklin begins surveys for canal and railroad routes between Lake Michigan and the Illinois River. ** A total of $1,066,922 in tolls is collected on New York State's canals.


Jun 3

The Welland Canal Company signs a contract with Lewis, Little and Garrison, for work on sections 15, 16 and 19.


New Jersey's Morris Canal is completed from Phillipsburg to Newark Bay. A total of twenty-three inclined planes and twenty-three locks are used; the total cost is just over $2,000,000. ** Construction begins on the Delaware and Raritan Canal. ** The Camden and Amboy Railroad merges with the Delaware and Raritan Canal Company. ** The North Branch Susquehanna Canal is completed, connecting coal fields at Nanticoke, Pennsylvania, with the Susquehanna and Tidewater Canal. ** Construction begins on the Muscle Shoals Canal. ** Construction begins on Canada's Chambly Canal. ** The Welland opens from Fort Robinson (Chippewa Creek or Welland River) to Lake Erie's Port Colborne, forming the first direct link between lakes Ontario and Erie. ** 100 canal boats ply the Cumberland-Oxford Canal. ** Canada's Rideau Canal is completed, linking Ottawa with Lake Ontario.


Feb 22
Ground is broken for Indiana's Wabash and Erie Canal, between the Ohio and Lake Erie.

Apr 24
New York's Auburn Canal and Rail Road Company, capitalized at $150,000, is organized, to connect Auburn with the Erie Canal. It's never built.

May 20
New Jersey's Morris Canal officially opens when the Walk-in-the-Water passes through.

May 25

The British government issues a summons to Canada's Rideau Canal builder John By to return to England to answer charges (politically motivated) of excessive spending. He will be replaced by Major Daniel Bolton.

May 29

The steamer Pumper makes the first passage through the's Rideau Canal, from Kingston to Bytown, with Colonel By and his family aboard.

Oct 4
Publisher-inventor H. G. Spafford adds a codicil to his will, naming canal engineer Canvas White as his executor.

Dec 1
The Ohio and Erie Canal is completed, open to the Ohio River.

The James River and Kanawha Company is created out of several small construction projects, including the James River Company. ** The Indiana state legislature authorizes the construction of the Wabash and Erie Canal. ** Construction is begun on Indiana's
Whitewater Canal, from Hagerstown, Indiana, to Cincinnati, Ohio. ** The Delaware Division Canal is completed. ** The Rideau Canal is completed, connecting Kingston, Ontario, with the Ottawa River. ** Primitive artist May Keys paints Lockport on the Erie Canal.


The Burlington Bay and Chute à Blondeau canals opens. ** A blockhouse is erected at the Ontario village of Merrickville, along the newly completed Rideau Canal. It will also serve as a locktender's house and canal museum.



Feb 23

New York state's Canal Commission authorizes a Chenango Canal to connect the Susquehana River at Binghamton with the Erie Canal at Utica. John B. Jervis will be hired to supervise construction.

A second aqueduct over New York's Genesee River is begun. ** English canal engineer William Weston dies. ** A Canadian commission is formed to investigate a Trent-Severn Waterway, to connect Lake Ontario with Georgian Bay. ** William Gooding surveys the Erie and Wabash Canal. ** The Miami and Dayton Canal Company secures another land grant from the U. S. Government. ** The U. S. Congress appropriates $25,000 to build a harbor near Chicago to serve as a terminus for the Illinois and Michigan Canal. ** The Chemung Canal is completed.


Jan 29
President Jackson orders Secretary of War Cass to use troops to quell workers' riots along the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal - the first use of federal troops in labor conflicts.

Jun 27
The Delaware and Raritan Canal, connecting he Raritan River at New Brunswick with the Delaware River at Trenton. opens to traffic.

The Portage Railroad opens, using canal and railroad, between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. ** Scottish canal engineer Thomas Telford dies. ** U. S. canal engineer Canvass White, 44, dies in Florida. ** Improvements on the Pennsylvania Main Line Canal are completed. ** E. H. Gill becomes chief engineer of the Sandy and Beaver Canal, connecting the Ohio River (in Pennsylvania) with the Ohio and Erie Canal at Bolivar, Ohio. ** Illinois elections center around the canal vs. railroad issue, with canal proponents winning. ** A survey is authorized for a Genesee Valley Canal. ** General A. W. Riley opens a boatyard at the east end of Rochester's Court Street Bridge, operates it through 1836. ** The charter of the Auburn and Owasco Canal Company is renewed. The canal is never built. ** The walls of the Erie Canal lock at Tonawanda are raised a foot to bring the river water closer to the canal's level.


Nathan Roberts is made Chief Engineer for the enlargement of the Erie Canal. John Jervis becomes a consultant during the enlargement of the eastern division. ** The Eagle Hotel at Medina, New York, opens. ** Pennsylvania grants a charter to the Susquehanna Canal Company to build a joint canal with the Tidewater Company. ** Construction of the James River and Kanawha Canal resumes under the new James River and Kanawha Company, with Judge Benjamin Wright as Chief Engineer. He is assisted by his son Simon, Charles Ellet, Jr., and Daniel Livermore. ** Illinois appoints a new canal commission with the power to raise funds and begin construction. ** The Muscle Shoals Canal (Tennessee Canal), utilizing 17 locks, opens. ** Frederick C. Mills, newly-elected chief engineer of the Genesee Valley Canal, presents a report based on last year's survey. ** $1, 548,100 in tolls are collected on New York's state canals. The state authorizes the enlargement of the Erie Canal. The canal has reduced travel time across the state to 6 days and freight costs to four-to-six dollars a ton.


