Immigrant Transportation

Time Frame: Early 1800's

In the early 1800s rich immigrants arrived by steamboat on the Mississippi or Missouri Rivers. But most arrived by wagon or schooner.
“The Prairie Pioneers,” The Iowa Heritage: Program # 4, Iowa Public Television, 1977.

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Those immigrants who could afford the extra expense traveled by steamboat down the Ohio and up the Mississippi Rivers. However, river travel meant a family could bring only what each member could carry.


Most settlers, however, moved west in wagons. Wagons of all shapes and sizes: there were truck wagons with solid oak wheels pulled by teams of strong oxen, two wheeled carts pulled by a single horse and of course, the covered wagon. Somewhere along the journey they were named prairie schooners and the name stuck. With trucks and barrels and a plow tied to the side and the rear, a lengthy stove pipe sticking out like a canon pointed to the sky, they bumped and rattled through the oceans of tall grass looking more like battleships then wagons.



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