Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Migration Patterns 1780-1850 Northeast Ohio

The early stages of migration from the east began in large numbers after the completion of the Revolutionary War. There were several paths that people would follow to get to our area. The first was overland and the second was via the Great Lakes.

The eastern portion of the United States during the period after the Revolutionary War was becoming crowded as families grew and more immigrants continued to come to our country. Second sons and later began to look at the west as a solution to the crowding problem. Bounty lands as a result of the war were also common in our area. This was a big draw for families moving to this area.

The primary route used during this time was coming out of New England to Albany, NY. The period prior to the canal was where this area became a common area to start the journey west. The early route moving west out of Albany was called the Mohawk Turnpike that traveled to the Buffalo area. From Buffalo they would travel down along the eastern edge of Lake Erie on the Seneca Road which stopped in Cleveland.

The turnpike or road as they called it was more of a path. The common route had normally been a Indian trail prior to the Europeans locating in the area. Those brave souls that set out to go west had a challenge in front of them of astronomical proportions. Traveling primarily in groups of your family and neighbors they would set out in their wagons, horses and livestock. The trail was treacherous and difficult to travel. Not to mention the fact that there were Indians in abundance.

Tomorrow I will talk about the latter half of this period with the opening of the Erie Canal.
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