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Books:Kids Books and Atlases:History:The Erie Canal

The Erie Canal

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Item#:6300022

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One of America's most ambitious public-works projects, the Erie Canal stretches from New York to Lake Erie, and opened up the West in the early 1800s. Martha E. Kendall's illustrated history brings into focus the enormous geographic and social impact of this stunning technological feat. Personal anecdotes and an engaging narrative describe life on the canal in colorful detail, making the story vividly real. The canal ultimately linked the East to the West, made New York the nation's wealthiest state, and gave many immigrant workers a path to a better life.

Archival images and period engravings detail the construction, challenges, and excitement surrounding the progress of this national landmark. Detailed maps show the canal in its historic context and in modern times, highlighting the region's modern transport infrastructure.

Readers will meet De Witt Clinton, mayor of New York and later governor, who tirelessly championed the construction of the canal. He faced down relentless criticism, as doubters dubbed the project "Clinton's Ditch." The engineering challenges were daunting, and the backbreaking labor was ceaseless. Finally, the canal was completed in 1825 and was instantly hailed as the "Eighth Wonder of the World."


  • For ages 10 & up
  • 128 pages
  • 7 1/8" x 9"
  • Hardcover
  • © 2008

Martha E. Kendall is a native of New York, who grew up around the Erie Canal. She has written several nonfiction books for children. Her most popular titles include For the Love of Chimps: The Jane Goodall Story and the award-winning Failure Is Impossible: The History of American Women's Rights. Kendall attended the Eastman School of Music where she studied the cello. She sings and plays fiddle, mandolin, guitar, penny whistle, and bass. In addition to playing classical music, she performs regularly in bluegrass and swing ensembles. She lives in Los Gatos, CA.

  • 2009 California Readers Collection