Groundbreaking New Book, ‘The Psychic Highway’: How the Erie Canal Changed America
November 2015 – New York – From the author of Folklore and Legends of Rochester; and other titles, comes The Psychic Highway: How the Erie Canal Changed America. Michael Keene’s new, groundbreaking book uncovers how the Erie Canal opened up vital passageways that led to the advent of the major social, political, and religious movements that swept through upstate New York during the 19th century. Within the books pages, Keene delves into the Canals inspiration, evolution and impact on American life and how the Canal bridged the gap of communications and travel, setting the stage for history altering events.
“This powerful waterway carried a flotilla of radicals, visionaries, social reformers, and prophets bent on the idea of creating a new society. It was as if a bolt of electricity struck Western New York lighting it up as fertile ground for ideas and lifestyles that had never been expressed or attempted before”.
“It delivered people to important places for important reasons, like Susan Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott to Seneca Falls for history’s first women’s convention; to Rochester to meet and support abolitionists Frederick Douglass and Harriett Tubman or to witness the Fox Sisters summon spirits and their eerie knockings. Or maybe people on the temperance bandwagon hurrying to the Burned Over District so Charles Finney could save their souls”.
The Psychic Highway is a must read about the origins of the Erie Canal intertwined with the historical, religious and social issues of the day – fascinating!
Dr. Samuel P. Clemence,
Meredith Professor Emeritus