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1539-THE COMING OF THE HORSE 539 THE COMING OF T HORSE
Horses had been unknown in the New World since prehistoric times until the Span- .. .......*
lards introduced the forefathers of the modern animal. It was evident that the American .... COFI
Indians were unfamiliar with such a quadruped because they were stricken with terror co-,UA OSTE
or overcome with awe when the Spaniards first landed their mounts. LITTLE ROCK) IocACA
The cause of the disappearance of the prehistoric equestrian family in America QuZ CUTE
may remain forever a mystery. Only fossils bear mute witness to their one-time ex- *.AUTiAMQ E
CAMDEN ) TUAS I CH IS
istence. Perhaps they were exterminated by some sudden change of climate which (ALBANY)
produced a prolonged drought and the drying of all sources of drinking water. Possi- -
bly new-born foals were destroyed by vicious insect pests, such as the Hippobosca I\* *4 MABLA AL
or the Oestrus, which attack the umbilical cord and produce fatal ulcers unless J. GUACH YA (OPOESITE NATHa,
SDE SOTO ED- ERE, MAY 2154
thwarted by human intervention. Perhaps the incessant attacks of the increasing popu- ER BAHIA DN A
nation of carnivorous and predatory animals might have brought about the extinction ESPIRITU ANTAMPABAY)
of the wild horse. Annihilation by an epidemic is another alternative which has been A /, OCITANEAR ADEI
suggested. Whatever cause, however, which erased the genus Equus from the ancient BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS-DEPARTMENT OF COMMEI
American scene, scientists are agreed that the Spaniards brought the ancestors of the present-day horse to the New World.
Christopher Columbus transported the first horses from Europe and disembarked them at Hispaniola (San Domingo) or his second voyage
Hernando De Soto, however, is believed to have landed the first horses which survived to renew the species upon the soil now occupied by the Ur
States. De Soto set sail from San Lucar, Spain, on April 6,1538,and arrived in Santiago, Cuba, on Whitsunday,in May of the same year. On the
of Cuba, De Soto made the necessary preparations for his expedition and weighed anchors for the trip to Florida on Sunday, May 18, 1539, with
of nine vessels, carrying six hundred lances, targeteers, crossbowmen, arquebusiers and some 213 horses.
De Soto's fleet of caravels entered a sheltered body of water which he named the bay of the Espiritu Santo(Holy Ghost) and which we
day Tampa Bay. Perhaps on May 28,1539, as shown in the accompanying illustration, De Soto's men began landing more than 200 horses, west
the present city of Bradenton, Manatee County, Florida, where now stands a granite memorial marker erected by the National Society of the
Dames of America. From that location De Soto's party began a circuitous three-years journey toward the west. When De Soto crossed the Mississ
er, in 1541, his adventurous band had lost from disaster, disease, or starvation, 250 men and 150 horses. The passage over the Father of Water
made in"four large pirogues,each capable of carrying sixty or seventy men and five or six horses, and we spent twenty-seven or twenty-eigh
in constructing them" After wintering at Autiamque,west of the river, De Soto and the survivors of the original party struck out,in 1542, for
mouth of the Mississippi in search of help.
When De Soto died, his followers consigned his weighted body to the Mississippi River in order to conceal the loss of their awe-inspiring
from the Indians. Luis De Moscoso assumed command and directed the trip down the river.'They shipped twenty-two of the best horses that
camp: the rest they made dried flesh of." Harassed by the natives as they floated downstream, Moscoso decided to lighten the canoes by killing
horses."As soon as they saw a place convenient for it, they went thither and killed the horses and brought the flesh of them to dry it aboard. R
five of them remained on the shore alive: the Indians went into them after the Spaniards were embarked -the horses were not acquainted wit
and began to neigh and run up and down in such sort that the Indians,for fear of them, leaped into the water, and getting into their canoes we
the brigandines, shooting cruelly at them"
These half dozen horses,abandoned on the west bank of the Mississippi River by De Soto's men, perhaps are the ancestors of the feral or,
wild horses of our western plains.
1539- THE COMING OF THE HORSE
1540 CORONADO IN NEW MEXICO 1540 CORONA NE ME
The Spanish conquistador Francisco Vasquez de Coronado, led one of the most daring feats of ex- .
ploration recorded in the annals of the New World. While serving as a regidor, or member of the Mexi- B
co City Council,Coronado was elevated by Viceroy Don Antonio de Mendoza,in 1539,to the Govern-
orship of the Province of New Galicia,in northwestern Mexico, where was situated the northernmost
Spanish settlement of San Miguel de Culiacan. Three years before, in April, 1536, Alvar Nuiez,Ca- coo, iBEND
beza de Vaca, had straggled into Culiacan with three exhausted companions including a negro slave a ",,' ,,
named Estevanico. These men were the sole survivors of the ill-fated expedition of Panfilo de Nar-
vaez which landed near Tampa Bay, Florida, on April 15, 1528. After eight years of wandering and "p -
suffering as slaves of the Indians, Narvaez's party completed the first crossing of the continent by w
white men. The extravagant stories told by Narvaez about rich cities north of their route excit-
ed the cupidity of the Spaniards and initiated a series of northern explorations by land and sea.
The probability of treasure in the north,like the gold which Pizarro had plundered from the Incas A N
in the south, now eclipsed in importance the search for the mythical straits of Anian, or North-
west Passage,reputed to connect the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. CUUcAN
With the dual objective of conquest and exploration Viceroy Mendoza instructed Governor N W
Coronado to despatch Franciscan Friar Marcos de Niza upon a reconnaissance expedition to confirmG A L
the reports of Cabeza de Vaca. Guided by the negro Estevanico, the explorers,after a series of en- p A / F r M)/SEA
counters with the natives, came into view of what appeared to be a province more wealthy than
Mexico. Prevented by hostile Indians from making close inspection,de Niza hurried back to re- o c A O. MEXECO
count his supposed discovery of the Seven Cities of Cibola with their streets paved with gold and BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS.-DEPARTMEN OF C
houses studded with turquoises and other precious stones.
Enthused by the friar's fanciful account, Viceroy Mendoza directed Governor Coronado to organize an expeditionary force with him
Captain-General. The army marched out of Compostela,with banners flying,on February 23, 1540, for the conquest of the Seven Citie.
bola. According to Mota Padilla the military unit totaled two hundred and sixty armored mounted cavaliers and seventy foot soldiers arm
crossbows and harquebuses and more than a thousand Indian allies and servants. Also there were more than a thousand horses in the tra
sides pack mules carrying supplies and equipment and a half dozen pedreros, the light artillery or swivel guns of the period. Herds of o
sheep and perhaps swine followed to assure the army a fresh food supply. Plodding northward, Coronado about July 10, came in sight of an
quered the first of the cities of Cibola.The disillusioned conquistadores,however, found that Friar Niza had mistaken golden streets for the
reflected from the 5-stories-high adobe houses of the pueblo (village) of the Zuni Indians in the present western New Mexico. Stifling his
Coronado continued northeastward past Inscription Rock and the existing pueblo of Acoma.His objective was the treasure cities in the north
since of Quivira. Meanwhile an exploring party left the main army about August 25 and discovered the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River. The
ter mark of Coronado's exploration probably reached 100 miles north and east of Great Bend, Kansas. On the return trip,the conquistador f
closely the Cimarron River cut-off of the later Santa F6 Trail. The bedraggled remnant of his once colorful army returned to Mexico in the spring
Inscription Rock,now El Morro (Spanish,headland or bluff)National Monument,shown in the illustration,is situated 35 miles east of Zi
lo and about 15 miles west of the Continental Divide. The gray-sandstone mass towers 200 feet above the valley floor which is more than 7
above sea level. Upon the irregular mesa summit two ancient pueblos once contained about 1,200 rooms. Rainwater feeds a small pool at the
the rock. This perpetual water supply provides an oasis in the desert for travelers. Many weatherbeaten Indian symbols are carved in the s
stone. The oldest Spanish signature is that of the Adelantado (Governor) Don Juan de Onate, dated April 16,1605.
s of Ci-
. A., ll "'
1565- SAINT AUGUSTINE 565 SAINT AUGUSTIN
Saint Augustine, on the northeast coast of Florida,was the first permanent white settlement within
the present territorial limits of the United States. This settlement became the parent hub from which ra- n
diated trails and roads to grow into the vast labyrinth of more than three million miles of highways .
now spreading from coast to coast. The first road built by white men in Florida and probably in our por- ,.. B VEoMA-RS
tion of North America joined the original crude wooden fort at Saint Augustine with Fort Caroline, (JACKSONVLL AROLIL
(San Mateo) some forty miles to the north, situated on the St. John's River at St. John's Bluff about
17 miles northeasterly of the present Jacksonville and 1.5 miles east of Fulton.
Saint Augustine was founded by the Spanish Adelantado (Governor) Menendez de Aviles who had
been appointed by King Philip IL of Spain to crush the French Huguenot colony at Fort Caroline consid-
ered a menace to the Spanish trade route.Arriving off the coast of Florida on August 28,1565,Menendez
named Saint Augustine in honor of that date dedicated to the festival of the eminent saint of his church.
A few years previously, Jean Ribault had made an unsuccessful attempt to establish a French settle-
ment at Port Royal, South Carolina, in 1562, by permission of King Charles IX of France. Admiral Co- QO'E
ligny, the French Huguenot leader, despatched another expedition, in 1564, under the command of Rene
de Laudonniere who landed in the harbor of Saint Augustine which he named the River of Dolphins be-
cause of the abundance of dolphins (porpoises) swimming at the mouth of the stream. Later, Laudon-
niere coasted north and examined the St.John's River(called then the River May and later River San
Mateo Spanish for Saint Matthew) before building a fort about two leagues (5.3 miles)from the mouth
of the stream,upon a pleasing hill of "mean height"in the midst of the villages of the Timucuam
Indians. He named this stronghold Fort Caroline in honor of the French King Charles IX. BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS .DEPARTMENT OF
Reduced to starvation within a few months,the French Huguenots were about to abandon the fort and leave the new country for the seco
when Jean Ribault arrived with shiploads of reinforcements and supplies. The news of this expedition motivated King Philip of Spain to org
fleet in command of the brave and remorseless soldier, Pedro Menendez de Aviles,with orders to drive the French from Florida.Plagued by st
accidents about one half the II vessels, with 2,600 men,which departed from Spain,cast anchor in the harbor of Saint Augustine on August 28
where then stood an Indian village headed by Chief Selooe or Seloy. Here on September 6, Menendez fortified a large Indian dwelling by digg
it a ditch and throwing up a breastwork of earth and small tree trunks. Leaving his brother Bartolome,on September 16, in command of this c
en fort, Menendez with a force of 500 men,including 300 arquebusmen, and the remainder pikesmen and targeteers, marched northward to at
French at Fort Caroline. Twenty Asturians and Basques, under their Captain, Martin de Ochoa,blazed with axes a path through the forests an
guided by a compass in the hands of Menendez. Attacking at the break of dawn on September 20, more than half the Frenchmen in the fort
killed, fifty women and children were captured and the remaining defenders escaping with the French commander, Laudonniere,were rescue
bault's fleet. Returning to Saint Augustine on September 24, Menendez learned on October 10, that 200 Frenchmen from two caravels of Ribl
had been shipwrecked some 15 miles to the south. Proceeding overland with a party of soldiers,Menindez exterminated the survivors near
now known as Matanzas (Spanish,massacre) Inlet.
The southern portion of the trail opened by Menendez between Fort Saint Augustine (later Fort San Marcos, now Fort Marion) and For
is said to coincide with the present United States Route I which follows the King's Road,opened in 1765, between St. Augustine and th
(now Jacksonville) across the St. John's River.
jed by Ri-
1565 SAINT AUGUSTINE
See copy, glossy print, attached. See also companion picture.
This text is from an unidentified publication of the Bureau of Public
Roads and it contains falsifications, evidently deliberate. The "first
road in America" is a misconceived claim by a member of Congress which
has been disproved by the National Park Service.
The"1565 St. Augustine" title for the map is designed to deceive for
a number of items on the map date from later dates.
There was no trail, much less a road, to Fort Caroline from St. Augustine
in 1565; Menendez did not follow a trail. Communication between the two
points was by water. There are two or three references in the Spanish
documents to overland travel but only when weather prevented water travel.
Years later a horse trail was established. Source of statements on Spanish
documents: Luis R. Arana, Historian, National Park Service, St. Augustine.
October 1, 1975
rid, ^N U U TN ,FOA I
1607- THE INDIAN CANOE 1607 THE INDIAN CANOE
The canoe was the principal vehicle of the Indian aborigines when the Englishmen P
landed in the New World at Jamestown,Virginia, in 1607. The colonists used the Ches- wo
apeake Bay, the James and other rivers as water highways leading into the interior. R1 Hoo
Dense forests of oak, walnut, elm, chestnut, cherry, mulberry and other trees covered rMH E ALS O
the hills and valleys down to the sandy beach bordering the waves of the sea. .
Through this wilderness, over a labyrinth of trails,wild animals such as the deer, N
wolf, bear, fox, opossum, polecat, weasel, mink and many others found their way to water, ME
food and salt licks. The moccasined feet of Indians pattered softly over former animal
paths, or along trails opened by their own traffic, on errands of barter between tribes, .
hunting and fishing, and tribal warfare. With their bows and arrows the Indians brought W
to earth birds for food including the wild turkey, quail, partridge, pigeon,goose and l ?e.1A N ,-CAPE
duck. From the silver streams they fished the sturgeon,trout, mullet, perch and eel. KA IW HO ES
From the bay they gathered the oyster, crab, shrimp and muscle. In all these activities ODINARI0M 5 .
the favorite vehicle of the Indians was the canoe. There were no horses in Virginia un- BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS -DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
til 1609, two years after the colonists first landed. The Virginia Indians did not possess any of the horses introduced by the Spaniards. The dusky forest
denizens for centuries had employed rude hand litters to move their sick. Dead as well as live loads were transported flom place to place upon the
broad backs of stalwart aborigines. Their faithful dogs were the only burden bearers the savages knew.
In the illustration,the redoubtable Captain John Smith is depicted in conference with the proud and powerful Indian chief, Powhatan,at his main
village situated upon the north bank of the James River about one mile downstream from the site of the present city of Richmond,Virginia. Crossing the
log bridge at the right is Pocahontas,the favorite daughter of Powhatan. Her name is written indelibly into the history of the Old Dominion because of the
romantic manner in which she later saved Captain John Smith's life.The Indians at the left are building a dugout.
The dugout was the type of canoe favored by the southern Indians in smooth waters. To quote from Captain Smith's writings"'Their fishing is much
in boats. These they make of one tree by burning and scratching away the coals with stones and shells, till they have made it in the form of a trough. Some
of them are an ell (English=45 inches) deep,and 40or50 feet in length,and some will bear 40 men,but the most ordinary are smaller, and will bear 10,
20,and 30, according to their bigness. Instead of oars,they use paddles, and sticks, with which they will row faster than our barges' In building these dug-
outs,"Their fire they kindle presently by chafing a dry pointed stick in a hole of a little square piece of wood,that firing itself, will so fire the moss,leaves,
or any such like dry thing,that will quickly brown" For the rough waters of Chesapeake Bay, Captain John Smith describes the light bark canoes which
were easier to build than the dugout, where the proper materials were at hand, and could be handled with greater ease."Seven boats,full of Massawomeks,
were encountered at the head of the bay; whose targets, baskets, swords, tobacco pipes, platters, bows, and everything showed they much exceeded them of
our parts, and their dexterity in their small boats, made of barks of trees, sewed with bark and well luted with gum, argueth that they are seated upon
some great water." Canoes were employed by the Indians also across the larger streams where the water was too deep for fording.
The canoe was without doubt the principal vehicle used by the Indians in Captain John Smith's time. Not only did he write of meeting fleets of
native canoes but also he showed an illustration of a dugout in the pictorial frontispiece of his general history of Virginia.
1607 THE INDIAN CANOE
1611 1611 THE FIRST AMERICAN
THE FIRST AMERICAN BRIDGE OF VION
,' \ ^&OB~ffL" PROBABLE LOCATION OF ~ ^
The first "bridge"on record built by the English settlers in America was locat- Lo I m, m I A
ed at "James Towne" island, Virginia,where the actual landing was made on May 14,, A K
1607. This structure was not a stream crossing in the sense that the term is custom- > C
arily used, but a wharf about 200 feet in length extending from the James River APRoX 'T-A6
bank to the nearby channel where the 12-foot depth of water provided docking 24 i-
facilities for the small caravel ships. This so-called "bridge"was built in 1611,ac-
cording to a letter written by Sir Thomas Dale, on May 25,1611, "To the President EST1607 OAT
and Counsell of the Companie of Adventurers and Planters in Virginia in which N PALISADED"
Dale stated that immediately upon his arrivalj/6Tgjto succeed Lord de laWarre PROBABLE LANDAI TLACNE
as Deputy Governor "Captain Newport undertook the Bridge with his Mariners, at MA 14,107 \ PRESENT SHOR
Dale's direction,"to land our goods dry and safe upon"Another reference to this IROBAoaaLES zT r O R f V E
same "bridge" was made in "A Briefe Declaration of the Plantation of Virginia BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS DEPARTMENT OF COMMER
during the first Twelve Yeares"'(probably dated about 1625) as follows: "A framed Bridge was also then erected, which utterly decayed bef
end of Sir Thomas Smith's government/[600-16257 that being the only bridge (any way soe to be called) that was ever in the country."
It seems incredible that four years should elapse between the date of the landing of the first settlers and the time construction began on
approach to the island or on a bridge connecting the island with the mainland for a number of reasons: (I) Captain John Smith records the ch
of the bridges built by the Indians on the Virginia mainland when "coming ashore, landed amongst a many of creeks,over which they were t
such poor bridges,only made of a few catches /ree trunks with forks7 thrust in the ose Zmuddy oozeg and three or four poles laid on th
at the end of them the like, tied together only with barks of trees,that it made them much suspect those bridges were but traps, which cat
Smith to make divers savages go over first, keeping some of the chiefs as hostages until half his men were passed to make a guard for himse
the rest,"(2) among the names of the first planters recorded June 15,1607, there were the four English carpenters,William Laxon, Edward Pifi
as Emry and Robert Small; (3) as illustrated in "The Generall Historie of Virginia, New England,and the Summer Isles with the names oft
ventures, Planters, and Governoors from their first beginning An. 1584 to the present 1624" there were three wooden trestle bridges bi
1620 on the Bermuda Islands,showing their familiarity with this type of structure;(4) that in spite of the heavy mortality of the first settle
soon, after founditig the palisaded "James Towne,'spread from the island to the mainland and planted fields and erected other settleme
as Henrico (Henrysville,Virginia); (5) the fact that Captain John Smith makes no reference to a bridge connecting the island and the main
not conclusive evidence that one was not built by 1611 because he left for England in 1609; and (6) it is characteristic of contemporary re
that commonplace facts are omitted often because the writer considers them too well known to warrant mention.
Furthermore, for the foregoing reasons, even though the source material cannot be traced, it seems highly probable that Philip Alex
Bruce was correct when he stated in his "Economic History of Virginia in the Seventeenth Century"that under the energetic direction c
Thomas Gates when he returned to Virginia, in 1611,"A bridge was built to connect the island with the mainland"as shown in the accompai
lustration. The location of this bridge is indicated on the sketch as probably at the terminus of "the old Greate Road"at the"Friggett La
Back River where supplies were delivered to the settlement. No ancient charts of the island for the period of 1607-1698 have been disc
according to Samuel H.Yonge, who,in 1903-4, after cooperation with the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities, publ
splendid historical study of "James Towne"
1 611 -FIRST BRIDGE JAMESTOWN ISLAND, VIRGINIA
1612.-THE GREAT SAUK TRAIL 1612 TH GREAT SAUK TRAIL
The Great Sauk Trail, or Potawatomi Trail,was an overland variant,across the A o a
present State of Michigan,of the southernmost of the two main long-distance routes, ostR N W por1
shown in the map(right), which the French had discovered between New France (Can- 1 639 C "SIN 0
ada) and the Mississippi River valley. Over the northern branch Etienne Brule .- '."
probably was dispatched by Champlain to Georgian Bay in 1612. The Great Sauk ( .REEN B
Trail was named for the Sac Indians who with the Fox Indians used this path in ox
their travels from eastern Canada to the far northwest. The Iroquois of New York 40 UD rr 7 ".
followed the Great Sauk Trail in their warfare with the Miamis,Illinois and other fi,,ao(
western tribes. The Potawatomi village of Pokagon, named for its wise chief, was : as
situated on the west side of the St. Joseph River a little south of the trail. PE RIA: PC
The Great Sauk Trail branched from the southern transcontinental trail at i '
the "place of the strait" (French, place du detroit ), the Detroit of today, founded CAHOKIA
by the Frenchman Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac on July 24,1701. The Great Sauk 9'P 1696______--
Trail ran westerly to the portage between the Checagou (Chicago) and Illinois Riv- BUREAU OAr CO
ers considered the strategic key to the American continent,and continued to the existing Green Bay, Wisconsin,region-the habitat of the Sac and Fo
Over the Great Sauk Trail ebbed and flowed the tides of four great eras in the economy of the vast Northwest Territory bordering upon
Michigan: (1) The period of the French exploration from 1630 to 1680; (2) the times of the fur traders, comprising three nationalities,the F
the English and the Americans, which reached a crest about 1825; (3) the years when the emigrants swarmed to the Northwest and earned
livelihood as farmers, lumbermen, miners and in allied occupations from 1826 to say, 1900; and (4) the industrial age, considered to have
with the formation of the initial units of the immense automobile industry, dating from 1901 to the present time.
During the second epoch, General Anthony Wayne defeated the Northwest Indians at the Battle of Fallen Timbers (near Toledo, Ohio) an
atthe ensuing Treaty of Greenville,the American Government was ceded,"a piece of Land Six Miles Square at the mouth of the Chicago River.
in 1803, Captain John Whistler, grandfather of the celebrated artist, erected the stockade, shown in the accompanying illustration, named For
born in honor of Secretary Henry Dearborn in the cabinet of President Thomas Jefferson. By 1816,the English fur traders had been expell
the Michigan forests. Into this region came thousands of emigrants after the Erie Canal was opened to travel in 1825. Other pioneers from
lantic seaboard journeyed over the Pennsylvania Road to Pittsburgh and along the trail which crossed the Maumee River north of the present
Ohio, thence northward to the junction with the Great Sauk Trail at Detroit.
Colonel (later General) Lewis Cass,military governor of Detroit during the War of 1812 with England, was appointed Governor of Michig
ritory by General William Henry Harrison in 1813. Aware of the military handicaps resulting from the lack of roads into the interior, Govern
after peace was concluded, proposed that the War Department should build highways radiating from Detroit. A responsive Congress author
highways,one of which was to traverse the route of the Great Sauk Trail. Three thousand dollars were authorized to be appropriated, on M
1825, to "explore, survey, and mark" the Chicago Road "in the most eligible course"from Detroit. Subsequent appropriations, by 1837, brought
fal expenditures in Michigan Territory, established in 1805,to 890,068.18. James McCloskey, one of the commissioners who located the road,r
to the Secretary of War," The route taken was an old Indian trail (so called) which,for aught that is known,has been traveled for centuries,
believed, from personal observation of the Commissioners, aided by information from travellers,that a variation of any considerable distance
this trail would, for the purpose of a good road, be impracticable" Construction was begun on the Chicago Road in 1827. Stage coaches were
over the entire 295-mile distance from Detroit to Chicago by 1833.
it the to-
and it is
Si rr 2< "*a
* -N -^-
1612 THE GREAT SAUK TRAIL
1625-,PAVED STREETS IN MAINE 1625 PAVED STREETS IN
Some of the streets were paved at Pemaquid, Bristol Township,Maine, probably before the year 1625.
