Many years ago, settlers began to spread west across America. With horses and wagons, they found their way through the trees and over the mountains.
But the people needed better ways to travel back and forth. The merchants in the cities in the East wanted to ship goods to the settlers in the West. The farmers and trappers in the West wanted to send grain, fruit, and furs to the cities in the East.
De Witt Clinton thought of a plan. Why not build a canal across New York State? Some people laughed and called it "Clinton's Ditch." But De Witt Clinton did not give up.