- from The New Nation
Roads made it easier for heavy horse-drawn wagons to travel overland, but it was still slow, tough going. By the early 1800s, many settlers heading west of Virginia had found a better way: a waterway.
Traveling along the Ohio River wasn’t super speedy, either. But boats could carry more people and goods than wagons could. Also, since they were following the river, settlers were less likely to get lost along the way. Early pioneer boats were basic log rafts; some had wooden cabins on deck for shelter. Soon, more advanced craft were traveling the rivers of the new republic.