A CANAL CHRONOLOGY


4,000 B. C.
King Menes builds a canal in Upper Egypt on about this date.


2,200 B. C.
The approximate date that Mesopotamia's Shatt-el-hai Canal is built, linking the
Tigris and Euphrates Rivers.


1,700 B. C.
Egypt builds a second canal near Wadi Haifa, extending navigation of the Nile.


600 B. C.
China's 260-mile Wild Goose Canal links the Yellow River to the Huai River.


400 B. C.
The approximate date of the building of the Han-kou (Han Ditch) connecting
China's Huai River to the Yangtze as well as a canal south of the Yangtze toward
Soochow and Hangchow.


103 B. C.
Romans build a canal connecting Arelate (Arles), France, to the Mediterranean.


102 B. C. Marius builds a canal from the lower Rhône River to the Mediterranean.



66
Nero attempts to build a canal through Greece's Isthmus of Corinth but soon abandons
the attempt.


120
The Romans in Britain build the Foss Dyke, connecting Lincoln with the Trent River at
Torksey.



600
Construction begins on China's Grand Canal.


605
China's Sui rulers complete the Yung-Chi Canal.


609
The approximate date of the Pien section of China's Grand Canal.


610
The Grand Canal is finished.


640
Egypt makes repairs to Ramses' canal.



983
Chhaio Wei-yo invents the chambered lock, on China's Grand Canal.



1065
The Dutch begin building canals with single locks.



1116
The Flemish begin building canals with single locks.


1121
England's Henry I improves the Foss Dyke.


1198
The Italians begin building canals with single locks.



1293
Chinese mathematician Kuo Chou-king completes the Grand Canal, from Chambuluc to
the Huang River.



1300
The rebuilding and rereouting of China's Grand Canal is completed.


1373
The Dutch build a primitive double lock on the River Lek at Vreeswijk.


1391
Germany begins building the Stecknitz Navigation to connect Lake Molln with the
River Elbe.


1396
The first true double lock is built at Dammes, Belgium.


1398
The Stecknitz Navigation is completed.



1431
China's Grand Canal carries 450,000 tons of freight.


1439
The engineer Alberti builds the first Italian locks, near Bologna.


1485
The Duke of Milan's engineer Bertola da Novato builds the Bereguardo Canal, creating
the first modern locks.



1507
The remains of Nero's Rome-to-Naples canal are discovered.


1564
John True begins building a bypass of the upper mile and three quarters of England's Exe
River, the Exeter Ship Canal.


1566
The Exeter Ship Canal is completed.


1576
The date 'pound' locks were apparently used on the River Trent and the River Lea.



1601
Samuel de Champlain publishes his Brief Narrative, describing his voyage to the
West Indies. In it he proposes a canal across Panama.


1604
France's Henry IV begins the construction of the Briare Canal, linking the River Briare
with the River Seine.


1606
Sweden builds a canal between Eskilstona and Lake Malaren.


1638
France's Canal de Bergues, connecting Dunkerque with Bergues, is built.


1642
Louis XIII completes the Briare Canal.


1666
Pierre-Paul Riquet begins construction of the Languedoc Canal (Canal du Midi), to
connect the Atlantic Ocean with the Mediterranean.


1674
Father Louis Joliet speculates about a water link between Lake Michigan and the
Illinois River.


1676
A Cape Cod canal is proposed.


1681
Southern France's Canal du Midi (Languedoc Canal, Canal Royale, Canal des Deux
Mers) links the Mediterranean with the Atlantic.


1683
Father Joliet suggests building a canal from the Chicago River to the Illinois River,
connecting Lake Michigan with the Mississippi River.


1690
William Penn suggests a canal to connect the Schuylkill and Delaware rivers with the
Susquehanna.



1716
Virginia's Governor Spottswood proposes a canal to connect the James and Ohio rivers.
** English canal engineer James Brindley is born in Derbyshire.


1729
Construction begins on Ireland's Newry Navigation, from Tyrone to Dublin.


1730
The first canal in New York State is built, across a neck in the Mohawk River.


1741
The Newry Navigation is completed.


1745
U. S. canal engineer Loammi Baldwin is born in Woburn, Massachusetts.


1750
The Patowmack (Patomac) Canal opens, surveyed by George Washington to
circumnavigate the Great Falls of the Potomac River.


1753
U. S. canal engineer Colonel John Christian Senf is born in Germany. ** English canal
engineer William Weston is born. ** The Duke of Bridgewater tours the Canal du Midi
and the Garonne. ** Construction begins on England's Sankey Brook Navigation.


1757
Part of the Sankey Brook Navigation is opened.

Aug 9
Scottish canal engineer Thomas Telford is born in Westerkirk, Langholm, Dumfriesshire.


1758
Canal proponent Elkanah Watson is born in New York.


1759
Construction begins on the Duke of Bridgewater's Canal in northern England, from
Worsley to Manchester. The Duke hires James Brindley to assist John Gilbert in
the construction.


1761
The Sankey Brook Navigation is completed. ** James Brindley designs England's
Barton Aqueduct. ** The Bridgewater Canal opens from Worsley to Manchester.


1762
David Rittenhouse and Doctor William Smith survey a canal route from Reading,
Pennsylvania, to Middletown, linking Philadelphia with Pennsylvania's interior,
which will later become the Union Canal.


1763
George Washington inspects the route for a Dismal Swamp canal by canoe. ** U. S. canal
engineer James Geddes is born near Carlisle, Pennsylvania.


1764
English architect and canal engineer Benjamin Henry Latrobe is born.


1765
Inventor Robert Fulton is born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. ** Loammi Baldwin
becomes a land surveyor and engineer. ** The Virginia legislature begins discussing a
waterway west from Richmond.


1766
James Brindley begins building the Trent and Mersey section of England's Grand Trunk
Canal.


1768
New York State's royal governor Sir Henry Moore suggests improving the stretch of the
Mohawk River between Schenectady and Fort Stanwyx. Nothing comes of it.


1770
U. S. canal engineer Benjamin Wright is born in Wethersfield, Connecticut. ** George
Washington inspects the proposed route for a James River and Kanawha Canal. ** A second survey is made for a canal linking Philadelphia with Pennsylvania's interior.


1772
Irish immigrant Christopher Colles gives a series of lectures on lock navigation, in
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. ** Benjamin Franklin proposes a Susquehanna-Schuylkill
canal to the mayor of Philadelphia. ** George Washington again inspects the proposed
route for a James River and Kanawha Canal. ** English canal engineer James Brindley,
56, dies of diabetes in Turnhurst, Staffordshire.


1774
Virginia's Patowmack Company is incorporated to build a canal around the Great Falls
of the Potomac River. ** George Washington once again inspects the proposed route
for a James River and Kanawha Canal.


1776
U. S. canal engineer Nathan S. Roberts is born in Piles Grove, New Jersey.


1777
U. S. canal engineer David Stanhope Bates is born in Morristown, New Jersey.


1779
Elkanah Watson travels to Europe for five years, during which time he will study its
canals. ** Improvements are begun on the St. Lawrence River, including a number
of short canals.


