Sep 1
The first boat to use the Genesee Valley Canal, traveling from Rochester to Mount Morris, stops at Cuylerville's National Hotel for a celebration.

The Richmond-to-Lynchburg section of Virginia's James River and Kanawha Canal is inaugurated by the William Henry Harrison . ** The Susquehanna and Tidewater Canal is completed, replacing the Susquehanna Canal.

Judge Wright takes a three-month leave of absence from the James River and Kanawha Canal. E. H. Gill fills in for him. **** The combined milage of canals in the U. S. exceeds 4,000 miles. ** Construction begins on Canada's St. Anne Canal on the Ottawa River. ** Wayne County peppermint farmer Peter Hill begins dismantling his private grocery building to move it out of the way of the Erie Canal enlargement. ** Henry R. Worthington invents the direct-acting steam pump, installs it on his Erie Canal boat. Pressure from established boatmen forces the paddlewheeler off the canal after a few seasons. ** The Genesee Valley Canal is completed to Shakers (Sonyea).


Mar 4

Abolitionist and Erie Canal supervising engineer Myron Holley dies in Roochester, New York, at the age of 61.

Nov 1
Dansville, New York, holds a boisterous ceremonies to celebrate the opening of the eleven-mile branch (Side-cut) of the Genesee Valley Canal linking the village with Shaker Settlement (Sonyea).

Erie Canal

The Schoharie Creek Aqueduct is completed. ** Surveying begins for an enlargement east of Nine Mile Creek. ** Surveys are made between Jordan an Pit Lock for the Port Byron section of the enlargement.

Medina, New York's Eagle Hotel burns down. ** The Morris Canal is widened. ** Harriet Beecher Stowe travels on the Main Line Canal-Railroad line. ** Nathan Roberts retires. ** E. H. Gill surveys Virginia's Rivanna River west to Charlottesville. ** William Roberts assists on improvements to Canada's Welland Canal. The government buys out private interests. ** Peter Hill moves his grocery. ** Due to the influence of the Erie Canal New York City's exports are now three times greater than Boston's. In the period since the canal's completion, personal property increased fourfold, manufacturing threefold, and the number of businessmen fourfold. ** Concrete work is completed on Erie Canal Enlarged Lock 18 at Cohoes.


Jordan, New York, resident Erastus Baker, Jr. submits a claim to Erie Canal appraisers for land lost containing a tavern and a grocery. Even though the buildings are declared to be of flimsy construction, Baker is allowed close to $4,000.

Apr 20
Water is let into Lock 18 of the Enlarged Erie Canal at Cohoes, which follows a new route. The old route will be sold to the Cohoes Company as a power canal.

Apr 21
Lock 18 is opened to general traffic.

The aqueduct over the Genesee River at Rochester is completed. ** The first locomotive for the Auburn and Rochester Railroad arrives by canal. ** The Miami and Erie Canal connects up with the Wabash and Erie Canal. ** Charles Dickens travels from Harrisburg to Pittsburgh on the Pennsylvania Canal. ** The Cincinnati-Toledo canal is completed. ** Much of the James River and Kanawha Canal is damaged by major flooding. ** U. S. Canal proponent Elkanah Watson dies. ** U. S. canal engineer Benjamin Wright dies in New York and is succeeded by E. H. Gill. ** Albany's State Hall, built to hold various government offices, including those of canal commissioners, is completed. ** The Jordan Level of the Erie is almost completed. Work halts because of the Stop and Tax Act.


Jul 4
Water is let into the extension of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, created by an aqueduct across the Potomac River.


Oct 26

Thomas Begly, secretary of the Board Of Works Office of the Welland Canal at Kingston, advertises in Ontario's St. Catharines Journal for applications for the furnishing of the lock gates on the canal. The deadline is Monday, November 20.

The Alexandria Canal, running between Georgetown, District of Columbia, and Rosslyn, Virginia, is completed with the construction of a 1000-foot aqueduct across the Potomac River. ** Canada's Chambly Canal begins initial operations until faulty construction techniques force its closing. ** The Wabash and Erie Canal is completed. ** William Roberts assists in the completion of the Erie Extension Canal, between Beaver and Erie. ** The St. Anne Canal is completed. ** Construction begins on Canada's Cornwall Canal. The enlargement of the Welland Canal is begun. ** 2,136 boats use the Erie Canal.



One of the new Erie Canal boats built at Rochester carries a 75-ton load, a record.

Jun 13

Erie Canal contractor Hubbard Burick contracts to work on Setion 11 of the Jordan Level, not undrstanding fully the difficulty of the terrain.

