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This article is a transcription from a Buffalo newspaper which describes the festivities the day the Erie Canal was opened from Albany to Buffalo. I believe the spelling errors are all in the original.

Transcribed by Charles I. Hendler, October 22, 2000.

From the newspaper "The Emporium," in Buffalo New York,
Page 3, October 29, 1825. Describing ceremonies of October 26, 1825.



This auspicious event was celebrated in this Village on Wednesday last, in a manner worthy of the occasion.

His Excellency De Witt Clinton, Lieut. Governor Tallmadge, and many distinguished gentlemen, arrived the evening previous, and were welcomed by a salute from Capt. Crary's artillery. Mess. King & Davis, of N.Y. and Messrs. Hawley, Brown, and Child, of Rochester, Committees of Congratulation, arrived here on Tuesday. The morning of the 26th was ushered in by a grand salute from the artillery; and at nine o'clock a procession was formed in the Park, in front of the Court-House, consisting of the different mechanical professions, with appropriate badges, and Flags ornamented with paintings -- officers, civil and military -- citizens -- professional gentlemen -- committees -- canal officers-- strangers -- orator and clergy -- Governor, Lieut. Governor, &tc. The whole preceded by the Buffalo band of Music, and Capt. Rathbun's rifle company. At about half past nine, the procession moved, under direction of the Grand Marshal, Maj. John G. Camp, and his assistants, Maj. Vosburgh, Capt. Matthews, Lt. Col. Goodrich, & Adjutant Ketchum -- to the Canal Basin, where it halted, and the Governor, Lieut. Governor, the New York and Rochester Committees, with the Buffalo Boat Committee; and other gentlemen, went on board the boat SENECA CHIEF, , Capt. Wetmore, -- where Mr. Hawley, in behalf of Rochester, and other villages on the Canal, delivered the following congratulatory address:



Deputed by the citizens of Rochester, in connection with the visiting committees, along the line of the Canal, we come to mingle and reciprocate our mutual congratulations with the citizens of Buffalo, on the grand epoch of uniting the waters of the great Inland Mediteraneans of North America, with those of the commercial Atlantic.

An epoch that will be recorded in the tablets of history, as among the greatest events of our Nation -- for having in 8 years -- with 8 million of Dollars -- "made the longest Canal -- in the least time -- with the least experience -- for the least money -- and of the greatest public utility of any other in the world."

A work done by the state of New -York, a local Government of only fifty years standing, and having a population of nearly
one and a half millions -- less than either Scotland, Denmark, or Switzerland, and about equal of Wirtemburgh, Hanover or

A work that will constitute a lever of industry, population and wealth to our Republic -- a pattern for our sister States to imitate, and an exhibition of the moral force of a free and enlightened People to the world -- that they can pursue the arts of peace in domestic improvements, for the objects of their National pride -- and construct works of public utility for the monuments of their national glory -- showing a new fact to old Kingdoms, that Governments can be made to build up society, by diffusing intelligence, industry and enterprise among the People, better than by depressing the faculties and moral energies of a community in order to govern them.

It is also the subject of a great state principle, as well as of state pride, by its being the work of a state Government, as all our systems of internal improvements ought to be, in order to strengthen our state sovereignties and preserve their national confederacy from its natural tendency toward a consolidation.

We felicitate with you on the future prospects of our beloved country. Our Fathers by their glorious Revolution acquired Liberty with a vast Empire of Wilderness, extending to the West, far beyond the setting sun -- and we their immediate\ descendents have reclaimed it with land and water communications, and fitted it for the residence of myriads of posterity who shall come after us in successive generations, rising up and blessing their forefathers for having procured this goodly Land as their heritage.

To the projectors who devised, the statesmen who assumed the responsibility of the undertaking at the hazard of their reputation, the Legislatures who granted the supplies, the Commissioners who planned -- the Engineers who laid out -- and the Men who have executed this magnificent work, we tender our tribute of grateful respects, and commend their memories to posterity.

We congratulate you as Citizens of this rising Village, located as the harbor and depot of vast Inland seas, where the surplus productions of the surrounding shores must pass on their way to market, and build it up to an eminent Inland commercial city.

Gentlemen, to you individually, we wish many years of life and health, to realize and enjoy these glorious triumphs of industry and enterprize, and the prosperity and happiness which they will diffuse among a free People.

He was replied to by Judge Forward, in behalf of the Buffalo Committee, as follows:


In behalf of the citizens of this rising Village, it devolves on me to express to you, and through you to the people you represent, our grateful sense of the kind congratulations you have tendered us, on this auspicious event. We are aware that the completion of an inlet to the heart of our State for the immense resources of the west, will be recorded among the greatest events of the age, and that to New - York this is the proudest day known to her citizens since the establishment of our National Independence.

To the projectors of that system of Internal improvements upon which this great work is founded, who with so much zeal developed the resources of the State to induce its commencement, and invigorated the moral and physical energies of her people to the period of its completion, our feelings correspond with yours in acknowledging the debt o gratitude -- and to witness the hand of these illustrious benefactors, resting upon the bosom of this imperishable monument of State pride and individual merit, will present to the other infant cities which adorn its margin, as it now does to this, an occasion for rejoicing which the world has never before seen.