1780
U. S. canal engineer Loammi Baldwin II is born.


1783
November
George Washington inspects lock construction on the Susquehanna and Schuylkill
Canal, at Womelsdorf, Pennsylvania.

The general assembly of Maryland grants a charter to build a canal along the route of
the lower Susquehanna River. The Proprietors of the Susquehanna (Port Deposit) Canal
is incorporated. ** Construction begins on New York State's Little Falls Canal.


1784
The New York State legislature recommends a plan by Colles for improving Mohawk
River navigation. George Washington visits Fort Stanwix (Rome), proposes canals on the
Hudson and Mohawk rivers.


1785
Jan 5
The James River Company is formed, with George Washington as
honorary president, to build locks around Richmond, Virginia.

April
Colles receives $125 to implement his plan. He publishes his proposals.

Aug 20
The James River and Kanawha Canal Company is organized.

Louisiana's Carondelet Canal opens. ** Elkanah Watson returns to the U. S., meets
with George Washington to discuss a Potomac-Ohio River canal. ** Washington is
elected president of the Patowmack Canal Company. ** Spain builds a Louisiana canal
from New Orleans east to the Mississippi River, to avoid the delta. ** Charters are
granted to the James River Company and the Patowmack Company for canals on the James and Potomac rivers.


1786
Jan 1
98 citizens of Brunswick and Bath, Maine, sign a petition for a canal from
the head of the New Meadows River into Merrymeeting Bay.

James Rumsey resigns his post as chief engineer of the Patowmack Canal. ** The
South Carolina legislature authorizes a tow-path canal to connect the Santee and
Cooper rivers above Charleston. ** Construction begins on the Patowmack
Canal. George Washington serves as honorary chairman of the company.


1787
May
Thomas Jefferson takes an eight-day trip on the Canal du Midi.

A charter is granted to the Dismal Swamp Canal Company. Construction begins.



1788
An inclined plane is used for the first time to raise canal boats, on England's Ketley
Canal.


1789
The James River Canal is completed, running seven miles to the west of Richmond,
Virginia. ** The lower three locks on the Patowmack Canal are completed.


1790
Mar 5
The Maine legislature authorizes a corporation to build a canal in the Bath area.

Canal engineer Canvass White is born in Whitestown, New York.


1791
District of Maine settlers petition the Massachusetts General Court, suggesting a canal
from Sebago Pond to Portland. ** Companies are chartered for a Schuylkill and
Susquehanna Canal, and a Delaware and Schuylkill Canal.


1792
Mar 31
The Dismal Swamp Canal Company advertises for contractors in the
Gazette of the United States.

The second canal built in the United States opens at South Hadley, Massachusetts, to
bypass a dam on the Connecticut River. ** The Western Inland Lock Navigation
Company is formed, by General Philip Schuyler, to build a three-mile Little Falls, New
York, canal and another linking the Mohawk River with Wood Creek. ** Elkanah
Watson is named to the commission. ** The small canal in Maine is completed. **
Construction begins on the Conewago Canal, bypassing the York Haven falls of
Pennsylvania's Susquehanna River. ** Construction begins on the Schuylkill and
Susquehanna and the Delaware and Schuylkill canals. The proprietors of the Schuylkill
and Susquehanna Navigation Company invite English canal engineer William Weston to
come to the U. S. as a consultant. ** The Proprietors of Locks and Canals on the Merrimack
River is formed.


1793
January
William Weston arrives in Philadelphia.

Mar 9
The Massachusetts General Court issues a charter to Charles Barrett to build a canal
along Maine's Georges River.

June
Massachusetts governor John Hancock incorporates the Middlesex Canal to connect the
state's Merrimack and Medford rivers, assigning James Sullivan and others as proprietors.

November
President Washington travels to Womelsdorf, Pennsylvania, to inspect lock construction
on the Susquehanna and Schuylkill (Union) Canal.

Construction begins on the Dismal Swamp Canal and on South Carolina's Santee and
Cooper Canal. ** The first canal inclined plane is built, on Massachusetts' Middlesex
Canal, to bypass the falls at South Hadley.


1794
May 2
Construction begins on the Blodgett Canal, bypassing the Amoskeag Falls of the Merrimack
River, at Manchester, New Hampshire, and on Massachusetts' Middlesex Canal, between Lowell and Boston.

Fulton obtains British patent #1988 for a double inclined plane system to be used to
raise canal boats without locks. ** Loammi Baldwin is named Chief Engineer on the
Middlesex Canal. ** The Dismal Swamp Canal's locks are completed. ** Retired
Secretary of War General Henry Knox buys the Georges River Canal locks from Charles
Barrett.


1795
The Little Falls Canal is completed. ** The South Hadley Canal opens. ** The
James River Canal is enlarged to permit the passage of freight boats. ** U. S. Canal
engineer John Bloomfield Jervis is born in Huntington, New York. ** The
Massachusetts General Court charters the Cumberland Canal Company and the Falmouth
Canal Company. ** Thomas Telford designs Wales' Pontcysyllte Aqueduct across the
River Dee, on the Llangollen Branch Canal.


1796
The Western Inland company receives a $15,000 loan from the state. ** Fulton
publishes his Treatise on Canal Navigation. ** Benjamin Latrobe emigrates to the
U.S. General Knox hires Life Wilson to make repairs on the Georges River Canal locks
damaged by floods.


1797
The Conewago Canal is completed. ** General Schuylerand William Weston explore
upper New York State for canal routes. ** The Merrimack River canal system is
completed. ** The Canadian government builds a canal at Sault Ste Marie, bypassing
rapids between lakes Huron and Michigan. ** The Western Inland Lock Navigation
Company builds the Rome Canal to replace an Indian portage connecting New York's
Wood Creek with the Mohawk River near Little Falls.


1799
Pennsylvania passes a law to control improvements on the Susquehanna River by anyone
other than itself.



1800
The Santee and Cooper Canal is completed. ** Residents of Northampton,
Massachusetts, complain about the dam on the South Hadley Canal, demand its removal.
** Gouverneur Morris, U. S. minister to England, suggests in a letter from London that
a waterway could be built between the Hudson River and Lake Erie.


1801
Pennsylvania governor Thomas McKean commissions architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe
to survey the Susquehanna River, from Columbia to Tidewater, to determine possible
improvements.


1802
Feb 27
A canal company charter is approved by Delaware.

Feb 29
The Chesapeake and Delaware Canal Company opens its subscription
books.

The Susquehanna Canal and the Patowmack Canal are completed. ** U. S. canal
engineer Horatio Allen is born in Schenectady, New York. ** U. S. canal engineer
William Milnor Roberts is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. ** The governors
of Pennsylvania and Maryland take a test ride on the completed portion of the
Susquehanna Canal (Port Deposit Canal, Conowingo Canal).


1803
May 2
The first stockholders meeting of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal Company is held.

Dec 31
The Middlesex Canal opens, connecting the Merrimack River with Boston harbor.

