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The Resource Heaven's ditch : God, gold, and murder on the Erie Canal, Jack Kelly

Heaven's ditch : God, gold, and murder on the Erie Canal, Jack Kelly

Label
Heaven's ditch : God, gold, and murder on the Erie Canal
Title
Heaven's ditch
Title remainder
God, gold, and murder on the Erie Canal
Statement of responsibility
Jack Kelly
Title variation
Heavens ditch
Title variation remainder
God, gold, and murder on the Erie Canal
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
"The technological marvel of its age, the Erie Canal grew out of a sudden fit of inspiration. Proponents didn't just dream; they built a 360-mile waterway entirely by hand and largely through wilderness. As excitement crackled down its length, the canal became the scene of the most striking outburst of imagination in American history. Zealots invented new religions and new modes of living. The Erie Canal made New York the financial capital of America and brought the modern world crashing into the frontier. Men and women saw God face to face, gained and lost fortunes, and reveled in a period of intense spiritual creativity. Heaven's Ditch by Jack Kelly illuminates the spiritual and political upheavals along this "psychic highway" from its opening in 1825 through 1844. "Wage slave" Sam Patch became America's first celebrity daredevil. William Miller envisioned the apocalypse. Farm boy Joseph Smith gave birth to Mormonism, a new and distinctly American religion. Along the way, the reader encounters America's very first "crime of the century," a treasure hunt, searing acts of violence, a visionary cross-dresser, and a panoply of fanatics, mystics, and hoaxers. A page-turning narrative, Heaven's Ditch offers an excitingly fresh look at a heady, foundational moment in American history"--
Writing style
Review
  • In this snappy telling of an oft-told tale, Kelly (Band of Giants), a journalist, novelist, and historian, brings to life the texture of central and western New York State in the early decades of the 19th century. The region, its settlers, and its culture were central to the nation’s development in the decades before the Civil War. Central and western New York—overrun with religious fervor, political turmoil, and projects to improve life and commerce—incubated much of the cultural change that eventually spread nationally: women’s rights, evangelical religion, abolitionism and other reform movements, and the Erie Canal, one of the great engineering feats of American history. Kelly weaves his story around the construction of the canal, which brought people, trade, and change to the Midwest and helped make New York City into America’s greatest urban center. A writer of history rather than a researcher or interpretive historian, Kelly has mined existing books but not manuscripts or records. He adds nothing to what’s already known about the region’s history, nor does he venture any particular interpretation of his subject. But those who wish to learn something about a critical era and a critical region will find Kelly’s book a good place to start. (July) --Staff (Reviewed 05/02/2016) (Publishers Weekly, vol 263, issue 18, p)
  • Kelly (Band of Giants) provides a comprehensive look at the social, economic, and religious impact resulting from the building of New York state's Erie Canal. With Westward expansion came significant social upheaval and economic dislocation. The birth and spread of the evangelical Christian movement is well documented. The epic clash of commerce, religion, and technology reverberated throughout the 19th century. Upon the completion of the canal in 1825, New York became the financial capital of the country. Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism and author of the Book of Mormon, lived for a time in Palmyra, NY, and was murdered in Carthage, IL, while running for president. The disappearance and likely murder of William Morgan, a resident of Batavia, NY, and author of a work about Freemasonry, remains unsolved. Many prominent evangelical preachers are also featured in this detailed narrative. The catastrophes surrounding the canal are no longer visible a century later—summer boaters can now cruise down a quiet (renamed) Barge Canal. An intriguing account of often overlooked events that significantly impacted the lives and times of individuals living during one of the most tumultuous times in American history. VERDICT Recommended for American history buffs in search of stories untold and rarely documented. --Claire Franek (Reviewed 06/01/2016) (Library Journal, vol 141, issue 10, p109)
