- Giovanni da Verrazano was the first explorer to enter New York Harbor.
- Henry Hudson explored the Hudson River.
- Samuel de Champlain explored the northeastern New York area.
- The f irst permanent Dutch settlement in the colony of New Netherland was founded.
- Manhattan Island was purchased by the Dutch from the Native Americans.
- The Colony of New Netherland was conquered by the English, and re-named New York.
- Earl of Bellomont, Governor of New York, told His Majesty's Chief Engineer, Colonel Romer, to make a map of the Indian Territory of the Five Nations, and to note what should be done to improve transportation.
- Cadwallader Colden proposes a canal linking Lake Erie and the Hudson River.
- "Freedom of the press" trial of John Peter Zenger.
- July 9, 1776 - The Colony of New York declared its independence from Great Britain.
- April 20, 1777 - New York State's first constitution was adopted.
- July 30, 1777 - George Clinton was inaugurated as governor of the State of New York.
- November 25, 1783 -- The British troops evacuate New York City, ending a military occupation that lasted thoughout the American Revolution. This day becomes known as Evacuation Day, is is celebrated annually.
- December 4, 1783 - George Washington bade farewell to his troops at Fraunces Tavern in New York City.
- New York became the eleventh state to enter the Union.
- April 30, 1789 - President George Washington was inaugurated at the capital, New York City.
- New York City became the first capital of the United States.
- Governor George Clinton had a survey made of land and possible canal routes, and a few years later a lock was built on Wood Creek.
- Two private companies were chartered to build short stretches of canal at portages around falls or rapids:
The Western Inland Lock Navigation Company
and the Northern Inland Lock Navigation Company.
- Report of a Committee Appointed to Explore the Western Waters in the State of New-York: for the Purpose of Prosecuting the Inland Lock Navigation. Printed by Barber and Southwick, 1792.
- The New York Stock Exchange was founded.
- Certificate issued to Jacob A. Lansing for one share in the stock of the Northern Inland Lock-Navigation Company.
- Western canals opened from Schenectady to Seneca Falls for boats of 16 tons burden.
- Albany became the capital of New York State.
- Assemblyman Joshua Forman from Onondaga introduced a resolution at Albany for a canal. The survey was conducted by James Geddes.
- Surveyor General Simeon DeWitt surveyed a route for the canal between the Hudson River and Lake Erie.
- Report of the Secretary of the Treasury on the subject of Public Roads and Canals made in pursuance of a resolution of Senate on March 2, 1807 by Albert Gallatin.
- March 13 and 15, 1810 - Governor Morris, Stephen Van Renaselaer, William North, De Witt Clinton, Thomas Eddy, P. B. Porter and Simeon De Witt were appointed to the Board of Canal Commissioners. The Board was assigned to examine inland waters by a joint resolution.
- A resolution urging the appropriations of public lands in aid of the construction of roads and canals was offered to Congress by General P. B. Porter, of New York.
- February 1811- The canal route from Lake Erie to Hudson river is reported as being 310 miles long with an estimated cost of $5,000,000.
- Report of the Commissioners Appointed by Joint Resolutions of the Honorable the Senate and Assembly of the State of New York, of the 13th &15th March, 1810, to Explore the Route of an Inland Navigation from Hudson's River to Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. Printed by S. Southwick, 1811.
- The Commissioner's grid plan was created for New York City.
- Congress authorized the floating of a loan for 5 million dollars.
- The War of 1812 delayed the canal project, but showed the need for some form of cheap transportation from eastern New York to the western boundary of the state.
- Report of the Commissioners, Appointed by an Act of the Legislature of the State of New-York, Entitled, "An Act to Provide for the Improvement of the Internal Navigation of the State," passed April 8th, 1811, for the Consideration of All Matters Relating to the Said Inland Navigation. Printed by S. Southwick, 1812.
- Robert Fulton's steamboat sailed up the Hudson River.
- Holland Land Co. conditionally offers to donate 100,632 acres of land in Cattaraugus County, in aid of the canal project.
- Advantages of the Proposed Canal from Lake Erie, to Hudson's River, Fully Illustrated in a Correspondence Between the Hon. Gouverneur Morris, and Robert Fulton, Esq. Printed [c.1814].
- NY State legislature was flooded with petitions to begin the construction of the canal.
- April 15, 1815, New York State passes a bill by legislature.
- James Kent, though opposed to the bill, votes in its favor against Vice President Daniel
'Farmer Boy' Tompkins.
- Memorial of the Commissioners of the State of New-York, in Behalf of Said State; Praying the Aid of the General Government in Opening a Communication Between the Navigable Waters of the Hudson River and the Lakes. December 11, 1816. Referred to the Committee on so much of the President's Message as relates to roads and canals. Printed by William A. Davis, 1816.
- DeWitt Clinton was elected president of the Canal Commissioners.
- March 3, 1817 - President James Madison vetoed the Bonus Bill which would have provided New York with $1,500,000 for the canal project.
- July 4, 1817 - Construction began on the Erie Canal.
- October 29, 1818 - The first boat moved over the completed part of the canal.
- An epidemic among the canal laborers, over 1,000 disabled in vicinity of Cayuga marshes, greatly slowed progress in the construciton of the canal.
- The middle section of the canal, 98 miles, from Utica to Seneca River and Salina side-cut was completed.
