Ben Franklin's World: A Podcast About Early American History

028 Building the Erie Canal

May 5, 201542 min
A “little short of madness.”

That is how Thomas Jefferson responded when two delegates from New York approached him with the idea to build the Erie Canal in January 1809.

Jefferson’s comment did not discourage New Yorkers. On January 4, 1817, New York State began building a 363-mile long canal to link the Hudson River and Atlantic Ocean with the Great Lakes and the Midwest.

Janice Fontanella, site manager of Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site in Fort Hunter, New York, joins us to discuss the Erie Canal, its construction, and the impact that this waterway made on New York and the United States.

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