Research


New York State Engineer and Surveyor Final Calculations Regarding Construction of State Canals

Held by the New York State Archives


Overview of the Records

Repository:

New York State Archives

New York State Education Department

Cultural Education Center

Albany, NY 12230

Summary:
This series consists of 20 volumes of final calculations, accounts, and estimates for construction, repairs, and enlargement of the Eastern Division of the Erie Canal and 1 volume of final calculations relating to the Middle Division of the Cayuga and Seneca Canal.
Creator:
Title:
Quantity:
9 cubic feet (21 volumes)
Inclusive Dates:
approximately 1831-1861
Series Number:
B0692

Arrangement

No particular arrangement

Administrative History

The passage of Chapter 274 on May 11, 1835 authorized the canal commissioners to enlarge the Erie Canal. By 1836 the majority of proposed work was put under contract and contractors began the project of enlarging the canal. Throughout the 26-year project, several more acts would be passed in order to fund the enlargement of the canal. Chapter 169 of the Laws of 1862 declared that the enlargement project was complete.

Scope and Content Note

This series consists of 20 volumes of final calculations, accounts, and estimates for construction, repairs, and enlargement of the Eastern Division of the Erie Canal and 1 volume of final calculations relating to the Middle Division of the Cayuga and Seneca Canal.

These volumes mainly deal with the first Erie Canal enlargement which began in 1836 and was completed in 1862. The volumes consist of calculations, accounts, and estimates for the enlargement of various sections of the canal as well as the construction of structures related to the canal (bridges, locks, culverts, etc.). Most of the data in these volumes is presented in a tabular format.

The volumes generally include profile diagrams of the canal; calculations of cubic footage of excavation, embankment, lining, and other types of work; formulae used to estimate cubic footage; detailed sketches and maps; descriptions of the work being done; and total amounts.

Included after each portion of the volume devoted to a particular section of the canal is a summary that lists the type of work that was completed in that section (grubbing, masonry, lining, etc.); materials used; and extra work. A final account is often included which lists the quantity or material used; purpose for which the material was used; price of each item; and total cost.

The content of volumes 10-13 is similar to the rest of the series, but these are noteworthy due to their artistic value. These volumes contain exceptional examples of calligraphy and cartouches, especially in headings and subheadings. There are also very detailed sketches of canal structures, sketch maps, and unrelated drawings. Although not identified, notes in the volumes left by employees of the transferring agency suspect that the calligraphy and sketches were done by surveyor and draftsman David Vaughan. Vaughan was known for artistic flourishes in his maps and the style found in these volumes is comparable to his.

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Detailed Description

Dates Contents Box Volume

Accretion: B0692-85
1838-1842 Final Calculation for Sections 1, 13, 14 and Locks 18 and 41; Circa 1838, 1841-1842. 1 1
1842 Final Calculations for Sections 10-12. Circa 1842 1 2
1857 Final Calculations regarding the Enlargement of the Erie Canal, Section 112; 1857 1 3
1831-1841 Final Calculations, Sections 6-11, 1831-1841 2 4
1838; 1850-1859 Final Calculations Pertaining to the Lower and Upper Mohawk Aqueduct and Van Slyck Aqueduct. ca 1850s. Also Contains Miscellaneous Contracts dated 1838 3 5
1839-1847 Final Calculations Pertaining to the Enlargement of the Erie Canal, Sections 107-110, 123 and 12; Circa 1839-1847. 4 6

  

Dates Contents Volume
1850-1859 Final Calculations Pertaining to the Enlargement of the Erie Canal, Sections 107-110, 123 and 124; Circa 1850s 66
1850-1859 Final Calculations Pertaining to Various Structures and Sections; Circa 1850s. 5 7
1850-1859 Final Calculations Pertaining to Various Structures and Sections; Circa 1850s 6 8
1850-1859 Final Calculations Pertaining to Various Structures and Sections; Circa 1850s 7 9
1850-1859 Final Calculations Pertaining to Various Structures and Sections; Circa 1850s 8 10
1850-1859 Final Calculations Pertaining to Various Structures and Sections; Circa 1850s 8 11
1850-1859 Final Calculations Pertaining to Various Structures and Sections; Circa 1850s 9 12
1850-1859 Final Calculations Pertaining to Various Structures and Sections; Circa 1850s. 10 13
1850-1859 Final Calculations Pertaining to Various Structures and Sections; Circa 1850s 11 14
1850-1859 Final Calculations Pertaining to Various Structures and Sections; Circa 1850s 12 15
1850-1859 Final Calculations Pertaining to Various Structures and Sections; Circa 1850s 12 16
1850-1859 Final Calculations Pertaining to Various Structures and Sections; Circa 1850s 13 17
1850-1859 Final Calculations Pertaining to Various Structures and Sections; Circa 1850s 13 18
1850-1859 Final Calculations Pertaining to Various Structures and Sections; Circa 1850s 13 19
1850-1859 Final Calculations Pertaining to Various Structures and Sections; Circa 1850s 13 20
1859-1861 Middle Division - Cayuga and Seneca Canal; Final Calculations 1859-1861 13 21