Although the original settlement antedates historical record some authorities believe that Pemaquid was srTE OF FORT
coeval with the Plymouth colony founded in 1620. Other historians assign to Pemaquid a more ancient lineage. E NMUD VLE
In pre-Colonial times Pemaquid was the center of the most prolific fishing grounds along the coast UID
of North America. Europeans were attracted first to this region because of the priceless marine life.Thorn- rLAND
ton wrote,"To Pemaquid we must look for the initiation of civilization in New England."Pemaquid was I
visited by David Ingram as early as 1569, by Captain Bartholomew Gosnold in 1602, by Raleigh Gil-
bert in May 1607, and by Captain Thomas Dermer in 1619. The short sand beach at Pemaquid,in con-
trast to the generally rock-bound coast of New England, provided a convenient landing for fishing V GRAwT. 4
boats. The Sieur de Monts while exploring the coast in 1605,with the Frenchman Samuel de Champlain, UFOR POS
observed settlements in this vicinity. Captain George Weymouth of England also explored this region in
1605. When the English Captain John Smith visited the island of Monhegan, in 1614, he saw shoreward 10
in the Maine"at the port of Pemaquid a ship owned by Sir Francis Popham whose associates had O sRG Eo.
cast anchor there for many years.
It is possible that merchants with headquarters in Bristol, England,or perhaps London, maintained E Qfl D
a fish and fur trading center at Pemaquid as early as 1600. Two decades later, in 1622,there were thirty
ships engaged in the fish and fur trade in the Pemaquid area taking advantage of the excellent harbor o
and the abundant fish bait at the falls of the Pemaquid River.
Among the many artifacts which have been unearthed in the neighborhood of ancient Pemaquid BUREAU o PUBLIC ROADSDEPARTMENT CO
probably the street paving is the relic which more than any other establishes the advanced state of
civilization at this European outpost.The identity of the builders of this paving has defied the painstaking researches of historians and archae(
John Henry Cartland,who is an authority upon the subject, in his "Ten Years at Pemaquid"describes the construction of "what appears to be a
tion of a street about ten feet above high water mark,leading down a fine easy sloping field toward a small beach,"**, as shown on the map ab
According to Cartland," The larger stones form what we term the main street, which is thirty-three feet in width including the gutters,c
courses. The finer work of cobble-stones evidently taken from the beach nearby is eleven and one-half feet wide. The longer cobbles were s
and placed across the sidewalk on lines two feet and one-half apart,then the space filled in with smaller ones. One row is laid diagonally as if
the corner of a square yard,and it might have been thus fancifully done because it was the front yard paving of some former mansion; no preti
could have been found along the shore, and it was in close proximity to the fort.****
All this work was done systematically for I found by measurements that the larger paving sloped from the center either way to the guti
are nicely laid with selected stone for the curbing and finer cobbles for the center all compactly placed,and served to drain both parts of the
which were found to be twelve inches beneath the soil at the center, and fifteen at the edges."
Finally, according to a report sponsored by the Maine Historical Society and written by its Secretary Edward Ballard,dated August 25
1869, the opinion was advanced,"By diligence of some members of the local committee,a portion of the paved street had been laid bare by
al of the superincumbent soil,'***. The regular arrangement of the beach-stones,the depression for the water course to the shore,the curbst
adjoining foundation-stones still in place,**** proved, beyond the possibility of a doubt, that a European community had dwelt on this spot, an
this long street in imitation of what they had left in the mother land."
J had made
1625-PAVED STREETS IN MAINE
1632-FIRST HIGHWAY LAW 1632 FIRT GHWA LAW
S--PYPING POINT BROKEN LINES INDI-
The first highway legislation in the British Colonies in North America was MAINLANDp OF VIRGINIA o.NDAR E
passed by the Legislature of Virginia,possibly meeting,in September 1632,in the PROLL OF .
third wooden churchshown in the accompanying illustration, the eighth year of the .oFiAjUs LRTHOM1 A
reign of King Charles I of England. ACT L provided that,"H IGHWAYES shall be layd ,
out in such convenient places as are requisite according as the Governor and Counsell ',GT .
or the commissioners for the monthlie corts shall appoynt,or according as the pa- e '0j9o B9:D.. rC N r i
.4 R 111PLACED IATs DAINIPND
rishioners of every parish shall agree. 14A Tr H .
Twenty-five years later this basic highway law of Virginia was supplemented a ".. i c \ -Y "A
by the Legislature in March 1657-8, in the ninth year of the Commonwealth.Act IX, REPUTED PW'DER ,-,,D A-, OU E
"Concerning Surveyors of High Waise"provided,"'That surveyors of highwaise and PRABLEZE OF F
maintenance for bridges be yearly kept and appointed in each counties court respec- E o6r0'E AND F I FTO HE RIE
tively,and that all gennerall wayes from county to county and all churchwaies to be "A nCIE4ELRDEOFDGA(HARF)
laied out and cleared yearly as each county court shall think fitt,needful and con- V E R
venient, respect being had to the course used in England to that end." BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS -DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
In the mother country of England during the feudal times of the Middle Ages the care of the roads was based upon the trinoda neccessitas (the th
fold required service) of the tenant, namely: the duty of repelling an enemy, the construction of fortifications and the repair of roads and bridges.*
the decline of feudalism,the foregoing requirement developed into the common law whereby the repair of highways became the responsibility of
local parishes or hundreds which were traversed. Neglect called for the indictment of the guilty authorities by the Court of Quarter Sessions.Cor
sory labor upon the highways was legalized, in 1555,when the "Statute for Mending of Highways"specified that,"Constables and Churchwardens
every parish shall yearly, upon the Tuesday or Wednesday in Easter week,call together a number of parishioners, and shall then elect and choose twc
honest persons of the parish to be surveyors and orderers for one year of the works for amendment of the highways in their parish." The Constables
Churchwardens set aside four days in each year when the parishioners were notified to report for work upon the highways with the required tools,
draught animals and vehicles.Those who failed to report were fined. In subsequent years this law was amended and modified but the statute labor
remained in force in England for about three centuries until they were abolished in 1835.
The statute labor system was introduced to America by the first settlers and became embedded in the laws of the British Colonies and later the
United States where they survived for three hundred years until the beginning of the twentieth century. The major portion of highway improvement
performed by statute labor both in the British Colonies and in the infant United States until the first turnpike was begun in Virginia in 1785. Following
pattern of the Commonwealth of Virginia and the English homeland,highway laws were enacted in Massachusetts,in 1639; in Connecticut, in 1643; ir
New York, in 1664; in Maryland,in 1666; in New Jersey,about 1675; and in South Carolina, in 1682.
The statute labor system, known as "working out the road tax"was supplemented by other ways and means for improving roads such as.donat
and contributions by public-spirited citizens,private subscriptions,assessments upon adjacent property, bridge tolls,fines for failure to perform stat
labor, public lotteries, public land sales,military funds, taxes collected by provincial, local and State governments,et cetera.
The lack of legislation authorizing local taxes for roads combined with the iniquities of the statute labor system were responsible largely for the
condition of the roads in the Colonies and early Republic. It should be borne in mind,however,that the public roads until the time of the Revolutiona
War were mainly horse paths, as shown in the accompanying illustration,and were suitable for carts and wagons only near the larger centers of popular
The local governments in New England exercised the power of local taxation,for the repair and construction of highways,prior to 1650, and in 1762
Province of Pennsylvania granted seventy-five pounds financial aid to the townships for clearing the military road from Carlisle to the Ohio River
1632-FIRST HIGHWAY LAW
1636-THE CONNECTICUT PATH 1636 THE CONNECTICUT PATH
The Connecticut Path,the Old Connecticut Path,the Bay Path,the Old Bay Path, ORT ORANG M A S.
and the" New Way" were the names given by the Pilgrim Fathers to the Indian trails \ / I %
connecting the Massachusetts Bay colony with the first white settlement along the Con- 4 o 1%' ,
necticut River. The settlers learned of the existence of these trails from the Indians k r ,
who brought corn from the Great (Connecticut) River valley to sell in Boston. One of / ,.0. the early Indian travelers was Wahginnacut, sachem of the Podunk tribe whose habi- / "oRVOi
tat extended along the Connecticut River as far north as Agawam (Springfield). The L .C ~,A o.
first white man to travel the Indian trail to the west was the prospector John Oldham, t
in 1633, who endorsed the Connecticut River Indians' invitation to the white men to AI (sUCK pNDO psO 1 '0
settle in their valley. As a result John Cable and John Woodstock were sent forward NEWo TOWAN-1a6
over the Old Connecticut Path,in the spring of 1635, by William Pynchon, a gentle- ^ HARTFORD-1637 R
man from Springfield,in Essex, England,who had established his plantation on the c o
rocks of Boston Neck, now called Roxbury. BUREAU OF PU
The nomenclature of Connecticut Path and Bay Path was employed interchange-
ably by the Pilgrim Fathers with respect to the continuous Indian trail westward from the parent bay settlement across Massachusetts and Con
For this reason uncertainty exists concerning the exact identity of these paths.The original Connecticut or Bay Path ran from New Town (Cam
through the present Weston, Wayland, Framingham, Ashland, Hopkinton, Westborough, Grafton,Oxford, Charlton, Sturbridge,Brimfield to Sprin
This original path became known as the Old Connecticut Path or the Old Bay Path when the "New Way"was opened from Weston through the pre
bury Center, Marlboro, Worcester and Brookfield and joining the old path at Brimfield. Later this trail was continued from Springfield northwest
cross the Berkshire Hills to Fort Orange (Albany) where junction was made with the great Iroquois or Mohawk trail meandering westward acr
today's New York State. The Connecticut or Bay Path in Massachusetts blazed the route for the subsequent Upper Boston Post Road and late
Boston and Albany Railroad,while the Mohawk trail established the location of the New York Central Railroad.
The first white settlement at the Indian Suckiaug (Hartford, Connecticut) was sponsored by the Dutch from New Amsterdam, in 1633. T
English settlement was built, in 1635, by sixty emigrants from New Town (Cambridge, Massachusetts).The main emigration,however, which d
the populations of Dorchester, Watertown and New Town, set out on May 31, 1636, under the leadership of Thomas Hooker, pastor of the chu
New Town, and Samuel Stone. There were about one hundred people in the party. They drove with them one hundred and sixty cattle to su
along the way. Pastor Hooker's sick wife rode a horse litter, shown in the accompanying illustration. Little three-year-old Samuel Hooker sh<
rough ride with his mother. They named their destination New Town after the village they had left. This name was retained for a year until
in 1637, to Hartford in memory of Stone's birthplace in England. Because the Hooker party left no record of their route there has been n
ulation about the precise path they followed. The weight of the evidence seems to tip the scales in favor of the Old Connecticut or Old Bay
from New Town (Cambridge), as described above,through the present Weston,Wayland, Hopkinton, Grafton, Brimfield to Springfield the
along the east side of the Connecticut River through Longmeadow, East Windsor, crossing the river at Windsor, thence south to Hartford. This i
logical path because it was the preferred route of the Indians and Pilgrim Fathers at the time of Pastor Hooker's emigration,in 1636. Other au
assert that the Hooker pioneers traversed the later location of the Middle Boston Post Road entering the northeastern corner of the present St
necticut and marching through the sites of Thompson,Woodstock, Eastford and Ashford to Hartford. This Woodstock route, however, is difficu
fend because it was not one of the earliest paths.Wabbaquasset (Woodstock)was not settled until 1682.
s the most
ate of Con-
It to de-
1673- COLONIAL POST RIDER 1673 COLONIAL POST RIDER
The Boston Post Road was the first route over which Colonial mails were carried ORCESTER oxBu R
A S DEDH"
between the settlements in New England and New York. The region traversed by this SPRINGFIELD BR IE
road was a dense wilderness penetrated by wild animal and Indian trails for more than a "-------
half a century following the first permanent settlement at New Amsterdam by the Dutch, o O P O E ROVID
in 1613, and the landing of the Pilgrim fathers at Plymouth, Massachusetts,in 1620. The HARTFORD o \R I
metropolitan centers of these settlements later shifted to the best harbors,one at c N N.
Boston and the other at New York. MERIDEN KING O W
From these shipping points the colonists advanced the outposts of their civi- o L
lization westward into the wilderness progressing steadily step by step by means TooK
of treaty and warfare with the Indians. In 1633,following the Bay Path, the emi- BRIDGEPORT
grants from the Massachusetts colony settled in the valley of the Connecticut River RY GREENWICH (HORSENECK)
at the site of Springfield. The Upper Boston Post Road follows the general location of ASTCHESTER
this Bay Path. The direction of the later Upper and Middle Boston Post Roads in Con- UUBT OEWYOR
necticut was fixed by the settlement of Hartford, in 1635, by the English. The general
course of the Lower Boston Post Road through Rhode Island was established by the settlements of Roger Williams and his coreligionists,in 1636. Tw
later, in 1638, when New Haven was founded by the English, the New England colonists, in dire need of communication facilities to promote trade an
vide protection against the Indians, petitioned King Charles I, of England to authorize a Colonial post.
When the King turned a deaf ear to this proposal, the Massachusetts General Assembly, in 1639, designated Richard Fairbanks' house in Bostor
first official repository for Colonial mail. The regular interchange of news fostered by this action undoubtedly hastened the consolidation of several g
mental agencies, in 1643, under the name of the Confederation of New England Colonies-the embryo from which grew our United States of Ameri
Prior to this consolidation of political administrations, differences in government,race and religion,as well as restrictions imposed by the Engli
nation laws, piled up an insurmountable barrier to intercourse between the several colonies.The linguistic differences became less important as a divi
ence when the English forces took possession of the Dutch-controlled New Amsterdam, in 1664,and renamed it New York. Meanwhile, social and eco
tegrating forces had been at work for some time creating a widespread sentiment in favor of intercommunication from Boston to New York.
The initial step was taken on January 22,1673,when the English Governor, Francis Lovelace, of New York, desirous of cementing friendly re
with the expanding settlements of his countrymen in New England, despatched the first post rider toward the north by way of New Harlem,Williamsb
Eastchester, Horseneck (Greenwich), New Haven, Hartford, Springfield and Roxbury to Boston. This parent mail service in English-speaking America travel
interior route which became known as the Upper Boston Post Road. The foregoing back-country settlements, between New York and Boston,bear mute wit
the rapid growth in population, the conquest of the wilderness, the declining fear of Indian attack, and the improvement of horse paths during a period
than three generations.
The population of New England now totaled roughly 100,000 resolute pioneers housed in comparative safety. Only nineteen years before,in 1654
idents of New Amsterdam had erected a wooden palisade across lower Manhattan Island as a protection against Indian attack,as shown in the accompany
traction. It was situated along the north side and gave its name to the present Wall Street. Between the two main settlements ferries at stream cross
installed at an early date. The one at New London was always a source of delay and inconvenience because of the width of the river.
The total length of the Upper Boston Post Road in 1800, was 250 miles; the middle route was 203 miles long in 1814, and the lower road from 2
miles in length depending upon whether the east or west branch was selected beside Narragansett Bay.
d to pro-
) as the
_47 to 259
1673-FIRST COLONIAL POST RIDER
, N bbd
-U -' I
1679-THE PORTAGE PATH 1679 THE PORTAGE PATH
From the time of their first settlements in New France (Canada) the French explorers searched for AK-E
the Northwest Passage, the legendary Straits of Anian,as a short cut to the fabulous wealth of the Indies. OR AGARA
As early as 1634, Jean Nicolet, an agent of the French fur trader, Samuel de Champlain,set out on a west- ,LiA
LA SALLES MENiV ,
ern tour of discovery aimed at finding the best route to China. Because the waterways provided paths COME rs FA
by which the primeval wilderness could be traversed with the least effort and a minimum of peril, it (aQUEENS OWER LANDING PI
was natural that the French explorers should penetrate the interior by way of the St.Lawrence River and "-'y (LEWISTON)
the Great Lakes. In the course of their journeys it was necessary to bypass rapids and falls by carrying RAPos
their canoes, supplies and equipment over parallel land paths. There were other transverse trails across THE FALLS UPPER LANDING PLA(
ridges separating two water courses where resort had to be made to overland carriage. These paths be- LNCAMPSE, '
side non-navigable sections of a stream or between two navigable waters were known as portages.The 'C REAT
word is derived from the French porter, meaning to carry. During the seventeenth century when the ISLAN
French explorations were at their peak these portages were the most important land routes. Admitted
that the wilderness was criss-crossed with an extensive labyrinth of wild animal and Indian land trails, A SALLE NEL -LAY
nevertheless, these paths were of secondary importance to Frenchmen who paddled across the rivers and .-/SoJA- *',
lakes as their principal arteries of travel. Furthermore, of all the many portages in the New World,the one
around Niagara Falls was of greatest strategic importance to the French.The total length of the Niaga- nOsItr ILs IN LLAKE ERIE
ra River was 34 miles. It was navigable for 20 miles from Lake Erie to the upper rapids.There began Nois er'l
the seven-mile portage around the gigantic cataract averaging a fall of 160 feet to the lower river at L iK E ER- / ~ .
the site of the present Lewiston. Thence the canoes could be propelled again down the navigable river ROADS-PRTMEN O
for the remaining seven miles to its debouchment into Lake Ontario.
At the beginning of the seventeenth century the French had discovered two main long-distance routes by way of the Great Lakes and t,
of Mackinac between their eastern settlements and the Mississippi River Valley. The upper, or northern, route extended northwest from Moi
the Ottawa River, thence overland to Lake Nipissing, thence down the French River to Georgian Bay, thence overland to Lake Huron,thence f
Straits of Mackinac to Lake Michigan, thence to Green Bay and over the portage to the Wisconsin River emptying into the Mississippi River, or fr
Michigan to the Chicago River connecting with the Des Plaines River and the Illinois River flowing into the Mississippi.The lower, or southern,r
lowed the St.Lawrence River, Lake Ontario,the Niagara River,the portage path around Niagara Falls,the Niagara River and Lake Erie,the Detr
Lake St. Clair and the St. Clair River, and along the shores of Lake Huron to a junction with the northern route at the Straits of Mackinac. An ov
iant of this southern route ran southwest from Detroit over the Sauk,or Potawatomi trailto the present site of South Bend, Indiana, thence by th
to the Kankakee River flowing into the Illinois River and finally into the Mississippi.
In the illustration,may be seen Rene Robert Cavalier, Sieur de La Salle,the most famous of the French explorers and a few of his party, on
22,1679, on the portage around Niagara Falls.The celebrated adventurer is leaning upon the shoulder of the tonsured Recollect Father, Z(nob
who is clad in a coarse gray capote, with the cord of St. Francis about his waist, a rosary and a crucifix hanging at his side, and his feet shod
dais. At the right stoops a native common laborer, or engage, carrying a pack balanced by a tump line encircling his forehead. Another engage
cross-legged upon his pack, while two of his comrades carry a canoe at the left.
1679- THE PORTAGE PATH
1700-THE IROQUOIS TRAIL 1700 THE IROQUOIS TRAIL
The Iroquois Trail, or Mohawk Trail, was the great central thoroughfare of the Iro- fl
quois Confederacy (Ho-de'-no-sau-nee= the people of the long house")across the pres- MoHA
ent State of New York, connecting the site of Albany on the Hudson River with the site / r-CAR N-, M DIA y N.
of Buffalo beside Lake Erie. This ancient Indian Trail (Wa-a-gwen'-ne-yuh) ran through V A: .. oN o-T ONEN-1 0N
the center of the Long House of the Five Nations (Six Nations after the accession oftheTus- ..- o s
caroras in 1712) beginning with the Mohawks on the east through the villages of the Onei- c
das, Onondagas,Cayugas,Senecas and Tuscaroras in the west. This Long House was the DO WEH DA ~
symbolic common shelter of the several nations. Like their long bark dwelling houses (BU ) DA
with separate apartments,with a central fire,each accommodating two families,the Ir- wa' i 4 GA h"
oquois Trail joined the castles or principal villages,of each nation where the council a A )
fires burned. .--------- oG
This beaten path was trodden by generation after generation of red men over (TIOGA) T"rH, IV5YOD
its meandering original 360-odd-mile course beneath the overhanging trees of the for- INDIAN CASTLE OR VILLAE
est. The trace,varying in width from twelve to eighteen inches, was a well-worn groove BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS -DEPARTMENT OF COMMERC
from three to twelve inches in depth depending upon the stability of the natural ground. It was the most direct route between the Hudson River and
rie following the best topography with amazing precision. From the present Albany (original ly Ska-neh'-ta-de -" beyond the openings")thetra
ceeded northwest to today's Schenectady and there divided into two branches along both banks of the Mohawk River to reunite at the portage at Ro
ya-hoo-wa-quat :"place for carrying boats") about one mile long over the Atlantic Ocean-Great Lakes divide to Wood Creek leading to the Oswego R
nection with Lake Ontario. From Rome the main trail extended westward,skirting the northern shores of the Finger Lakes and arrived at Batavi
on-go-wa -"the grand hearing place") where the sound of the Tonowanda Creek rapids first was heard and where even the roar of distant Niagara F
could be detected by the practiced ears of the Indians.Thence the trail came upon the site of Buffalo at the head of Main Street and descended Bi
Creek to its western terminus on Lake Erie.This principal east-and-west path was the base of an inverted triangle of Iroquois trails which he
pex at Tioga on the Susquehanna River joining there the main trail leading south through Pennsylvania.
Swift-footed Iroquois runners carried messages for the entire length of the main trail from Albany to Buffalo in three days. The trained ru
shown in the illustration,could cover one hundred miles a day. When relays were resorted to the length of the day's journey could be increase
erably. During the day the trail was followed easily by the Indians.At night the runners were guided in the fall and winter by the constellation F
(Got-gwar-dar = in the neck of Taurus-The Bull"),a group of seven stars visible to the naked eye in midwinter toward the east in the evening,ovei
midnight,and toward the west in the morning. In the spring and summer the runners were directed by a four-star group which they called Gwe-o-ga-oh (
Over this nearly water-level route into the interior, at no point higher than six hundred feet above sea level, pioneer white settlers throng
later turnpike and Erie Canal to make New York City the leading seaport on the Atlantic Coast. Thriving cities- Albany, Schenectady, Uti
Syracuse,Auburn and Buffalo-rose upon the scattered remnants of the once prosperous Indian villages. Today ninety percent of the peoi
New York State live within a belt thirty miles' in width on each side of the old Iroquois Trail. The State is building along this State
Number 5 a great 314-mile expressway called the Mohawk Thruway for 152 miles from Albany to Syracuse and the Ontario Thru
the remaining 162 miles to Buffalo. At Albany this expressway continues as the Catskill Thruway south to the New York City bo
The minimum width of right-of-way will be 200 feet and the maximum grade will be three percent.
)d its a-
1700 IROQUOIS TRAIL
1751-THE PENNSYLVANIA ROAD 1751 THE PENNSYLVANIA ROAD
The Pennsylvania Road, throughout the greater portion of its length, now known 7*
as United States Route 30, was in pre-Revolutionary times the most important sun- couRs oF)ETIENNE BRUL-
rise-to-sundown pathway connecting the colonies along the Atlantic seaboard with I ON s IP TOTHE SEA 16
the vast hinterland beyond the summits of the Allegheny Mountains, lapped by the ^ ,P EN N s Y LV A I A
waters of the Great Lakes and the Ohio River and its tributaries. This great thor- IF R E N c H /
oughfare to the west was transformed within three centuries from an Indian trail POSSES IONS
and fur traders' path into one of the country's most important east-west motor lk \
vehicle arteries. i HANNOPIN'ANG RE 07
The Pennsylvania Road was the main trans-mounfain route of the British Colo- I -'-- ALL A, 'EGHEN- [ 7a
nies in America because the Province of Pennsylvania was situated geographically so I o^-,4 PATH SHAlCKA.
as to provide the shortest path over which our forefathers could pursue their prima- 4 1RAYS1O p' LT O '
ry objectives-a northwest short cut to China-while expanding their secondary ob- L R. 1 (s. .- ,
jectives- homes in the wilderness and trade with the Indians and the mother country. BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS -DEPARTMENT OF COMM
The prehistoric Indian trail, known as the Allegheny Path,which slowly developed
into the Pennsylvania Road,began at the Delaware Chief Shackamaxon's Indian village,on the site of the present city of Philadelphia, and ros
fell across the successive mountain passes and valleys to the junction of the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers,and beyond. This old trading
ran almost due west within a geographical belt thirty minutes in width bounded on the south by the fortieth degree of latitude.Then as today it
roughly a distance of 300 miles between Shackamaxon (Philadelphia) and the Delaware Chief Shannopin's Town (Pittsburgh) at'the Forks"of
River. This distance was one-third east and two-thirds west of Harris' Ferry (Harrisburg) on the Susquehanna River.
