NYS Archives | Partnership Trust | Education Department | Office of Cultural Education | NYS Home 
New York State Archives
Throughout the Ages
A Visual Document Resource

Questions: 1918

Image. Erie Canal. Newspaper article from the Rome Daily Sentinel.

Document 1. Rome Daily Sentinel, Newspaper Article.

By 1900, the Erie Canal was getting old. Boats were getting larger and cargo was bigger — too big for the old Canal to accommodate. The Canal had been enlarged in 1862, and now some people proposed enlarging the Canal once again.

This newspaper article, in the Rome Daily Sentinel on October 24, 1903, outlines the benefits of expansion: cheap coal and raw materials, and a stretch of water 128 feet wide.

New Yorkers were ready to vote on the issue November 3, 1903.

Link to printable version of this document

  1. Looking at the title and subtitles of this newspaper article, answer the following questions:
    1. Is the author of this article in favor of the Barge Canal or not in favor of the Barge Canal?
    2. What two reasons are mentioned in the subtitle for supporting the Barge Canal?

"...The great ocean carriers coming from all quarters of the globe make New York harbor the objective point because here is gathered together products for export from all portions of the United States, brought hither by the converging lines of railroads and by the Great Lakes and Erie Canal. But the present canal is becoming obsolete and the export trade is being diverted to other parts by the railroads."

  1. Based on the information in the passage above, answer the following questions:
    1. Why do "ocean carriers" come to New York harbor?
    2. What two ways of transporting cargo from the Great Lakes to New York harbor are mentioned?
    3. If the Erie Canal becomes obsolete, what will happen to trade in New York harbor?
    4. How might this affect the business people in New York State? Explain.

"A barge canal means cheap coal and cheap raw materials...drainage will now be provided for...our many acres of swamp. A broad reach of water 128 feet wide will lead directly to Oneida Lake, which...will give us long asked for water and boating privileges. The conserving of rainfall...by dam and storage reservoirs will help to preserve our forests and will stop the...flooding at the lower portion of our city."

  1. Based on the information in the passage above, list five ways the residents of Rome might benefit from the Barge Canal.
  2. Locate the following places on a New York State map.
    1. Rome, New York
    2. Barge Canal
    3. Oneida Lake

Intro | Document 2