Ohio Valley (1818)
During the first three decades of the nineteenth century, Americans poured into the Ohio River Valley. This plan for a stretch of the Ohio River was created in 1818. Just six years later, steamboats would carry the aged Marquis de Lafayette up this same river, amazing him with the expansion and growth of the young nation. As you examine this chart, consider how such navigable channels acted as highways for commerce and migration. Supplemented with over 3,000 miles of canals by 1837, the waters of the Ohio and Mississippi Valleys were soon connected directly to the markets and ports of the Atlantic states. The railroad, used commercially after 1828, allowed for the expansion of this settlement into areas of the hinterland untouched by even these mighty rivers.