Construction begins on Scotland's Caledonian Canal. ** U. S. canal engineer William
Gooding is born in Bristol, New York. ** The Susquehanna Canal is completed. **
Gouverneur Morris writes to New York State Surveyor-General Simeon DeWitt,
suggesting the possibility of an artificial river across the state.


1804
Mar 16
The U. S. Congress agrees to improvements of the James River.

May 1
Construction begins on the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal.

Dec 1
Work on the Chesapeake and Delaware is suspended, due to a lack of funds. It is resumed
19 years later.

Benjamin Latrobe surveys the route for the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal. ** The
Maryland legislature grants canal managers the right to conduct lotteries to supplement
their salaries. ** Thomas Telford begins the construction of Scotland's Caledonian Canal.
** The Middlesex Canal is completed. ** Maine canal promoters petition the Massachusetts General Court for a five-year extension of their charter.


1805
The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is completed. ** The first boat goes through the partially
completed Dismal Swamp Canal. ** Improvements on the South Hadley Canal
are completed.


1806
Tolls are allowed on the James River and Kanawha Canal. ** German-born U. S. canal
engineer John Christian Senf dies. ** General Henry Knox dies and his Georges River
Canal is abandoned. ** U. S. canal engineer Edward Hall Gill is born in Wexford, Ireland.


1807
May 1
New Hampshire's Manchester Canal opens.

Jesse Hawley, imprisoned for debt in Canandaigua, New York, writes thirteen essays,
under the name Hercules, proposing a canal across New York State. ** The Dismal
Swamp Canal is enlarged to permit the passage of flatboats. ** U. S. canal engineer
Loammi Baldwin the elder dies. ** The U. S. Senate asks Treasury Secretary Albert
Gallatin to study demands for internal improvements.


1808
February
Joshua Forman introduces a canal resolution to the New York State Assembly.

Apr 4
Gallatin issues his report, proposing many improvements to the U. S. canal system.

The New York State Legislature introduces a bill to fund a feasibility study for a
New York State canal, retains Judge James Geddes to make surveys of routes
across the state, to Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. ** A pamphlet is published proposing
a wooden flume linking New York and Philadelphia. ** Jesse Hawley concludes his
series of articles.


1809
Jan 20
James Geddes recommends a Hudson-Erie route to the New York State legislature.

The U. S. government appropriates $25,000 for improvements on the Carondelet Canal.
** The Maine canal charters expire.


1810
After the New York State Senate passes a canal resolution, seven commissioners,
among them De Witt Clinton and Stephen Van Rensselaer, are appointed to do a
feasibility study of a trans-state canal.. ** Construction begins on Benjamin Henry
Latrobe's Washington City Canal. ** A contract is let for the construction of thirteen
locks on the James River and Kanawha Canal, at Richmond, Virginia. ** U.S. canal
engineer Charles Ellet, Jr. is born in Penn's Manor, Pennsylvania. ** England's
Kennet and Avon Canal is built.


1811
Apr 8
The New York State legislature creates a canal commission. William Weston reviews
plans by mail, for the Erie Canal.

The Pennsylvania legislature combines the Schuylkill and Susquehanna Canal and the
Delaware and Schuylkill Canal companies into the Union Canal Company. ** Robert
Fulton is appointed to an Erie Canal commission.


1812
April
Two London canal workers are arrested when the one losing a bet was being hanged by
the winner, as part of the bet. ** The Dismal Swamp Canal is fully operational.


1813
William Weston turns down an offer to become chief engineer on the Erie Canal. Benjamin
Wright accepts the post. ** The Seneca Lock Navigation Company secures the rights from
The Western Inland Lock Navigation Company to improve navigation on the Seneca River.


1814
The New York State Canal Commission is denied funds by the state legislature. ** A canal
is constructed through Virginia and North Carolina's Dismal Swamp. ** The British destroy Washington, D. C. Latrobe's original map of the Susquehanna Canal is lost. ** President
James Madison asks the U.S. Congress to build a ship canal from the Chicago River to
Des Plaines and the Illinois River.


1815
Dec 12
New York City mayor De Witt Clinton is appointed to prepare a memorial to the
state legislature , proposing a canal across the state. He circulates a petition to
upstate counties.

Dec 23
U. S. inventor Robert Fulton dies.

The Washington City Canal is completed, reaching the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal at
Georgetown, District of Columbia.


1816
Mar 8
The New York State Canal Commission submits its final report to the legislature.

Apr 17
Stephen Van Rensselaer, De Witt Clinton, Samuel Young, Joseph Ellicott
and Myron Holley are appointed as commissioners for an Erie Canal.

Nathan Roberts assists Benjamin Wright on the Erie Canal between Rome and
Montezuma. ** Canvass White is hired to assist on the final survey. ** The Schuylkill
Navigation begins building north from Philadelphia. ** A wooden lock is built on the
Ottawa River at Vaudreuil.


1817
Mar 3
President Madison vetoes a permanent fund for roads and canals.

Apr 15
The New York State legislature authorizes the construction of the Erie Canal.

Jul 4
December Fifteen miles of the Erie Canal are completed.

The first ground for the Erie Canal is broken, at Rome, New York, near the Rome
Canal. ** Ground is broken for the portion of New York's Champlain Canal south of
Whitehall. ** The Susquehanna Canal goes bankrupt and is sold to new owners. **
Laommi Baldwin surveys the route of the James River and Kanawha Canal. ** DeWitt
Clinton is elected governor of New York State. ** Engineer Canvass White is sent to
Great Britain by New York State to study canals and purchase surveying equipment.
** Nathan Roberts is made assistant engineer on the Erie. ** David Stanhope Bates
is made Assistant Engineer, under Benjamin Wright, on the middle division of the
Erie Canal. ** John Jervis is promoted from axeman on the Erie Canal to rod-man.
** Construction begins on the Monongahela Navigation and the Champlain Canal.
** Latrobe redraws his Susquehanna Canal map. ** Construction begins on Canada's
Lachine Canal.


1818
Nathan Roberts is made resident engineer on the Erie Canal between Rome and Syracuse.
** Construction is begun on an aqueduct to carry the canal across Rochester's Irondequoit
Valley. Canvass White returns to the U. S. ** The legislature of Lower Canada grants
authority for a canal to bypass the Chambly Rapids on the Richlieu River. Construction
begins. ** Construction begins on the Lehigh Canal. ** The first locks on the Seneca Canal
are opened, bypassing the falls of the Seneca River.


1819
Oct 22
The Erie Canal opens between Rome and Utica, New York, when the canal boat The Chief Engineer arrives in Rome, after a four hour trip.

Close to 1,000 Erie Canal workers die of malaria in the Montezuma Swamp. ** Nathan
Roberts runs the canal from the Seneca River to Rochester. ** David Stanhope Bates is
promoted to Division Engineer on the Irondiquoit section. ** John Jervis is made
Resident Engineer on the middle section. ** Irish immigrant Valentine Gill, father of
engineer E.H. Gill, becomes a surveyor on the canal.


1820
Feb 1
Canvass White receives a U. S. patent for a cement that hardens under water.

Apr 21
Lion of the West leaves Rochester, the first canal boat from there to Utica, New York, on the
Erie Canal.

