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Erie Canal, The


The Erie Canal was a preposterous idea -- a man-made waterway, spanning wilderness valleys and rivers, channeling through hills of solid
rock or climbing over them, flowing across marshes and thickly wooded forests, all the way across New York State. Even President Thomas
Jefferson, usually ahead of his time, believed that it could not be built for at least a century, and yet, the Erie Canal came to be just as its
planners had thought it would.
For the first time in the history of the United States, there was now a cheap, fast route that ran through the Appalachians, the mountains
that had so effectively divided the West from the East of early America. With the canal, the country's fertile interior became accessible
and its great inland lakes were linked to all the seas of the world.
Here, from award-winning historian Ralph K. Andrist, is the canal's dramatic and little-told story.

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