Etienne Brule, Champlain's interpreter in the years 1615-1616, was probably the first white man to cross this westbound trail in a nor
direction. The Indian trader, James Le Tort, journeyed to the Allegheny River over this path in 1727. Carlisle was the beginning of the pack
trail to the west, shown in the accompanying il lustration, and the end of the wagon road from the east, until 1755, when Governor Morris of P
vania ordered wood choppers to open a road through the forest to a point about 25 miles west of Raystown (Bedford) to serve as an auxiliary
ply line for General Braddock in his disastrous campaign against Fort Duquesne (Pittsburgh).
The Pennsylvania Road, between Raystown and "Pitt's Borough', was called Forbes' Road because it was opened, in 1758, at the direcio
eral John Forbes, as the transportation and supply route for his victorious campaign against Fort Duquesne. It was at the outset of the Revolu
War that the Continental War Office, located at Philadelphia,designated the then Forbes' Road, the main military route to the west, as the Pen
nia Road. Similarly Braddock's Road,the principal thoroughfare from Virginia and Maryland was named the Virginia Road.
In 1785,the Pennsylvania Road was the first State road to be authorized by the Assembly of the Commonwealth with the title of"The Westerr
to Pittsburgh" In 1792-95,the eastern 62- miles was surfaced with broken stone and gravel from Philadelphia to Lancaster. The "turnpiking"or st
facing of the Pennsylvania road, from Philadelphia westward through Harrisburg to Pittsburgh,was completed in 1820. Although the National Pike,
berland Road, was" turnpiked"and opened to travel by the United States Government from Cumberland, Maryland,to Wheeling,then in Virginia, in 18
Pennsylvania Road continued to be preferred by most travelers as the best route to the west throughout the first half of the nineteenth century.
With the completion of the Pennsylvania Canal system to Pittsburgh, in 1834,the Pennsylvania Road and the National Pike lost much of th
iness. The opening of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad to the Ohio River, in 1852, in turn eclipsed the Pennsylvania Canal. Outmoded by the rail
Pennsylvania Road, like all other wagon roads, fell into disuse and lack of repair until interest was revived in highways first by the League o
ican Wheelmen, about 1885, and later by the advent of the "horseless buggy" in the "Nineties.'
)n of Gen-
1751 -THE PENNSYLVANIA ROAD
1753-WASHINGTON CROSSING 753 WASHNGTON CROSS
y ORT LE BOEUF'
In the wilderness far removed from the frontier settlements there were no canoe ferries at river (WATERFORD)
crossings. Woodsmen improvised rude log rafts built from the forest trees. The logs were bound togeth-
er with withes slender, flexible branches of willow or osier. In the accompanying illustration Major
George Washington is shown with Christopher Gist poling their hastily constructed craft across the N "-
Allegheny River in the dead of winter. This river crossing was the sequel to the action of a French ar- 8
my which had invaded the Allegheny River valley from Canada for the strategic purpose of gaining
control of the Ohio River region so as to confine the British colonists to the narrow territory east CUSCUSCA TV
of the Appalachian mountains. Immediately upon learning of the invasion Governor Robert Dinwiddie a j -,
of Virginia decided to challenge the bold attempt to seize territory claimed by the British Crown.His THE
first problem was to find a suitable courier to carry an ultimatum across hundreds of miles of forest OHIO P.'N IAUJ
wilderness intervening between the Virginia settlements and Fort Le Boeuf (Waterford,Erie County, MONONGAHE '
Pennsylvania), the nearest French outpost. Governor Dinwiddie solved the problem by choosing the MR. .
21-year-old Virginian who later became "The Father of his Country." NEW SETTEfr9
Major Washington set out from Williamsburg,Virginia,on October 31,1753. Proceeding to Will's -
Creek (Cumberland, Maryland), at the outskirts of the settlements, Washington employed as his guide MAC,,N'S TRI L.
the experienced woodsman Christopher Gist. With four other companions the pair left Will's Creek CATA7WA TRAIL-- ."
on November 14 and followed the Delaware Indian Nemacolin's trail as far as Gist's plantation. Thence Mr VIRGINIA
they rode their horses over the Catawba Trail and the Raystown Path to the Delaware Chief Shan- BUREAU oF PUBLIC ROADS DEPARTMENT OF CO
nopin's Indian town (Pittsburgh,Pennsylvania) where there was a crossing of the Allegheny River on the"main road" from the Susquehanna R
the Ohio country. A considerable portion of this trail followed the subsequent location of the National Pike, now United States Route 40. The'
their horses across the Allegheny River and encamped for the night on the north side probably at the foot of the present Monument Hill.Was
found the forks of the river well situated for a fort commanding the approaches from both the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers. The hardy
ers continued their journey through Venango to Fort Le Boeuf near Lake Erie where Major Washington delivered Governor Dinwiddie's note of
ing to the French Commandant Lagardeur de St. Pierre. The French officer's courteous but firm rejection of the message was an incident leader
outbreak of the French and Indian War.
Leaving on December 16,1753,for the return trip, Washington and his party paddled down the river in a French canoe to Venango where
rived on December 22. Here the French induced the Indian helpers to desert. Washington and his white companions pressed forward on horseba
three days, progress was so slow that Washington decided to relinquish the horses and baggage to the custody of the interpreter, Van Braam. The re
ful Major struck out on foot with Christopher Gist by the most direct route homeward through the woods.Arriving at the northerly bank of the A
River on December 29, they hastily assembled the crude raft of logs and poled across to the island (Herr's) in the river above Shannopin's Town.0n
over Washington fell into the icy waters but saved himself from drowning by clinging to the raft.They thawed out the Major's clothes and Gist's f
fingers that night beside a camp fire lighted upon the island. The night was so cold that the surface of the river was frozen thick enough by the
ing to enable them to walk the remaining distance to Shannopin's Town across the ice. Thence the sturdy couriers tramped to John Fraser's place
mouth of Turtle Creek. Major Washington returned to Williamsburg, Virginia,on January 16,1754, and delivered to Governor Dinwiddie the refusal
French commander to heed the warning. Washington's straightforward journal of the expedition, published at the order of the Governor, attracted f
comment both throughout the Colonies and in the mother country across the sea.
ng to the
1753 -WASHINGTON CROSSING THE ALLEGHENY
.r. 1 1
1755 BRADDOCKS ROAD 1755 BRADDOCK ROAD
General Edward Braddock's failure to capture Fort Du Quesne (Pittsburgh, Penn- -RIVER PENNSYL V ANIA
FORT DU QUESNE (PITTSBURGH)
sylvania) spelled out in flaming letters a defeat which has been passed down from BRADDOCK'S FIELD I 6
generation to generation of Americans as the crowning example of military folly. / S ouOAHELC MP
The basic trouble, however, was the lack of a good road. This strategic disaster fol- ^ I REAE SWAMP
lowed in the wake of the unsuccessful attempt to perform the herculean task of cut- GREAT ME4M ~ WILLS C EEWKOR
ting through a forest wilderness a new wagon path over which to march an army of FORT NECESI FORT CUM ER _o
veterans fresh from European battlefields and supplied with long trains of covered wag- -OLDOw EDERICK TOW
ons. The route followed the trail used by Major George Washington and Christopher \ O^w^ t
Gist in 1753, in their journey to warn the French commandant at Fort Le Boeuf There ,FEDERICK TOWN OR o O \O
were six towering ranges of the Allegheny Mountains that had to be crossed between o HALKETrS ROLU "" GE, N,
Fort Cumberland,the British concentration point at Wills Creek, Maryland, and the ALEXANDRIA
French stronghold at Fort Du Quesne. General Braddock had been advised by his young v v i R G I N I A
military aid, Major George Washington,to march his troops in single file over the exist-DEPARTMENT COMMERCE
ing Indian trails and to transport his supplies upon the backs of pack animals.The Brit- BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROAD
ish general, however, seasoned in the traditional military science of the Old World chose the method which seemed to promise the greatest concen-
tration of striking power.
Major General Braddock arrived at Hampton Roads, Virginia,on January 14,1755, with the authority of generalissimo of the British forces
on the American continent by virtue of a commission from the Duke of Cumberland,the Captain General of the British Army. It was not until Marc
15,however, that his troops were disembarked from a fleet of transports at Alexandria, Virginia. The first objective was to rendezvous the two Roy
al Infantry Regiments at the furthest west American outpost at Fort Cumberland.The Forty-fourth Regiment, commanded by Sir Peter Halket,
marched through Virginia and the Forty-eighth Regiment, led by Colonel Thomas Dunbar, tramped westward through Maryland, as shown on the
accompanying map. These regiments,totaling about 1,000 men, were joined at Fort Cumberland by levies of Maryland and Virginia militia, by two
companies of carpenters and pioneers entrusted with the duty of opening the road, and a detachment of sailors for rigging blocks and tackle to
haul wagons and guns over difficult portions of the way. Altogether the total force assembled by May 19, numbered about 2,150 infantrymen,axmen,
sailors, guides, the general's staff and eight Indians.
A detachment of 600 soldiers and axmen, commanded by Major Russell Chapman, on May 30, began broadening the trail into a wagon
road 12 feet wide from Fort Cumberland. Between June 7 and 10, the army began to march in three divisions. The progress made by the troops
was painfully slow-from 2 to 5 miles a day. Mountains had to be scaled,streams bridged and morasses made passable. The road was so narrow
that the wagons soon were strung out over a distance of four miles, just as Benjamin Franklin had predicted when he arranged to furnish General
Braddock with Pennsylvania wagons. At that time the English officer's reaction had been that,"These savages may indeed be a formidable enemy
to green raw American militia, but upon the King's regular and disciplined troops,sir, it is impossible they should make any impression."The general
had yet to learn of the impenetrable obstacle placed in his path by a forest wilderness through which his troops struggled when weakened by sick-
ness from a diet of salt-cured food and harassed by prowling bands of enemy scouting parties. Thus encumbered, it took the army more than two
months to traverse the 115 miles of mountain wilderness. At last,on July 9,the 1,200 soldiers constituting the advance guard were brought to atter
tion in well-formed ranks in a level space beside the Monongahela River some ten miles from Fort Du Quesne. Suddenly rifles cracked as a murderous
fire was delivered at the bewildered soldiers by eight hundred Indians and French ambushed in the surrounding woods.Two-thirds of the British forces
fell killed or mortally wounded. General Braddock died four days later. The survivors broke and beat a wild retreat to Fort Cumberland.
1755 BRADDOCKS ROAD
1760 1760 THE TOBACCOROLLING ROAD
THE TOBACCO-ROLLING ROAD IF A 1 R F A X
TO FREDERICK TOWN /
The transportation of tobacco in hogsheads rolled for a hundred miles or more o- OR WCEaE CAMERNO
ver primitive trails was one of the picturesque customs of our Colonial days.Be- O oRD ERX
cause dirt and water leaking through the staves of the casks could damage the tobacco
it was the practice of the rollers to follow the high ground separating the watersheds \
and head the streams,thus avoiding wetting the tobacco at creek crossings at fords. o. r .
This habit may account for many of the early meandering country roads in Virgin- veN 0 N
ia and other southern States. M \Lt
The trails over which tobacco was hauled between the plantations and the Of o .
store houses, for inspection and sale, became known as tobacco-rolling roads.There < o/s C"
were many miles of these wel I-worn paths in the Southland during Colonial times coLcHETER4
and as late as 1850 when rolling was discontinued because of injury to the tobacco. BURAU-OFPUBI
The store houses were the focal points between the plantations in the interior and
a shipping site on a river or other navigable body of water not more than a mile distant. Planters and small farmers often rolled their own t
to the storehouses where it was repacked and inspected by sworn agents ready for transport overseas.
Tobacco from northern Virginia was rolled through Culpeper, Orange and Hanover counties, and Albemarle and Goochland counties, to Richmon
ated at the head of navigation on the James River. The two principal rolling roads in southside Virginia were known as Cocke's Road and the Boydtoi
Road. The first joined Petersburg, where there was a water connection with the James River, with North Carolina by way of Lunenburg and Meckle
counties. The second ran easterly from Boydton, in Mecklenburg County to an intersection with the present location of United States Route I,sc
South Hill,thence approximating closely this main thoroughfare of today to Petersburg. Another old tobacco path,which still bears the name"Ro
Road" began southwest of Baltimore, Maryland at the Patapsco River near the crossing of United States Route I.This road bears northerly from
division of St.Denis, passes west of Catonsville,and thru Hebbville toward the interior.
One of the most widely publicised tobacco rolling roads,in our own times,connected northern Georgia with the nearest port on the Savan
River, downstream from the shoals a few miles south of Augusta.Although not as old as those in the Virginia Colony,this Georgia tobacco ro
road has been made famous as the theme of a book and a play. The road follows the high ridge between two creeks and never crosses any s
Shown on the Georgia map of 1803, it was in use probably during the latter part of the eighteenth century when mule-drawn hogsheads bur
long its course to the river dock. The hilarious drivers cracked their long rawhide whips with marvelous ease. Perhaps this whip snapping was
sible for their nickname-"Georgia Crackers"
The illustration shows George Washington casually eyeing a hogshead of tobacco being rolled to his wharf at Mount Vernon, Virginia, fror
plantation of a neighbor some miles in the interior. The sailing schooner in which the tobacco is to be shipped to the mother country is anchored
from the dock at the mouth of Dogue Creek emptying into the Potomac River. With his record in hand, George Washington has checked, as they ro
each one of his own casks marked,"G.W." It was not necessary to use oxen to roll his tobacco for the 700 feet between the curing barn and the
boat-lighter dock on Dogue Creek. The rope in the hands of the negro was used as a brake on downhill grades.
As the years wore away, there arose a group of men known as"tobacco rollers"who contracted to transport the crops from the plantations tc
storehouses. The"rollers"supplied the draft animals and prepared the casks for hauling. They arranged their schedules to travel in companies and
camped by the roadsides for companionship and mutual protection. Often they were a boisterous crowd and alarmed the staid villagers along the w
1760 THE TOBACCO-ROLLING ROAD
1763-THE BOSTON POST ROAD 1763 THE BOSTON POST
A horseback post, by 1729, ran from Piscataway village, near Portsmouth, at the north of
the Massachusetts Colony, over the Boston Post Road through New York to Philadelphia. Four o', T
weeks were required to send a letter from Boston to Williamsburg, Virginia. Improvement of .' ,
this service began, in 1737, when Benjamin Franklin was appointed Deputy Postmaster General
under Colonel Spottswood of Virginia, to succeed William Bradford the Philadelphia printer who I. .9
had been removed from office. With Franklin at the controls the postal service soon gave E CH YO
promise of becoming a valuable adjunct of Colonial commerce. It was not, however, until DEOPHI
1753, when Colonel Spottswood died and was replaced by Franklin and Colonel William -
Hunter of Virginia, as associate English Postmaster General, that the service expanded to its XKNDR, ,POLIS
greater extent with a line of posts from Boston to Charleston, South Carolina. CON ND, / U
In the summer of 1753, Franklin began a personal inspection of all the post offices in O 'Ri O OFo
the country, with the exception of Charleston. After four years of judicious reorganization /
he succeeded in converting the postal service into a paying institution. Franklin spent the 'N- .No
years from 1757 to 1762 in England representing the interests of the Colonies. Following his K/ ,'
return he made a tour of the American post offices, in the spring of 1763. He is shown in the
illustration in a one-horse chaise accompanied by his daughter on horseback. A post rider is -' CHARLES TOWN
delivering an urgent message to his chief along the Boston Post Road. Franklin's daughter on ,- ,
the return trip rode almost the entire distance from Rhode Island to Philadelphia. SPANISH
In keeping with his progressive policy, Franklin inaugurated a day-and-night post between ETTLEMENT TAUGUSTINE
Boston and New York, in 1764. Ten years later the aging patriot was dismissed from office by BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS-DEPARTMENT OF CO
the British authorities because of his activities in behalf of American rights. Franklin was succeeded by the English Resident Deputy
master General,in America, John Foxcroft, assisted by Hugh Finlay who made an inspection of the Colonial postal system for the Cr
1773 to 1774. The Continental Congress, in 1775, rewarded Franklin with the office of Postmaster General.
The period of the War of the American Revolution measured the transition from the post rider to the mail stage coach. Prior t
the bulk of long-distance travel was performed on foot or horseback and the average rate of travel was four miles an hour. Leading
chants and landowners often rode in coaches in town and even out upon the country roads but as a rule they preferred riding hor
quipped with saddle bags to bumping over atrocious trails in wheeled vehicles. It was the prevailing custom for a traveler to buy a
in a town and sell the animal for about its original cost at the end of the journey.
Before the Revolutionary War an abortive attempt was made by Jonathan and Nicholas Brown, on June 25, 1772, to operate thi
public passenger-stages between Boston and .New York. This service was suspended during the years of hostilities. After the con
of peace, Levi Pease, a New England blacksmith,restored the interrupted service, in 1784. He is credited with establishing the first suc
stage line between the two cities. It passed over the upper Boston Post Road through Worcester, Springfield and Hartford.
Stage coaches had come into such general use, by 1785, that an urgent need arose for surfaced roads travelable at all seasons
year. Impoverished by contributions of men, money and supplies during the War of Independence and by a 10-year postwar competition
British merchants, New England townships were unable to raise the necessary taxes for road improvement. The financial condition of the
was no better. The answer was found in turnpike companies chartered by the State and financed and operated by private citizens. The
Post Road section in Greenwich,Connecticut, completed in 1792, is said to be the third minor project of the kind in the United States. T
was the Little River Turnpike, in Virginia,authorized, in 1785, and the second the Mohegan Road Tollgate Act ( New London to No
Connecticut ) passed in 1792.
1763 THE BOSTON POST ROAD
1766-THE FLYING MACHINE 1766 THE FLYING MACHI
The entry of the Flying Machine stage wagon upon the run between Philadelphia and New York,in "u
1766,fixed another red buoy beside the main channel of highway transportation in this country. This N E W o
figurative buoy marked the first feeble attempt to speed common carrier travel in America. The Flying z
Machine passenger vehicle was the harbinger of the present pulsing traffic along United States Route I 0) <
over which roll probably more motor vehicles than on any other thoroughfare in the world. Therefore,
when we compare the streamlined contours of today's automobiles with the clumsy outlines of the Fly-
ing Machine it is hard to believe that this wagon's two-day travel time between the two Colonial cities o
ever could have been considered rapid. The relative speed is apparent, however, when contrasted with -S U yERT
the previous slow-moving transportation. Fer
In 1711 I, when the York Road was opened throughout its length there were three main routes be- CETOW ,RA
tween Philadelphia and New York :(1) The lower, or Governor Laurie's road across New Jersey from CROK TREN
Burlington through Crosswicks and Cranberry to Perth Amboy;(2) The old middle path, or King's high- REDA I CROSSWICKS
way, between the Raritan River at New Brunswick and the Delaware River at Trenton; and (3) The up- TAVERN RE
per, or York Road,through Willow Grove(Red Lion Tavern), Hatboro(Crooked Billet Tavern), and How- BUR LINGTON
ell's Ferry (Centrebridge) to the Raritan River at New Brunswick. PHILA Lei a
There seems to have been no regular public passenger service on the King's highway out of Phila- L
delphia, until 1725, when four-wheeled chairs were advertised to run from Three Tuns Tavern, on Chest- j E R S E Y
nut between Second and Third Streets,to Frankford. One year later a petition to install a ferry below
the"Falls-on-the-Delaware"was granted to James Trent whose father gave the name to Trent's town or BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS-DEPARMENT OF C
Trenton. Between this town and Brunswick, in March 1738, a covered springless stage wagon fitted with
rigid, hard wooden benches began running over the rough earth road twice a week for the summer months only. To avoid the long,tedious wa
at the New York end of the journey, a land route was blazed,in 1740, to Paulus Hook-Dutch Areseck Houck-Powles Hook, now Jersey City. The
King's highway, in 1749, according to William Douglas,who wrote a general description of the British settlements in North America,was as follows
phia-0 miles; Bristol opposite Bridlington(Burlington)- 20 miles; Trent Town ferry over the De La Ware River-30 miles; Princetown-40 miles; Brur
ry of Raritan River-52 miles; Woodbridge-70 miles; Elizabeth Point ferry-82 miles; land to Staten Island Point-88 miles; and ferry to New York-103
The Northern Post horseback riders worked on a weekly schedule during the spring,summer and fall only, in 1750,when Joseph Borden organic
first regular stage-wagon service between the two principal cities by way of Trenton and Brunswick.The first so-called through city-to-city stage s
gan on November 9,1756,along the King's highway from Philadelphia through Princetown and New Brunswick to Perth Amboy, thence to New York by
The long ferry trip across New York Bay was displaced on April 14,1766, by a ferry across the Hudson River at Paulus Hook installed by J
hill and John Masherew. They introduced the fastest stage wagon until that date, called the Flying Machine,which began a bi-weekly schedule for
day journey from Philadelphia through Trenton, Princetown, Elizabeth Town,Newark and the Passaic and Hackensack Riversto Paulus Hook (Jersey
"the waggon seats to be set on springs" and "no water carriage, and consequently nothing to impede the journey." The comfort of passengers
served by hanging the wooden cross seats in leather straps to offset the lack of springs between the wagon body and the axles.The picti
the passengers transferring from the sailing ferry boat at Paulus Hook and beyond the primitive skyline of New York(1760 population-14,000
ond metropolis of the British Colonies in America to Philadelphia (1769 population -28,043).
log of the
) the sec-
1766 THE FLYING MACHINE
1769A SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA 1769 SAN DIEGO
At San Diego de Alcala, named after Saint James of Alcala, an Andalucian Franciscan monk, the (Lo ANGELES) Msia
first of the Spanish missions in present California was founded on Sunday, July 16, 1769,when the MN GAB EL M,,w As
Franciscan Friar Miguel Jos6 Junipero Serra blessed the Cross on a spot called by the natives,Cosoy, / M A w
later the Old Town,as shown in the accompanying illustration. The building for worship and later the A sd a
presidio (fort) became the most southerly of a series of twenty-one mission settlements built along MNrY L A N
a 700-mile route paralleling the Pacific Coast north as far as Sonoma,a short distance above the N : ,1/A
San Francisco of today. The second mission of San Carlos was established at Monterey on June 3 s sA
1770. The presidio at this location was completed in 1778.The first fortified settlements,at San M ISIN, "A
Diego and Monterey, were intended as refitting stations for Spanish galleons (warships) based in C API-wo JTAs
Manila. The government of Spain decided to occupy upper California to protect their Mexican pos- Z )^
sessions to the south following the Russian explorations in Alaska from 1745-65. Monterey, M I.OsSAN
named after the then viceroy of New Spain, became the principal military, commercial and finan- \ 6's o. ^'
cial center of California until the region passed under United States control. All the missions a- ) I RE raNLAP~a
long the route were visited by the Franciscans on foot. Thus this revered California road which M "'6N
corresponds closely with the present United States Route 101, as shown on the map,has become oo
known as"El Camino Real of the padres.' To AJj s w
From San Diego, El Camino Real continued southward through Arispe, Durango and Quere- SAN DIEGO E
taro to the capital at Mexico City. This trail was the westernmost of the three main Caminos Reales DE ALCALA (Los _.NGE
which the Spaniards used to reach their buffer state to the north. The first Camino Real to be o- BUREAU oF PUBLIC ROADS-DEPARTMEN or c(
opened was that leading directly north to Santa F6,founded 1605. From this great central road there
stemmed ,during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, eastern branches at what is now Dolores Hidalgo, Zacatecas and Durango,which
at Saltillo,and thence ran north and east across the Rio Grande River at Presidio del Norte(Paso de Francia or French Ford), through modern
la,San Antonio, Nacogdoches, Natchitoches, Natchez, New Orleans, Mobile,Pensacola,and Tal lahassee to a terminus on the east coast of Flor
Saint Augustine, founded by the Spaniards in 1565, under the leadership of the Spanish naval captain Pedro Menendez de Avilrs.Any of these r
used by the Spanish Government to transmit despatches and troops were called Los Caminos Reales, meaning Royal Roads. They correspond
Kings Highway later traveled in the British Colonies in North America. Los Caminos Reales were developed from Mexico City as a center af
when the Spanish conquistador Hernando Cort6s, in command of twelve galleons and over five hundred men, landed at Vera Cruz,thence ma
westward and conquered the Aztecs led by Montezuma. From that time on the Spaniards spread their dominion north and south along the
tainous backbone of the continent throughout the region now known as Middle America.
