This is an American Studies website and MA Thesis designed by Paul Volpe.

Advisor and Program Director: Alan B. Howard

Canal music provided by William Hullfish and the Golden Eagle String Band. His songbooks, Songs of the Horse-Ocean Sailor (2000) and The Canaller's Songbook (1984, 1998) and recordings are available from

98 Lynnwood Drive
Brockport, NY 14420

Images used for academic purposes with permission from Erie Canal Museum, Monroe County Library and Rochester Historical Society.

While it may seem unnecessary to include acknowledgements for a project of this humble size and scope, I would be remiss if I did not recognize the individuals who lent their time, support and talents, allowing for its completion.

The staff at the University of Rochester and Rundel Memorial Libraries were particularly helpful and generous with their time and resources. A special thanks to Susan Washington in the local history division and city historian Carolyn Vacca. Andy Kitzman at the Erie Canal Museum in Syracuse shared his collection and helped locate materials that contributed significantly to this project. Thank you to Elizabeth Williams, Michael Volpe and Barbara McGlynn, who were among the many who showed interest and directed me to valuable resources. William Hullfish lent his knowledge and musical talents, without which this project would have stayed relatively flat. The individuals in the American Studies program were always willing to lend an ear, hand and advice, and put up with my constant humming of canal tunes. Special thanks to Ellen Harris for her consultation on design and Robin Freed who provided much needed design and content consultation, as well as encouragement. Professor Alan Howard offered information encouragement, and displayed excitement about the idea, providing a much needed spark. Finally, Dad, Mom, Michael, Carole, Ellen, Martha, Dominic and Suzanne; thank you for your love and support, encouragement and advice, having patience and showing interest and listening to countless canal anecdotes that began, "It's a little known fact that..."

This humble project is dedicated to
Jesse Hawley
Jim Wilson,
Rochesterians who possessed vision and intellectual curiosity,
and loved the canal.