Samuel Hopkins Adams.
The novel is set in the 1820s in the town of Palmyra, New York, near Rochester, located on the Erie Canal. The novel opens in 1820, when the construction of the Erie Canal had just begun, but has not reached Palmyra, and most of the town is looking forward to the economic boom the Canal is expected to bring.
During the course of the book, Adams depicts the changes in the daily life brought about by the construction of the canal. By the close of the book, citizens in Palmyra are regularly and casually traveling to Rochester via packet boat on the canal, or to New York by canal packet to Albany and thence by steam packet down the Hudson. Syracuse University Press, 1988, 466pp.