Jul 1
The first toll is collected on the Erie Canal.

Aug 20
A meeting is held at Canandaigua's Mill's Hotel to discuss the building of a canal linking Canandaigua Lake with the Erie Canal. John C. Spencer, James D. Bemis, Asa Stanley,
Dudley Marvin, William H. Adams are appointed to study a route.

Dec 21
The Canandigua Lake canal committee recommends a 19 1/2-mile route that would
require 23 locks and cost $68,000. The Ontario Canal Company is formed.

Virginia takes control of the James River and Kanawha Canal. ** The first U. S.
tidewater canal, the Fox Creek Canal, is completed. ** Architect and canal engineer
Benjamin Henry Latrobe dies of yellow fever in New Orleans.


1821
Mar 31
The state legislature incorporates the Ontario Canal Company.

May 23
Ontario Canal Company commissioners N. Gorham, Z. Seymour, Asa Stanley, P. P. Bates,
and William H. Adams open the books for subscriptions, at Coe's Hotel in Canandaigua.

Jun 12
Ontario Canal Company subscriptions reach $20,000.

Sep 11
A meeting is held in Philadelphia to resuscitate the Chesapeake and Delaware canal plans.

DeWitt Clinton is re-elected governor of New York State. ** Construction begins
on Pennsylvania's Union Canal. ** The Maine legislature grants a charter to the
Cumberland-Oxford Canal Company. ** Construction begins on Canada's Lachine
Canal, to connect Montréal and Ottawa, bypassing rapids on the St. Lawrence.
** Industrialist William Hamilton Merritt forms Canada's Welland Canal
Company. ** Construction on the Erie Canal reaches Rochester, New York. **
The Seneca Canal is completed.


1822
Mar 20
The U. S. government approves a canal connecting Lake Michigan with the Illinois River,
but allocates no funds for the project.

Oct 29
The first boat with a cargo of Rochester flour leaves for Little Falls, along the
Erie Canal.

December
James Geddes recommends five routes for Ohio canals to the state's legislature.

The packet Myron Holley arrives in Bushnell's Basin, south of Rochester. ** The
town of Fairport is created on the site. Nathan Roberts is named to plan the Lockport
section of the Erie. ** A dam is constructed on Schoharie Creek at Fort Hunter to
create a slack water section where Erie Canal boats could be towed across the creek.
Lock 20 is completed nearby. ** The Erie Canal's Great Embankment is built, a mile
in length and seventy feet high, to carry the canal over Rochester's Irondequoit Valley.
** Construction begins on New York's Glens Falls Feeder Canal. ** The Champlain
Canal is completed as far as the village of Waterford. ** Connecticut charters the
Farmington Canal Company. ** The Maryland General Assembly authorizes a canal
from Baltimore, Maryland, to Conewago Falls, on the Susquehanna River. ** Benjamin
Wright surveys a route for Massachusetts and Rhode Island's Blackstone Canal, from
Worcester, Massachusetts, to Providence, Rhode Island. ** Scotland's Caledonian Canal is completed.


1823
Jan 14, 1823
The Massachusetts legislature incorporates the Blackstone Canal Company.

Feb 4, 1823
Massachusetts approves the creation of the Hampshire and Hampden Canal Company.

Mar 13, 1823
The Pennsylvania General Assembly approves a Delaware and Hudson Canal.

Apr 23, 1823
New York State charters the Delaware and Hudson Canal.

June, 1823
The Baltimore-Conewago Canal commissioners leave Baltimore to meet with De Witt
Clinton in New York City. They hire James Geddes as their canal director. From New
York they continue to Albany and take the Erie Canal to Cayuga Lake. They take a
steamboat to Ithaca and travel overland to the Susquehanna River. Their efforts are
for nothing. The canal is never built.

Jul 8, 1823
The 35-mile Bude Canal opens in Cornwall, England, with six incline planes instead
of locks.

October, 1823
An aqueduct is constructed in Rochester by David Stanhope Bates, to carry the Erie
over the Genesee River.

Rochester celebrates the opening of the Erie Canal. ** Nathan Roberts presents his
Lockport plans to the Canal Board. ** Brockport becomes the temporary western
terminus of the Erie. ** William Avery of Pompey, New York, tests his
steam-powered canal boat on the Erie. ** Incorporators of the Cumberland-Oxford
Canal Company have the proposed route examined. ** John Jervis becomes construction superintendent on a fifty-mile stretch of the Erie. ** Virginia takes over the operation
of the James River and Kanawha Canal. ** The Champlain Canal opens. It connects
to the Erie Canal, crossing the Mohawk River on a slackwater navigation below Waterford.
** James Geddes runs surveys for Ohio canals. ** Union Canal contracts are ready to
be put out for bids. ** Construction begins on the Delaware and Hudson Canal. ** Illinois
forms a Canal Commission and hires Justus Post and Rene Paul to run surveys. ** Genesee
Valley business interests petition the state legislature for a valley canal to connect the Erie
Canal with the Allegheny River near Olean.


1824
Jan 20, 1824
At an Ontario Canal Company meeting, at Canandaigua's Mead's Hotel, nine directors are
elected. The Canal is never built.

Jan 26
The southernmost of two routes is chosen for the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal.

Apr 1, 1824
A board is chosen to study the feasibility of a canal from the Susquehanna River to
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Apr 12
De Witt Clinton is deposed as Erie Canal commissioner.

Apr 15
Work resumes on the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, after a 19-year delay, under
Chief Engineer Benjamin Wright.

Apr 30
Congress appropriates funds for surveys on roads and canals.

Oct 26, 1824
The cutting of the western end of the Erie Canal, Lockport to Lake Erie, breaks through.

Nov 30 , 1824
Construction begins on Canada's Welland Canal, to bypass Niagara Falls.

Dec 18, 1824
New York City mayor Philip Hone decides to back the Delaware and Hudson Canal.
** A charter is issued for the Morris Canal.

The Pennsylvania state legislature appoints a canal commission - the Pennsylvania
Society for the Promotion of Internal Improvements in the Commonwealth. ** The
Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company is formed. ** Ohio retains Judge David
Stanhope Bates to survey two of Geddes' routes, which will become the Ohio and
Erie Canal and the Miami and Erie Canal. ** Construction begins on New Jersey's
Morris Canal. ** Horatio Allen becomes a resident engineer on the Chesapeake and
Delaware Canal. ** Justus Post and Rene Paul recommend five possibilities for a canal
between Lake Michigan and the Illinois River. ** The U. S. Supreme Court, in Gibbons
v. Ogden , gives the Federal government control of all U. S. rivers - the first of the
Rivers and Harbors acts. ** The first pier of the new Genesee River aqueduct is carried
away by spring floods.


1825
Jan 7, 1825
Subscription of stock in the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company opens, sells out
immediately.

Mar 3, 1825
The Federal government give support to the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal.

Mar 8
The Delaware and Hudson Canal Corporation is organized.

Apr 27, 1825
Capital stock subscriptions for the Blackstone Canal go on sale in Providence,
Rhode Island.

