The Delaware and Hudson Canal Company originates from the 1823 New York corporation charter listing the unusual name of "The President, Managers and Company of the Delaware & Hudson Canal Co." authorizing an establishment of "water communication" between the Delaware River and the Hudson River. The D&H was chartered by separate laws in the states of New York and Pennsylvania in 1823 and 1826, respectively, allowing William Wurts and his brother Maurice to construct the Delaware and Hudson Canal and the gravity railroad that served it. In January 1825, following a demonstration of anthracite heating in a Wall Street coffeehouse, the D&H's public stock offering raised a million dollars. At the time, the Lehigh Canal had established a reliable flow of increasing annual tonnages, and the industrial and heating uses of 'rock coal' were well established.

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