At the conclusion of Judge Forward's reply, the signal was given, and a 32 pounder, which commenced the grand state salute, discharged. The boat then started for the ATLANTIC OCEAN, amid the cheers of our citizens and a feu de joie from the rifle company. The procession then returned to the Court - House, -- where services appropriate to the occasion were performed, as follow -- Prayer by the Rev. Mr. Crawford; singing by the choir; address by Sheldon Smith, Esq. (Which will be found in the preceding columns); and concluded by singing an ode, written for the occasion. The procession then again formed, moved through some of the principal streets to Rathbun's, where a part of the procession broke off, and the mechanics military, &c. Proceeded to the Mansion House, where they were dismised.

At half past one, a large number of gentlemen sat down to an excellent dinner at Rathbun's. The cloth being removed, the following among a great number of toasts were drank, interspersed with original and other songs. Judge Walden presided at the table as President, and Judge Forward as Vice-President.

The Erie Canal -- The combined result of nature and art. The present generation are proud of the work; and its diffusive benefits will be perpetuated to the remotest generations.

The State of New-York -- She has added another wonder to the world -- her posterity in the full fruition of its blessings, will guard with grateful recollections the rich bequest of their fathers.

De Witt Clinton -- The completion of the Grand Erie Canal is the best commentary on his judgement -- while contemplating its usefulness, posterity will never fail to associate the name of its projectors.

The Lieutenant Governor of the state of New-York.

The memory of Governor Morris and his associates -- powerful auxiliaries in the field of Internal Improvements.

Ohio -- She is alive to her interests; the great work is begun; its completion will add another link to the chain of Internal Improvements.

The Orator of the day.

Mr. J. Mann presided at the table at Landon's as President, and Mr. E. Jackson as Vice-President. The dinner was excellent and after the cloth was removed, the following toasts were drank:

The Erie Canal -- It was the work of Freemen.

The State of New-York -- The Pioneer in Internal Improvements. 3 cheers

The President of the United States. 3 cheers

The Memory of Washington. silent standing

De Witt Clinton -- The adamantine hills have sunk down at his approach, and distant oceans are united by his presence. 3 cheers.

Political and Religious freedom -- May we never want able heads, and stout hearts, and willing hands to maintain it. 4 cheers.

The surviving heroes of the Revolution -- May they never want what their valour obtained -- Independence. 3 cheers.

The Canal Commissioners, Engineers, and workmen -- Well done good and faithful servants. 3 cheers.

The army and Navy of the United States. -- Their deeds are engraved on the hearts of their countrymen. 6 cheers.

Greece as she ought to be -- Freed from the influence of the baneful crescent.

3 cheers.

South-America -- We proudly hail her as a partner in the cause of freedom. 3 cheers.

Mechanics throughout the Union -- Franklin and Fulton were Mechanics. 3 cheers.

The daughters of Columbia -- Let us prove our attachment to them by deeds, not words.


By the President -- Farmers and Mechanics: Mutually dependent on each other, and all dependent on them.

By the Vice-President -- May the tree of Liberty continue to flourish, until all nations are shaded by it from the scorching rays
of Tyranny.

By Mr. Nelson Randall, tanner -- John Bull: twice tanned by American bark.

By Mr. A.C. Tiffany -- May the hearts of the mechanics be as firmly united in friendship, as the waters of Erie and Hudson
are in utility.

The greatest good feeling was manifest, and the dining parties separated at an early hour.

In the evening, there was a brilliant Ball at Rathbun's, at which most of the fashion and beauty of the Village attended.

The Grand Canal is completed; and the historian will record the event, together with the names of its illustrious authors, on the page of immortality.

The Grand Salute was commenced precisely at ten o'clock, and the return gun was heard at twenty minutes past one -- consequently the sound was three hours and twenty minutes in going to, and returning from Albany.

CELEBRATION ODE Tune -- "Hail Columbia."

Strike the Lyre! with joyous note,

Let the sound through azure float:

The task is o'er -- the work complete,

And Erie's waves with ocean meet --

Bearing afar their rich bequest,

While smiling commerce greets the west.

See where the peaceful waters glide

Through woodlands wild, as if in pride,

To mark that learning makes her home,

Where Solitude had set her throne.

Strike the Lyre! 'This envy's knoll --

Pallid fear within her cell

Shrinks aghast -- while truth and frame

On glory's scroll 'grave CLINTON'S name.

Strike the Lyre! 'A brighter day

Ne'er on Columbia shed its ray;

Though proud the hour when Freedom's son,

The great, the glorious, Washington,

Our beacon light, o'er peril's wave,

With soul of fire led on the brave,

To deeds that make young heart bound

With valor's fervor at the sound.

This day the cheering thought inspires --

The children ne'er will shame their sires:

Strike the Lyre! The sainted shade

Of Him, who crush'd the foeman's blade,

Exulting smiles, while history's page

Records this glory of the age.

Strike the Lyre! 'Tis freedom's song,

While th' red flash, the line along,

Tells to the world, with echoing roar,

Matter and space are triumph'd o'er!

Gigantic genius the van,

While sturdy toil fullfill'd the plan,

What boundless gratitude is due

To those, whose purpose, ver true,

Pursued their course with daring pride,

Till Erie's waves caress'd the tide.

Strike the Lyre! Should discord's brand

In vain be hurl'd by impious hand,

NEW-YORK can proudly boast alone

She wove the band -- The Union's Zone.

Page by Chuck LaChiusa
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