May 25 , 1825
The stockholders of the James River and Kanawha Canal meet for the first time.

Jun 7 , 1825
The Marquis de Lafayette, touring America, arrives in Rochester, New York, on
the Governor Clinton, via the Erie Canal.

Jun 9
Lafayette reaches Rome.

Jun 10
Lafayette visits Whitesboro, New York.

Jul 4, 1825
Construction begins on Connecticut's Farmington Canal, from Massachusetts to
Long Island Sound, along the Connecticut River. ** De Witt Clinton and Ohio
governor Jeremiah Morrow preside at the ground breaking for the Ohio and Erie
Canal, at Licking Summit, Ohio.

Jul 5
Construction begins on the Ohio and Erie Canal.

Jul 6
New York governor De Witt Clinton breaks ground for the Miami and Erie Canal.

Jul 13
Construction on the Delaware and Hudson Canal begins, at Wurtsboro, New York.

Jul 21
Clinton and Morrow preside at the ground breaking for the Miami and Erie Canal,
at Middletown, Ohio.

July
Construction begins on New Jersey's Morris Canal.

Sep 27, 1825
The Chesapeake and Delaware Canal Company fires engineer and contractor John
Randel, Jr.

Oct 15, 1825
De Witt Clinton's party leaves Albany on the Erie Canal.

Oct 25
Clinton's party arrives in Buffalo. The first Erie Canal boat for New York City
leaves Buffalo.

Oct 26
Clinton officially opens the Erie Canal.

Oct 27
Clinton's flotilla reaches Rochester.

Nov 4, 1825
Clinton's flotilla reaches New York City.

A canal settlement springs up at Knowlesville, New York, east of Medina. ** The
Erie Canal Aqueduct at Rochester is completed. The locks at Lockport are opened
to traffic. ** The Ohio legislature authorizes the construction of the Ohio and Erie,
and the Miami and Erie canals. David Stanhope Bates is made Chief Engineer of the
Ohio River canal around the falls at Louisville. ** John Jervis accompanies Benjamin
Wright as Principal Assistant Engineer on the Delaware and Hudson Canal. Horatio
Allen becomes a resident engineer. ** The U. S. Congress subscribes to the stock
of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal. ** E. H. Gill becomes an assistant engineer
on the canal, under Wright. ** William Roberts joins Sylvester Welch's engineering
staff on the Union Canal. Canvass White replaces Loammi Baldwin as Chief Engineer.
** The Schuylkill Navigation is completed. The first tunnel in the U. S. is constructed
on the Navigation at Auburn, Pennsylvania, primarily for promotional purposes. **
The route of the Cumberland-Oxford Canal is surveyed. ** Canada's Lachine Canal
is completed. ** Construction begins on Canada's Carillon and Grenville canals, on
the Ottawa River. ** The Blackstone Canal Company corporation is formed, in Worcester,
Massachusetts. ** The Canal d'Aire opens, connecting the River Lys and the Canal
de Neuffossé with the River Scarpe. Citizens of the Troy, New York, area propose
a canal to Boston, through the Berkshire Mountains. ** The Seneca Lock Navigation
Company petitions the New York State legislature to purchase the canal. The state
will do so.


1826
February
The Pennsylvania legislature authorizes a Main Line Canal, between Philadelphia
and Pittsburgh. ** A tunnel for the is completed on the Main Line Canal west of
Lebanon, Pennsylvania.

Apr 25
Renssalaer student Asa Fitch joins the school's Erie Canal expedition.

May 2
The expedition leaves Troy aboard the Lafayette under the leadership of Professor
Amos Eaton. DeWitt Clinton's son George W. Clinton is one of the participants.

May 25
The expedition leaves Buffalo for the return trip.

Jul 4
Construction begins at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, on the Main Line Canal.

Erastus Bearcup is arrested in Rochester for shouting obscenities at ladies on a passing
canal boat. ** Students from the Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute make a study tour on
the Erie Canal. ** Loami Baldwin proposes a Boston-to-Hudson River canal through
the Berkshire Range to the Massachusetts legislature. The proposed cost of $6,000,000
dooms the plan. ** The Hampshire and Hampden Canal Company merges with the
Farmington Canal Company. ** William Roberts becomes a rod-man to survey a
MacAdam road to connect the two halves of the Pennsylvania Canal across Allegheny
Mountain. ** E. H. Gill becomes an assistant engineer on Georgia's Savannah, Ogeechee
and Alatamaha Canal. ** Improvements on the Pennsylvania Main Line Canal are begun.
** Construction begins on Canada's Rideau Canal. ** William Gooding begins working
on the Welland Canal. ** Construction begins on the Millville, Massachusetts, lock of the Blackstone Canal.


1827
Jul 4
The State of Ohio begins the first voyage on the Ohio and Erie Canal.

Construction begins on a covered bridge over the Main Line Canal, above Harrisburg.
** Captain William G. McNeill surveys the first all-water route over the Alleghany
and Blue Ridge Mountains, for the James River and Kanawha Canal. ** Nathan Roberts
becomes Chief Engineer on the Pennsylvania Main Line Canal between Pittsburgh and the Kiskiminetas River. ** William Roberts works on inclined coal-car plane improvements
on Pennsylvania's Mauch Chunk Canal. ** E. H. Gill is promoted to chief engineer on the Savannah, Ogeechee and Alatamaha. ** Construction begins on Pennsylvania's Delaware
Division Canal. ** The U. S. Congress authorizes the building of the Illinois and Michigan
Canal and agrees to sell federal lands in Illinois to raise funds. ** The Susquehanna
Division of the Union Canal is completed, connecting it to the Schuylkill Navigation. **
The Millville, Massachusetts, lock is completed. ** The Ohio and Erie Canal reaches Akron,
Ohio. ** The U. S. government hires James Geddes to examine routes for the Chesapeake
and Ohio Canal. ** Britain's Exeter Ship Canal is extended to a length of five miles.


1828
Jul 4
John Quincy Adams breaks ground for the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal at Georgetown,
District of Columbia, with Benjamin Wright as Chief Engineer. ** Nathan Roberts is
appointed to the board of engineers. The C & O is completed 22 years later.

Oct 7, 1828
The Blackstone Canal opens for business. One official guest falls overboard and is
rescued with a boat hook.

Oct 16
The packet Orange leaves Kingston, New York, to be the first boat on the Delaware
and Hudson Canal.

Oct 18
The Orange arrives at Honesdale, Pennsylvania.

Dec 10, 1828
The first shipment of Pennsylvania anthracite from the Delaware and Hudson Canal
reaches New York City.

Newport, New York, on the Erie Canal, changes its name to Albion. ** The James
River Canal reaches Maiden's Adventure, in Goochland County, Virginia. **
Construction begins on Connecticut's Farmington Canal. ** The Potomac Company
agrees goes out of business. ** The Union Canal is completed. ** Construction begins
on the North Branch Susquehanna Canal. ** Land for the Cumberland-Oxford Canal
is cleared. ** Blackstone Canal resident engineer Edwin Phelps issues The Blackstone
Canal Map Book. ** The Miami and Dayton Canal Company secures a land grant
from the U. S. Government. ** The U. S. Government sets aside 500,000 acres of public
land for general canal purposes. ** The Cayuga and Seneca Canal is completed, linking
Seneca and Cauga lakes to the Erie Canal.


