BRUCE THOMAS COLLECTION OF SO-CALLED DOLLARS AND OTHER MEDALS
HK-001 PCGS MS 61

Obverse:

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Reverse:

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Coin Details

Origin/Country: United States ERIE, NY 1826
Design Description: SO-CALLED DOLLARS - HIBLER & KAPPEN
Item Description: WHITE METAL SC$1 1826 NY HK-1 ERIE CANAL COMPLETION HK-1
Full Grade: PCGS MS 61
Owner: Bruce Thomas Collection

Set Details

Custom Sets: BRUCE THOMAS COLLECTION OF SO-CALLED DOLLARS AND OTHER MEDALS
Competitive Sets: This coin is not competing in any sets.
Research: NGC Coin Explorer NGC Coin Price Guide

Owner Comments:

ERIE CANAL COMPLETION 1826, NEW YORK CITY, NY. WHITE METAL. ANOTHER MS 61 GRADED BY NGC SOLD FOR $2,880.00 BY HERITAGE AUCTIONS IN 2018..

Medal issued by Common Council, City of New York; designed by Archibald Robertson; engraved by Charles Cushing Wright with lettering by Richard Trested on dies prepared by William Williams; struck by Maltby Pelletreau.

Erie Canal Commission created 1810 by NY Legislature; DeWitt Clinton, later Governor, served as member 10 years without pay. Ground broken July 4, 1817, at Rome, NY. Over 8 years and $7,000,000 later, Canal stretched 364 miles "straight as the lay of the land would permit" from Hudson River to Lake Erie; 83 locks required for "greatest engineering feat of modern times...costliest, most successful project yet undertaken in the New World."

Originally dubbed "Clinton's Folly" by many, Canal proved one of main factors in our national development by directly opening West to agriculture; reduced freight cost and time, Albany to Buffalo, from $100 per ton and 45 days (by wagon) to $5 and 6 days; passengers paid 5 cents per mile, including 3 meals daily. By 1836, tolls had paid off entire cost; made New York City first seaport in U.S., passing Philadelphia. Now part of NY Barge Canal System, original 40 ft. width and 4 ft. depth have been increased substantially.

Formal opening was Oct. 26, 1825, with vessel Seneca Chief carrying Governor Clinton departing Buffalo; arrived New York City Nov. 4. Long water-parade behind "moved slowly" with banquets, parades, etc. "at every town" en route; climaxed by huge New York celebration early 1826. Fifty-one Gold medals struck; presented to "crowned heads of world and eminent men" including General Lafayette and 3 surviving signers of Declaration of Independence. "Several hundred" pieces struck in Silver and White Metal (pewter); presented to guests and officials.

The Erie Canal lived up to the dreams of its promoters. It opened the west for settlement and commerce. Within a few years it had carried $15 million of commerce. This dollar value represented twice the amount of commerce that had gone down the Mississippi River. Suddenly, it was possible to buy wheat in the Midwest and ship it to New York, where it could be sold to Europe. In 1850, the Erie Railroad was completed. The Erie Railroad become the first railroad to connect the East Coast with the Great Lakes. Until then the Erie Canal was the only way to move goods between the East Coast the Great Lakes and beyond. Even after the Erie railroad was completed the canal remained the least expensive way to move freight. The Erie Canal quickly exceeded its planned capacity, and was enlarged. The enlargement of the Erie Canal was completed in 1862. In 1918, the New York State Barge Canal replaced the Erie Canal. The canal's traffic continued to grow until the early 1950’s, when the air and truck traffic began to seriously impact the traffic on the canal. Today, the Erie canal is used mainly for recreational boaters.

This piece was struck to celebrate the completion of the Erie Canal, the greatest and most expensive U.S. engineering achievement yet undertaken. Pan and Neptune appear with cornucopias on the obverse, an eagle on the reverse sits atop the New York State coat of arms. Engraved by Charles Cushing Wright.

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