Wednesday, January 27, 2010

1822 Canal Update

Hampden Federalist and Public Journal, Springfield Mass.,

Wednesday, June 26 1822

New York June 19.


We are informed by a gentleman who has just returned from a visit to Buffalo and Niagara Falls,
that he traveled 160 miles in the new convenient passage boat on the Erie Canal, viz.,

from Little Falls to Utica - 22 miles

Utica to Montezuma, by Rome, Syracuse, and Weed's Basin - 96 miles

Crossing from Montezuma over the Seneca River and the Cayuga Marshes -6 miles

and up the river Clyde - 6 1/2 miles

to Blockhouse- - he again takes the canal and passing the flourishing
villages of Lyons and Palmyra to Hartswell's Basin - 42 miles

On this route are already seven passage boats with good
accommodations, and hundreds of other boats transporting
immense quantities of produce to Utica; and such is the stock in this
state, that there are now 100,000 barrels of flour alone on the banks
of the canal, that cannot be transported for want of boats- - many of
which are now building that cost from $100 to $400 each, and carry
from 150 to 400 barrels. These boats have taken freight from
Montezuma to Utica, a distance of nearly 100 miles, at the extremely
low rate of 5 cents per cwt., or one dollar per ton, which is about
one tenth the former rate of transporting the same distance by
wagons; in this case, the owners of the goods paid the tolls, which
however are very trifling.

The passage boats are drawn by three horses tandem rigged; the other
boats by one or two horses, according to the size of the boat- - a
boy rides the rear horse, and travels from three to four miles per
hour. Passengers leaving Utica at 8 oíclock, reach Weed's Basin, 87
miles, the next morning at 7 oíclock, traveling all night. The charge
is only 4 cents per mile, which includes board and lodging both of
which are as good if not better, than the taverns on the road. This
is as rapid as the stages travel, much less expensive, no risk of
life or limb, and no fatigue or dust attending.

The Grand Canal is nearly finished from Schenectady to Little Falls,
56 miles- - from Montezuma to Clyde, or Block House, 13 miles, and
from Hartwellís Basin to Genesee River, and from thence to Lockport,
70 miles- all of which it is said, will be filled, and boats allowed
to pass, on or before the first day of October next making 260 or 270
miles, through one of the richest and most valuable parts of the
state of New-York. Numerous emigrants from the hardy and industrious
northern and eastern hive are to be seen transporting themselves and
their families, at little or no expense, to settle on the lands
bordering on the canal.

Merchants residing in Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Lexington and
Louisville and in Michigan and Indiana, will soon get their goods
transported for 1/4 the price they now pay, and save as much or more
in the breakage and damage now unavoidable in wagons, besides the
saving of half or two thirds in time; which, in fact, is extending
the credit on their goods.

Emigrants and their families much prefer the canal to any other route
on every account- - expense, time, health and comfort &c.

The amount of toll already received at the office in Utica this
spring exceeds the sum paid the whole of last year, and it is
supposed it will amount 50 or 60,000 dollars.

Submitted by Dick Palmer

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