Dewitt Clinton

DeWitt Clinton was the largest proponent for the construction of the original Erie Canal and is largely credited for its construction. Clinton served as both the New York City Mayor, Governor of New York State and in other political roles during efforts, giving him a large audience. In addition to these posts, he became one of the first members of the Erie Canal Commission in 1810.

In this role, coupled with his political clout he saw through the construction and financing of the Erie Canal. When the Canal was finished in 1825, he toured the canal in the packet boat Seneca Chief along the Canal into Buffalo. After traveling back to New York City aboard Seneca Chief, he emptied two casks [water containers] of water from Lake Erie into New York Harbor, celebrating the first connection of waters from East to West. This ceremony is widely known as the wedding of the waters.

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