The Otsego Herald for Oct. 26, 1818, compiled, with comments, by Hugh MacDougall:
All You Need to Know
The Canal, commenced by the state of New York, is to extend from Lake Erie to the tide waters of the Hudson. The distance in a straight line exceeds 300 miles; on the route pursued it will be 358 miles. It is to be 40 feet wide at the surface of the water, and 26 at the bottom —The water to be 4 feet deep.
The whole space will be divided into a number of levels, each carried as far as the face of the country will admit, and connected by the next succeeding level by one or more locks. The locks are to be ninety feet long and twelve feet wide.
Boats, properly constructed, carrying 100 tons, may then pass the locks and pass each other on the canal. There is to be a tow path on one side of the canal, for one or more horses to draw the boats. The usual rate of loaded boats is about 2 ½ miles per hour.
As each section of the canal, between any two locks, will be level, there will be no current in the water except so much as to supply lockage waters for the next descending locks.
The body of the canal is to be excavated in the earth; but when streams of water or gulleys intervene, which cannot be passed on the surface of the earth without bending the canal too far out of its course to go round their heads, the earth must be raised, by embankments, to the proper level, of sufficient width for the canal to pass on them, with their sides of such a slope as to prevent their sliding or caving off.
Thro’ these embankments must be made culverts or passages from the upper side under the canal, to prevent its ponding there and endangering the embankment. When the streams are large, aqueduct bridges will be necessary.
We will now proceed to examine the route surveyed for the canal. It commences in the Buffalo creek, on the level of Lake Erie, from whence it passes along the bank of the Niagara river 15 miles, to the Tonawanda creek. ...
Here it leaves the Tonawanda, and turning to the north, crosses the ridge which forms the Niagara falls — this is passed by a deep cutting of about 25 feet. Here the canal falls, by 8 locks, 65 feet to the level of Genesee river. ... About three or four miles east of Genesee river, after passing about 70 miles on one level, the canal falls 40 feet, by 6 locks. It then proceeds on one level about 16 miles, to the valley of mud creek ... till it falls into Seneca river, opposite Montezuma.
On the east side of the Seneca, it again rises ... and passes the summit in Camillus, in Onondaga county, where it again descends ...to the level of the plain south of Salina. Here it again rises ...to the Rome level, on which it passes about 60 miles to Utica.
Below this it follows the valley of the Mohawk, keeping between the river and hill, locking down as the face of the land requires, to the Hudson river.
Lake Erie is 564.85 feet higher than the Hudson river at Albany, and 149 ½ feet higher than the long level between Salina and Utica. ...
Should the canal end in a bason (sic) on the hill west of Albany, and be connected with the river by an inclined plane, as is common in Europe, where a great descent occurs in a short distance, the total rise and fall would be reduced to 391 feet, and the locks to 48.
The distance from Buffalo to Seneca river is 163 miles 2 ½ chains. From Seneca river to Utica, the part now in rapid course of execution, is about 93 miles. From there to Albany, 97 miles 27 chains. Making in the whole 353 miles 97 ½ chains.
COMMENT: I would not normally devote so much space to one article, but considering that the Erie Canal, when finished in 1825, made New York state the “Empire State” it is today, by providing transport from the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes, it seemed worth it. And the description is more detailed than anything else I have ever seen about the Erie Canal.
Moreover, there wasn’t very much else in this issue of The Otsego Herald that seemed worthy of presenting to readers 200 years after the fact. A “chain” in the canal measurements, is 66 feet.
Ratification of Connecticut Constitution
The votes given in the several towns on the question of ratifying the constitution, were canvassed last Thursday, and on Friday morning the committee reported to the assembly the following result, viz., that there were
In favor of ratifying 13918
Against it 12364
A Cow in Difficulties!
Troy, October 13. Some time last week, a cow belonging to the widow Atkin, in Pittstown, in this county, having got her head into a barrel, from which she could not extricate it.... She fell into the well, (which is thirty feet deep) tail foremost. This must have been in the course of the night.
Next morning ... she was discovered in the well with her head above water, whence she was hauled up, without being materially injured. ... She ... soon recovered the use of her limbs, and is doing well.