Heaven’s Ditch: God, Gold and Murder on the Erie Canal
Presentation and Book Signing with Author Jack Kelly
Register Here for 10 March, 2018
Registration at 10:30 AM, Lecture at 11:00 AM
Hendrick Hudson Free Library, 185 Kings Ferry Road, Montrose, NY
Join us as author Jack Kelly offers a fresh look at a critical moment in American history as the nation celebrates the Canal’s bicentennial. A technological marvel of its age, the Erie Canal was the epitome of the can-do attitude of the age of the common man. The visionaries of the era didn’t just dream, they made things happen, building a 360-mile waterway entirely by hand. They invented new religions and new modes of living. The canal made New York the financial capital of America, brought the modern world crashing into the frontier and stimulated the nation’s commerce for decades to come. Heaven’s Ditch illuminates the spiritual and political upheavals along this “psychic highway” from its opening in 1825 down through 1844. It tells its story through a fascinating cast of characters: William Morgan planned to expose the secrets of Freemasonry–his fate permanently altered American politics. Charles Finney touched off the greatest revival of religion in our history. “Wage slave” Sam Patch became America’s first celebrity daredevil. William Miller envisioned the apocalypse. Joseph Smith, a farm boy and spiritual prodigy, gave birth to a new and distinctly American religion. Along the way, the reader encounters the 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. The climax arrives on the day millions believe the world will end.
The Public is invited. Please register here or contact NMHS at 914737-7878, ext. 0 if you plan to attend. A $5-$10 donation is appreciated. After the lecture, NMHS will host a luncheon—$25 prepaid with cash bar. Reservations are required for lunch.
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