1829
Jul 1, 1829
Water is let into the Lehigh Valley Canal.

Jul 4
The Chesapeake and Delaware Canal is completed.

July
The Cumberland-Oxford Canal Company borrows $30,000 from Maine's Canal
Bank.

August, 1829
The Cumberland-Oxford Canal Company borrows another $30,000 from the
Canal Bank.

Oct 17, 1829
The Chesapeake and Delaware Canal is opened as water is turned into the "deep cut".

October
The Cumberland-Oxford Canal Company borrows another $15,000 from the Canal Bank.

Nov 27, 1829
The schooners Annie and Jane and R. H. Broughton becomes the first ships to use
Canada's Welland Canal.

A brawl between rival canal gangs breaks out in Rochester. ** The Pioneer Line, running
packet boats on the Erie on every day but the Sabbath, fails. ** Nathan Roberts runs
the Chesapeake and Ohio from Point of Rocks to Harpers Ferry. ** David Stanhope
Bates is made chief engineer of New York's Chenango Canal, linking Utica with
Binghamton. ** The Glens Fall Feeder Canal opens. ** The Illinois legislature approves
the creation of the Illinois and Michigan Canal Commission. Nineteen-year-old Charles
Ellet is turned down for a position on the ** Illinois and Michigan Canal when it is learned
he is under twenty. ** The wooden Pittsburgh Aqueduct on the Pennsylvania Main Line
Canal is placed in operation. ** The Welland Canal is completed as far as Chippewa Creek
thus connecting with the Upper Niagara River, linking lakes Erie and Ontario. ** The
Grenville canal is completed. ** The Illinois Canal Commission is reactivated. It retains
engineer James Thompson to run detailed surveys. ** The Cumberland-Oxford Canal
Company's funds run out and it petitions the Maine legislature for the authority to borrow
money for completion.


1830
Jan 15
A post office is opened at Canal (later Memphis), New York.

Feb 4
The Delaware and Raritan Canal is authorized.

May 26
Congress approves a canal through Alexandria, Virginia.

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

Jun 4
The first freight boat from the interior arrives in Portland via theCumberland-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.


1831
New Jersey's Morris Canal is completed to Newark Bay. Twenty-three inclined planes
are completed. ** 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.


1832
Feb 22
Ground is broken for Indiana's Wabash and Erie Canal, between the Ohio and Lake Erie.

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

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.


1833
A second aqueduct over New York's Genesee River is begun. ** English canal engineer
William Weston dies. ** John Jervis becomes Canal Engineer of the Chenango Canal.
** The Carillon Canal is completed. ** 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.


1834
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 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.


1835
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.


1836
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
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.

A canal boat arrives in Rochester, New York, carrying the first locomotive for the
Tonawanda Railroad. ** The first grain shipment from Chicago reaches Buffalo to be
shipped down the Erie Canal. ** The Chenango Canal joins the Erie Canal. Other
improvements on the Erie are begun. ** 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.


1837
Jul 4
The Miami and Erie Canal opens to navigation.

Construction begins on a new aqueduct over the Genesee River at Rochester. ** 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.


1838
Jul 20
Construction begins on the Clinton-Kalamazoo Canal.

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.


1839
May 11
U. S. troops prevent the state of Michigan from digging a canal at Sault Ste. Marie.

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.


1840
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.

December
The Richmond-to-Lynchburg section of Virginia's James River and Kanawha Canal is
naugurated 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. ** Construction begins on Canada's St. Anne Canal on
the Ottawa River.


1841
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. ** The Dansville Branch (Side-cut) of the Genesee Valley Canal links
Dansville with Shaker Settlement (Sonyea). ** Macedon's Lock 60 is built.


1842
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.


1843
Jul 4
Water is let into the extension of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, created by an aqueduct
across the Potomac River.

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.


1844
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.



1845
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.


1846
Jul 2
The Maine legislature enacts Chapter 334, approving a Georges River Canal Company.

William H. Seymour and Dayton S. Morgan open a factory on the Erie Canal, at
Brockport, New York, to make McCormick reapers. ** Covered Bridge #2 over the
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.


1847
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.


1848
Apr 19
The Illinois and Michigan Canal officially opens.

Nov 9
The Blackstone Canal ceases operations.

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 dam on the
Merrimack River canal system at Lowell, to control flooding. It's dubbed 'Francis Folly'.


1849
June
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.


1850
Plans for a second Erie Canal culvert at Holley, New York, are drawn up, but never built.
** The Santee and Cooper Canal ceases operations. ** The Baltimore and Ohio Canal
reaches Cumberland, Maryland. ** The U.S. and Great Britain sign the Clayton-Bulwer
Treaty, agreeing to promote a ship canal across the Isthmus of Panama. ** The Georges
River Canal ceases operations. ** The enlargement of the Welland Canal is completed.


1851
Aug 3
Water is let into the Portage Canal for the second time.

Sep 29
The Wisconsin River floods, breaking into the Portage Canal.

The 379-mile Wabash and Erie Canal, connecting Evansville, Indiana, with Defiance,
Ohio, becomes the longest main line canal in the U.S.


1852
U. S. canal engineer Nathan S. Roberts dies in Lenox, New York. ** E. H. Gill leaves
canal work to become superintendent of the Virginia Central Railroad. ** The St. Mary's
Falls Ship Canal Company receives a grant of 750,000 acres of U.S. Government land.


1853
Apr 5
Michigan signs a contract with the Fairbanks Scale Company to build a canal at the Soo.

Jun 4
Ground is broken for a U. S. canal at the Soo.

Jul 6
The Wisconsin state legislature incorporates the Fox and Wisconsin River
Improvement Company.

The Middlesex Canal ceases operations. ** The U. S. Government grants Michigan the
right to build a canal through "The Soo" (St. Mary's River - Sault Ste. Marie), between
lakes Superior and Huron. ** The Cumberland-Oxford Canal Company begins defaulting
on its mortgage payments.


1854
The Erie Canal is enlarged. ** A plan is devised to supply water for the Genesee Valley
Canal summit level.


1855
Jun 18
St Mary's Falls ship canal opens at the Soo (Sault Ste Marie), in northern Michigan,
connecting lakes Michigan and Superior. The schooner Illinois becomes the first ship
through the Soo.


1856
February
The Maine legislature forbids further funds for the Georges River Canal.


1858
Dec 8
Erie Canal mule and horse driver, and composer (I'm Fix O'Grady) Tom Kilroy is born
in West Troy, New York.

The Chambly Canal, closed for 15 years, reopens. ** Charles Ellet is rehired by the James
River and Kanawha Canal to plan reservoirs for the navigation of the Kanawha River. **
The Cumberland-Oxford Canal Company goes bankrupt and is sold to Portland
businessman-politician Isaac Dyer. ** U. S. canal engineer George Washington Goethals
is born in Brooklyn, New York. ** The New York State legislature proposes diverting
Lime Lake into Ischia Creek, at the cost of $160,000, to provide water for the Genesee
Valley Canal.