In addition to these three main north roads there were connections leading from Mexico City to the Gulf of Mexico at Vera Cruz,two h
and fifty miles distant; a route to Acapulco on the Pacific Ocean,and a southern road winding through Guatemala to San Salvador, all opera
shortly after the Spaniards set foot in New Spain.
These land routes in the New World, during the sixteenth century,were connected with the Old World at Seville, Spain, by fleets of gal
which sailed across the Atlantic Ocean. One of these naval groups, called the Fleet of Tierra Firme, had for its destination Cartegena,the fir
ish settlement in the northern coast of South America,the mainland later made famous by the pirates of the"Spanish Main'.'Another agg
of vessels, called the Fleet of New Spain, headed for the Antilles and the Gulf of Mexico. In those early times the West Indies were the ce
Spanish influence,settlement and trade in the New World. The principal settlement was on the Island of Hispaniola, known now as Haiti, or
Domingo, in the northern border of the Caribbean Sea.
1769- SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA
1774-THE WILDERNESS ROAD 1774-THE WILDERNESS ROAD
TO THE FALL? K EN
OFTHEOHIOF K ENTUCKY
The Wilderness Road, through the Cumberland Gap through the Allegheny Mount- SALTR wBOONESBOROUGH s WEW
ains, at the junction of the State boundaries of Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia, was A R, $.,,URs
the main pioneer road over which poured the first waves of the great tide of migra- F/
tion which inundated the West. Until the War of the American Revolution,the three FORT GANA B'
million inhabitants of the British Colonies in North America lived within a 150-mile CRAB ORCHARD /
belt of land paralleling the Atlantic Coast. The towering Allegheny Mountains to the HAZEL l i- c
west screened a vast wilderness through which roamed occasional Frenchmen and AZE VI
Englishmen but principally Indians and wild animals. BLoc
Prior to the Revolutionary War all land routes westward converged upon Fort ^^
Pitt (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), from New England and Pennsylvania,and upon Cum- MIDDLEBOR
berland Gap from Pennsylvania, Virginia and the Carolinas. Fort Pitt was the only CUMBERLAND GAP T-PAT H W
English outpost west of the mountains. The objective of these transmountain routes TENNESSEE? o O
was the fertile valley of the Ohio (Indian- Oyo = beautiful) River and the land of
"Caintuck" (from the Iroquois word, Ken-ta-kee, meaning among the meadows"). BUREAU OF PUBC ROADS EPARMN O
The 826-mile Wilderness Road route from Philadelphia had precedence over the 924-mile Pennsylvania route because it was the shortest
route to the falls (Louisville, Kentucky) of the Ohio River.
The Wilderness Road recalls the immortal name of Daniel Boone who hunted in the new country in 1767. Later, in May, 1769, following th
of Fort Stanwix,in 1768, opening the Kentucky region to white settlers, Boone set forth from his cabin on the Yadkin River, in North Carolina, ab
miles southeasterly of the Watauga settlement in Tennessee. He explored the new country, marveled at the richness of the soil evidenced by the
growth of timber and rejoined his family on the Yadkin River determined to settle in the new land. In 1773, Boone,with his own and five other fa
the Yadkin River and headed west. The journey was thwarted by hostile Indians who killed six of the party including Daniel's eldest son James. T
id Boone, however, vowed to complete the emigration at the first favorable opportunity.
Boone and Michael Stoner, in 1774, were employed by Governor Dunmore of Virginia"to conduct a number of surveyors to the falls of the
made the round trip, totaling nearly 800 miles,in 62 days. In the same year, 1774, James Harrod and his comrades,from the Monongahela-valley enc
Pennsylvania Road,floated down the Ohio and up the Kentucky rivers, and grounded their craft at the mouth of Shawnee Run where they founded
burg, Kentucky. The real beginning of the westward migration to Kentucky dates from the year 1774 when many cabins were built in the Harrodsburg and Danv
The Ohio River route was the only practical path into Kentucky as late as March, 1775, when Colonel Richard Henderson met with the chief
Cherokee Indians at Watauga and negotiated a treaty for the purchase of land bordering the Ohio, Kentucky and Cumberland Rivers. Daniel Boo
chosen to locate the emigrant path for the land company. With a band of well-armed men,Boone set forth from the Watauga settlement on Marct
and within three weeks had blazed a trail to Boonesborough where he began erecting a fort on April I. The accompanying illustration shows Da
ing a party of about forty woodsmen across Gap Creek tributary of Powell River.
Colonel Richard Henderson,with a large party, followed Boone over the Wilderness Road in the spring of 1775. One of the members, Benjarr
disagreed with Colonel Henderson and separated from the party at Pittsburg thence he bore northwesterly towards Fort Harrod and establish
western branch of the Wilderness Road leading to the falls of the Ohio River. This route in time became more important than Boone's path
heart of the bluegrass region where Lexington was founded. Boone's ambition was realized in 1775 when he emigrated with his family and set
Boonesborough. By 1790 Kentucky had a population of 73,000 people and was admitted to the Union in 1792.
J of the
s of the
1794-THE WHISKEY REBELLION 1794 THE WHISKEY
The principal cause of the Whiskey Rebellion in western Pennsylvania, in 1794, x M INOREnA iON ARMY RGHT WING -
E OF INURREASSEMBLE AT CARLISLE
was the lack of a good road across the Allegheny Mountains between Pittsburgh and A STInLLJ ENTATION 5,200 PA.MEN UNDER GOVMIFFL
Philadelphia. For a number of years after the peace pact of 1783,which concluded S wPOUA GEN.MORGAN 1200 NR UNDER GOHOWE
the War of the American Revolution, there was nothing but a horse path across the A 1,0LEFT WING MEN WASHINGTON AT CARLISLE OCT.
mountains. Salt,iron, lead, powder and other necessities had to be carried on the I oTE JILLY D-R OC JQkO FR7 EAVi."
backs of pack horses. At the time of the insurrection, in 1794, the roads were in IA.pUr sUR VEGH Y" A-M, E R (
such an atrocious condition that wagon freight cost from five to ten dollars for KS MARCH TO PITTSBURGH AUG.1,
I i -,. o o.-),[ ^suIe .SHOW STRENGTH AND LEAVE
each hundred pounds. WASH CARLISLE
The Monongahela farmers' revolt against the Government excise tax upon the oB ,DF ....AR...........
manufacture of whiskey had an economic basis. Their livelihood depended upon 'mu .;..... P
the sale of grain, lumber, meat, furs and ginseng. Because of the prohibitive cost of /ARMY LEFT WING- ... LLAMPORT LPRSONE
LEAVES FT CUMBERLAND OCT.25 ARRIVE DEC.25
wagon transportation these products could not be hauled economically east across 3,300VA.MEN UNDER GOV. HENRY LEE
the mountains to the Philadelphia market nor was there any assured market if they ,350 MD.MEN UNDER GOV T. S.LEE
were shipped southwest down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. The farmers, therefore, BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS-DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
were convinced that their only alternative was to solve their transportation problem by converting the bulky raw grain into the more concentrated
of whiskey. Because the average farmer seldom handled more than twenty dollars in cash in any one year, the excise tax which the Government had
ied upon the output of their whiskey stills seemed an infringement upon their liberties, especially when the liquor was used for barter.
It is a simple matter to convert their resentment into terms of dollars and cents.A pack horse could carry only 4 bushels of rye grain with a t
weight of 224 pounds. The same horse, however, could walk along easily with two 8-gallon kegs of whiskey weighing a total of 149 pounds, with the
tainers,which had been distilled from 24 bushels of raw rye grain.Wagons supplied a still more profitable mode of transportation.AConestoga wal
capable of carrying a load of one ton (2,000 pounds) could haul 36 bushels of corn grain. This same wagon could transport twenty-two 10-gall
kegs, or 220 gallons, of corn liquor. The raw grain was worth one dollar a bushel delivered in Philadelphia,and the corn whiskey, or'Monongahel
sold for one dollar a gallon at the same destination. The profit of converting the grain into distilled alcohol thus totaled 184 dollars for each wag
load, shown in the accompanying illustration.
The manufacture of whiskey, however, required stills which cost more than the ordinary farmer could afford. A 100-gallon still was equivale
in value to a 200-acre farm within a 10-mile radius of Pittsburgh. Because of the high initial cost, farmers in a neighborhood either clubbed together
purchase a still or else arranged to have their grain processed at a standard fee by some more prosperous neighbor who possessed the necessary c
tal. Distilleries thus became common in the western mountains "In many parts of the country you could scarcely get out of sight of the smoke of a
house',according to Findley. So much wheat and rye grain was converted into whiskey that a scarcity of bread and forage became imminent. To the
ern farmer, however, the still was an essential factor in his livelihood. A Westmoreland petition of 1790 read:'ln this manner we are supplied with
necessary article, much upon the same conditions that our mills furnish us with flour ,and why we should be made subject to a duty for drinking ou
grain more than eating it, seems a matter of astonishment to every reflecting mind."
The attitude of the western farmers was a by-product of frontier life. Coined money was seldom seen. Barter of goods was the customary meth
of doing business.Therefore,they resented any law which prevented them from trading their products for the merchandise they needed.The Whisi
Rebel lion was of short duration, although it presented a real threat to the stability of the newly-born Republic. President George Washington, as Corr
mander in Chief, marched Federal troops westward over the Pennsylvania road and suppressed the movement in short order without bloodshe
l~~l"l i_., .- -""
.,^-p ;-~.,- -^*y ^
. ,1^ *-
1794- THE WHISKEY REBELLION
179 THE PHLADEPHHIA AND 1795 THE PHILADELPHIA ANDLA TE
TURNPIKE ROAD IN THE STATE OF
LANCASTER TURNPIKE ROAD PENNSYLVANIA
The Philadelphia and Lancaster Turnpike Road may be called the morning star
which heralded the dawn ofa new day in roadbuilding in this country. In some respects P
it was the outstanding highway of the thirteen original States. It was the first long- Y
distance stretch of broken-stone and gravel surface built in this country in accord-
ance with plans and specifications. It was the first important turnpike road in the United
States, although antedated by the lesser Little River Turnpike extending west from Al- PITTSBURGH
exandria,Virginia. It was the most important section of the celebrated Pennsylvania Road, RISBURo
running west to Pittsburgh, which,following the ordinance of 1787, opened to settlement Bedford LANASTE
the Territory Northwest of the Ohio River. It provided cheap transportation between Yo
the populous coast regions and the"bread basket"of the newborn Republic, situated in Chambersburg own '"
the vicinity of Lancaster, where fertile farms yielded bumper crops of wheat. Incident- BRANDYWINE CREEK
ally the limestone soil,which paid such rich dividends in harvests,overlaid the parent BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS-DEPARTMENT OFCOMMER
limestone strata which,when quarried and broken into fragments, provided inexpensive local material for surfacing the road. The Lancaster Pi
its extension, the Pennsylvania Road,was Philadelphia's bid for the fabulous wealth of raw materials, bordering the Great Lakes,in competition wi
other eastern States. New York finally won with practically a water grade across the mountains following the route of the Erie Canal. The 2000-fo
across the Allegheny Mountains was too great a handicap for Pennsylvania to overcome. Thus New York forged ahead of Philadelphia as the principal
tic coast seaport.
The Lancaster Pike began a new chapter in the history of roadbuilding in the United States because it was the first privately-built road of im
It was the beginning of organized road improvement after a long period of economic confusion following the War of the American Revolution It struck th
blow at releasing the shackles of waste and inefficiency inherent in the ancient method of building and maintaining roads, known as"statute laboror"work
the road tax" Contrary to statements which have been given wide circulation,the Lancaster Pike was not the first macadam road in this country. As a
of fact John Loudon MacAdam's method of road construction was not devised until about a generation later than the date when the Lancaster Pike was cc
Construction work on the Lancaster.Pike was commenced in February, 1793, and was completed practically by December, 1795, although there was
work and the finishing of minor details in progress as late as May, 1796. The total length of the road was 62 miles, measured from the west bank of the S
River. The total cost of the project was$465,000 or an average of 77,470 a mile.The metaled surface was twenty-four feet wide and the maximum gr
was seven per cent. At first there were nine toll gates along the route but these were relocated and increased to thirteen, later, in order to prevent
of tolls by"shun piking"or bypassing the gates. The three-arched stone bridge across Brandywine Creek,costing $12,000, was part of the project.
The hospitable sign of the Spread Eagle Tavern is shown in the illustration, as it appeared in 1795, together with the stagecoach and C
wagon of the period. This inn was situated about 14 miles from the east abutment of the later Schuylkill River bridge, about 479 feet southeast
Delaware-Chester County line, at the present location of Strafford, halfway between Wayne and Devon on the present United States Route 3
With the completion of the new Philadelphia and Columbia Railroad and the Pennsylvania Canal extensions to Pittsburgh, in 1834,the i
of the turnpike's stagecoach and Conestoga-wagon companies suffered a drastic decline. During the next half century the road fell into disu
lack of repair. When the automobile appeared in the Nineties the expanded economy of our prosperous country required roads free of tolls.T
February 25, 1902,the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County dissolved the Philadelphia and Lancaster Turnpike Road Company.
1795 THE LANCASTER PIKE
. .- -
1797- ZANE'S TRACE 1797 ZANE'S TRACE
Zane's Trace was the northeastward land route beginning at the ancient buffalo NORTHWEST PTau PA
crossing of the Ohio River near the mouth of Big Three Mile Creek (present Aberdeen, r RK~i ESVI ) H E
TERRITORY s M i
Ohio) and ending up the river at Wheeling connected by trails leading to Pennsylvania o LIGEST
and Virginia. Zane's Trace,situated in the Territory Northwest of the Ohio River,was EX.NGT0o N .5
a northern segment of the long-distance path,leading to the lower Mississippi River. ,7 .so --o
which later included the Maysville Pike connected by an Indian trail with the Natch- "
ez Trace. Zane's Trace was opened as an alternate cross-country route to supple- L.. NC
ment Daniel Boone's Wilderness Road over which,for more than a generation follow- .-. .
ing the close of the War of the American Revolution, sturdy pioneers traveled across ,CHICKASAW .C .
the Allegheny Mountains between Kentucky and the original States along the Atlan- jG ."
CHOCTAWS GA v .
tic seaboard. NwTCHEZ
....---d ----. \
Toward the close of the eighteenth century the water thoroughfare up the Ohio ., F
River from Kentucky presented such formidable difficulties that a return land trail ORLEAN
became necessary to provide suitable transportation for the rapidly growing set- BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS 'DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
elements of western Pennsylvania and Virginia. Ohio River traffic was hampered by floating ice in the winter, by spring floods, by low water
dry summer season and by the incessant ravages of river pirates who took up their positions where the natural obstructions to navigation aid
nefarious livelihood. Only in the most favorable seasons of the year was it profitable to "pole" upstream,or "cordell"by a rope pulled from th
keel boats or barges laden with heavy freight. For the lighter freight and passenger traffic a land route was more convenient. Furthermore,
the introduction of the first steamboat on the Ohio River, in 1798, the majority of all river craft could not be propelled against the current b
reasonable expenditure of human energy. For these reasons flatboatmen were accustomed to sell their freight as well as their craft at the
river destination and trudge homeward over a land path through the wilderness.
Following the Treaty of Greenville in 1795,the Territory Northwest of the Ohio River came into the undisputed possession of the United
Government as settlers swarmed into the new region from the eastern States. The return traffic consisting largely of produce,travelers an
packets assumed such sizable proportions that Congress recognized the need for a 226 -mile post road from the upper reaches of the Ohio
Wheeling downstream to the most frequented western Kentucky port at Limestone (Maysville). The legislation relating to this road, entitled,"A
authorize Ebenezer Zane to locate certain lands in the territory of the United States northwest of the Ohio River,"was approved by President
Washington on May 17, 1796. The act provided for the grant of three tracts of land,not exceeding one square mile each,to Colonel Ebenezer
who had previously blazed a trail from Pittsburgh to Wheeling'one on the Muskingum river, one on the Hockhocking river, and one other c
north bank of the Scioto river, and in such situations as shall best promote the utility of a road to be opened by him on the most eligible re
tween Wheeling and Limestone." Patents to the land were to be issued to Ebenezer Zane provided that the road was opened by January 1,17
'ferries established upon the rivers aforesaid for the accommodation oftravelers"at rates approved by two judges of the Territory Northwest
Zane began work at once assisted by his brother Jonathan, his son-in-law John Mc Intire,John Green,William McCulloch, Ebenezer Rya
others. The trail cut from Wheeling southwest to the present Zanesville followed mainly the watershed traversed by the earlier Mingo Trail;
probably retraced another Indian trail to the Ohio River. Zane's work consisted of felling small trees and widening the unsurveyed Indian Tra
accommodate horsemen and letter carriers and of constructing ferry crossings over the three principal streams. As soon as the trace was ope
Federal Government established a mail route from Wheeling through Limestone to Lexington in Kentucky. The portion of the route known as
Trace was the first post road located in the Territory Northwest of the Ohio River.
.r in the
n Act to
1797 ZANE'S TRACE
1802-THE CATSKILL TURNPIKE 802 THE CASKU TURNPIKE
The 95- mile road westward from Catskill, New York,on the Hudson River, to Wattle's Fer- 0 --
ry, opposite Unadil la on the west bank of the Susquehanna River, was opened to travel as the Cats-
kill Turnpike in 1802. Within a few years after the end of the War of the American Revolution,in E00 fNSBoJ,
1783, this route was one of the three main paths connecting New England with the Great Lakes GT se N ER
region. According to the map of the United States, published by Abraham Bradley, Jr., about Ssr
1796,the principal New York road to the west began at the Massachusetts line at Lebanon and PHILELP
ran from Albany along the Mohawk River to Canajoharie and Rome to the terminus at Canan- '
daigua. The lesser traveled western road crossed the Massachusetts line and extended through M,- WHEELING
Catskill, Harpersfield, Union (Binghamton) and Painted Post to Williamsburg (Geneseo). A south-
west branch of the main route connected Canajoharie with Union. Travelers from southern ,o
New York, Connecticut and Rhode Island preferred the shorter Catskill Turnpike over the older
Mohawk Turnpike, opened through to Lake Erie shortly after the War of 1812-15.
Since the founding of the Plymouth Rock settlement in Massachusetts, in 1620, western
migration across the present New York State had been blocked by the warlike Iroquois Confed-
eration which resisted attempt by the New England Pilgrim Fathers to traverse their"Long House". ri
The Indian homeland remained forbidden territory to the white man until General Wayne's
victory over the red men,followed by the Treaty of Greenville, in 1795,and other treaties,o-
pened unmolested western paths to relieve overcrowded New England. The Catskill Turnpike /"
was one of the many roads built during the strenuous generation following the organization of -
the New Republic, in 1789, when internal improvements were pressed to consolidate victory by UREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS -DEPARTMENT OF COMM
stimulating communications and commerce.
Three systems of trans-Allegheny Mountain roads were built to join the thirteen original States along the Atlantic Seaboard with t
raw materials bordering the Great Lakes. The Catskill road was a unit in the northern system in a passable condition as early as 1788
though not turnpiked until fourteen years later. The parallel main route built by the Mohawk Turnpike and Bridge Company and its wes
ward extension, the Great Genesee or Seneca Road, were incorporated as turnpikes some two years earlier on April 4 and April 1, 1800
spectively. The Cherry Valley, or Great Western Turnpike through Cherry Valley and Cazenovia,now United States Route 20,was not in
action until 1806. The westbound New England routes were in competition with the central system of outlets for the Middle Atlantic St
consisting of the Pennsylvania or General Forbes' Road to Pittsburgh and the Virginia or General Braddock's Road to Wheeling. The sou
system of western arteries embraced Daniel Boone's Wilderness Road into Kentucky and the Nashville and old Walton roads across Tennes:
Kentucky and Tennessee had been transformed rapidly from a wilderness into settled communities with the dignity of States by 1792 and I
because acreage could be purchased easily from'the land speculators and the later State governments. Mass migration into western New York, he
er, was delayed because of the unfriendly Indians and the disputed title to the region claimed by both New York and Massachusetts. After repres
tives of the two commonwealths reached an agreement at Hartford, Connecticut, in 1786, New York began at once to sell its holdings in large t
in order to replenish rapidly its depleted treasury.
Wooed by the sales campaign of the land speculators, New England farmers abandoned their rock-strewn fields and moved their families t
fertile soil in the Northwest. The Catskill Turnpike and its continuation to Canandaigua were crowded with covered wagons (shown in the accom
ing illustration). By 1812 there were 200,000 pioneers living in western New York.Halsey wrote about the Catskill Turnpike that," The roa
through lands owned by the stockholders. Little regard was had for grades as travellers well knew. The main purpose was to make the lane
cessible and marketable.'**"* Ten toll gates were set up along the line,"***". Two stages were to be kept regularly on the road,the far
be five cents a mile.****" The most prosperous period for the road was the ten years from 1820 to 1830."
1802 THE CATSKILL TURNPIKE
1804- OLIVE ER EVANS' AMPHIBIOUS OLVER EVANS' AMPBIOUS DI
Oliver Evans' Orukter Amphibolos,which translated from the Latin means amphibious dig-
ger,~was the first steam-driven vehicle.propel led on land in this country. Evans was neither the
first to originate the idea nor the first to operate a steam wagon. As early as 1759 an Englishman
named Dr. Robinson bad suggested a steam carriage to the Scottish engineer, James Watt, who
first patented his steam engine in January 1769. Watt built models of a steam wagon but did not PHI
take the idea seriously. Meanwhile, in France, Nicolas Joseph Cugnot had been experimenting with
a self-propelled steam"land carriage"which he assembled and ran with some degree of success
in 1769. Two years later, in 1771, Cugnot, with the financial assistance of the French Government,
constructed a larger machine which upset after running about fifteen minutes upon the streets nU"'AS o
Oliver Evans (1755-1819) stated in The Weekly Register of March, 1813, published by H.Niles
in Baltimore, Maryland,"About the year 1772, being then an apprentice to a wheel-wright,or wag-
gon-maker, I labored to discover some means of propelling land carriages, without animal power
All the modes that have since been tried (so far as I have heard of them) such as wind,treadles
with ratchet wheels,crank tooth,etc. to be wrought by men, presented themselves to my mind, A
but were considered as too futile, to deserve an experiment; and I concluded that such motion
was impossible for want of a suitable original power." BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS ,DEPARTMENT OF C
After concluding a series of experiments which convinced him that he could operate steam engines successfully, Evans,in 1786,peti
Legislature of Pennsylvania for exclusive right to apply his invention to flour mills and steam wagons in that State. The Committee to wh
matter was referred approved the mill application but considered that Evans' representations with respect to steam wagons indicated he wa
A similar petition presented to the Legislature of Maryland was approved May 21,1787, on the ground that the grant could injure no on
might produce something useful. Evans was given the exclusive right for 14 years to improve flour mills and steam wagons.With this g
his possession, Evans then sought to find capital to further the project.