- Annual Report of the Canal Commissioners, Communicated to the Legislature, Jan. 25, 1819. Printed by J. Buel, Printer to the State, 1819.
- May 1820 - Navigation on the middle section of the canal was opened.
- July 1, 1820 - Tolls first levied and collected.
- Report of the Commissioners of the Canal Fund. No. 5. Printed 1820.
- Annual report of the Canal Commissioners, Communicated to the Legislature, Feb. 18, 1820. Printed by J. Buel, Printer to the State, 1820.
- Speed on the canal limited to four miles per hour.
- A Letter to the honorable Brockholst Livingston, Esq. One of the Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States, on the Lake Canal Policy of the State of New-York. Printed by Packard & Van Benthuysen,
- "Canal Packets & Post Coaches." New-York American. Printed May 18, 1822.
- Canal commissioner's salary was fixed at $2,000 per year.
- The canal was completed from Rochester to Brockport and Schenectady to Albany.
- Report from the Comptroller, of the Expenditures of the Canal Commissioners. No. 181. Printed 1823.
- Over the course of the year, three thousand houses built in New York City.
- April 12, 1824 - De Witt Clinton removed from office of canal commissioner by concurrent resolution.
- "New York canal lands on sale." New-York American. Printed March 6, 1824.
- October 26, 1825 - The Erie Canal, or Grand Canal, was formally opened.
- October 26, 1825 - The canal boat, The Seneca Chief, led the first fleet to travel all 363 miles of the Erie Canal with Governor DeWitt Clinton on board.
- October 26th through November 4th - The Grand Canal Celebration took place, including the "wedding of the waters" ceremony in New York Harbor, marking the opening of the Erie Canal.
- November 25, 1825 - The Seneca Chief returned with a keg of water from the Atlantic Ocean, which was poured into Lake Erie.
- Memoir, Prepared at the Request of a Committee of the Common Council of the City of New York, and Presented to the Mayor of the City, at the Celebration of the Completion of the New York Canals. Printed by Order of the Corporation of New York, by W. A. Davis, 1825.
- 12,890 boats recorded as arriving and departing from Albany during the season.
- 14,963 boats recorded arriving and departing from Albany during the season.
- New York State Legislature approved the first enlargement of the canal to a minimum of 70 feet wide and seven feet deep.
- The Great Fire destroys much of New York City.
- Construction for the rebuilding of the Canal began.
- Report of the Committee of the Common Council of the City of Troy, and Adopted by them, Remonstrating against the Direct Route for the Eastern Termination of the Erie Canal. And in Answer to the Report of Allan Campbell, Civil Engineer, made by the Authority and under the Direction of the Common Council of the City of Albany. Printed by Kemble & Hooper, 1836.
- Diary in America, with Remarks on its Institutions. In Three Volumes. Volume 1. Printed for Longman, Orme, Brown, Green, & Longmans, 1839.
- "New York State 5 per cent stock." Issued by the transfer office of the Bank of the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company, in the City of New-York, March 16, 1839
- Report of the Canal Board in Answer to Resolutions Respecting the Canal Debts and Revenues and the Enlargement of the Erie Canal. No. 306. Printed 1840.
- "Receipt from Erastus H. Pease, bookseller and stationer for purchases made by the canal Department." Printed July 10, 1845
- "Two bank receipts for money deposited into the commissioners of the canal fund dating December 25, 1834 and December 27, 1845."
- Livestock carried on the railroads deemed free from canal tolls.
- The first annual report State Engineer to the Legislature was presented.
- "Receipt from the canal appraiser's office in Albany, dated April 17, 1850, for $223.96 for damages incurred to goods transported along the canal."
- Canal tolls on railroads were abolished.
- Efforts of the Twelve Fugitive Senators, Sustained by the Opinion of Attorney-Gen'l Chatfield, and the Voice of a Loco Foco Meeting at the Capital, Illustrated by Extracts from Loco Foco Organs, to defeat the Law providing for a Speedy completion of the Public Works. Printed .
- September 1, 1862 - New York State legislature declared that the Erie Canal enlargement was complete: the enlarged canal was 350 miles long; 70 ft. at the surfacesurface; 521 or 56 ft. at the bottom; 7 ft. water; 72 locks, 110 x 18; 57 double and 15 single; handle freights up to 240 tons.
- "Receipt for towage along the Erie Canal dating October 25, 1862."
- Civil War draft riots take place in New York City.
- April 1870 - Canal board pursued the state Legislature to reduce canal toll rates by fifty percent.
- November 17, 1870, - Steam as a motor power was used successfully along the canal. The steam-powered canal boat, George G. Barnard, traveled the canal through Schenectady and back.
- "Canal Commissioner's Office. $15 Fine! For Crossing State Bridges Faster
than a Walk." Printed September 8, 1870.
- April 1873 - Flood devastated the canals of the middle division.
- 'Shipment of Grain and Flour.' From sketches by C.A. Keetels. Including 'Scene on the Great Flour Docks, Coenties Slip, East River, New York.' and
'Grain-Elevator Transferring Cargo from a Canal-Boat to a Ship.' Harper's Weekly. Printed November 15, 1873.
- May 24, 1883 -- The Brooklyn Bridge opened at 2:00 PM.