1859
Ferdinand de Lesseps begins construction of the Suez Canal. ** Several sets of horses fall
into the Erie Canal at Scenectady on the same day.


1860
The New York canal town of Canal is renamed Memphis.


1862
Sep 1
The enlargement of the Erie Canal, to carry 270-ton boats, is completed. Cost - $31,000,000.

U. S. canal engineer Charles Ellet, Jr. dies in Memphis, Tennessee, of battle wounds. **
The Genesee Valley Canal reaches the upper Allegheny River.


1865
Illinois and Michigan Canal revenues top $300,000 for each of the next two years. **
Illinois passes an enabling act to use the Illinois and Michigan Canal as a diversion
for Chicago's sewage.


1866
Ferdinand DeLessups builds the Suez Canal. ** The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers
retains William Roberts to make recommendations for evening out the water supply
for the Ohio River. ** The Lac La Belle Ship Canal Company receives a grant of
100,000 acres of U.S. Government land.


1868
U. S. canal engineer E. H. Gill dies in Richmond, Virginia.


1869
The Suez Canal is completed.


1870
The Philadelphia and Reading Railroad buys out the Schuylkill Navigation. ** William
Roberts presents his Ohio River plan to Colonel William E. Merrill's committee. **
'Francis Folly' dam on the Merrimack River canal system is reconstructed. ** Despite the
failure of the Duluth Harbor Bill in Congress, financier Jay Cooke founds the Minnesota
Canal and Harbor Improvement Company and begins construction on a canal to sever
Minnesota Point, opening the Port of Duluth directly to Lake Superior.


1871
June
Superior, Wisconsin, obtains an injunction against the completion of the Duluth, Michigan,
harbor canal. Before the papers can arrive from Leavenworth, Kansas, the citizens of Duluth complete the construction.

The Pennsylvania Railroad buys out the Camden and Amboy Railroad, acquiring the
Delaware and Raritan Canal. The D&R loses its use of the Schuylkill Navigation. ** Net
earnings of the Delaware and Raritan Canal - $1,202,419. ** Chicago completes the deep
cut necessary to convert the upper sections of the Illinois and Michigan Canal to a sanitary
canal, reversing the flow of the Chicago River. ** Michigan's St. Clair Flats Ship
Canal opens.


1872
Jul 8
Construction begins on the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal, connecting Green Bay with
Lake Michigan.

Maine's Cumberland-Oxford Canal ceases operations. ** The steam-powered canal boat
William Newman is built in Buffalo, New York.


1873
The William Newman makes a record run between Troy and Buffalo - four days and
twenty-two hours


1874
12,424,705 barrels of wheat and corn are shipped on the Illinois and Michigan Canal. **
Once again work begins on Wisconsin's Portage Canal. The U.S. Government begins
rebuilding the Fort Winnebago lock. ** Colonel Merrill recommends Congress authorize
thirteen locks and movable dams on the Ohio, between Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and
Wheeling, West Virginia. ** Macedon, New York's Erie Canal Lock 60, is converted to
a double lock.


1876
June
The Portage Canal is completed.

Jun 30
The Boscobel becomes the first boat to use the Portage Canal.


1878
May
U. S. canal engineer William Gooding dies.

Jun 28
The Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal opens; currently for small craft only.

France obtains a Columbian charter to build a canal across Panama.


1879
The Compagnie Universelle du Canal Interoceanique de Panama is formed.


1880
The Portage Company's lock at the junction with the Wisconsin River is rebuilt by the
U. S. Government.


1881
January
French work forces arrive in Panama but are delayed by politics and contractor problems.

The Soo Canal's Weitzel Lock, named for the District Engineer in charge of the construction,
opens. ** A French company attempts to build a canal through Greece's Isthmus of Corinth
but abandons the project. ** The Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal is fianlly open for large craft.


1882
U. S. canal engineer William Milnor Roberts dies in Brazil. ** 1,011,287 tons of wheat
and corn are shipped on the Illinois and Michigan Canal. ** The French begin a
Panamanian canal.


1883
U. S. Army colonel Orlando M. Poe is made Superintending Engineer of the Soo Canal.
** Canada resumes work on the Trent-Severn Waterway.


1885
U. S. canal engineer John Bloomfield Jervis dies in Rome, New York. ** U. S. General
Land Office commissioner Sparks reports that the Portage Lake 'canal' was only a fraud,
committed to gain control of copper-rich Wisconsin lands.


1887
Canada lets contracts for a canal on its side of the Soo. ** Work on the Trent-Severn
Waterway is halted. ** The dike for the Minnesota Canal, having all but disintegrated,
is demolished by the U. S. government when it takes over the operation of Duluth harbor.


1888
The Compagnie Universelle du Canal Interoceanique de Panama goes bankrupt. **
A vertical boat lift on France's Sensée Canal at Les Fontinettes replaces five locks. **
Macedon's Erie Canal Lock 60 is lengthened to accomodate double tows.


1889
May
The New French Panamanian canal company goes broke.

U. S. canal engineer Horatio Allen dies. ** A new French Panamanian canal company
is formed. ** Construction begins on Tennessee's second Muscle Shoals Canal.


1890
January
Illinois passes an act to create the Sanitary District of Chicago and begins construction
on the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal.

The Maritime Canal Company begins work on a canal through Nicaragua.


1892
Construction begins on the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal. ** The Maritime Canal
Company goes broke.


1893
A Greek company completes a canal through Greece's Isthmus of Corinth.


1894
Queen Victoria opens England's Manchester Ship Canal. ** The Muscle Shoals Canal
is completed.


1895
Jun 17
New York City's Harlem Ship Canal, creating a deeper navigation between the Hudson
River and Hellgate, on the Harlem River, is opened for commerce.

August
The Cleveland Steel Canal Boat Company begins running a fleet of six steel canal boats,
insurable for travel on the Great Lakes, from Cleveland to New York City.

Canada opens its Soo Canal. ** Work resumes on the section of the Trent-Severn
Waterway between Lakefield and Port Perry.


1896
The State Lock on the Soo is replaced by the Poe Lock, named after Colonel Orlando Poe.


1897
A deepening of the Erie Canal in Pittsford, New York, into the following year, exposes
black shale and interbedded dolomite, which will be named Pittsford Shale in 1903.


1898
The U. S. Army begins improvements on the Minnesota Canal.


1899
Mar 3
U. S. president McKinley appoints a nine-man commission to investigate all possible canal
routes across Central America.



1900
Jan 1
The Chicago Canal opens.

Feb 5
The United States and Great Britain sign the Hay-Pauncefote Treaty, giving the U.S.
exclusive rights for an Isthmanian canal across Central America.

Aug 1
Nicaragua cancels its canal concession. with the U. S.


1901
Nov 16
McKinley's commission recommends a Nicaraguan canal.

December
The United States and Great Britain ratify the Hay-Pauncefote Treaty.