His statement continues,' In the year 1800 or 1801,never having found a man willing to contribute to the expence,or even to encc
me to risque it myself, it occurred to me that though I was then in full health, I might be suddenly carried off by the yellow fever, that ha
ten visited our city (Philadelphia)or by some other disease or casualty to which all are liable,and that I had not yet discharged my debt of
the State of Maryland by producing the steam waggon. I determined,therefore,to set to work the next day and construct one."
"In the year 1804,1 constructed at my works,situate a mile a half from the water, by order of the board of health of the city of Philadel
chine for cleansing decks. It consisted of a large flatt,or scow,with a steam engine of the power of five horses on board,to work machinery tI
mud into flatts. This was a fine opportunity to show the public that my engine could propel both land and water carriages,and I resolved to
the work was finished, I put wheels under it; and though it was equal in weight to two hundred barrels of flour and the wheels fixed with woodE
trees,for this temporary purpose in a very rough manner, and with great friction, of course,yet with this small engine I transported my great
to the Schuylkill with ease; and,when it was launched in the water, I fixed a paddle wheel at the stern,and drove it down the Schuylkill to the
and up the' Delaware to the city, leaving all the vessels going up behind me, at least, half way; the wind being a-head."
id so of-
o raise the
do it. When
1804- OLIVER EVANS' AMPHIBIOUS DIGGER
1806-LEWVIS AND CLARK 1806 LEWIS ANDCLARKATFORTCL
AT FORT CLATSOP rE H PO\/,
Lewis and Clark's expedition to the Northwest Coast -the first transcontinental F MoD-'Ah
exploration sponsored by the United States Government -followed the circuitous riv- LA-,^ sTop o1.AR0.
er routes later superseded by the more direct overland Oregon Trail. President Thom- C "" :
as Jefferson commissioned them to bring back information concerning the Indians ...-- .. T E RR IT R Y
and the vast territory acquired by the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, lying between
the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains beyond which was the Oregon Coun- A .
try with its wealth of fur-bearing animals.As early as 1783,Thomas Jefferson,while
United States Minister to France,with headquarters in Paris, had been informed of 5oP
the fabulous profits in the Northwest fur trade by the Connecticut Yankee John ROT a
Ledyard.This Dartmouth graduate had served as a marine corporal under Captain LN "~'^ROUT E.LI---A
Cook during his voyage to the Northwest Coast begun in 1776. Jefferson arranged BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS DEPARTMENT OF COM
with the Empress of Russia for Ledyard's passage across Siberia. Thence he was to
cross over into Alaska and explore the Northwest country from west to east. His expedition failed because the Empress changed her mind and order
returned to Poland after he had traveled to within 200 miles of Kamchatka.
Thomas Jefferson, however, never lost sight of the immense national advantages to be gained by extending our western boundary to the Pacifi
Thus after his election to the presidency he resurrected his favorite plan of an overland expedition to the West Coast. In a secret message to Cong
January 18,1803, he requested authority to promote trade with the Indian tribes of the Missouri River region and to explore as far as the west
Congress,thereupon,voted 8 2,500 to extend "the external commerce of the United States."
President Jefferson chose his young private secretary, Meriwether Lewis,age 28,to lead the military expedition. Lewis then selected his
Virginia companion and experienced frontiersman William Clark,age 32,to be associate leader of the enterprise. Early in July, 1803,Captain
Washington for Pittsburgh,thence down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers by boat, accompanied by 14 soldiers and 9 Kentucky hunters enlisted as
vales. En route opposite Kentucky the party was joined by Captain Clark. Because the Louisiana Territory was not transferred formally from Fr
the United States until December 20, 1803, Lewis established 1803-1804 winter quarters on the east side of the Mississippi River opposite Sai
On May 4,1804,the explorers set out up the Missouri River in three boats. They reached a position north of Bismarck,North Dakota, 1,600
their starting point,late in October. There 1804-1805 winter quarters were erected and called Fort Mandan. The Shoshone Indian Girl,the fam
woman" Sacajawea and her French trader husband Touissant Charbonneau were enlisted as interpreters and guides.
Favored by spring weather, on April 7, 1805,the explorers resumed the boat journey up the Missouri River Beyond the headwaters horses
trained through Sacajawea's Shoshone Indian brother for the 300-mile land crossing of the Continental Divide to the headwaters of the Clearwat
down which they floated and finally built 1805-1806 winter quarters at Fort Clatsop on the south side of the Young's Bay estuary to the gre
bia River opposite present Astoria, Oregon. The return journey homeward was begun on March 23, 1806, after giving a list of the party names t(
nook Indian Delashelwilt and hauling down the American flag, as shown in the illustration.The explorers retraced their westbound route across th
to the Bitter Root River where the expedition divided. Captain Lewis proceeded eastward along the Missouri and Captain Clark by way of the Ye
River. The parties reunited near the junction of the two streams and continued down the Missouri River, arriving at Saint Louis on Septembe
after spending more than two years in the wilderness. Given up for lost or killed by Indians or wild animals,their reappearance became a to
side conversation throughout the nation." Never has there been such joy all over the country' said President Thomas Jefferson who rewarded
bers with grants of land and appointed Captain Lewis the Governor of northern Louisiana Territory.
o the Chi-
r 23, 1806,
)pic of fire-
J the mem-
AS Sror a A S-r
1806-LEWIS AND CLARK AT FORT CLATSOP
1808- GALLATIN'S ROAD AND 1808 ALLATIN'S R AND
CANAL REPORT CANAL REPORT
Albert Gallatin, Secretary of the Treasury Department, on April 4,1808, presented a report "re- VLGTO S o
specting roads and canals, at the request of the United States Senate, which became the mold from
which was cast our subsequent national transportation policies. Secretary Gallatin urged,"early and
efficient aid of the Federal Government"in order to "shorten distances, facilitate commercial and per- a
sonal intercourse,and unite, by a still more intimate community of interests,the most remote quar- iND .Y
ters of the United States. No other single operation, within the power of Government, can more ef- -
fectually tend to strengthen and perpetuate that union which secures external independence, do-
mestic peace,and internal liberty."
The substance of the report reflects three basic concepts. First, the legitimacy of Government aid Al l
to finance transportation projects transcending local needs. In support of this premise the Treasury WjJ -,
head advised,"Notwithstanding the great increase of capital during the last fifteen years, [The period ABiUo
of reconstruction and consolidation following the Treaty of Paris,in 1783,concluding the War of the A- ,ro
merican Revolution.- Ed7 the objects for which it is required continue to be more numerous, and its s o
application is generally more profitable than in Europe. A small portion therefore is applied to objects v
which offer only the prospect of remote and moderate profit." Therefore, concluded Secretary Gallatin, A-
the through routes of national importance could be financed only by the General Government because ----- R-PR
this central authority alone possessed,"resources amply sufficient for the completion of every practi- IMPROVE
cable improvement" Second,that only those routes should be constructed which would yield reasonable BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS-DEPARTMENT OF COMMER
returns upon the original investment. Because, wrote Secretary Gallatin,"It is sufficiently evident that, whenever the annual expense of transpo
on a certain route,in its natural state,exceeds the interest on the capital employed in improving the communication,and the annual expense of tr
station (exclusively of tolls) by the improved route,the difference is an annual additional income to the nation. Nor does in that case the general res
ry, although the tolls counterpart of the present gasoline tax on automobiles.-Ed] may not have been fixed at a rate sufficient to pay to the under
the interest on the capital laid out. They, indeed,when that happens, lose; but the community is nevertheless benefited by the undertaking. The gen
gain is not confined to the difference between the expense of the transportation of those articles which had been formerly conveyed by that route,
many which were brought to market by other channels will then find a new and more advantageous direction; and those which on account of their
tance or weight could not be transported in any manner whatsoever, will acquire a value, and become a clear addition to the national wealth."These
omic principles enunciated by Secretary Gallatin nearly a century and a half ago are just as valid today. Third,a nationwide system of transport
was essential in the interests of national defense. For, commented Secretary Gallatin,"The early and efficient aid of the Federal Government is rec
mended by still more important considerations. The inconveniences,complaints,and perhaps dangers,which may result from a vast extent of ter
can not otherwise be radically removed or prevented than by opening speedy and easy communications through all its parts."
Written a generation before the introduction of steam railroads the recommendations of the report were restricted to public roads and can(
conclusions, however, regardless of the instruments of transportation employed later, established the pattern which was expanded and modified as t
tional frontiers moved westward from the Allegheny Mountains to the Pacific Ocean.
The principal recommendations envisaged:
I.- From north to south along the Atlantic coast an inland waterway from Massachusetts to North Carolina and a great turnpike road from Maine to Ge(
2-From east to west the improvement of the four great Atlantic rivers and the construction of parallel canals connected with the western rivers
pike roads across the Allegheny Mountains.
3.-In a north and northwesterly direction the development of inland navigation between the Atlantic seacoast,the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence R
Secretary Gallatin estimated that a sum of 20 million dollars, spread over a period of ten years,would be required to complete this program
1808- GALLATIN'S ROAD AND CANAL REPORT
1809-THE NATCHEZ TRACE
The Natchez Trace,extending from Nashville,Tennessee, to Natchez, the capi-
tal of Mississippi Territory, was the overland return route,through some 460 miles
of forest wilderness and Indian lands,for the crews of the flatboats which floated
down the Mississippi but could not be poled upstream. The period of its greatest use-
fulness began in 1798 and ended in 1817 when steamboats dominated the great river.
Although the Natchez Trace was opened officially by the United States Government,
in 1803,it followed a trail which had been in existence from time immemorial.
Legend has it that buffaloes,in order to evade their forest enemies,tramped this
high-ridge path from the salt licks at the site of the present Nashville,Tennessee,
southwest to the southern fringe of the upland where it joins the swampland border-
ing the Mississippi River. The Chickasaw Indians used this buffalo path as a trail
from their main villages near Pontotoc,in northeastern Mississippi,to their villages
near Nashville, called the Mero (Greek, meros = part or fraction) District later by
our Government because of its isolated location in the western wilderness.One of
1809 THE NATCHEZ TRACE
PITTSBURGH HARRISBURG PHILHA
S ILL. IND. WHEELING LANCASTER
STERTER. TER. L TO T
TERRITORY F ANKF A VILLE
OF 0 LOUI VILLE LEXING.TON
HAR ODSBURG 11
LOUISIANA/ Y. L -p-
NASH;IL E -oP NO VILLE N. C.
(rlERO DIsTRICT N N DARY "
FeGRI DE INDIAN I AR
CHICKASAW BLUFFS;# --NAN0--' "
PONOTbC toCreekS \, C.
PON OTC WHOLKEY S
'LEANS MISS.\ GA.
( ORLEANS w b
GRINDSTO E FORD
Z LOFTUS ACHEZ TER. V
( HEIGHTS p A -- N '
;TER. V S N P
)CO TE EW ORLEANS
BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS --DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
the many Chickasaw trails radiating from Pontotoc led to the villages of the Choctaw Indians and those of the Natchez tribe where the
Natchez now stands. The highest elevation along the trail-about 1500 feet above the waters of the Gulf of Mexico-was on top of the Pontot
dividing the Mississippi River on the west from the Tombigbee River watershed on the east.
In the first year of the nineteenth century, when Spain retroceded the Louisiana territory to France, the United States owned valuable la
the mouth of the Mississippi River, access to which was blocked by intervening Indian territory It was to provide a right of way for the flatboatm
ing homeward over the Natchez Trace,or perhaps the foreknowledge of our probable expansion toward the southwest that caused President Tt
Jefferson to direct his Secretary of War, Henry Dearborn,to negotiate with the Indians a treaty permitting the improvement of a road across th
tral lands.Secretary Dearborn delegated Brigadier General James Wilkinson of the United States Army, Benjamin Hawkins of North Carolina,
drew Pickens of South Carolina,as the three commissioners vested with power to treat with the Mingos (kings), principal men,and warriors of
Chickasaw, Choctaw and Cherokee nations. By a treaty with the Chickasaws, concluded at Chickasaw Bluffs (Memphis), on October 24, 1801,the Inc
consideration of miscellaneous goods, invoiced at '702.21,gave permission to the Government of the United States'to lay out, open, and make,a
ient wagon road through their land,between the settlements of Mero District (Nashville), in the State of Tennessee,and those of Natchez,in the Missi
Territory."A similar treaty was made with the Choctaw Indians at Loftus Heights (Fort Adams), on December 18,1801, in consideration of"the va
two thousand dollars in goods and merchandise"and"three sets of blacksmith's tools"At the conclusion of these treaties eight companies of infant
under the immediate command of Colonel Butler, working south from the northern Indian boundary, were ordered to cut a road to meet six c
commanded by Colonel Gaither opening the path north from Natchez.
After walking to Nashville over the Natchez Trace the flatboatmen could proceed to the Atlantic seaboard at Philadelphia:(1) over a conn
with the Wilderness Road across Kentucky and through the Cumberland Gap:(2) across a trail leading to the Maysville, Kentucky crossing of the C
thence through Wheeling, Pittsburgh and Lancaster; and (3) the Tennessee Path to Knoxville and up the Shenandoah Valley to Lancaster. The total
from Natchez over these three alternate routes was 1410, 1360, and 1280 miles, respectively.
In the illustration may be seen Captain Meriwether Lewis,Governor of Mississippi Territory, riding toward the cabin of Robert Griner (or Grin
he lost his life. The broken shaft of a granite pillar in the present Meriwether Lewis National Monument grounds symbolizes the career of this young patr
off in his prime.
1809- THE NATCHEZ TRACE
1810-THE "TEAM- BOAT" FERRY 1810 THE "TEAM-BO FER
Ferries were much in evidence during the Colonial period and the early days C. i ;
of the Republic for crossing wide streams too deep for fording where the cost of K
building a bridge was prohibitive. Even to this day ferries are resorted to where I .- LA W AR
the traffic does not justify the erection of the more convenient bridge. The privi- R I E R
lege to operate a ferry was granted by the local government under the law ofem- -
inent domain authorizing the appropriation of private property for public uses. -di
The right to operate a ferry was obtained from the State or county by a grant I I'
constituting a contract binding the public authority and the ferry proprietor. Even 1- I
owners of land abutting the stream crossed by the public road were not permitted
to operate a ferry without having received such a grant. Under the contract the ,'
ferry owner was allowed to collect fixed fees in compensation for his services and j
the use of his property. Ferry proprietors were considered to be public carriers re- K m1 "
sponsible for the life and property of the persons transported. i i
In early Colonial times,ferries across streams in the wilderness far removed BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS DEPARTMENT OF COM
from the centers of population were operated often by Indians with their canoes as vehicles. The native proprietor lived on one bank ofa c
After dark, or in a storm,when the shout of the traveler was drowned in the tumultuous thunder and wind,the weary wayfarer might be
for hours. In more isolated regions where no ferry keeper was in attendance, the canoe was tied to the river bank. The unfortunate pede.
who arrived to find the canoe at the opposite shore could only bide his time until someone crossed in the oncoming direction.
Canoes and rafts were the most primitive types of ferries. At the more traveled stream crossings ordinary rowboats,sailboats,or whet
shallow rowboats with seats for passengers -were employed. Horses,cattle, stage coaches and carriages were ferried on flat-bottomed bar
inclined gangplank raised during the crossing was lowered at the landing so that vehicles and livestock could be disembarked with ease. Whe
rent was of sufficient strength,a cable was stretched across the stream from bank to bank. Ropes,fastened to the ends of the ferry, runnir
a wheel attached to the cable were so arranged in length that the ferry was held at such an angle that it could be propelled over the stream b
er of the current. At other crossings where the current was weak the ferry boat was pulled across by a rope in the hands ofthe ferrymen on th
The crossing of the Delaware River at Philadelphia supplies a typical example of the development of ferries at a main river crossing.
the earliest settlement of Camden, up to about 1810,three classes of ferry-boats were in use. The smallest were the wherries,which would
twelve or fifteen persons; and next larger were the 'horse-boats; for the transportation of horses,carriages,cattle, etc. The principal craf
the'team-boats,' which were propelled by horse power, [shown in the accompanying illustration]**'" The team-boats employed sometirr
high as nine and ten horses. They were arranged in a circle on a tread-wheel connected with the main shaft. By stepping on the wheel the shall
turn,and thereby propel the boat. Every day at noon there was an intermission of one hour,from twelve until one o'clock,which was dev
feeding the horses." Not later than 1810,the Camden,the first steam ferry boat built in Philadelphia, was placed on the run across
aware River from Market Street in the Quaker City.
Colonel John Stevens,in 1813,built a horse treadmill ferryboat at Hoboken, New Jersey,to cross from that metropolis to New Yorl
competition with the steamboat monopoly granted by the State of New York to Robert Fulton. These 90-foot-long steamboats enjoy
acy until 1824 when Fulton's monopoly was declared unconstitutional. Passengers on the steamboats were housed in two small cal
the stern. The open space at the forward end was reserved for horses and carriages.
re the cur-
y the pow-
k City in
1810 THE "TEAM-BOAT" FERRY
1814-GROWTH OF COASTWISE TRAVEL 1814 GROWTH OF OASTWISE T
The Trenton bridge in its day was rated an engineering masterpiece. It was the second large covered
bridge built in the United States.The so-called Permanent Bridge across the Schuylkill River at High (Mar-
ket) Street, Philadelphia,was the first. Before the Trenton bridge was completed, cattle on the way to the BRUNICK
New York market crossed at the ferry a short distance downstream. The leader was loaded upon the ferry OR
and the herd or flock swam the river behind the boat. RT
This crossing of the Delaware River is a reliable yardstick for measuring changes in coastwise h igh- TPR
way travel,because of its location. The New York to Philadelphia road now United States Route I has EWWPA
always been,as it is today, the most heavily traveled road in this country. The Delaware River covered TRENTON YORK
bridge at Trenton was the funnel through which the traffic between the two major cities must pass. P\ ILADELPH
Trenton,situated at the"fall line"of the Delaware River, was at the head of navigation where the river be- -- ATIMORE
came narrow enough for an easy crossing. Along this intersection of the piedmont plateau with the coast- BURG
al plane Indian trails existed from the earliest times. One of the most important crossed the New Jer- RICHMOND
sey area between the North(Hudson)River and the South(Delaware)River where a canoe ferry was in-
stalled in 1624. AE
During the following century river crossings so multiplied that it became necessary for the local New FAYET LLE
Jersey government to assume jurisdiction over the ferry privileges in order to assure satisfactory public coLe
service. In 1726,a petition to install a ferry below the"Falls-on-the Delaware"was granted to James AUGU ERGETN
Trent whose father gave the name to Trent's Town or Trenton. HARLESTON
During the period of reconstruction,following the War of the American Revolution,traffic swelled AVANNAH
so rapidly that by March 3,1798, the New Jersey legislature officially recognized the need for"a good BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS.-DEPARTMENT OF
and permanent bridge across the river Delaware" Letters patent granting a charter to the Delaware River Bridge Company were passed by
Jersey legislature on August 6,1803, and concurred in by the Pennsylvania Assembly. Construction of the covered 5-ribbed wooden-truss arct
began in May, 1804. The structure was opened to traffic on January 30, 1806. On the following day a procession of prominent citizens marched
river to celebrate the completion of the new crossing. The bridge was designed by the well-known architect, Theodore Burr. General John Beatt
dent of the bridge company directed the project which cost 8 180,000.
Only portions of the New York to Philadelphia road had been turnpiked (stone surfaced)when traffic began to rumble across the Trento
Proposed as early as 1792,the through turnpikes between the two main cities were not completed until about 1812. At that date a metalled re
became of strategic importance when the British blockade halted coastwise shipping and compelled the resort to land travel up and down the cc
ing the long 21 years of the War of 1812,ending with the Treaty at Ghent,on December 14, 1814, the United States was forced to build industries
manufactured articles formerly imported from the mother country overseas.
As a consequence land travel increased tremendously. Long queues of Conestoga wagons rolled daily out of the northern cities towards t
land. Passengers transferred their patronage from sailing packets to the stage coaches running over turnpiked roads.With water commerce de
and the coastwise packets bottled up in the harbors by the British fleet,as shown in the accompanying illustration,the prices of market produ
fuel, by May 1813, became inflated to double their usual value in the cities of Philadelphia and Baltimore. During the war from 10 to 20fre
ons arrived daily in Charleston,South Carolina,from cities to the north such as Richmond,Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York,New Haven and Bos
war-born transportation infant soon grew into a lusty baby. The Trenton bridge was one of the strongest links in the north-and-south cha
I over the
g--1 I II I
1814 GROWTH OF COASTWISE TRAVEL
1816-,FIRST STATE BOARD 186 FIRST STATE BOARD
OF PUBLIC WORKS F WS
The General Assembly of the State of Virginia, on February 5,1816, passed an act,"to create a
fund for internal improvement." The act provided for the constitution of a corporate body to be
called the "president and directors of the board of public works." This body was given the power to
appoint a principal engineer or surveyor of public works and a secretary of the board, together
with such other officers and assistants as were deemed necessary.
The board of public works created in the State of Virginia in 1816 is similar to the modern
State highway commission in the following respects:( I)The directors represented various sections
of the State, (2) the improvements were planned and carried out by competent and experienced en-
gineers; (3) a special fund was set apart in the State treasury as reimbursement for the internal
improvements;(4) payments were made through warrants issued by the State auditors; and (5)
State aid was granted up to 40 per cent of the total cost of a turnpike project.
Loammi Baldwin,appointed in 1817, became the first principal State engineer. He was succeeded
in office by Thomas Moore in 1818,who was followed by Captain Claudius Crozet,in 1822,former-
ly of Napoleon's French army.
The State of South Carolina entered upon an extensive program of public works in 1817, when
the General Assembly created the office of civil and military engineer and gave John Wilson the LOAMMI BALDWIN 1780-183
first appointment. One year later, in 1818, 8 1,000,000 was appropriated to be expended over a per-
iod of four years in building a Statewide transportation system. This early work was devoted largely BUREAU oF PUBLIC ROADS-DEPARTMENr OFCOMME
to the improvement of river transportation, because these waterways were the main arteries of travel leading into the interior.
In 1820, a board of public works took over the South Carolina program of internal improvement,which provided not only for a system of'
and navigable rivers, but also for a main State road leading from Charleston to Columbia, thence thru the Saluda Mountains. The first pre
of the board of public works was Joel R. Poinsett, with Abram Blanding acting commissioner of roads, rivers and canals. This program of inter
provement was continued through 1828, after which time the people lost interest in roads and canals, because the construction of the Soul
olina Rail Road had been authorized in 1827.
Kentucky was another State to pass an early law establishing a board of internal improvement. The General Assembly passed this ac
December 28,1835. The legislation provided that,"the general care and superintendence, and control of all public improvements for interim
communication in this State which shall belong in whole or in part to the commonwealth shall, to the amount of such interest, be vested ir
board of internal improvement." The act authorized the employment of a State engineer and assistants, and the appointment by the Governc
three members, each to represent a great section of the State. It also created a separate internal-improvement fund in the State treasury.To
dite the work, an appropriation of 8 1,000,000 was made. This legislation resulted in a veritable flood of turnpike charters,which continued
grow in number, although fluctuating with general financial conditions,until the Civil War began.
