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American Migration Timeline

posted Apr 23, 2010, 4:20 PM by James Wise   [ updated Aug 29, 2010, 11:51 PM by Travis Wise ]


American Migration Migration Timeline The first migrations were the Native Americans who migrated from areas of Asia across the narrow land bridges to the Americas between about 18,000 to 12,000 years ago. By the time the first European settlers arrived there were established Native American trading paths and routes. There were also animal migration trails which included sources of water, salt and other necessities First Spanish Explorers Among the first explorers were the Spaniards. Juan Ponce de Leon discovered Florida in 1513. Hernando de Soto explored Florida, SC, AL, GA, MS, AR and TN in United States Francisco Vasquez de Coronado began his search for the fabled Seven Cities of Cibola in the American Southwest. He explored AZ, NM, Grand Canyon, TX panhandle, KS and CO 1540- 1542. Used Indian guides over Indian trails. First French Explorers 1534 On behalf of King François 1 of France, Jacques Cartier made his first journey to Canada. 1603 Champlain explored part of the Saguenay, and navigated the St. Lawrence river. Traveling westward, he stopped at Sault Saint-Louis, where the Natives informed him of the existence of Hudson Bay and the Great Lakes. Used Indian trails and guides. Did not establish colonial routes. First English Explorers The first English Colony of Roanoke, originally consisting of 100 householders, was founded in 1585, 22 years before Jamestown and 37 years before the Pilgrims landed in Massachusetts, by Sir Walter Raleigh. The Jamestown Colony was established in 1607. Plymouth Colony in 1620. Early Settlements First settlements of the early 17th century, all American colonies, were limited to the Atlantic seacoast and short distances up a few navigable rivers. For over 100 years, there were few excursions beyond the safety of these eastern harbors. Who Were the Immigrants? Northeast: Puritans, Baptists, some Anglicans Maryland: Catholics and some Quakers. Pennsylvania: Quakers, Scots-Irish, Germans. Virginia Tidewater and lower Piedmont: Cavaliers, merchants, indentured servants. Virginia -- Inland along the mountains: Scots-Irish and Germans. First Settlements and Routes First settlements were along the rivers that emptied along the Atlantic Coast. Virginia: Potomac, Rappahannock, York, and the James. Maryland: Chesapeake Bay. Pennsylvania: Schuylkill, Susquehanna, Delaware New York: Hudson, Delaware, Mohawk, Schoharie Connecticut: Connecticut River, Housatanic Massachusetts: Charles River, Merrimac. Maine: Saco First Settlements and Routes Carolinas: Neuse, Cape Fear, Pee Dee, Yadkin Broad, Wateree, and Saluda formed the Santee Georgia: Savannah River, Oconee River Many land grants may describe the property as being on a waterway. Early Settlements Threats: Hostile Indians Impassable mountains Little need for more living space. No roads for wagons or carriages. Travelers went on horseback or on foot. Ocean Waterways Sailing ships remained the primary method of transportation between the colonies well into the 1750’s in America. Local overland roads did branch out from the major seaport cities, but were rarely more than twenty or thirty miles in length. Boston Post Road About 1664 King Charles II requested that communication be established among his colonies. A riding trail was established between Boston and New York. The Mass Turnpike generally follows the original trail from Boston to Springfield, down the Connecticut River to New York. Eventually there were three trails but it was decades before stagecoaches or wagons could travel the roads. One woman on horseback, following a mail carrier, wrote in 1704 : “. . .unless someone followed a mail carrier, few travelers would be able to find the Boston Post Road. Kings Highway The road's origins are traced to the old Delaware Indian trail (across Jersey) which Peter Stuyvesant used to force out the Swedes in 1651. By 1750 a continuous road existed along the coast from Boston to Charleston, later from Maine to Georgia. The King’s Highway was a unifying factor for communication among the colonies during the Revolutionary War. Few bridges crossing rivers and streams. Travel conditions dependent upon the weather. Many parts of the road impassable for weeks at a time. Not a major migration route for settlers. Reasons for Internal Migration Need for land as migrants came from Europe Political Moving Scots-Irish and Germans to western PA and VA to be a buffer against the Indians. Religious and cultural Immigrants who wanted to be isolated Established colonists who did not want people of different