A store was established on the present site of Ilion as early as 1816, but the village really dates from the completion of the Erie canal in 1825.
In 1820-23 he sent out at his own expense i Professors Amos Eaton (1776-1842) and Edward Hitchcock to make extensive surveys, results of which were published as An Agricultural and Geological Survey of the District adjoining the Erie Canal (Albany, 1824).
The opening of the Erie Canal in 1825 contributed greatly to Troy's commercial importance.
In 1817 an act was passed which ten years later ended for ever slavery in New York state; in the same year De Witt Clinton was elected governor and, largely through his efforts, the Erie Canal was begun.
The Erie canal leading from Buffalo to the Hudson river at Troy, and connecting with Lake Ontario at Oswego, had a capacity for boats 98 ft.
The first newspaper, the Onondaga Gazette, was established in 1823; and in 1825 the completion of the Erie Canal opened a new era of prosperity.
In 1825 the completion of the Erie Canal with its western terminus at Buffalo greatly increased the importance of the place, which now rapidly outstripped and soon absorbed Black Rock, a village adjoining it on the N., which had at one time threatened to be a dangerous rival.