In 1837, the State highway engineering force of Kentucky consisted of a chief engineer at a salary of 8 5,000 per annum,two engineers at
each,one engineer at 81,600, five assistants at 81,500 each,and four assistants at 81,100 each.
None of these early public works organizations were restricted to roadbuilding alone.Their activities included river and canal improve
as well. A half a century of highway neglect followed the period of intense activity of these primitive State engineering organizations. The ste
railroad appeared upon the scene and soon submerged all competitors in the field of transportation. The revival of highway development br
about the renewal of State-aid for roads in New Jersey in 1891, and the creation of the first modern State highway organization in Massal
setts in 1893. State aid for roads was practiced in New Hampshire as early as 1800.
l ... l,.i
1816 FIRST STATE BOARD OF PUBLIC WORKS
1819-THE"HOB1BY- HORSE" 1819 THE"HOBBY-IORSE"BICYCLE
The conception of a two-wheeled vehicle propelled by the hands or feet of the .. i
operator is not new. The idea has persisted throughout the ages and vehicles of this ^
type may be traced back to classical times and even to many centuries beyond.Winged ,
figures astride a stick joining two wheels were illustrated on frescoes unearthed
from the ruins of Pompeii. Furthermore, vehicles propelled by the muscular efforts
of the occupants have been discovered also on the bas reliefs of Egypt and Babylon.
The idea recurred with increasing frequency in Europe during the seventeenth cen-
tury when there was urgent need for improved facilities of transportation to sat-
isfy the growing requirements of commerce and communication. .--- _-
The origin of the "Hobby-horse" bicycle has been traced by some authorities
to the faded il lustration of a cherub, mounted astride of a vehicle, likened to a BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS-DEPARTMENT OF COMM
child's "Kiddie Kar,' preserved in the stained glass window of the St. Giles parish
church at Stokes Poges, Buckinghamshire, England. Believed to have been installed in the church in 1643, the window glass was manufactu
Italy about the year 1580. The illustration, however, is just another representation of a fundamental human need which had been smold
many centuries and now began to ignite in widely scattered flames of expression.
John Evelyn, in 1665, wrote in his diary about "a wheele to run races in." The Frenchman de Sivrac contrived his celdriferein 169
sisting of two wheels in line rigidly connected by a wooden bar upon which sat the rider who propelled the device by pushing against the
with his feet. Nearly a century elapsed before Monsieurs Blanchard and Magurier presented a description of their velocipede in the July 27
edition of the Journal of Paris. The velocipede was patterned after and operated like de Sivrac's celerifere and was regarded with widespre
In 1784, Ignatz Trexler, of Gratz,Austria, produced a pedomotor which he claimed had the speed of a galloping horse.Perhaps he should hav
downhill. M.Niepiece,a French photographic pioneer, introduced in Paris, in 1816,a velocipede which he named a clripede. The innoval
gained considerable recognition. The good news about the v6locipede spread to Germany where Baron Karl von Drais, chief forester to
Duke of Baden, made an improvement which has classed the machine as the grandparent of the modern bicycle.He pivoted the front whee
the frame so that the driver could steer and balance himself with the aid of the handle bar. The Baron's patent,dated 1816,claimed tha
hide would go uphill as fast as a man could walk,could be pushed at the rate of 6 to 9 miles an hour on the level, and would roll downhi
as a horse could gallop. Called a "draisine,' the vehicle became the basis, for the monument erected in Karlsruhe, in 1891,to Baron von D
father of the bicycle."A British version of the "draisine"was patented in London, in 1818, by Dennis Johnson as a "pedestrian curricle"
vention enjoyed only temporary popularity in England and America. The British dubbed the device the velocipede, the patent accelerate
vector, the bicipede,the hobby-horse and the dandy horse. The last name hinted at its high cost which restricted purchase to m
well-to-do male dandies.
The first patent for this velocipede (swift foot) in the United States was issued to W. K.Clarkson, of New York City, on June 26,1
velocipede was fabricated perhaps first in this country, in 1821, by David Ball and Jason Burrill,of Hoosick Falls, NewYork.The Americar
pede, or "hobby-horse;' shown in the accompanying illustration, went out of style within a few years because of its high cost and clumsy desiM
pulsion by pushing the rider's feet against the road was alleged to disease the legs, Louis Gompertz,of England,invented a manumotive system
for rotating the front wheel. The introduction of a mechanical connection between the feet and the wheels was a later development.
t the ve-
II as fast
)r, the bi-
gn. As pro-
1819 THE "HOBBY HORSE"
1820 -DOCTOR AND 1820 DOCTOR AND CIRCUIT RIDER
On April' 24,1820, Congress passed the public-land act which permitted the pur-
chase of tracts of 80 acres or more at a minimum price of 8 1.25 an acre. This meas- *
ure provided a source of relief for the many families in financial straits following our MIasou .n o
first national depression brought about by speculation and the unrestrained issue of
State-bank currency coupled with the deflation caused by the Bank of the United ------
States in its efforts to regulate the excess paper money in circulation. Atthis time the .
fourth United States census showed a total population of only 9,638,453 persons,or
an average of 51 people to each square mile of territory extending as far west as
the Rocky Mountains. Actually, the frontier had barely passed the Mississippi River. TERRITORY or
Daniel Boone was in the forefront of the western settlers when he established his salt FRANC ASBURY TE UNITED STATES
works, before 1804,at Boone's Lick, now on United States Route 40 some 150 miles up- 74-1
stream on the Missouri River from the original French settlement of St. Louis. BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS-DEPARTMENT OF COMME
Of the total population only 693,255 persons lived in villages,towns and cities aggregating 2,500 or more souls. Nearly 72 per cent of the pc
was engaged in agricultural pursuits which did not yield rich returns during a period when the average value per acre of farm land together with
es, barns and other buildings was less,probably, than ten dollars,and the money in circulation less than seven dollars per capital. There were
couraging statistics,however, because the index of the cost of living was only 65 as compared with 100 in 1913,and,strange as it may seem,the
total national debt was but 8 379,957. There were no telephones, no electric light or power, no sanitary conveniences such as we enjoy today,
roads and only about 9,645 miles of surfaced roads,mainly turnpikes in the vicinity of centers of population.
There were scattered here and there in the cities and on prosperous plantations a few who enjoyed the luxuries of life and lived in affluence
For each family in comfortable circumstances, however, there were many more struggling to eke out a bare existence,often in the backwoods far
from civilization,as shown in the accompanying illustration. When tragedy overtook a pioneer family, they could rely immediately only upon t
resources. Depending upon the weather, many hours and often days transpired before help could be summoned.
The country doctor was an overworked individual who drove himself into an early grave trying to spread his limited services over t
a constituency. There were no anaesthetics. Surgery was of necessity a brutal operation and childbirth often a dreadful ordeal. Wakened ir
die of the night by the urgent cry of a neighbor who had galloped to his door, the physician would harness his horse and chaise and struggle
muddy or snow-covered trails in winter or dusty tracks in summer to bring aid to the stricken victim. Small wonder is it that the life expi
of both doctor and patient,in 1820, averaged only 38- years,as compared with more than 62 years today.
On these errands of mercy,aimed at relieving physical suffering and saving lives,the physician might be accompanied by a circuit rid
as Francis Asbury,"the prophet of the long road" a man of God intent upon bringing spiritual solace to families in distress.Delayed by t
of good roads their progress was interrupted more effectively by stream crossings."The roads, as may be expected,are indifferent,often I
more than a horsepath,full of stumps,with trees and shrubs matted across; so that you have to lay down flat on your horse in passing
a great tree intercepts your road, where you have no alternative but getting over it. Where a swampy place occurs,trunks of small trees
close together, and continued to the firm ground, this is called a 'Dutch turnpike,' corduroy] from the early Dutch settlers first making
Creeks and rivers,however, had to be forded, swum,crossed in a canoe or perhaps in the best of ferries attached "to a strong rope strec
bank to bank,"and propelled by the current.
1820-DOCTOR AND CIRCUIT RIDER
1820-GENERAL JACKSON'S 1820 GENERAL JACKSON'S
MILITARY ROAD NASVILLE
ENNESSEE R. &
f- COLUMBIA'S __
Following the War of 1812-15,intensive efforts were made to improve our roads and canals E C LU A
in order to nurture the growth of the infant manufacturing industries born when the blockades of our 4 MUSCLE
seaports cut off imports from the English mother country. General Andrew Jackson's 516-mile mil- \CHIKASAWsj HOALS
itary road from Nashville, Tennessee, to New Orleans,Louisiana,was projected in order to shorten MISSItIPPI
by 220 miles the 736-mile distance between these two termini by way of the Natchez Trace.The CHICKASAWAGEoCY I
right of way was cleared of timber for a width of forty feet throughout the entire length of the road. '\CHOCTAWS
The roadway proper was ordinarily 35 feet wide but was reduced to 21 feet in width at the cause- \ A OLUMBUS
ways across swamps."There were on an average 300 men continuously employed in the work, in- ---
cluding sawyers, carpenters, blacksmiths, etc., who were amply furnished with oxen,traveling forg- oiDc :
es,and all tools and implements necessary to its perfect execution. Thirty-five neat and substan- .
tial bridges, each measuring from 60 to 200 feet were erected, and 20,000 feet of causeway 9 A "LABAMA
were laid. On a calculation of the pay, provisions and clothing of the soldiery thus engaged, TCHnsz
and making a moderate allowance for the deterioration and loss of public property, we find that cOLUBI -
the general government disbursed on the occasion at least three hundred thousand dollars." BATON MOBILE
Congressional authorization, approved by President James Madison on April 27, 1816, estab- OUGE D IL0 L
lished the terminal points at Columbia,on the Duck River, south of Nashville, Tennessee, by way of ORLANS GULF
the Choctaw Agency, and Madisonville,near Lake Pontchartrain opposite New Orleans, Louisiana. LOUISIANA MEXICO
The route was projected across the lands of the Choctaw Indian Nation between Columbus and BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS-DEPARTMENT OF COMMERC
Jackson, Mississippi. Uncertain as to the practicability of building the road with part of the 810,000 appropriation placed at his disposal,Se
retary of War William H.Crawford wrote to Major General Andrew Jackson, with headquarters at Nashville, Tennessee, that it might be neces
ry to employ United States troops because of the rugged nature of the terrain and of the possible need for many bridges.General Jackson d<
tailed Captain H.Young to obtain the information necessary to answer the Secretary of War's letter.
On March 14, 1817, Captain Young reported the completion of the reconnaissance survey as the first portion of his assignment. About a mo
later, on April 25,he advised the location of the proposed road noting the topography and the difficulties encountered. Later, on June 7,1817, Capt
Young wrote that he had commenced the final survey and that cutting of the road would begin in ten days by a detachment of soldiers awaiting
The Secretary of War's apprehensions with respect to the inadequacy of the original appropriation were well founded because Congress appropri
ed a supplementary sum of 85,000, approved by President James Monroe,on March 27, 1818. The work was prosecuted with vigor. Major Per
Willis was ordered by General Ripley, on March 8,1819, to supervise the construction on the southern end of the road until its completion. LieL
tenant James Scallan, of the First Regiment, United States Infantry, wrote from Baton Rouge, Louisiana,to General Andrew Jackson that the Militar
Road between Leaf River and the northern extremity in Tennessee was finished stating thatThere has been expended on it 75,801 days' labor in
three years' service by troops of the First and Eighth Infantry and a detachment of the corps of artillery,to wit: between its commencement o
the Ist of June, 1817, and its completion towards the close of May, 1820."
The first post office on the Mississippi section of the road was opened at Columbus on March 6,1820. Travel multiplied perceptibly in 1822-23
when the New Orleans mails by way of the Natchez Trace were shifted to the shorter and more direct General Jackson's Military Road.
By 1824 the southern end of the road for a distance of 150 miles,from Columbus to the Benya (Bowyer ?) River, because of inadequate maintenan(
became obstructed by second-growth timber and impassable for wheel carriages. This neglected condition, coupled with the removal of the State capital o
Mississippi from Columbia,in Marion County, to Jackson, in 1822, brought about the construction, in 1824 -25,of the more direct Robins(
Road, named for its builder.
1822-THE SANTA FE TRAIL 1822 TANT F TRAIL
The Santa Fe Trail was the first of the pioneer roads over which intercourse was es-
tablished between the frontier of the United States,near the Mississippi River, and the Far M i SSOU R I T E R RIT RY
West. Occasional explorers and traders passed along this historic route from earliest times THE INDIAN COUNTRY FRANKLN
but it was not until Mexico declared her independence from Spain,in 1821,that periodical INDEPEINC
ClMARRON B EST PORl^T
and legal international trade began to flow over the Santa Fe Trail. NE W V BENT'S FORT CR051 ST
The Santa F6 Trail was the principal overland road by means of which friendship was TRA IL TO i so
cemented between the English-speaking people east of the Mississippi River and the races "'\A .. ....... .
in the glamorous Spanish Southwest which spoke the softliquid syllables of their mother tongue. ON A
The trail connected at Santa Fe with the El Camino Real leading southerly through El Paso ANTA FE A R K A N S
del Norte and Chihuahua to Mexico City, the hub of the Spanish empire. MIE X I C
Returning travelers over the Santa Fe Trail reached the East over Boone's Lick road. TEL CM IUAHUAO -DL .-
In 1804,when new settlers thronged into Kentucky, Daniel Boone,finding conditions too crowd- MEX/CO C/TY T EXAS i LA.
ed for comfort, moved westward with his two sons, Nathan and Daniel,to a salt springs just BUREAU OF PUBLI ROADS -DEPARTMENT Or C
beyond the Mississippi River There he established a primitive industry evaporating the
spring water to obtain salt which was floated down the Mississippi River and bartered to the French inhabitants of the village called St. Louis.Within a
other settlers, much to the displeasure of the frontier-loving Boone, built homes near the salt springs.From this rude beginning Boone's Lick became a sma
dot on the map of Missouri with the more dignified name of Franklin.
Since Boone's Lick was at the spearhead of the westward advance of the American emigrants, a wilderness path was begun,as early as 1815,from th
Franklin to the village of Saint Charles on the Missouri River a short distance northwest of Saint Louis. The path was widened gradually until it became k
Boone's Lick road for its 150-mile length between the old salt works and the Mississippi River. This trail was used to the exclusion of all others by the pic
emigrating west of the Mississippi River. So many settlers thronged this tortuous trail into the Missouri region that Daniel Boone may be said to have be
ible for the ratification of the Statehood of Missouri at the early date of 1821.
The town of Franklin,on the north bank of the Missouri River, was really the cradle of the Santa F6 trade. By 1831,however, navigation had advanced
stream that a debarkation point was needed closer to the western frontier. Such a location would save more than a hundred-mile wagon haul over often muc
Thus the town of Independence was founded and,by 1832, accepted generally as the outfitting station for the American caravans loading for the trip to Santa
this starting point near the Missouri River, it was customary to tighten the steel wagon tires before setting out upon the long journey across the parche
Independence proper was situated twelve miles easterly of the Indian border and two or three miles south of the Missouri River. This location allowed ampl
for the debarkation of the wagons beside the river bank. Thus the intrepid Daniel Boone may be said to have pointed the way to the selection of the ez
terminous of the Santa F6 Trail which became the southwestern extension of Boone's Lick road.
In the beginning the route to Santa Fe followed around two sides of a triangle by way of Bent's Fort. The final and most direct location of the Santa Fe
was known as the Cimarron Cut-off. This path crossed the one hundredth meridian and extended southwest by the shortest practicable distance to Sar
total length of 770 miles.
The most dangerous section for travelers was the 58-mile stretch of desert 3,000 feet above sea level,between the ford of the Arkansas River
lower spring of the Cimarron River. There was no drinking water on this parched plain.
e town of
so far up-
1822 THE SANTA FE TRAIL
1823-R IRST AMERICAN 1823 FIRST AMERICAN MACADAM ROA
MACADAM ROAD N N o Y L V A N I A
4The A 11 RNN Y V N A
The first macadam surface in this country was laid upon the"Boonsborough R WN
turnpike road"between Hagerstown and Boonsboro, Maryland. The company which
built the road was incorporated by the General Assembly of the State of Maryland "BOON ROUH
on January 30,1822, and was constituted by the presidents and directors of the D
banks of Baltimore (except the City Bank) and of "the Hager's-town bank" The
banks of Maryland as a condition for the renewal of their charters had agreed to 4 B ONB RO
complete this last remaining unimproved gap in the great road leading from Balti-
more on Chesapeake Bay to Wheeling on the Ohio River, now United States Route o
40. The work consisted of resurfacing a former county road. This section was in a FREDERICKTO
sad state of deterioration, in 1821, and in winter stages required from 5 to 7 hours A 4
to cover the 10--mile distance. Contracts for reconstructing the road were adver-
4 BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS DEPARTMENT OF COMM
tised by Wil liam Lorman,the first president of the turnpike company, in Septem- UEUF UBC --E T
ber, 1822. The superintendent of construction was John W. Davis of Allegany County, Maryland. The surfacing was completed in 1823.
Mr. Davis rebuilt the old road by digging side ditches, picking and raking from the old stone roadway all large rocks and having these b
hand so as not to exceed 6 ounces in weight or to pass a two-inch ring as prescribed by John Loudon Mc Adam of England. The first stratu
stone was"cast on with a shovel to a depth of six inches, after the manner of sowing grain'' Because too much time would be required to com|
der traffic the first stratum was rol led with a cast-iron roller"prepared with a box,or cart bed to carry two or three tons of stone,making
four to six tons"and rolling until "sufficiently solid and compact to receive the second layer."After dressing off the surface"with a rake or others
"the second stratum,three to four inches thick, put on, rolled and prepared in all respects as the first stratum was,until in a state of firmness
lidity, proper to admit the third or last stratum,which can be then put on, and the surface raked and dressed off; to such shape and form as r
quired,and also rolled over until satisfactorily completed." The finished surface was"15 inches deep in the centre, and 12 inches deep at each
twenty feet wide'differing from Mc Adam's specification of a uniform thickness of 7 to 10 inches in his book entitled,"Remarks (or Observatio
present system of road making,"first published in Bristol, England, in 1816.
The second road surface in this country following the "Mc Adam principle"was constructed by the United States Government upon 73
the National Pike,or Cumberland Road,from the west bank of the Ohio River, opposite Wheeling -at Canton (Bridgeport)-to Zanesville on
bank of the Muskingum River. Credit for its adoption belongs to Secretary of War Barbour in the administration of President John Quincy A
work was begun in 1825 and completed in 1830, under the supervision of Major General Alexander Macomb, Chief Engineer, and later Comr
the United States Army, and his successor as chief engineer, Colonel and later Brigadier General Charles Gratiot. Casper W.Wever was the si
tendent of construction during the greater portion of the project.
Secretary of War Barbour had written to Benjamin Ruggles of Ohio,on March 28,1825, that"Mr. Wever was instructed to repair to hi
the Ist of April, where instructions would meet him. After the most mature consideration, I have determined that the road shall be made o
Adam's plan, the principles of which are simple, and have been tested by the experience of England for about twenty years: John Loudon T
had been studying the road problem ever since his appointment as Deputy-Lieutenant of the County of Ayr, Scotland, in 1794. His ideas did
gin to gain recognition, however, until 1811,when in response to his petition a select committee of the House of Commons was appointed to s
operation of the Turnpike Acts and "the better repair "of the highways of the Kingdom.
)ay be re-
I the east
s post by
n the Mc-
1C * L~I I
yy - _
jli i ..,t
5;"t -. .
183 FIRST AMRCNAACAAARA
4 1825-THE ERIE CANAL 1825 THE ERIE CANAL
The opening of the Erie Canal to boat traffic on October 16,1825, made certain LENO\~X .oAoYW J
the victory of New York City in the race to become the leading metropolis of America. UTIcA JOHNSTO
The"Seneca Chief "was the flagship of a flotilla of canal boats which made the maid- MANUU U
en voyage through the new waterway, from Buffalo to Albany, with Governor DeWitt MORRSVILLEHR
Clinton,the administrative genius of the project, and other notables aboard. The fleetCH
was greeted at the various towns along the route by colorful ceremonies, uproarious _____ALBA
festivities,and frequent salutes of cannons and firecrackers. At the conclusion of the
trip, symbolizing the junction of the western and eastern waters, Governor Clinton L A OWiV
poured a jug of Lake Erie water into the Hudson River. ROCH
This 363-mile-long canal, with practically a watergrade across the Appalachian NIAR PALM
mountain barrier, opened the shortest thoroughfare for settlement and trade between A
the manufacturing centers along the Atlantic Coast and the vast supply of raw mate-
rials tributary to the Great Lakes. The difference in elevation between the Hudson K E BUFFALO
River, at Albany and Lake Erie, at Buffalo was only 566 feet and the highest interme- BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS DEPARTMENT OF COMM
diate elevation 420 feet above sea level. The distance to the Atlantic Ocean from Buffalo down the St.Lawrence past Montreal was 800 r
by way of the Erie Canal and the Hudson River only 470 miles. The distance from Buffalo to the Gulf of Mexico through the Great Lakes ar
the Mississippi River was 2,350 miles. It is not surprising, therefore, that New York City outstripped all rivals during the first half of the ni
century as the gateway and outlet for the West. Geography and topography destined the seven-million-dollar "Clinton's Ditch"to be the mos
ful engineering enterprise of its time.
Following the completion of the canal, Boston ceased to be a serious competitor in the intercity struggle for the western business until
road was introduced and the Hoosac Tunnel built. Philadelphia and Baltimore, however, stubbornly continued the unequal competition. The Pen
ia Road between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, on the Monongahela branch of the Ohio River, was stone surfaced throughout its entire length, by
just two years after the stone-surfaced National Pike was opened to traffic from Baltimore to Wheeling on the main Ohio River. Neverthele
3,000-foot climb approximately over the Allegheny mountains on the Pennsylvania Road and along the National Pike negative the chances
Philadelphia or Baltimore to overcome New York City's handicap of a water grade.
The Erie Canal entered into competition with the parallel stone-surfaced Mohawk River turnpikes extended, between Albany and Buffalo. T
and Schenectady section, completed in 1805, was the first turnpike incorporated (1797) in the State. Subsequently the road was turnpiked thr
Buffalo. By 1830 there were five stage coach companies in operation between the terminal cities. The Great Western Turnpike, passing throu
Valley, was the second incorporated in the State and a competitor with the Mohawk Turnpike.
The Erie Canal did not injure the business of the parallel stage coach companies to any great extent although the canal boats bankrupted
estoga wagon freight carriers. There were a number of reasons for this outcome :(I) The Erie Canal was ice locked for five months of the year;(;
stage lines were subsidized by year-round United States mail contracts;(3)the canal boats were more uncomfortable and the scenery less pict
than some romantic authors have penned; and (4)within a few years the canal was filled to capacity with freight boats. Furthermore,the f
packet boats averaged only a speed of less than 4 miles an hour as compared with 6 to 8 miles an hour for stage coaches.
By 1841 there was a continuous steel rail connection from New York through Albany to Buffalo. The railroads accomplished what the
had failed to do. They put the stage coach companies out of business. Between 1840 and 1850 the horse-drawn passenger coaches became
of bygone days. The Erie Canal, however, is today still a going concern.
