American Frontier by Tim McNeese

By Tim McNeese

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This unique and sleek craft was 150 feet long and 13 feet wide. It drew about two feet of water and had two paddle wheels, built on the boat’s sides. On its first river trip, Fulton’s boat traveled upstream 110 miles in 24 hours! Within four years of Fulton’s successful invention, a steamboat called New Orleans, was in use on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. Steamboats would change the nature of American river traffic during the 1800s. 36 The American Frontier Building the Erie Canal A mericans were always looking for new routes into the interior of the Trans- Appalachian region during the early decades of the 19th century.

2. Describe some of the men who participated in the Corps of Discovery. How might you describe a “typical” member of the expedition? Along the way, Lewis and Clark, as well as others, recorded scientific information. They kept journals and diaries of what they saw. They drew pictures of new and interesting plant life and animals they had never seen before. Sometimes the going was rough. A squall of high winds, with thunder and lightening, battered the men as they fought to keep the boat from crashing onto rocks.

By the end of March, the river’s ice began to thaw and the men returned to buffalo hunting, adding to their supply of dried meat. The packing list included the bones of a coyote and pronghorn sheep, buffalo robes, a Mandan bow with a quiver of arrows, exotic plants, and a yapping prairie dog. As they left the Mandan camp, the Frenchmen and others headed south, back to St. Louis.

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