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Throughout the Ages
A Visual Document Resource

Questions: 1830s

Image. Erie Canal. Valuable Water Power for Sale Broadside.

Document 6. Valuable Water Power For Sale at Waterford, N.Y., Broadside

The Erie Canal opened new land for farming and gave farmers a better, faster way to get crops to market.

The Canal also helped create new business opportunities. Early factories were powered by water, and the construction of the Canal created new sources of water power.

The Canal also helped business people transport goods made in their factories to New York City and the Midwest.

New Yorkers were eager to take advantage of these new opportunities to start businesses and make money.

What did the broadside say?

Link to printable version of this document

Valuable Water Power For Sale at Waterford, N.Y.,

Ten miles North of the city of Albany and 4 miles North of the city of Troy, on the Mohawk River, at its junction with the Hudson River, about one and a half miles from the Junction of the great Western and Champlain Canals.

This Water-Power was improved last season by erecting a Dam across the North Branch of the Mohawk, and conducting the water about half a mile in a spacious canal, (50 feet wide and 7 feet deep,) which brings it to Sloop navigation near the village of Waterford- a suitable place for building and using the water- there being a flat rock bottom well formed to save expense of excavation. The entire fall is 15 feet 4 inches. There is power sufficient in the dryest season to drive twenty run of Mill-stones, or as many thousand Cotton Spindles; and three fourths of the year more than double that amount.

There was built last season at this place, and is now in operation, a Machine Shop for making most kinds of Machinery, owned and carried on by Col. Anthony Olney, lately from Ware, Mass. There is now erecting at this place, and to be in operation this season, a Cotton Factory of 2000 Spindles, a Twine Factory, and an Iron Foundry for making all kinds of castings.

This place has all the advantages of Canal and Sloop Navigation, and, by means of Steam Boats plying on the Hudson, is within one day's travel of the city of New-York.

Persons wishing to erect new works would do well to see this place before they locate elsewhere. It will be sold or leased in quantities to suit purchasers.

Foster King,
John F. King.
Waterford, (N.Y.) April 2, 1829.

  1. What is being offered for sale in this broadside?
  2. Why would a factory or foundry use water power?
  3. What two rivers are mentioned in this broadside?
  4. Name two canals mentioned in this broadside?
  5. What city is "one day's travel" from Waterford?
  6. How many businesses will be using the waterpower "this season?"
  7. Based on the information in this broadside, how might these businesses transport the things they make to market?
  8. List two ways these business people use water.
  9. Are the business people happy or unhappy about the Erie Canal? Why?

Document 5 | Document 7