The Mohawk River is a long river in the U.S. state of New York. It is the largest tributary of the Hudson River. The river is named for the Mohawk Nation of the Iroquois Confederacy. It is a major waterway in north-central New York.
From its source in Oneida County
the Mohawk River flows generally east through the Mohawk Valley
, passing by the cities of Schenectady
, and Rome
before entering the Hudson River near Albany
The river and its supporting canal, the Erie Canal
(a part of the New York State Canal System
, called the New York State Barge Canal for much of the 20th century), connect the Hudson River and port of New York
with the Great Lakes
at Buffalo, New York
The river has long been important to transportation and migration to the west as a passage between the Allegheny
highlands. The fertile Mohawk Valley also attracted early settlers. A number of important battles of the French and Indian War
and the Revolution
were fought here.
In the early nineteenth century water transport was a vital means of transport both people and goods. A corporation was formed to build a canal, known as the Erie Canal, off the Mohawk River to Lake Erie. The canal cut shipping costs to Lake Erie by 95%.. It also simplified and reduced the difficulties of westward settler migration.