Governor DeWitt Clinton
People complained that there was not a chance in the world that Clinton’s canal 363 miles long could be dug successfully through all that wilderness. Look, they said, a sad example is the Middlesex Canal which ran 27 miles from Boston to the Merrimack River; the longest canal in the country at the time. The Middlesex was a marvel and a joy to shippers bringing NH granite and lumber to Boston Markets, but it was a nightmare to those that had to dig into their pockets again and again to pay off their debts. If a 27 mile long canal near busy Boston went broke, asked the critics of Erie, what chance had a ditch that would run hundreds of miles through the wilds of upper New York state?