- from The Midwest
You get up early one chilly morning in 1870, excited by your mother’s promise from last night. “If you get your chores done, you can go watch the boats.”
You rush through your work and dash down to the Mississippi River to settle into your favorite spot on the banks. Now you can spend hours looking at the big boats carrying cargo and people up and down the river. Sometimes you see big puffs of steam coming from the shore. The steam comes from trains moving along the tracks, pulling passenger cars and loads of goods.
At first, pioneers used wagons to travel west, but people soon learned it could be easier to go by boat. In the late 1700s, many settlers began using rivers in the Midwest for migration to the West. A migration is the movement of people from one place to another. Boats could carry more people and goods than wagons. Later, railroads gave settlers an even easier way to travel.