“[W]ork among mountains so tall[,] To dig through the valleys so level, Through rock for to cut a canal” (Stein, 1985, p. 16). The canal referred to in these lyrics is the Erie Canal that was dug through upper-state New York during the 1800s. The Erie Canal is influential to and is part of the history of the United States: through the troubles experienced before there was a canal, to the problem of getting a canal passed and funded, into the difficulties and inventions encountered once digging had begun, and then to the final effects that the completion had on New York and the nation. Furthermore, when viewed through an engineering perspective, many of today’s branches of civil engineering, in particularly structures, materials, and water resources, were already being applied during the construction of the Erie Canal.

General Information:
Video on the Erie Canal:
Heading - (Hill, 1829)