religions and cultures in their “backyards.” What is beyond the horizon? Reasons for Migration (cont) War provided opportunity for new land French and Indian War Eventually provided the way to the Ohio lands Revolutionary War Bounty land grants in Kentucky and Ohio War of 1812 Indian cessions as a result of wars Your Ancestor and Migration Check the censuses We were/are a nation of migrants 1850 census gives birthplace of the person 1880 census gives birthplace of the person and the parents 1900 census gives the year of naturalization Use the census information in connection with historical resources to help you to research the ancestor of the ancestor. Collect all relevant documents. Study local histories of the area where your ancestor lived. "The Germans who settled this part of Pennsylvania came from the Palatinate, in the Rotterdam to London group, then to upstate New York down the Susquehanna River to the Tupelhocken Valley. Reading hadn't been developed yet, nor was there a road to Philadelphia." Your Ancestor and Migration (cont) On a photocopy of a map, trace the route in reverse from your ancestor's known locality to the one or two likely places detailed in the usual migration pattern maps for the time period. Using maps, genealogists who specialize in a particular state or region, can actually outline the pockets of each ethnic group that settled the region. They can draw lines of typical migration patterns into the region based on their years of research. Try to read books by those recognized as experts in the locality your ancestors settled. Your Ancestor and Migration (cont) Understand the topography of the area traveled. Mountains Rivers Climate Roads Along the Piedmont Upper Road Fall Line Road Great Wagon Road Wilderness Road Upper Road The Upper Road branched off from the King's Highway at Fredericksburg, Virginia, and went southwest through Hillsboro, Salisbury, and Charlotte in North Carolina, then on to Spartanburg and Greenville in South Carolina. The road generally followed the old Occaneechee Path which went from Bermuda Hundred on the James River, and Old Fort Henry (now Petersburg) southwest to the Indian trading town of the Occaneechi which existed by 1675 on an island in the Roanoke River at about the location of today's Clarksville, Virginia De Soto? and his cavaliers were perhaps the first white men to use portions of the great Occaneechi Path (1540). After 1740, the proprietary governor of the Granville District began to issue grants to Quakers and others from the tidewater counties of North Carolina and Virginia, attracting them into the northern half of North Carolina. By 1750, the Upper Road became an important wagon route for southbound migrations into that portion of North Carolina. Fall Line Road The Fall Line Road ran parallel to and between the King's Highway and the Upper Road. The road broke off from the King's Highway at the town of Fredericksburg, Virginia. By 1735, it carried traffic into the interior of Virginia and the Carolina and across into Georgia. The road followed the fall line, a geographical feature caused by erosion, a separation line stretching from Maryland all the way to Georgia, running between the river tidelands and inland elevations on the Atlantic coast. Other Factors Page 5 Hostile Indians -- French and Indian War. Indian treaties opened up new lands. Bounty land warrants after Revolution and War of 1812. Poor agricultural practices -- the land played out. Waves of immigration from Ireland, Germany; a few Spanish and French. Resultant population explosion. Great Wagon (Valley) Road Used largely by Scots-Irish and German settlers. Beginning first as a buffalo trail, a great Indian Road (the Great Warrior Path) ran north and south through the Shenandoah Valley, extending from New York to the Carolinas. The mountain ranges to the West of the Valley are the Alleghenies, and the ones to the east constitute the Blue Ridge chain. By the early 1740s, a road beginning in Philadelphia (sometimes referred to as the Lancaster Pike) connected the Pennsylvania communities of Lancaster, York, and Gettysburg. The road then continued on to Chambersburg and Greencastle and southward to Winchester. Used by German and Scots-Irish immigrants. From Winchester to Roanoke the Great Wagon Road and the Great Valley Road were the same road, but at Roanoke, the Wagon Road went through the Staunton Gap and on south to North Carolina and beyond whereas the Valley Pike continued southwest to the Long Island of the Holston, now Kingsport. The Boone Trail from the Shallow Ford of the Yadkin joined the road at the Long Island of the Holston. Wilderness Road The road through the Cumberland Gap was not officially named "the Wilderness Road" until 1796 when it was widened enough to allow Conestoga Wagons to travel on it. However, by the time Kentucky had become a state (1792), estimates are that 70,000 settlers had poured into the area through the Cumberland Gap, following this route. New England Through New York to Ohio There were two principal routes by which the early settlers came in, known as the north and south water routes; the north by the Hudson and Mohawk Rivers, and the south by the Susquehanna. Many, however, came over the long distance from New England on foot, carrying almost nothing but an ax. Others came with their families and small belongings on an ox sled or in covered wagons. The majority made the journey in winter, as it was easier in that season to reach remote points in the wilderness. Ohio Company Established 1746 as a fur trading company Traded furs with the Indians Indians switched from the side of the French to the British French fought back and began to build a series of forts The Ohio Company urged the British to fight the French and thus began the French and Indian War. Braddock’s Road French had never built any roads. In 1753 21 year old George Washington scouted the first route for a road from MD, PA to the French Territory. British General Edward Braddock, employing 3000 men built a road 12 feet wide through the Appalachian Mountain range ending at what is now Pittsburgh. After the French and Indian War this would provide one of the major routes to the west. Forbes’ Road Braddock had been defeated by the French Indian allies General John Forbes sent Lt. Colonel G. Washington along Braddock’s Road while he built his own road. By the time Forbes arrived at Ft. Duquesne the French had abandoned the fort. However, a second route had been opened to the western lands. British Proclamation Line 1763 A line along the Appalachians established after the French and Indian War by the British. Purpose was to reward the Indians who helped the British during the War Prevented colonists from settling west of the line Was one of the causes of the Revolution Erie Canal In 1817, Clinton convinced the State legislature to authorize $7 million for construction of a Canal 363 miles long, 40 feet wide and four feet deep. In 1825, Governor Dewitt Clinton officially opened the Erie Canal as he sailed the packet boat Seneca Chief along the Canal from Buffalo to Albany. After traveling from the mouth of the Erie to New York City, he emptied two casks of water from Lake Erie into the Atlantic Ocean, celebrating the first connection of waters from East to West in the ceremonial "Marriage of the Waters". The effect of the Canal was immediate and dramatic and settlers poured west. The explosion of trade prophesied by Governor Clinton began, spurred by freight rates from Buffalo to New York of $10 per ton by Canal, compared with $100 per ton by road. In 1829, there were 3,640 bushels of wheat transported down the Canal from Buffalo. By 1837 this figure had increased to 500,000 bushels; four years later it reached one million. In nine years, Canal tolls more than recouped the entire cost of construction. Connecticut Western Reserve Western Reserve, tract of land in NE Ohio, on the southern shore of Lake Erie, retained by Connecticut in 1786 when it ceded its claims to its western lands. In 1792, Connecticut gave 500,000 acres called “firelands,” to citizens whose property was burned during the American Revolution. The Connecticut Land Company bought (1795) the remaining land, and Cleveland was established (1796) as the first permanent settlement in the reserve. In 1800 the reserve gained government when it was included in the Northwest Territory as Trumbull co.; later this region was divided into 10 counties and parts of 4 others. Virginia Military District The Virginia Military District was an approximately 4.2 million acre area of land in what is now the state of Ohio that was reserved by Virginia to use a payment for veterans of the Revolutionary War. Virginia had claimed sovereignty over much of the region as part of its territory. Cession of Virginia's (and all the other states') claims over western lands was a condition for ratification of the U.S. Constitution. In return for ceding its claims in 1784, Virginia was granted this area to provide military bounty land grants. The Ohio district was a surplus reserve, in that military land grants were first made in an area southeast of the Ohio River, in what is now Kentucky. U. S. Military District of Ohio 1796 The US Congress assigned this land to be distributed to Revolutionary War veterans in return for the land bounties they had received as payment for their service in the war. Symmes Purchase 1787 Member