Dec 4
The U. S. canal commission report is sent to Congress.

The Susquehanna Canal shuts down commercial operations. ** The Chicago Sanitary
and Ship Canal reaches Joliet, Illinois. ** London's Paddington Canal is completed.


1902
Jan 8
The U. S. House of Representatives authorizes a Nicaraguan canal.

Jan 18
The Walker Commission recommends a Panamanian canal to Roosevelt.

Jun 19
The U. S. Senate passes the Panamanian canal bill.

Jun 26
The U. S. House of Representatives passes the Panamanian canal bill.

Jun 28
President Teddy Roosevelt signs the Spooner Bill, authorizing construction of the
Panama Canal.


1903
August
Columbia refuses to permit a canal through her Panamanian territory.

Nov 4
A Panamanian revolution takes place, with one fatality - a Chinese national.

Nov 6
The U.S. officially recognizes the Republic of Panama.

Paleontologist Clifton James Sarle names a shale-dolomite mixture Pittsford Shale, for
the town where the formation was uncovered as the Erie Canal was deepended, in 1897-8


1904
Feb 26
Roosevelt signs a treaty granting Panama independence.

The Lakefield-Port Perry section of the Trent-Severn Waterway is completed with the
opening of the Peterborough hydraulic lift locks. ** An electric engine is used to pull canal
barges on France's Canal de la Senseé.


1905
July
U. S. engineer John Stevens is hired to supervise construction of the Panama Canal.


1907
Jan 30
John Stevens resigns, leaving the Panama Canal project.

Mar 31
George W. Goethals becomes Chief Engineer and General Superintendent of the
Panama Canal. ** The electric railway used to pull barges on France's Sensée Canal is
extended to reach from Béthune to Le Bassin Rond.


1909
The State legislature votes to improve the Cayuga and Seneca Canal(s): junction of the
Seneca and Clyde rivers to Cayuga Lake (Cayuga Canal); the Cayuga Canal to
Seneca Falls (Seneca Canal).


1910
The U. S. Congress approves the canalization of the Ohio River.


1913
Oct 10
The temporary Gamboa Dyke is dynamited by President Wilson, via remote control,
joining the waters of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans at Panama.


1914
Aug 15
The Panama Canal is formally opened to traffic.

The Davis Lock of the Soo opens. ** Construction begins on the Severn division of the
Trent-Severn Waterway. ** Macedon's Erie Canal Lock 60 is abandoned to make way
for the Barge Canal.


1918
The Lake Rice-Bay of Quinte section of the Trent-Severn Waterway opens. ** The New
York State Barge Canal is completed.


1919
The Sabin Lock of the Soo opens.


1920
July
The motor-launch Irene makes the first passage through the completed Trent-Severn Waterway.

The Severn division of the Trent-Severn Waterway is completed.


1923
The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal shuts down commercial operations.


1924
New Jersey's Morris Canal ceases operations.


1929
Forty-six locks and dams are completed on the Ohio River.


1930
The U.S. Congress approves construction of 28 dams and locks along the Mississippi
River between Minneapolis and the mouth of the Illinois River.


1931
The Schuylkill Navigation shuts down commercial operations.


1932
The Welland Canal is rebuilt.


1933
The Illinois Waterway is completed. ** Construction begins on seven dam-lock
combinations on the Tennessee River.


1936
March
The Merrimack River floods. "Francis Folly' saves Lowell, Massachusetts, from destruction.


1938
Madden Dam is constructed on Panama's Chagres River to provide additional water for
the canal.


1939
The U. S. Congress grants funds for strengthening the Panama Canal's defenses.


1940
France's Compagnie Génerale de Traction sur le voies Navigables absorbs the Sensée Canal.


1941
Feb 19
Construction begins on a third set of ship locks for the Panama Canal.


1942
The Lehigh Canal shuts down commercial operations.


1943
The Soo Canal's MacArthur Lock replaces the Weitzel Lock. ** The Chambly Canal is
completed, connecting the lower St. Lawrence River with Lake Champlain.


1944
The seven dam-locks on the Tennessee River are completed.


1951
Jul 7
The Portage Canal is shut down.

December
The Canadian Parliament passes the St. Lawrence Seaway Authority Act.


1952
May 15
Four crewmen are killed when a freighter and a tanker collide in the Chesapeake and
Delaware Canal.


1954
May
The U. S. Congress passes the Wiley-Dondero Act, establishing the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation, to build a 27-foot channel around the international rapids.


1955
A modernization of locks on the Ohio River is begun, to accommodate longer barge tows.


1956
Jul 26
Egypt nationaliwes the Suez Canal.

Sep 21
The Canal Users' Association is founded, in London.

Oct 30
Britain bombs Egyptian airfields.

Nov 6
A British armada arrives at the north end of the canal.


1957
Jan 4
The Suez Canal is reopened enough to permit medium-sized ships through.

Mar 5
Egypt's Gamel Nasser bars Israel from the use of the Suez Canal.

Apr 10
A passenger ship transits the Suez Canal - the first since last fall.

Apr 19
Great Britain pays its first toll for use of the Suiez Canal.

May 22
The U. S. S. McGowan is the first military ship to use the reopened Suez Canal.


1959
Apr 25
The St. Lawrence Seaway opens for traffic.

June
Queen Elizabeth and President Eisenhower officially dedicate the St. Lawrence Seaway. **
A new lock is added to Wilson Dam on the Tennessee River.

Extensive improvements on the Sensée are begun.


1963
A new dam and lock are built on Tennessee's Clinch River.


1964
The Potomac Heritage Trail opens, along the former route of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal.
** England's restored Lower Avon Canal reopens.


1968
The Soo Canal's Poe Lock is replaced by the New Poe Lock.


1969
Jul 16
The Georges River Canal System is placed on the State of Maine Register of Historic Sites.


1970
Mar 10
The Georges River Canal System is placed on the National Register of Historic Sites.


1971
The Soo Canal reports 91.5 million tons of shipping passing through the U.S. locks during
the year, 1.5 million through the Canadian.


1972
December
Construction begins on the Tenn-Tom Waterway.


1974
A Barge Canal break at Bushnell Basin, southeast of Rochester, derstroys a home and damages forty others.


1983
July
President Reagan signs an appropriations bill to complete the Tenn-Tom Waterway.


1984
December
The Tenn-Tom Waterway is completed.


1985
January
The 234-mile Tenn-Tom Waterway, connecting the Tennessee River's Pickwick Lake with
the Tombigbee River at Demopolis, Alabama, opens to traffic.

Jun 1
The Tenn-Tom Waterway is officially dedicated.


1994
The Lock #60 Locktenders Association is formed to maintain Macedon's Erie Canal Lock 60.


1996
Jun 2
A historic plaque, sponsored by the New York State Canal Society, is placed at Buffalo's
harbor on the Niagara River, to commemorate the city as the Erie Canal's western terminus.


Eagles Byte Historical Research

Present version completed July 1996
C. 1996 David Minor / Eagles Byte