  • Historian Kelly (Band of Giants: The American Soldiers Who Won America's Independence, 2014, etc.) weaves together diverse strands of early New York state history for an improbable yet oddly compelling narrative of social, political, and religious visionaries. At the beginning of the 19th century, around the same time that businessman Jesse Hawley was publishing anonymously 14 essays in the Genesee Messenger spelling out his "favorite, fanciful project of an overland canal" across the state of New York, inventor Robert Fulton sailed the first commercial steamboat up the Hudson River, and the future founder of the Mormon sect, Joseph Smith Jr., was born in Vermont to poor tenant farmers who would eventually settle in Palmyra, New York. This period marked the beginning of the Second Great Awakening, sparking outbreaks of religious fervor in unlikely spots. The author explores the lives of itinerant frontier preachers such as Charles Finney, William Miller, and Methodist Lorenzo Dow, among many others, as well as the abduction and probable murder of former Freemason William Morgan, who dared to publish the mysteries of the Freemasons in Batavia, New York, in 1826. Meanwhile, on the hopeful report by New York surveyor James Geddes, Gov. DeWitt Clinton banked his career on spurring financing and construction of the ambitious canal that would link the Hudson and Mohawk rivers at Albany to Lake Erie at Buffalo—360 miles of tangled forests, valleys, and swampland that would open up commerce to an unimaginable degree. Notwithstanding the lack of engineering knowledge, especially about the building of locks, construction got underway by July 4, 1817, requiring horrendous digging by mostly Irish immigrants, and was finally completed in 1825 at the cost of $7 million. As this "psychic highway" flourished and Joseph Smith was embarking on his Book of Mormon, Kelly captures the enormous excitement of these heady days. An intriguing synthesis of American cultural and economic currents in the early 19th century, all culminating with the completion of the Erie Canal.(Kirkus Reviews, May 1, 2016)
Assigning source
Provided by publisher
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10516394
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1949-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Kelly, Jack
Dewey number
386/.4809747
Illustrations
  • illustrations
  • maps
Index
index present
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
bibliography
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • HISTORY
  • HISTORY
  • TRANSPORTATION
  • Erie Canal (N.Y.)
  • New York (State)
  • New York (State)
  • New York (State)
http://bibfra.me/vocab/lite/titleRemainder
God, gold, and murder on the Erie Canal
Label
Heaven's ditch : God, gold, and murder on the Erie Canal, Jack Kelly
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 265-281) and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
  • text
  • still image
Content type code
  • txt
  • sti
Content type MARC source
  • rdacontent
  • rdacontent
Contents
Hardship ; Bond of union ; A mighty baptism ; A perfect wilderness ; Hair-hung ; Eternity ; Visionary ; Navigable ; Abduction -- Groundbreaking ; To fell and shout ; Damned if you do ; Practical ; All ; The spirit of God ; Clouds of heaven ; Beyond description -- Excited ; On fire ; Otherwise, I am fine ; Mania ; Magnificent ; Ill-advised zeal ; Gold Bible ; Ingenious ; Whiskey ; Methods ; Abyss -- Translation ; time ; Most imminent danger ; By the hand of Mormon ; A battlefield ; Morgan's ghost ; Story ; Awake ; Tell it to the world ; Latter days ; All Rochester -- Wedding ; Big things ; Work of God ; Sharp sickle ; Zion ; Fort Niagara ; Salvation ; Deep prejudice ; Velocity ; Spirit ; Extermination -- Packet ; Unutterable magnitude ; Pagans ; War ; Public prosperity ; Thunderer ; The bones of God -- The whole of America ; O blessed year ; As it is ; Strong meat ; Awful forebodings ; O Lord, my God -- Today ; Everything ; Highway ; Martyr ; Old mule ; Pageant
Control code
1648205
Dimensions
25 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
ix, 290 pages
Isbn
9781137280091
Lccn
2016003174
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
illustrations, map
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9781137280091
  • (OCoLC)918994581
Label
Heaven's ditch : God, gold, and murder on the Erie Canal, Jack Kelly
Publication
Copyright
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 265-281) and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
  • text
  • still image
Content type code
  • txt
  • sti
Content type MARC source
  • rdacontent
  • rdacontent
Contents
Hardship ; Bond of union ; A mighty baptism ; A perfect wilderness ; Hair-hung ; Eternity ; Visionary ; Navigable ; Abduction -- Groundbreaking ; To fell and shout ; Damned if you do ; Practical ; All ; The spirit of God ; Clouds of heaven ; Beyond description -- Excited ; On fire ; Otherwise, I am fine ; Mania ; Magnificent ; Ill-advised zeal ; Gold Bible ; Ingenious ; Whiskey ; Methods ; Abyss -- Translation ; time ; Most imminent danger ; By the hand of Mormon ; A battlefield ; Morgan's ghost ; Story ; Awake ; Tell it to the world ; Latter days ; All Rochester -- Wedding ; Big things ; Work of God ; Sharp sickle ; Zion ; Fort Niagara ; Salvation ; Deep prejudice ; Velocity ; Spirit ; Extermination -- Packet ; Unutterable magnitude ; Pagans ; War ; Public prosperity ; Thunderer ; The bones of God -- The whole of America ; O blessed year ; As it is ; Strong meat ; Awful forebodings ; O Lord, my God -- Today ; Everything ; Highway ; Martyr ; Old mule ; Pageant
Control code
1648205
Dimensions
25 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
ix, 290 pages
Isbn
9781137280091
Lccn
2016003174
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
illustrations, map
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9781137280091
  • (OCoLC)918994581

Library Locations

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      30.3234684 -97.74072129999999
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