1825 THE ERIE CANAL
1826-.THE MICHIGAN ROAD 1826THE MCIGN ROD
The Michigan Road was the main north-and-south route over which settlers swarmed into the State of MICHIGAN M C H I G A
Indiana. It was the overland bridge providing the shortest practicable route between the Ohio River and the CHICAGO / T E T BR
Great Lakes during the pioneer period when the waterways were the principal arteries of travel. It connected CIT.'rc IG N---
Madison, on the northern bank of the Ohio River, with Michigan City on Lake Michigan.Contrary to the popu- ILA PORTE kSJO R/VER
lar impression,the Michigan Road was not the main route over which pioneer settlers reached Michigan.The KAK PLYMOUTH
Michigan Road derived its name from the lake not the State.The immigrants to southern Michigan entered ROCHESTER W
principally by way of the Erie Canal, the Great Lakes and the old Chicago Turnpike which followed the loca- OGANSPORT O H I O
tion of the earlier Sauk Indian trail leading southwest from Detroit. R/VER AN
The Michigan Road was used principally by the settlers who established their homes in Indiana.It was IN D A N
conceived by the inhabitants of the Hoosier State, built by Indiana's sons,and traversed by the immigrants KIRKIN N
bound for Indiana.Over this road the pioneers of the 1830's,called"movers:'drove their ox-drawn covered RICHMOND 1PRIN
wagons through the hills of the southern counties of the State of Indiana to the fertile prairies beyond NDANAPOLAS
the Wabash River The track was passable during the eight months of the year when the weather was fav- T AREA' HELBYVILLE
orable but throughout the winter season it was a meandering stream of mud practically useless for travel. ENS CINCINNU
In the central portion of the State,the Michigan Road crossed a level plain covered with woods so r-. ,NCINNAT
dense that the rays of the summer sun penetrated rarely to the forest floor carpeted with leaf mould MADISON-~TN ,O
which retained the accumulated moisture with the avidity of a sponge. There were vast areas of swamps o KENTUC K
which the forest streams,choked with windfalls, underbrush and debris, never drained. Nevertheless, the LOUISViLLE. TO LEXINGTON
dark,forested wilderness,the dismal swamps,the rocky and muddy stretches of the Michigan Road,the BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS-DEPARTMENT OF COMMERC
hostile Indians and the wild animals failed to deter the early settlers because they were enabled to vision with the eyes of faith far beyond their immediate
surroundings to the distant plains where lay the promise of happy homes and financial security for their families.Thus,the story of the Michigan Road verified.
the social axiom that the greatest wealth of a nation lies not in the value of its material resources but in the character and ability of its people.
The Michigan Road was second only to the National Road as an overland route leading into Indiana. Emigrants from Pennsylvania, New England,and oti
eastern States floated in flatboats and barges and upon rafts down the Ohio River to begin their northward journey at the riverside settlement at Madis
Settlers journeying northward from the southern States of Kentucky, Tennessee,Virginia and the Carolinas,crossed the Ohio River from Milton to Madison.I
than one-half of the homesteaders in the northwest quarter of Indiana reached their destinations over the Michigan Road. Many pioneer families also ei
tered southern Michigan over this thoroughfare.
The 267-mile-long Michigan Road traversed the State of Indiana by the shortest practicable route. It began at Madison on the bank of the traffic-lad
Ohio River because this town offered a suitable landing nearest to the State capital at lndianapolis,92 miles away. Thence the road ran 71 miles,throug
Michigantown, to the Wabash River crossing at Logansport; thence 68 miles to South Bend on the southerly bank of the St.Joseph River; and thence west
ly 36 miles to Michigan City on Lake Michigan.
The 100-feet-wide right of way for the road through the Potawatomi Indian lands, between the Wabash River and Lake Michigan,was obtained by
treaty consummated October 16, 1826. The subsequent survey, begun in 1828, located the left-hand right-angled turn at South Bend in order to avoid t
soft Kankakee River swamps.
In 1925, the Michigan Road handle from Michigan City to South Bend was designated United States Route 20 and southerly from South Bend to
Rochester as United States Route 31. A century before the French Canadian, Pierre Frieschutz Navarre's fur-trading cabin on the east bank of the St. Ji
seph River, shown in the illustration, located the site for the future South Bend.
*rT., ^ .4
1826 THE MICHIGAN ROAD
1827-THE NORTHWESTERN 1827 THE NORTHWESTERN N
TURNPIK E N N L V 11
Incorporated, in 1827, by an act of the General Assembly, the Northwestern Turn- 7i R.
pike was the State of Virginia's bid for the lucrative trade of the Territory Northwest P RSBU &'G TYTO
of the Ohio River. Maryland's access was by way of the National Pike, opened to CLARKSB R
Wheeling on the Ohio River in 1818. The great Pennsylvania Road had been turn- .
piked from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh by 1820. New York outdistanced all rivals, in
1825, with the practically water-level grade across the mountains through the Erie Canal.
The need for a western road had been recognized by General Daniel Morgan and .
other Virginia leaders as early as 1748. In the same year George Washington probab-
ly entertained a similar vision when, as a 16-year old lad, he crossed the south branch
of the Potomac River near Romney, shown on the accompanying map, as a member of a
party to survey the lands of Thomas Lord Fairfax. Washington's first attempt to build CAPTAIN CAUDIUS CROZET
a thoroughfare to the west was embodied, in 1755, in the military road cut for the ill- BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS DEPARTMENT OF COMME
fated expedition of the British General Edward Braddock. Washington's second effort was made in the canal, begun in 1785, following his victc
reaction of the American revolutionary armies. Returning in the preceding year from his western land holdings over McCulloch's path,Gener
ington crossed the north branch of the Potomac River along the route of the future Northwestern Turnpike. The parent of this turnpike was the
road"authorized by the General Assembly, before 1786,from Winchester,through Romney to Morgantown, then in Virginia.Continued west
a branch road to Clarksburg,in 1786,this path was extended to the debouchment of the Little Kanawha tributary to the Ohio River, in 1788 to 179
The original act of 1827, incorporating the Northwestern Turnpike, authorized subscriptions from the townspeople at WinchesterRomne
field, Beverly, Kingwood, Pruntytown, Clarksburg and Parkersburg on the Ohio River. The authors of the act made the fatal mistake of choosing
to serve the most important towns without regard for the difficulties of the topography. Subsequently the locating engineers found a suitable
from Winchester to Preston but encountered insuperable obstacles of terrain between that point and Kingwood. This dilemma was noised at
raised doubts in the minds of prospective stock buyers. Thereafter the project languished until 1831 when,seeking to wrench victory from th
seeming defeat,the General Assembly reenacted the western road authority. The legislation provided for a company, with the Governor of the
as president of the board of directors,empowered to borrow 125,000, secured by the State's resources, to construct a turnpike road with a m
width of 12 feet"from Winchester to some point on the Ohio River to be situated by the principal engineer."Authority was granted also to er
es, to regulate existing ferries and to establish toll gates on the completed road at 20-mile intervals.
Employing every administrative precaution to avoid a repetition of the previous mistake of establishing the road through unsurveyed t
the Governor implemented the act by appointing an engineer of proved ability to find the best route. The chief executive made Captain Clau
zet, that time State Engineer of Virginia,the chief engineer of the turnpike company. Captain Crozet had served with distinction under Napole
parte as a French artillery officer. Later he had emigrated to this country and demonstrated his engineering talents as a professor at the Un
Military Academy at West Point from 1817 to 1823. Resigning for reasons of health, he entered upon a more active outdoor life as State Engin
ginia, in 1824, a position which he continued to fill for nearly nine years. The route across the Allegheny Mountains chosen by Captain Crozet
on the accompanying map, bears the earmarks of his engineering genius to this day. The easy grades and excel lent alinement developed by the s
parties under his direction more than a century ago, reproduced in the illustration,fixed the present location of United States Route 50, laic
accordance with the most advanced engineering practices.
The original turnpike reached Parkersburg in 1838. The construction cost at that date totaled 8 400,000.
ie jaws of
.er of Vir-
I out in
1827-THE NORTHWESTERN TURNPIKE
1830- THE IRON HORSE WINS 1830 THE IRON HORSE WINS
The race between Peter Cooper's diminutive Tom Thumb locomotive,on August RESTERS 7 YOK BE
28,1830, hauling a Baltimore and Ohio Railroad car filled with thirty directors and 4 BALT\ o
their friends,and the vehicle pulled by a gallant horse owned by Stockton and Stokes,
the prominent stage-coach proprietors of that day, demonstrated for all time the su- roAEDEICK
priority of steam to animal power. The steam hissing from the safety valve sig- ON
nailed the New Year of mechanical transportation in America. Hs
The horsedrawn railroad coach met the locomotive,on its return trip from El- HILTON M.^ C
licott's Mills,at Relay,so named as the first stage stop for changing horses eight
miles west of Baltimore. Speeding side by side along the parallel double tracks,the LA ,
locomotive forged steadily ahead of the horse until the leather belt broke which 4
rotated the forced-air blower under the boiler. As the steam pressure dropped o LKRID
the horse galloped to victory even though the locomotive rounded the curves at 4 U] N D E
a speed of 15 miles an hour and covered the 13-mile distance from Ellicott's Mills IWAHNGT ANNA
to Baltimore in 57 minutes running time. BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS DEPARTMENT OF COME
Peter Cooper, an ingenious New York merchant, had offered to build a locomotive for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company, in 1829, b
he feared the loss of his investments in the lands of the Canton Company, a terminal and improvement venture dependent upon the railroad
success. The directors had planned originally for horse operation of the railroad for the entire 384-mile distance from the Chesapeake E
Ohio River.Therefore, they questioned the practicability of running a steam locomotive around the sharp curves of the track,one of which
radius of only 150 feet. The locomotive proposal appeared dubious especially in view of the emphatic statement of the celebrated English e
George Stephenson,that 900 feet was the shortest-radius curve around which a steam locomotive could be operated based upon his own e
on the Stockton and Darlington Railway,the world's first railroad to be powered by steam,in 1829.
In view of this expert opinion,the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad directors were in a quandary. The receipts from horse-drawn power had fai
make expenses and some of the leading stockholders were considering the liquidation of their investments. It was the hope of converting los
profits that moved the railroad management to accede to Peter Cooper's plan for introducing steam power. Upon the outcome hinged not only
Cooper's fortune but also the solvency of the railroads financial backers.
Baltimore, in 1827, with a population of 80,000 people,located at the Atlantic seaport end of the great National Pike, or Cumberland Roa
into the interior, needed the western business in order to retain its rank as the third largest city in the Union. The city's bankers had financed
struction of the road connecting at Cumberland with the National Pike which had been opened to traffic as far as Wheeling, then in Virginia
Now Baltimoreans were disturbed by the loss of business to the Erie Canal in New York State, completed in 1825. Fewer and fewer ships wer
ing Chesapeake Bay and more and more coastwise vessels were finding their way into New York harbor. Furthermore,Pennsylvania's busir
undismayed by the towering 3,000-feet altitude of the Allegheny Mountains,were planning to supersede their stone-surfaced turnpike to t
with a combination canal and level-and-inclined-plane railroad between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
Goaded into action Baltimore's leading citizens laid plans for the organization of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, later chartered by the
legislature on February 28, 1827. Only a horse railroad was considered practicable at that date because steam locomotives were still in th
mental stage even in England. Travel began on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad on January 7, 1830,when paying passengers were carrie
far side of the Carrollton stone-arched viaduct. Later wind-driven sailing cars and horse-powered treadmill cars were tried without success.T
the first common-carrier railroad enterprise in this country. All horses were replaced by steam locomotives on July 31, 1831, according
Baltimore American newspaper.
d for its
3ay to the
d to the
1830-THE IRON HORSE WINS
1830-THE MAYSVILLE TURNPIKE 1830 THE SVETUNP
The Maysville Turnpike, through the Blue Grass region of Kentucky, became a nationwide topic for
discussion, in 1830, when President Andrew Jackson vetoed the bill passed by Congress to grant finan- TO ZANE
cial aid to its construction by the purchase of shares in the turnpike company. This veto established A/'ER
the policy of the National Government with respect to internal improvements of strictly local or State ben- MAYSV
efit. The veto also compelled subsequent turnpike companies and later the railroad companies to be fi- WASHIN
nanced as private corporations rather than as public utilities. K E N T U C KY
The issue was raised on January 25,1827, when a resolution was passed by the Kentucky State BLUE LICK SPRI
legislature requesting congressional authorization for Federal aid in the construction of the Maysvil le MILLER~BURC NIHO
and Lexington Turnpike Road.This thoroughfare wasa 64-mile unit of the long mail road branching P' I
from the National Pike,or Cumberland Road, at Zanesville, Ohio, and running southwest across the Ohio .': ccy '
River, through Maysville and Lexington, in Kentucky; Nashville, in Tennessee; and Florence, in Alabama; LEXINGT A T \
to New Orleans, in Louisiana.An appropriation bill for the construction of this turnpike initiated in the 7C T
House, was defeated by one vote in the United States Senate, in the spring of 1828. Its passage would / EONTY
have assured the construction of the road because President John Quincy Adams favored the measure. C i ~ ERC. E ,
Undeterred, the Kentucky State legislature,on January 29,1829, incorporated the"Maysville and I "~A" SBURG
Washington Turnpike Road Company"for the purpose of building an"artificial road"from Maysville to Wash- Ns ovLLHIE
ington, in Mason County. This 4-mile roadway, completed in November, 1830, was the first macadamized
road built in the State of Kentucky The Act authorizing this section was amended by the legislature on
January 22,1830, and the name was changed to the"Maysville,Washington, Paris and Lexington Turnpike
Road Company." This Act extended the previous turnpike to Lexington and increased the capital stock BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS -DEPARTMENT OF C
from 820,000 to $320,000. Like the 1827 legislation, 1,500 shares with a par value of 8150,000 were proposed for subscription by the Federal Gover
The legislature appropriated 825,000 with the proviso that three times this amount should be paid by other stock subscribers.
In the Congress of the United States,a related bill passed the House of Representatives, on April 29,1830, and the Senate,on May 15,authori
directing the Secretary of the Treasury to subscribe, in the name and for the use of the United States, for fifteen hundred (1,500) shares of capital
the Maysville,Washington, Paris and Lexington Turnpike Road Company.""Old Hickory's"veto of the Act, on May 27,1830,climaxed the nationwide for
round home firesides and country-store cracker boxes, raised to a fever heat by Kentucky Senator Henry Clay's eloquence. In his advocacy of the r
declared the clause in the Federal Constitution, with regard to the right to regulate commerce, implied full power for the National Government to
roads and canals for internal improvement.
Thus denied Federal assistance, the road was completed by town,local and State subscriptions. During the next five years the State's share
raised to one-half the total 8426,400 cost of the stone-surfaced turnpike, completed from Maysville to Lexington, by 1835, including the erection c
teen toll houses and six covered bridges.
Attention was focused upon the road again, in 1838, when a United States mail contractor claimed the right to travel free of tolls. Chief Justice
son for the Court of Appeals held that President Jackson's refusal to aid construction of the road made it mandatory for the Federal Government's ag
pay the same fees as the general public.
In the illustration the aged toll-gate keeper is portrayed in a posture of vigorous refusal as the driver of the oval-shaped stage-coach tenders v
pears to be a worthless coin, a relic of the days of financial inflation following the War of the American Revolution. In that period Kentucky was floodec
coins of many nationalities and the neighboring States' paper currencies sometimes merited the opprobrium of being"not worth a Continental" doll
1830 THE MAYSVILLE TURNPIKE
- Ci ~CI1C* ~.
sE~ 9. e.,
1836 wTHE NEW ENGLAND 136 THE NEW ENGLAND TOWN
TOWN HI ALL NovE MARSH ASSA C
Within the confines of the"town hall"or "town house' shown in the accompanying illustration,were k 4,
assembled the New England "town meetings"eligible to male citizens who were twenty-one or more N
years of age. These citizens were residents of the area called the "town"or "township"which includ- DUxBURY
ed not only the village but also the tributary farm, waste, pasture and other lands. The "townships" .-
consisted mostly of odd-shaped pieces of land selected, perhaps, by groups of Puritans who had mi- .FAX, arNSo
grated to America to escape the restrictions to their freedom of worship then prevalent in their Eng- ~LMpTO.
lish homeland. It was logical, therefore, that these faithful pioneers should cross the ocean not simply -
as individuals but as church congregations under leadership of such beloved pastors as John Cotton
or Thomas Hooker. Upon their arrival in New England, after making arrangements with the authori- ,CARYER PLYMOIJ
ties for a grant of land,the Puritan fathers cleared an opening in the wilderness and built their log- OROUGH
cabin homes within comfortable walking distance of their central "meeting house" where they gath- A
ered every Sabbath day for worship. Nearby the congregation's "meeting house"was situated the "com- .-----
mon" pasture -for general use, the school house, and the crude fort, or blockhouse. The clustered cab- I WA
ins promised a ready shelter in the event of a surprise Indian attack.
As the community grew to the dignity of a village, around the "common" greensward,there were ROCHET SANDWIC
added from time to time a general store, perhaps a tavern,and a "town hall "for the transaction of pub-
lic business. Hitherto the "town meetings" had been held in the congregational "meeting house" until A
the population multiplied to a number warranting the erection expense of a separate "town hall." BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS-DEPARTMENT OF CO
The "town meeting" was convened once each year, usually during February, March or April. Because every adult male townsman was entitle
ticipate, the "town meeting"was the simplest and most democratic form of local government ever devised. The "town meeting"was a direct descel
the ancient clan, an aggregation of family groups controlled by a "headman' The word town may be traced back to the primitive wooden stockade
a "tun, which surrounded an English village.
The government of the New England townships was patterned after those in old England with certain modifications designed to fit the new c
encountered in America. An odd number of selectmen,to prevent a tie vote, were chosen to govern the"town in the interim between the annual m
Thus the"town meeting" became the fountain head of all representative government in this country. Also,there were elected,orappointed, regular"t
ficers such as clerk,treasurer, assessor, surveyor of highways,school committeemen, and others. The most important business centered upon the
of suitable educational facilities for the younger generation and the upkeep of highways and bridges. The surveyor of highways had charge of"highw
vate ways, causeys,and bridges"with power to cut down, dig or remove anything"that incommoded highways"and "also to dig for stone,gravel,cla!
sand or earth in any land not planted or enclosed,and to press carriages,workmen or other things fit to be employed on highways."To obtain th
sary labor, the surveyors were authorized to "appoint the days, provide materials for working on the highways according to the season of the year
weather and give public notice thereof; and all persons from sixteen years old and upward,by themselves or others in their stead shall attend;(
cart and team,as they shall be appointed,***""
The responsibility for public road improvement, a primary function of the township authorities since the early days of the New England
ments,began to be shared with privately-owned toll road companies shortly after the War of the American Revolution. The widespread final
failures of these turnpike companies,the emergence of the steam railroad, by 1836, as the preferred mode of transportation,and the subseqL
drawal of the Federal Government from extensive roadbuilding, handed back the old burden of wagon road and bridge construction and maint
to the New England townships, to the Louisiana parishes and to the counties and local authorities in the other States.
Wd to par-
u- r a w
Or ; j ,
do :'L .
1836 THE NEW EGLAND TOWN HAL
1836 THE COUNTY COURTHOUSE 1836 THE COUNTY COURT
The county courthouse, shown in the accompanying illustration,situated at the county "seat, or N
capital, was the most important center of local government in the Southern and Western States. In 7
Virginia, where the first counties were established in Colonial America,the court day was not on-
ly a well advertised date for conducting public business, but a holiday as well for the farmers and
their families. Large numbers of people from every direction swarmed from the countryside into
town, traveling in wagons, buggies,on horseback or afoot. On the steps of the courthouse, in the cor- a
riders and on the green in front were swapped stories and gossip, debts were paid and new obliga-
tions contracted, horses and property were auctioned and political speakers harangued the crowd
from the "stump."
The word county is derived from the territory in France governed by a count. After the Nor-
man conquest of England in the eleventh century, this same name was applied to the English shires, I
the antecedent of which were the ancient tribal governments superior to the clans,or family groups, c. .
which had their habitat in the towns. These two forms of English local government-the tribe, or
county, and the clan, or town were transplanted to the English Colonies in America.
The town predominated in New England because of the compact population groups,while the OL
county proved more workable for the people scattered over large plantations in the Southern States. C
The exception-the parish-became the accepted political subdivision in Louisiana. In New England, C S
ihe Puritans migrated as church congregations,settled the land in groups and it was natural thatthey
should gather in towns for business and social intercourse. Virginians, on the other hand, lived on
plantations of vast extent,the better to accumulate profitable returns from their staple crop- tobac- BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS-DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
co. The land was granted to individuals and was sometimes an enormous area. For example, "John Bolling,who died in 1757, left an estate of 40,000
acres, and this is not mentioned as an extraordinary amount of land for one man to own."
These plantations were situated often a long distance from the coast, for Virginia was penetrated by a number of navigable streams. English
ships could sail upstream, deliver their merchandise at the plantation wharf and receive in exchange a cargo of tobacco. The plantation owners raised
practically all the necessities of life so there was no need for the development of towns as depots of exchange between the seller and the buyer.
This cultivation of tobacco on extensive plantations created a steady demand for farm labor which was supplied by Negro slaves imported from
Africa and by indentured white servants from England, consisting of people in less fortunate circumstances. Because these laborers far outnumbered
The plantation owners,there developed an aristocratic society in Virginia in sharp contrast with the democratic ideas which prevailed in New England.
The county was a more workable form of government than the town for a population of country squires spread over a wide area.
In Virginia,as early as 1769, the County Court,composed of eight or more gentleman inhabitants, was commissioned by the Governor of the
Colony. Besides its judicial functions, the County Court was responsible for the conditions of the highways, causes, bridges and "church roads" The
County Court could enter into a contract or perform the work by day labor The laborers were recruited by subdividing the county into precincts,or
walks,"each in charge of a "surveyor"or foreman. At the times prescribed by the County Court,all "tithable"males were required to work under the
direction of the "surveyor" "Tithable" persons were local residents over 16 years of age, whether free,slave or indentured, white women excepted.Own-
ers of two or more "tithables" could send them as substitutes in lieu of working in person.
When the Western States were settled, largely from migrants from the Central and Southern States,the county became the preferred type of
government because of the sparse population. For future concentrations of population,the rectangular Government surveys located townships six miles
square, oriented to base meridian and range lines. After 1836,the counties,townships and parishes resumed the burden of main road improvement
which was relinquished by the States and turnpike companies when the steam railroads came into vogue.
ItT -- -~s~" ~ l~ low--,
1836 THE DESERTED VILLAGE 1836THE DESERTED VILLAGE
M TOCAMDEN HAM ILTQ
Deserted villages in rural areas,illustrated herewith,like the later "ghost-town"
remnants of once prosperous mining camps in the Far West, were the products of B I o
changing conditions in agriculture,industry, transportation and other phases of the to a,,s,
social life of a community. The effect of the loss of raw materials upon a small M VILLE
mill town was described in the Scientific American magazine on October 6, 1849, MBERL A
under the heading of"A Deserted Village"as follows;' Nearly halfway between ss
Mil Iville and Tuckahoe, N.J.,the traveller suddenly leaves the almost intermina- R S E/
ble waste of stunted pine and oak,the long sandy road, and the oppressive heat, c u M B A N D NA
and,as if by magic, a romantic hamlet, nestling beside a lake, bursts upon the view. P oW
Here he may rest his jaded horses beneath the overhanging willows and enjoy LIZABETH CU ER
the scene to his heart's content. The village is known as Cumberland Worksand c o T Y WOR, T
consists of about twenty-five cottages,with several spacious buildings, once occu- R TE
pied as Mills, Iron Foundries,Forges,etc. But a deep and impressive silence now
hangs over the place; the tenements are dilapidated and leaning as if ready to BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS DEPARTMENT OF COMMER
fall to the earth. The water-wheels are motionless; the furnaces are no longer glowing; the trip hammer, that great heart which once
and day,has ceased its pulsations, and all save beauty has departed. The Iron Works were formerly conducted by Edward Smith,Esq.,
den, but owing to the rapid decrease of timber in the neighborhood, were abandoned some thirteen years since. The timber is now r!
growing,and if the above was the only reason for blowing out the fires,it wil Inot much longer exist. No one can stop his horses by the'Mo
ered bucket which hangs in the wel I,'or linger a moment beneath the drooping wil lows,without calling to mind in its full force and meaning
smith's admirable description of 'The Deserted Village."