The Baltimore and Philadelphia Steamboat Company is incorporated, to ship freight through the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal. ** Work on the Trent-Severn Waterway is suspended when funds run out. ** The enlarged Erie Canal opens to traffic in the Rome area. ** 42 of the new and larger canal boats are built in Rochester. ** 2,126 boats use New York State's canals this year. ** Authorization is granted to construct an Erie Canal waste weir at the north end of the Tonawanda dam, despite the 1842 Stop and Tax Act. ** Legislation is approved to make an exeption to the 1842 Stop and Tax Law, which permits the completion of the Jordan Summit project on the Erie Canal, work half-completed when the original law went into effect.



Erie Canal Enlargenment contractor Hubbard Burdick petitions New York State for contract concessions due to the hurried pace on the work on the Jordan level.

Mar 5

Burdick's crew stops work on the Jordan level; New York takes possession of the work.

Apr 17
The lyrics to the song parody "I'm Afloat on the Erie Canal" first appear in the Utica Daily Gazette.

Jun 7
Storekeeper Samuel Dill of Camillus applies to the visiting Erie Canal appraisers for compensation, for having to move his store from the old ditch to the new canal site and for loss of business due to the construction of a feeder canal. His claims are denied.

The Erie Canal is the largest employer in New York State, with a work force of over 25,000 men and boys. ** The new Jordan Level of the Erie goes into operation.

An inclined plane is introduced on the Morris Canal, but does not work properly. ** John Jervis does consulting work on the Boston Aqueduct. ** William Roberts becomes canal engineer and Trustee's Agent for Ohio's Sandy and Beaver Canal. ** Charles Ellet becomes a publicity agent for the Schuylkill Navigation Company. ** The wooden Pittsburgh Aqueduct on the Pennsylvania Main Line Canal is replaced by John Roebling's cable-suspension version. ** Canada's Beauharnois Canal is completed, avoiding rapids in the St. Lawrence River above Montreal. ** The enlarged Welland Canal opens with 27 stone locks replacing 40 of wood. ** Full-scale work on the Illinois and Michigan Canal resumes. ** Estimates are published for locks on Maine's Georges River.


Jul 2
The Maine legislature enacts Chapter 334, approving a Georges River Canal Company.

Eleven Rochester boatyards produce 210 boats, at an average cost of $1,300. ** William H. Seymour and Dayton S. Morgan open a factory on the Erie Canal, at Brockport, to make McCormick reapers. ** Covered Bridge #2 over Pennsylvania's Main Line Canal is destroyed by floods and an arsonist. Bridge #3 is built to replace it. ** Walter Gwynn takes over from Joseph C. Campbell as president of the James River and Kanawha Canal. ** The U. S. Congress grants Wisconsin land along the Fox River, to build a canal. ** The approximate date the waste weir at the north end of the Erie Canal's Tonawanda Dam is completed.


Apr 19
The first boats use the Illinois and Michigan Canal.

The Caledonian Canal opens. ** Walter W. Gwynn is hired as Chief Engineer of the James River and Kanawha Canal, with Edward Lorraine as his assistant. E. H. Gill is offered the position of principal assistant engineer but turns down the assignment. ** John Roebling builds an aqueduct to carry the Delaware and Hudson Canal over the Delaware River at Lackawaxen. ** The Georges River Canal is completed. ** Canal construction resumes in New York State. ** 2,725 boats use the Erie Canal this year.


Apr 19

The Illinois and Michigan Canal officially opens.

Jul 26

The new enlarged lock on new York's Erie Canal at Tonawanda, along the south side of the original lock, is put into service.

Nov 9

The Blackstone Canal ceases operations.

Erie Canal

Reuben Tobey, Jr. and his family, of Pawlet, Vermont, arrive in Pittsford via the canal and settle in a log cabin on Calkins Road.

The New York State legislature authorizes funds for the widening of Brookyn's Gowanus Creek, from Gowanus Bay to Butler Street, for use as a commercial canal. ** Connecticut's Farmington Canal is completed. ** The New Haven and Northampton Canal Company is supplanted by the railroads. ** A successful inclined plane is first used on the Morris Canal. ** The Illinois and Michigan Canal is completed. William Gooding becomes secretary to the Canal Trustees. ** Traffic on the South Hadley Canal comes to an end. The canal is to be used only to supply water power to local mills. ** James B. Francis, Massachusetts' chief engineer of locks and canals, builds a pine drop gate on the Merrimack River canal system at Lowell, to prevent flooding. It's dubbed 'Francis Folly'.


Construction begins on Wisconsin's Portage Canal.

E. H. Gill accepts an engineering position on the James River and Kanawha Canal, is put in charge of the Tidewater Connection at Richmond. ** Massachusetts and Rhode Island withdraw the charter for the Blackstone Canal. ** Construction begins on Van R. Richmond's Montezuma Aqueduct, carrying the Enlarged Erie over the Seneca River.

© 2005 David Minor / Eagles Byte