Jan 9
William Gooding is hired by the canal commission as Chief Engineer on the Illinois and Michigan Canal.

May 6
The New York State Legislature authorizes the construction of the Genesee Valley Canal.

Jul 1
The Erie Canal has now made back its cost. ** Water is let into the first stretch of the Erie and Wabash Canal.

Jul 4
Construction begins on the Susquehanna and Tidewater Canal. ** Ground is broken for the Illinois and Michigan Canal, to connect Chicago with the Illinois River.

Aug 4

The Welland Canal board submits a petition to the Ontario lieutenant governor.

Nov 2

The board of Canada's Welland Canal Company resolves to submit petitions to the legislature.

Nov 4

The Welland Canal board submits a petition to the legislature.

Erie Canal

A canal boat arrives in Rochester carrying the first locomotive for the Tonawanda Railroad. ** The first grain shipment from Chicago reaches Buffalo to be shipped down the canal. ** 36,000 tons of goods are transhipped at Buffalo. ** Traveler Thomas S. Woodcock's New York to Niagara , desribing a journey on the Erie Canal, is published. ** The canal commissioners decide it will be feasible to eliminate the Jordan and Nine Mile Locks by eradicating Onondaga Couty's Jordan Summit.


The Chenango Canal joins the Erie Canal. Other improvements on the Erie are begun. The channel is enlarged to 7' x 70' and the locks to 18' x 110'. ** A five-mile extension joins the Morris Canal with the Bay of New York. ** The New Haven and Northampton Company is formed out of the Farmington and Hampden companies. ** Work begins on the James River and Kanawha Canal with Charles Ellet, Jr. As Chief Engineer. ** A company is formed to build a canal at 106th Street in northern Manhattan for a marble quarry, but the project's abandoned when the stone turns out to be inferior. ** The Morris Canal is extended to the Hudson River.


Jun 27
New York State makes the first payment on Erie Canal Enlarged Lock 18 at Cohoes.

Jul 4
The Miami and Erie Canal opens to navigation.

Erie Canal

3,955 boats arrive in Buffalo harbor this year. 4,755 craft lock through the canal. ** A group of Camillus residents petitions the state canal commission to leave the Erie Canal in place south of Lambertson's hill rather than run a new section north of the hill, as work progresses on the first enlargement of the canal. ** Construction begins on a new aqueduct over the Genesee River at Rochester. ** Canal officials announce two possible routes for the enlarged canal east of Nine Mile Creek - retaining the current one with the western embankment raised, or moving the lock three-and-a-half miles west. They will chose the latter, creating Enlarged Erie Lock 50.


The Chenango Canal, connecting Binghamton and the Erie Canal at Utica, is completed. Repairs average $201 per mile. ** A second covered bridge is constructed across the Main Line Canal near Harrisburg. ** The Michigan legislature authorizes a Clinton-Kalamazoo Canal. ** The U. S. financial panic halts work on the Sandy and Beaver Canal and slows work on the Illinois and Michigan Canal. ** The Portage Canal Company is formed to connect Wisconsin's Fox and Wisconsin rivers. ** A survey is prepared for a new canal along Maine's Georges River. ** The Muscle Shoals Canal is abandoned due to low water during summers. ** Contracts are let for construction of the Genesee Valley Canal. ** John Johnston become lockmaster on Canada's Rideau Canal at Merrickville.


Jul 20

Construction begins on the Clinton-Kalamazoo Canal.

Aug 20

Contracts are advertised for the enlargement of the Erie Canal's Nine Mile Creek feeder in western Onondaga County; work commences on several sections soon afterwards.

U. S. canal engineers Loammi Baldwin II and James Geddes die. ** Edward Hall is hired to run surveys for the western section of the James River and Kanawha Canal. ** William Roberts is made engineer in charge of construction on the Monongahela Navigation Company, supervising the building of slackwater dam lock combinations. ** E. H. Gill joins the James River and Kanawha Canal engineering team and runs a survey from Lynchburg to the headwaters of the James. ** 2,000 men are employed on the Illinois and Michigan Canal. ** The idea of a Portage Canal is abandoned, after $10,000 is spent on the project. ** The Jordan Level of the Erie Canal, between Montezuma and Camillus, is straightened, shortening the stretch by a mile and saving $18,323.72 in cost.


May 11
U. S. troops prevent the state of Michigan from digging a canal at Sault Ste. Marie.

The Seneca River Towing Path of the New York State Barge Canal connects Mud Lock on the Oswego Canal to the outlet of Onondaga Lake.

The Tidewater and Susquehanna Canal is completed. ** U. S. canal engineer David Stanhope Bates dies. ** E. H. Gill becomes Principal Assistant Engineer on the James River and Kanawha Canal, in charge of construction above Lynchburg. Charles Ellet, Jr. loses his job as Chief Engineer for refusing to compromise with others and is replaced by Judge Wright. ** The Genesee Valley Canal reaches Mount Morris. ** Junius peppermint farmer Peter Hill moves to Lyons, having bought property at the future site of Erie Canal Lock E-56. ** A 650-foot deep salt well is drilled along the enlarged Erie Canal at Montezuma. ** The Erie Canal dam at Tonawanda is rebuilt and lengthened.

© 2005 David Minor / Eagles Byte