"The overflowing blessings from this fountain of public good and national abundance will be as extensive as our own country and as durable as time." -- DeWitt Clinton
DeWitt Clinton (1769-1828), often referred to as the "Father of the Erie Canal," served in the New York State Legislature and the U.S. Senate, and was Mayor of New York City and Governor of New York State. He strongly advocated building a canal through upstate New York to connect the east with the Midwest, and became such a strong supporter of the plan that his opponents called it "Clinton's Ditch".
DeWitt Clinton was the nephew of George Clinton and the son of James Clinton (1733-1812), who served in the French and Indian Wars and as an American Revolutionary general. DeWitt's accomplishments are numerous and well worth investigating further. The chronology below is but a brief glimpse of a very busy and productive public career.
DeWitt Clinton (March 2, 1769 – February 11, 1828) was an early American politician and naturalist who served as a United States Senator and was the sixth governor of New York. In this last capacity, he was largely responsible for the construction of the Erie Canal. Clinton was the leader of New York's People’s Party and was a major rival of Martin Van Buren, who was the Attorney General of New York during Clinton's governorship. Clinton believed that infrastructure improvements could transform American life, drive economic growth, and encourage political participation, and he heavily influenced the development of the New York State and the United States.