The depletion of raw materials characterized by this citation has been a prolific reason for the abandonment of settlements which
grown up around saw mills,grist mills,metal and coal mines and similar activities. The substitution of steam power for water-wheel-driver
and the unreliable windmill,in the early part of the nineteenth century, however, introduced the Industrial Revolution which left in its wak
significant changes in our entire social structure. By 1836, the steam railroads had demonstrated their superiority over horse-drawr
roads, adding another offspring to the family of steam power which revamped our economy during the succeeding decades.
"The Fate of the Rural Town"under the impact of the steam railroad, which minimized distance,was recounted in the May I1,1895,
the Scientific American, to-wit: "The population of the whole country has immensely increased, [from 15,388,080 in 1836 to 69,471,14
while scores and hundreds of the rural towns have steadily declined in population and wealth.In view of these facts, we must look for a
cause, and that cause we find in the new facilities for travel and transportation. The railway is an immense centralizing power. "*" In it
all things pass and the whole world is made anew. The immediate results from the introduction of steam as a motive power were felt long
remoter consequences are now being revealed in every cause and in every line of business.The change is nowhere more clearly seen th
relation of the inland town to the commercial metropolis. When men reached the interior by horse power, by the ox team,or on foot,the r
had a living chance to advance in population and wealth. For the industrial army which had moved into the wilderness or the open country,
village was the new base of supplies. The commissariat must go along with the columns. The large center was too far away. But the coming
railway abridged distance. It brought the village ten or twenty miles away in touch with the great city, making it a sort of suburb. The o0
pot of supplies is no longer needed; the railway train has taken the place of the country storehouse."
14 in 1895
ian in the
g of the
1836- THE DESERTED VILLAGE
1836- THE PARISH CHURCH 1836- PARISH CHURCH
The parish church,governed by its vestry and cared for by its church wardens,was the cradle -P-0 c N HA T -
of all social intercourse and government in early Virginia. Near the church,after the Sunday morn- :. //
ing service,the women might gather in groups to talk over the current events such as weddings,
social engagements and what not, while men discussed the business of the parish,the state of the
London tobacco market, or perhaps Colonial politics. The parish church was the symbol of the cus-
toms of the people of Virginia just as the meeting house was a reflection of the life and habits of the
Puritan fathers and mothers in New England. The principal difference in the social structure of the ,oR-_
two regions found expression in the character of the church government. The New England meeting E
house was founded by Puritan separatists from the established church in England who had migrated
to America in order to gain freedom to worship according to the dictates of conscience. Each congre- ARISH
gation,therefore, was considered a distinct entity governing itself and not responsible to any supe- o
rior church authority. In Virginia,on the other hand, the parish church in America was patterned
after its Anglican counterpart in the old country. The Virginia Cavaliers,who were English coun- PARISH
try squires for the most part, simply transplanted to the Colony the kind of church authority
with which they had been always familiar. \
It was the custom in England for the parish to include only as much territory as could be s
served conveniently by a single priest. The English parish has been described aptly as "locus quo
populous alicuius ecclesiae degi"-"the multitude of neighbors pertaining to one church."This de-
description fits also the Virginia parish as well as the New England town. As a matter of fact,the
words parish and town were employed interchangeably in the early records. Sometimes the parish BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS-DEPARTMENT OF COMMER(
was so large that it might coincide with the area of an entire county. Elsewhere, perhaps,a county might cover two or three parishes.
The Virginia parish vestry, so called because they originally met in the cloak room of the church,were the administrative body of the par
responsible men selected to administer ecclesiastical and often civil duties. In the latter respect,the parish was overshadowed by the county of
it was a subdivision. The vestry fixed the tax rates for the payment of the minister's salary and the maintenance of the church property. The Co
Court computed and assessed the county taxes for the care of the courthouse and jail and the upkeep of roads and bridges. Where the boundary
coincided,both the parish and the county might be governed by the vestry officials.
In only one of the southern States-Louisiana-has the parish subdivision assumed the status and duties of the county. In that State, dating f
1807, the parishes were delimited from early divisions of the region made by the Spaniards for religious purposes. As late as 1918,the Louisiana
ishes were comparable in size, organization and administrative power with the counties in other States. The government rested in the hands ofa p
jury consisting of members elected by the several wards into which the parish was divided. The police jury chose a president from its own number
The Governor of the State appointed the parish surveyor who might be employed on parish road and bridge work at the discretion of the police
using funds under their immediate jurisdiction. This practice was an outgrowth of the custom in Colonial America which followed the procedure
seventeenth-century England. There the parish church wardens and constable were yearly to call together a number of the parishioners,anc
choose two honest men of their parish to be surveyors of the works for the amendment of the highways,*** and ought also then to appoint
six days for the amendment of those highways."
The parish,the township and the county organizations became once more responsible for the main public roads when the steam railroads gait
The rural church,shown in the accompanying illustration, is a lineal descendant of the parish church of the South and the New England meeting hou
1836-THE PARISH CHURCH
1836-EL CAMINO REAL 1836 EL CAMO REAL
El Camino Real,the Royal Highway, comparable in importance with the King's High- SAN PRANCIO
way of the English,was the name given by the Spanish conquistadores to any of the w LW0 o
routes used for internal communication, or for the defense of their far-flung dominions s A
in North and Middle America from the border encroachment of France, England and DI
Russia. Following the landing of Hernando Cortes, at the present Vera Cruz, in 1519,the EL i
Spaniards captured Mexico City and thence pushed north and south along the highlands .
of the Cordilleran mountain backbone of the Continent. Although the conquerors used i
a vast system of roads extending in many directions,there were three main roadslead- iF
ing north from their capital at Mexico City. oR
The first of these great Los Caminos Reales, developed during the sixteenth cen- a s ME x
tury, led north to the present Queretaro, Zacatacas, and Durango,through the Chihua- o a S,
hua desert, crossed the Rio Grande at El Paso del Norte (Northern Ford),and followed ME A
this river to Santa F6, New Mexico, founded about 1609, at a time when the English were
establishing a foothold in Virginia. From this central El Camino Real there stemmed, BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS -DEPARTMENT OF CO
during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries,eastern branches from the existing Dolores Hidalgo, Zacatacas and Durango. These joined at Sal
crossed the Rio Grande at Presidio del Norte at the Paso de Francia (French Ford)and passed through the present Cotulla,San Antonio, Nacagdoche
toches, Natchez, New Orleans, Mobile, Pensacola, and Tallahassee to a terminus on the east coast of Florida at St.Augustine, founded in 1565, under
ership of the Spanish naval Captain,Pedro Menendez de Aviles. A northwestern branch'of the main north road was opened about the time of the W<
American Revolution. This Camino Real passed through present-day Santa Cruz,Sinaloa,Arispd and Nogales,down the Santa Cruz and Gila River v-
Yuma, crossed the Colorado River, thence westward across the desert to San Diego, thence northerly roughly paralleling the shore of the Pacific C
through Los Angeles and San Luis Obispo to its end at Sonoma, north of San Francisco. These three northern Los Caminos Reales,were organized
much for the purpose of territorial expansion but for communication with the buffer states established to protect Spain's main possessions in M
and South America from inroads by the British and Russians to the northwest; by the French in the Mississippi Valley; and by the English along
lantic seaboard. Following the reign of Philip II, ending in 1598,the power of Spain had declined steadily During the seventeenth century a series
clashes had occurred along the frontiers separating the Spanish from the English and the French.
As the conquistadores advanced to conquer new territory, they left behind settlements constituted bythree main buildings,namely: the miss
center of ecclesiastical services;the presidio, or military fort; and the villa, or pueblo, the town house for the civil government. The historic bt
known as the Alamo, now a patriotic shrine in Texas, was a chapel of the old Spanish mission at San Antonio. The ruins of the structure are sh
the accompanying illustration as it appeared after the bombardment by the troops of the Mexican General Santa Ana,in 1836.Within the walls c
closure,led by Colonels William B.Travis and David Crockett,a band of some 88 gallant Texans made their"last stand" against an overwhelmir
of 2,500 Mexican soldiers. The name Alamo, meaning poplar or cottonwood in Spanish, had its origin in a nearby grove of trees of that specie,
At the time of the massacre the roads were indescribably bad and vehicles were crude. Covered wagons were drawn by oxen, rather thar
or mules, because these slow-moving animals could withstand greater hardship, pull heavier loads, and cost less to replace. The carreta cart,
solid-wood tympan wheels,which were rarely greased and consequently screeched and creaked, was the favorite vehicle of the Mexicans. Pa
were resorted to on roads impassable for wheeled vehicles. The saddle horse was a favorite means of travel.
ar of the
)f the en-
1836 EL CAMINO REAL
B39-OUR FIRST IRON BRIDGE 1839 OUR FIRST IRON
The first iron bridge in the United States was completed in 1839, over Dunlap's WASHINGTON
Creek (formerly Nemacolin's Creek)along the present Main Street in Brownsville, WAHINTON
Pennsylvania,on the route of the National Pike, or Cumberland Road, leading to T HMING
Bridgeport. There had been a succession of bridges at this location. One of these was a MIoaDPr r
a chain bridge of the type patented by James Finley This structure suspended par-
tially over the stream and abutting shores, at a height of 25 to 30 feet, col lapsed W. owNNSI L ROWNSVILLE
with a thunderous crash early in the year 1820 because covered with a weight of i,
snow exceeding its bearing capacity. P E N Y L
The first cast-iron bridge was built as one of the several structures requiring
reconstruction in the repair of 131 miles of the National Road by the Federal Gov-
ernment from Cumberland on the Potomac River to Wheeling on the Ohio River uns,,. w N.
prior to the relinquishment of the road by the Federal Government to the States of
Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia for future maintenance. Captain Richard CUMWL
Delafield, of the Corps of Engineers,United States Army, who had been placed in BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS-DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
charge of the reconstruction of the road in 1832,conceived the idea of an iron
bridge because of the proximity of the foundries at Brownsville.A number of cast iron bridges had been built in Europe before this date,the first
being erected, in 1777 to 1779, over the Severn River at Coalbrookdale,England. Captain Delafield,however, prepared his own design without re-
gard to the principles of construction adopted by the English and French engineers. The detailed plans were made by Lieutenant Mc Kee. The
bridge was not constructed upon the site selected by Captain Delafield because"the citizens of Bridgeport persuaded the President of the
United States to locate the bridge so that it would replace their old bridge on the Brownsville-Morgantown road."
The abutment and wingwalls of the bridge were built of sandstone. The abutments are 25 feet wide across their faces, 14 feet thick and have
an average height of 42 feet. The arch is composed of five ribs spaced 5.77 feet center to center, consisting of nine cast-iron hollow elliptical
voussoir sections, bolted together, upon which rest the open cast-iron spandrels supporting the floor of the bridge. The arch has a span of 80
feet and a rise of 8 feet. The original Mc Adam surface, li feet in thickness, was confined at the sides by road sustaining plates I foot 6 inches
high. Wrought iron railings were installed 3 feet 7 inches in height above the tops of the sustaining plates, I inch above the level of the roadway The
work was performed under the immediate direction of Lieutenant G. W. Cass who in later life became president of the Northern Pacific Railroad.
While the construction of the bridge was in progress Captain George Dutton,on August 8, 1838, assumed the supervision of the repair of the
Cumberland Road succeeding then Major Delafield who had been appointed Superintendent of the United States Military Academy at West Point,
New York.On October 15,1839, Captain Dutton reported to Colonel Joseph G.Totten, Chief of Engineers, United States Army, with headquarters
at Washington, D.C.,that the cast-iron bridge over Dunlap's Creek,had been completed on July 4,of that year. The iron superstructure had been
given a prime coat of gas tar followed by three coats of white lead paint. The total cost of the structure was reported to be $ 39,901.63.
For more than a decade following its completion,a steady stream of stage coaches and heavy Conestoga freight wagons rolled over this sub-
stantial bridge until January 10, 1853, when the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad was opened to Wheeling on the Ohio River. Thereafter, stage and
freight lines steadily disappeared from the National Pike, or Cumberland Road. Then followed nearly a half a century of disuse of the road until
the introduction of the automobile. Since the beginning of the twentieth century a procession of automobiles and trucks has raced across this his-
toric cast-iron bridge at high speeds carrying heavy loads never anticipated by the designing engineers.
4f o $*
1839-OUR FIRST IRON BRIDGE
1840-wSHENANDOAH VALLEY 1840 SHENANDOAH VALLEY TURNPIKE
PARTOF PEONN3YL AN IA
TURNPIKE r N Y L GI A N A
The picturesque Shenandoah Valley,some 150 miles long and 10 to 20 miles wide, + (won / AR
is the northern extremity of the Appalachian Valley, or Valley of Virginia,which extends o r
for 360 miles across the western portion of the State from the Potomac River south- ,
westerly to the boundary of the State of Tennessee. This great groove between the Ap-
palachian Mountains on the west and the Blue Ridge Mountains on the east is drained
by five rivers of which the most northerly is the Shenandoah River debouching into
the Potomac River. A T
A main Indian trail traversed this valley throughout its entire length from theear- TE US 9a
list times. It was used as a war path by the Delaware and Catawba Indians and later, 0
widened to accommodate the wagons of the settlers, became known as the Wagon Road.
This path was the principal land road over which settlers reached Daniel Boone's Wil- TENNESSEE N 0 R T H C A R 0 I N A
derness Road leading through the Cumberland Gap to the promised land beyond the BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS -DEPARTMENT Or COMMERCI
Appalachian Mountains. According to Filson,the distance was 826 miles from Philadelphia to the Falls of the Ohio River at Louisville,Kentucky.This V
ley Road was preferred by settlers to the uncertain and perilous water route down the Ohio River.
The northern extremity of the Valley Road became known as the Shenandoah Valley Turnpike or Valley Turnpike after 1840 when the company
completed the macadam surface.On March 3,1834,the General Assembly of Virginia passed an Act incorporating the Valley Turnpike Company. The cc
pany was authorized to sell $300,000 worth of capital stock of which the State was to contribute three fifths through the Board of Public Works.L
er the capital limitation was raised to $425,000 and the State subscribed $265,000.
The Act covered a distance of 92 miles between Winchester in the north and Staunton to the south. In response to the request of Bushrod Taylor, t
first president of the company, the Board of Public Works assigned I.R.Anderson,as principal engineer of the project because the State Engineer, Captai
Claudius Crozet,was engaged on other projects. Assuming his duties on August 3,1838, Mr. Anderson,with characteristic vigor, prepared plans and speci
cations and awarded the contract for the first nine miles on September 26,1838. By June, 1839,a total of 76 miles was under contract and 1,000 men w
engaged in the construction of the roadway and bridges. The roadway was 24 feet wide with a macadam surface 18 feet wide and twelve inches deep. The s
ary of Principal Engineer Anderson was $1,700 per annum while his four assistants each received about $ 500 a year. The annual report for 1840, subm
ted by Principal Engineer Edwin Taylor, successor to Mr.Anderson,estimated the total cost of the turnpike including the bridges at $385,910.37.
During the War between the States the Valley Turnpike was fought over many times by the Federal and Confederate armies. As a result the road suffered
serious damage and the company collected negligible revenue because"of the Army destroying bridges,injuring Toll Houses,and we are getting very little tol
The President of the company reported to the stockholders on September 30,1865,that the investment of $35,629.92 in Confederate bonds must be considered wortt
Conforming to the customary pattern for toll road companies the Valley Turnpike was in financial difficulties during the major portion of its existence
1841 the company borrowed $25,000 from the State. Toll collections never were sufficient to pay the operating and maintenance costs of the property
to speak of retiring this debt while yielding a reasonable return on the original investment. The Valley Turnpike expired officially on March 20, 1918, w
it was transferred to the State highway system by an Act of the State Legislature. The $25,000 debt with accrued interest since 1841,had grown to
$115,000 and besides the State owned three fifths of the $425,000 capital stock.
The Valley Turnpike supplied the locale for Thomas Buchanan Read's well known poem describing Union General Philip Sheridan's ride in pur
of Confederate General Jubal Early, on October 19,1864:
"But there is a road from Winchester town, A good, broad highway leading down
* * * * * * * 0 0 With Sheridan fifteen miles away."
1840-THE SHENANDOAH TURNPIKE
18 40 THE NATIONAL PIKE 1840 THE NATIONAL PIKE
The National Pike, or Cumberland Road as it is named by statute, was the first im-
portant road to be built with Federal funds in this country. Now known as United States
Route 40, the commissioners appointed by President Thomas Jefferson selected theA.
location following the old portage path across the Allegheny Mountains from tidewater Wn OHIO C e
on the Potomac River at Cumberland, Maryland,to the nearest practicable head of nav- Oa AjMBE
igation on the Monongahela branch of the Ohio River at Red Stone Old Fort (Brownsville, )*r,..s. 141- ,
Pennsylvania),72 miles away. From the day, in 1818, when travel began as far as Wheel- H .
ing,then in Virginia,the National Pike shared with the Pennsylvania Road the bulk of v
the east-west movement until the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad reached the Ohio River ,o KY. VA.
in 1853. Rising and falling over the hills in the States of Maryland, Pennsylvania,Vir-
ginia, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, along a series of straight courses of greater length
than on any other road in America, this great thoroughfare spanned a distance of
677 miles between its point of beginning at Cumberland, to the projected terminusRTMT o
at the Mississippi River. The National Pike was the westward extension of the 135-
mile turnpike from Baltimore through Frederick to Cumberland. In the heyday of its career, between 1820 and 1840, this long road was throng
lines of heavily-laden Conestoga freight wagons passed continually by fast stage coaches drawn by six galloping horses.
Following the War of the American Revolution, the Wilderness Road from Virginia through the Cumberland Gap into Kentucky and the Pe
ia Road from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh were the two main wagon routes across the Allegheny Mountains. Because the southern States in 1795
unable to finance a good road through sparsely settled mountain wildernesses, the Federal Government became interested in building a transm
connection after the Ordinance of 1787 created the Territory Northwest of the Ohio River.
Congress in 1803, one year after Ohio was admitted into the Union,agreed that a "2 per cent fund:' derived from the sale of public lands,s
devoted toward the construction of roads TO and THROUGH the new commonwealth. The National Pike was the result of this"compact" between
eral and State Governments.
On March 29, 1806, Congress passed an Act authorizing the construction of this road,from Cumberland, Maryland, to the State of Ohio. F
the National Treasury were to be reimbursed from the State "2 percent fund:' This financial plan turned out to be a pious hope that was never
By 1808 the right of way was cleared one-half width as far as Brownsville, Pennsylvania. The first road construction contract was let on Ml
and the partially completed highway was opened to traffic as far as Wheeling on the Ohio River, in 1818.
When Indiana, in 1816, and Illinois, in 1818, were admitted to Statehood, the Federal Government entered into roadbuilding"compacts"simila
with Ohio. Under these agreements for repayment, which never were carried out, Congress in 1820 appropriated funds for continuing the Natior
through the States of Ohio, Indiana and Illinois to.the Mississippi River. By 1830,the location reached Vandalia,then the capital of Illinois, but n
gressed beyond that town. Already the 18-year struggle had begun between St.Louis,Missouri, and Alton,lllinois,to win the prized crossing of the Missis
By the time that the new stone bridge was completed by the United States Army Engineers across Wills Creek,at Cumberland, Maryland, in I
shadows of eastern railroad competition had lengthened toward the west. The National Pike at its eastern extremity began to feel the loss of I
to the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, in 1840. The stage coaches stopped running east of the Ohio River, in 1853,when the railroad reached Wh
Meanwhile the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal had been completed to Cumberland from Georgetown in 1850.
The last construction expenditure on the National Pike was made in Indiana, in 1841. The net total Federal expenditures on the famous
were S 6,759,257.
1 the Fed-
ay 8, 811,
r to that
1840 THE NATIONAL PIKE
1843 -THE OREGON TRAIL 143 THE OREGON TRAIL
The Oregon Trail was the first overland wagon road to the Pacific Coast along which osCe ~-* o .4
settlers trudged, rode,and sang in the greatest tide of travel that ebbed and flowed in ILA o .. sLS /0
pioneer America. Beginning at Independence,Missouri,the Oregon Trail climbed steadily for c ss o u AL S
921 miles to the South Pass over the Continental Divide, and reached its highest elevation ~o -R
(8,200 feet) a short distance beyond Fort Bridger. Thence the road ran downhill to Ore- o, F 9;O NE... 1 N
gon City, 2,000 miles from Independence,except for the 5,000-feet-high Blue Mountains -- ... 4tLL .
beyond Fort Boise and the 4,000-feet-summit of the Barlow Road south of Mount Hood. ~ '4,-4H. TE CR.
The Oregon Trail was conceived in the womb of time during the period from 1500 %'r .i.
tol792 when sea explorations were made by the Spaniards, French,Portuguese, Dutch, Rus- c
sians and Americans to discover the Northwest Coast of America. In 1792,Captain Robert 8 4 'aRNEY
Gray of Boston, in his good ship Columbia Rediviva,discovered and named the great river. ^VNWORTEI
Land explorers, seeking fur-trading profits, searched for the best route to the North- / c _I
west Coast from 1745 to 1833.Not later than 1746,a Yazoo Indian named Moncacht Ap6 BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS -DEPARTMENT OF COMM
(He who kills trouble and fatigue)crossed the Mississippi River, ascended the Missouri
River, crossed the Stony (Rocky) Mountains and followed the Beautiful Columbia River to its debouchement into the South Sea (Pacific Ocean).In 1766
than Carver gave the name Oregon tothe"river of the west." After the Louisiana Purchase of 1803 abutted United States territory upon the Orego
try,Captain Meriwether Lewis and Lieutenant William Clark were despatched by President Thomas Jefferson, between 1804 and 1807, to explore the ne\
In 1811,John Jacob Astor's Pacific Fur Company erected Fort Astoria-the first permanent American settlement west of the Rocky Mountains.This stockac
sold to the British following the War of 1812 as the Oregon Question strained relations between the two countries. In 1820,Mississippi River steamboat
thronged the old French city of St.Louis as Congress debated the expediency of United States occupation of the Columbia River region. In 1824,William H.
discovered the South Pass and DrJohn McLoughlin arrived at Fort George (Astoria) to head the interests of the Hudson's Bay Company.
During the ensuing decade,from 1834 to 1843,fur traders yielded control of the Oregon country to missionary colonists and farmer emigrants.
Reverend Jason Lee led a party over the faintly discernible trail to Fort Vancouver, the new headquarters of Hudson's Bay Company. Dr.Marcus Whitm
byterian missionary, drove the first wagon to the Columbia River in 1836.Dr Elijah White led the first large group of emigrants over the Oregon Trail in 18
the Webster-Ashburton Treaty between the United States and England and hard times in the East created conditions favorable to the Great Migration
which marked the real beginning of the Oregon Trail.
Thousands of emigrants, swarming to Oregon over the now wel I-beaten track and down the Columbia River on rafts,as shown in the accompanyir
tration, clinched the American claim to the Northwest country from 1844 to 1848 when the cry of Gold! deflected the stream of travel near Salt Lake
the new bonanza in California. In 1846, the devotees of peace hushed the raucous warcry of"Fifty-four-forty or fight'as the Oregon Question was settle
land's relinquishment of all Oregon land claims between latitudes 42 and 49 degrees. The California gold seekers as well as those bound for the Oregon gol
crowded the trail from 1849 to 1852. Meanwhile, in 1850, the Donation Land Act attracted homeseekers once more to Oregon.The next important series
included the Statehood of Oregon in 1856,the consolidation of the overland stage lines in 1858,the pony express riders galloping over portions of the Or
Trail in 1860-61, and the eclipse of the old trail by steam railroad to the Pacific Coast in 1869. Since then,motor vehicles have transformed the grow
of travel and United States Route 30 has become the new name for much oftheOld Oregon Trail.
an, a Pres-
j by Eng-
1843 THE OREGON TRAIL