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New York State Archives
Throughout the Ages
A Visual Document Resource

Questions: 1830s


Document 1. Bill for Work Completed.

This is a bill submitted to the Canal Board for payment in 1829. The work and its costs are listed.

Sometimes the costs of building the Canal went beyond what the State of New York had agreed to pay. People with complaints about payment for work could appeal to the Canal Board.

Link to printable version of this document

Section No. 12 Length 86 Chains

Grubbing and Clearing Section......$1290.00

Extra Clearing 4 3/4 acres at $90.00 per acre........$ 427.50

Extra Chopping and Clearing 10 acres at $30.00 per acre.......$300.00

Excavation, Solid Rock 29,184 cubic yards at $1.00 per yard.......$29,184.00

Excavation, Common Earth 93,527 cubic yards at $00.24 per yard...... $22,446.48

Embankment, 831 cubic yards at $00.13 per yard.......$108.03

Lining, 7744 cubic yards at $00.25 per yard.......1,936.00

1 Farm Bridge......$490.00

Questions to consider:

  1. After reading the list above can you imagine the kind of work that went into building the canal? Using a dictionary find the definition of the words:
    1. Grubbing
    2. Excavation
    3. Embankment
  2. How much money did it cost to build a farm bridge?
  3. Which of the tasks listed above seem the most difficult? Why?
  4. Section No. 12 was 86 "chains" long. If a chain equaled 22 yards, how long was Section No. 12?
  5. If a chain equals 22 yards, and there are 1,760 yards in a mile, and the Erie Canal was 363 miles long, how many "chains" long was the canal?

Intro | Document 2