Gershom Flagg traveled from Vermont to Ohio in 1816 (the year….1800-and-froze-to-death). He details his journey. The attached worksheet asks students to closely read the letter and track his journey. Other details provide insight into some push and pull factors for his decision to move.

Sarah Town traveled from Vermont to Illinois in 1846. Her trip was quite different from Gershom’s. After gathering evidence from Sarah Town’s letter, ask students to look at the timeline and decide where Gershom Flagg and Sarah Town fit. Do their travel descriptions match changes in transportation?

Writing Tasks

After reading letters about journeys west, develop a claim that explains how changes in transportation impacted travelers migrating west.

After reading and examining the letters about westward migration, write two letters as if you were writing home explaining how you moved west and what it was like when you arrived. Use two details from each primary source in your letters.

After reading two letters about westward migration create an annotated Google map in which you illustrate and discuss how transportation changed over time. Give 5 examples from the text that support your discussion. Include a related image for each example.