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Erie Canal Celebration Broadside, 1825

Erie Canal Celebration Broadside

Erie Canal Celebration Broadside

New York State Library, NYSL_erie_canal_celebration_broadside
Document Description
A detail of an Erie Canal Celebration Broadside showing a horse pulling a canal boat, 1825. The broadside (poster) tells the citizens of Geneva, New York, about plans for celebrating the opening of the Erie Canal.
Grand Celebration!

At a Meeting of the Committee of Arrangements appointed by the citizens of Geneva to make suitable arrangements for the celebration of the COMPLETION of the ERIE CANAL, and the Meetings of the Waters of the Great Western Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean, on WEDNESDAY the 26th instant, it was

Resolved, That. for the purpose of demonstrating the joy which the citizens of Geneva, in common with the citizens of the State, feel at the completion of the Erie Canal, it be recommended to them to partake of a Public DINNER, at the Franklin House, on Wednesday the 26th inst. At 4 o'clock p.m.

Resolved, That it be recommended to the Citizens of Geneva to ILLUMINATE their houses on the evening of the 26th instant.

Resolved, That a Public BALL be also recommended on the evening of the day on which the first Boat departing from Buffalo, on the Erie Canal, shall arrive at New York, at such place as the Managers shall designate; and that Nicholas Ayrault Andrew P. Tillman, Wm. V. I. Mercer, L. B. Minzer, William W. Watson, John Smith, Jun. Hiram Walbridge, James Bogert, Charles A Williamson, Andrew Burns, David S. Hall, George Stafford, Godfrey J. Grosvenor, and John T. Wolson, be Managers of said Ball.

A NATIONAL SALUTE will be fired by a detachment from Capt. Lum's Artillery Company, at twelve o'clock at noon: the bells will ring during the firing of the Salute.

The Illumination to commence at the ringing of the bells, about half past 6 o'clock in the evening.

Those citizens who wish to partake of the Dinner, are requested to leave their names at the Bookstore of J. Bogert, at the Reading Rooms, or at the Franklin House, by 10 o'clock to-morrow morning.

Our Fellow-Citizens of the country generally, are invited to unite in the Celebration at this place.


Committee of Arrangements.
Geneva, Tuesday morning, October 25, 1825
What is the source of power being used to move the canal boat in the picture?
How did the opening of the Erie Canal improve the lives of the citizens of New York?
Historical Challenges
List in order of population the ten largest cities/towns along the Erie Canal today. How big were these towns when the Erie Canal first opened?
Interdisciplinary Connections
Math: Using the dimensions of a canal boat listed above, how many boats could span the entire length of the Erie Canal?
Hurst, Carol Otis. Through the Lock. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2001. ISBN: 0618030360.
Stein, R. Conrad. The Erie Canal. New York: Children's Press, 2004. ISBN: 0516242431.
Weingardt, Richard. Engineering Legends: Great American Civil Engineers. Reston, VA: American Society of Civil Engineers, 2005. ISBN: 0784408017.


Historical Context
The celebration of the opening of the Erie Canal began on October 25, 1825, with a parade held in Buffalo, New York.  Following the parade, Governor DeWitt Clinton boarded the canal boat Seneca Chief to travel the entire length of the canal.  Cannons were fired from Buffalo to New York City along the canal route.

It took a week to ten days for a canal boat to travel the Erie Canal from the Hudson River area to Buffalo.  The canal boats were usually about eight feet long and fifteen feet wide. They were pulled by teams of two to three mules that walked on the towpath alongside the canal.

With the opening of the canal in 1825, the banks alongside the Erie Canal began to develop and villages and towns began to grow.  The village of Buffalo grew into a booming city within the first decade of the operation of the canal.
Essential Question
How do better forms of transportation impact all members of a society?
Check for Understanding
Describe the scene in the photograph and explain how all citizens of New York were affected by the completion of the canal.