Before cars became widespread, how frequent was long-distance land travel in the US by something other than trains/rail?

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
19,931
SoCal
#11
In working on a local Civil War project, I have been surprised how many soldiers had been to the west coast before the War. Mostly they sailed around Cape Horn. After the war, they poured out of Maine (the soil is poor here--farming often was simply "re-arranging rocks"). This was true of all New England. The California regiments in the Civil War largely consisted of New Englanders.
How long did a sailing trip from the East Coast to the West Coast around Cape Horn actually last?

Also, why is southern New England much more populous than northern New England is? Is the soil there much better?
 
Jun 2017
340
maine
#13
How long did a sailing trip from the East Coast to the West Coast around Cape Horn actually last?

Also, why is southern New England much more populous than northern New England is? Is the soil there much better?
From NYC to California (via Cape Horn) took 3-6 months.

I'm not sure about the population density. I think the soil is equally poor all over New England. It may be because most population growth, after the initial settlement, was internal migration from more southern areas. Not only were Connecticut and Rhode Island nearer to the migration origins but, the further north one went, the more inclement was the weather.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
19,931
SoCal
#14
From NYC to California (via Cape Horn) took 3-6 months.

I'm not sure about the population density. I think the soil is equally poor all over New England. It may be because most population growth, after the initial settlement, was internal migration from more southern areas. Not only were Connecticut and Rhode Island nearer to the migration origins but, the further north one went, the more inclement was the weather.
More southern areas such as New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and the Southern US?
 
Jun 2017
340
maine
#17
It's been steady and on-going. I'd date iit back to the ending of the Civil War right up until my own move from Boston to Maine--and beyond. From what I can tell, the two greatest single periods were (1) the years right after the Civil War and (2) after 1892 when Ellis Island replaced Castle Garden in NYC.

New England has also had a significant immigration from Canada--especially Quebec where the soil is even worse. The French-Canadians followed the rivers into Maine and Vermont but--in greater numbers--into Massachusetts and Connecticut.
 
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Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,070
Dispargum
#18
I heard a story that Eisenhower was born in north Texas in 1890. When he was two years old his family moved to Abilene, Kansas in a covered wagon. Interesting trivia that as late as 1961 we had a president who had once crossed the Great Plains in a covered wagon. When I went looking for documentation just now I found this about his uncle who was a traveling preacher in Kansas and Oklahoma who went around in a covered wagon in the 1890s.
The Early Career of Abraham L. Eisenhower - Kansas Historical Society
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
19,931
SoCal
#19
It's been steady and on-going. I'd date iit back to the ending of the Civil War right up until my own move from Boston to Maine--and beyond. From what I can tell, the two greatest single periods were (1) the years right after the Civil War and (2) after 1892 when Ellis Island replaced Castle Garden in NYC.

New England has also had a significant immigration from Canada--especially Quebec where the soil is even worse. The French-Canadians followed the rivers into Maine and Vermont but--in greater numbers--into Massachusetts and Connecticut.
Maine is located in northern New England, though.

I heard a story that Eisenhower was born in north Texas in 1890. When he was two years old his family moved to Abilene, Kansas in a covered wagon. Interesting trivia that as late as 1961 we had a president who had once crossed the Great Plains in a covered wagon. When I went looking for documentation just now I found this about his uncle who was a traveling preacher in Kansas and Oklahoma who went around in a covered wagon in the 1890s.
The Early Career of Abraham L. Eisenhower - Kansas Historical Society
Why didn't they travel by rail? No railroads in this area?