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Daniel Boone was a pioneer who explored a trail through the Appalachian Mountains. A pioneer is a person who moved to a place where there were few people. A frontier was a place where very few people lived. On the frontier there were no stores, no roads, no cities and almost no towns. Pioneers who lived on the frontier had to make almost everything that they needed.
A flatboat was a simple boat built out of logs. It was like a raft with a cabin on the top. Families would load everything that they needed on a flatboat and float downstream. (clothes, furniture and animals) Flatboats had no engines and could only travel downstream.
Robert Fulton developed the steamboat, which could travel both upstream and downstream.
A canal is a waterway built by people that connects two natural bodies of water. The Erie Canal connects Lake Erie and the Hudson River. The Erie Canal made it possible for more people to go west. It also allowed farmers in the west to send their crops east to New York City.
The Oregon Trail was a route that was blazed through the Rocky Mountains from Missouri to Oregon. Wagon trains traveled on the Oregon Trail.
A wagon train was a group of people that moved from east to west by transporting their belongings in covered wagons that were pulled by oxen or mules. The people usually had to walk because the wagons were full of furniture, clothing, pots, pans and farming tools.
Many people rushed to California to find gold. A few miners became rich, but most people worked very hard and only found a little or no gold.
The Pony Express was a fast way to send mail. It was soon replaced with the invention of the telegraph. The telegraph was a new form of communication that sent electric messages over wires.
Railroads became a new and faster way to travel. A track was laid and steam or coal powered locomotives pulled the trains across the country.
A cowboy was a person who trained horses and herded cattle. A group of 10-20 cowboys would herd together and drive (guide) as many as 2,000 cattle almost 1,000 miles across open land to a railroad town. This was called a cattle drive.
Sequoyah was a Cherokee Indian who taught the Cherokee people to read and write using a syllabary.
As Americans moved west they ran into Native Americans who wanted to keep their land. When Andrew Jackson became President he ordered the Cherokee people to leave their land. The United States Army soldiers rounded up the Cherokee and forced them to march to a new land in Oklahoma, more that 800 miles away. This march was known as the Trail of Tears.
The buffalo is an animal that was hunted by the Native Americans. It supplied most of the needs of the Plains Indians. They used the hide to make clothing and tepees, the bones to make tools, the guts to make bowstrings, the hair to make paintbrushes, and the dried buffalo chips were burned for fuel.
The Oregon Trail