of Congress John Cleves Symmes of New Jersey and a group of investors bought this land from Congress. Ohio and Associates Co. Actually was the New Ohio Company 1788 Marietta established by the Ohio Company of Associates under the leadership of Rufus Putnam. It was the first permanent American settlement in the Northwest Territory and Ohio National Road Congress enabled 5% of Ohio land sales to be set aside for construction of roads in 1803. Work was finally begun in 1815 and finished in 1838. As the first national highway it featured grading and surfacing. Wagons carried farm products to the East, returning with manufactured goods; wagons and stagecoaches carried passangers in both directions. Old Southwest Land belonged to France and Spain Royal Charter of Georgia Mostly northern Alabama and Mississippi Ceded to the U. S. in 1803 Louisiana Purchase from France in 1802 Purchases from Spain in 1812 and 1819 Roads to the Old Southwest Natchez Trace Federal Horse Path General Jackson’s Military Road General Carroll’s Military Road Mc Cleary’s? Road Natchez Trace Old Indian trail from Natchez, MS to Nashville Used by boatman who had traveled down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers to return home. In 1796 this was extended to KY, then into the NW Territory through Zane’s Trace to Wheeling WV and to Philadelphia via Forbes Road. Federal Horse Path / Road Begun in 1806 as a mail road from New Orleans to Washington D.C. It was an extension of the Fall Line and Upper Roads which ended at the Creek Indian Agency near Macon, GA. By 1811 this was the most important wagon road into the Old Southwest. Military Roads Virtually all a result of the War of 1812. Improving Indian paths to roads suitable for supporting wagons, cannons and troops. Became major migration routes after the War. Later Trails Oregon Trail - 1842 Mormon Trail - 1845 California Trail - 1849 Oregon Trail The Oregon Trail, used by nearly 400,000 people extended from the Missouri River to the Willamette River with starting points at Independence, Westport, St. Joseph, and Ft. Leavenworth. Alternate routes included Sublette's Cutoff and the Lander Cutoff. After 1846, there was also a choice at The Dalles between rafting down the Columbia River or taking the new Barlow Road across the Cascades. Mormon Trail The Mormon Trail stretched nearly 1,400 miles originating in Nauvoo, Illinois, and extending westward to Utah. In 1845, Brigham Young and the Twelve agreed to leave Illinois. From Nauvoo, the Saints crossed Iowa. In 1846, they crossed the Missouri River at Council Bluffs, setting up Winter Quarters on Indian lands. While 3,483 Saints waited there for spring, more than 600 perished. As spring 1847 approached, approximately 10,000 Mormons were encamped along the trail in Iowa and at Winter Quarters. Brigham Young and the Council of the Twelve organized the Pioneer Company to go ahead to mark the trail and lay the cornerstone of the new Zion. The first group of Mormons came into full view of the Great Salt Lake Valley on July 24, 1847. During the period from 1846 to 1869, about 60,000 Mormon pioneers crossed the prairies. They came from existing American states and also from many European countries. California Trails The discovery of gold in California set off a raging epidemic of gold fever. 40,000 gold seekers came to California by sea. An almost equal number came overland on the California-Oregon Trail, making the 2000-mile journey by covered wagon, horseback, or on foot. Around 10,000 came by the Santa Fe Trail into southern California. The most frequently traveled overland route to the gold fields was the one that followed the Oregon Trail from the Missouri River to the Rocky Mountains, and from there down the California Trail to Sutter's Fort. St. Joseph, Independence, Council Bluffs, and other frontier towns were jumping-off points to start this main trail overland to California. The trail coincided with the Oregon Trail until it crossed the Rockies. Then, some went north of the Great Salt Lake, others south, before coming together at the Humboldt River. Gold-seekers heading for California included city people who were inexperienced with outdoor life. Many were without experience at handling mules or oxen; they couldn't fix wagons; they didn't know how to hunt. They didn't anticipate the dangers of the trail and relied too heavily on guidebooks that were frequently misleading. Those who failed to join companies with experienced outsdoorsmen ran great risk of being stranded or lost in the wilderness. Nevertheless, many preferred to travel on their own. Some rode horses or mules, used ox-drawn wagons, or walked.
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