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The story of the Eric Canal is the story of industrial and economic progress between the War of 1812 and the Civil War. The Artificial River reveals the human dimension of the story of the Erie Canal. Carol Sheriff's extensive, innovative archival research shows the varied responses of ordinary people-farmers, businessmen, government officials, tourists, workers-to this major environmental, social, and cultural transformation in the early life of the Republic.

Winner of Best Manuscript Award from the New York State Historical Association

The Artificial River is deeply researched, its arguments are both subtle and clear, and it is written with grace and an engagingly light touch. The book merits a wide readership.” —Paul Johnson, The Journal of American History

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