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The 360-mile canal connecting the Hudson River to the Great Lakes was built in eight years through thick forests and stubborn rock. 

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In 1809, when President Thomas Jefferson reviewed New York’s ambitious plans for a more than 360-mile canal connecting the Hudson River (and therefore New York Harbor) to the Great Lakes, he dismissed it as “little short of madness” and refused to authorize federal funding. Less than a decade later, when New York’s politically savvy governor DeWitt Clinton pushed the controversial canal plan through the state legislature, opponents mocked the project as “DeWitt’s Ditch” and “Clinton’s Folly.”

Read more on History:

https://www.history.com/news/erie-canal-construction-engineering-labor

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