The articles written by Wild Geese members were very informative and accurate. A further point to be made is that the Erie Canal did much to foster Buffalo as the nation's largest inland port and its fourth largest overall. It also helped create a vibrant Irish settlement in Buffalo called today, "THE OLD FIRST WARD." Much of what came to make Buffalo a center of commerce and eventually a center of manufacturing started with the advent of the Erie Canal. The person who lobbied hardest and most successfully to have the Canal terminate in Buffalo was Samuel Wilkeson. Buffalo's competitor at the time was a village upstream on the Niagara River called Black Rock.  Wilkeson built a harbor around the Erie Canal creating a river out of a meandering creek and break walls to protect that harbor from some of the wildest storms ever seen on the continent. A great grandmother from Cork, Maire Joy, brought two brothers named Donohue to the First Ward after their parents were swept away in 1849 by a cholera epidemic in Rochester, NY. One was a great uncle, John, another my great grandfather, Patrick.Both fought with the 155th NYV in the Civil War. Both were wounded but survived. Pat was captured and returned to his unit in February 1865 sixty pounds lighter. Pat also joined the Fenians and invaded Fort Erie, Canada. Both men never recovered the strength they had going inHimselfto the war and struggled to work steadily to support their families. But they did and I'm here because of the Erie Canal, Samuel Wilkeson, and Patrick and John Donohue. Cf.

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