||edHelper's suggested reading level:
||high interest, readability grades 4 to 5
||Flesch-Kincaid grade level:
||travelers, toll, opposite, pike, rough, people, rush, business, west, goods, private, cause, against, dangerous, company, poor
||New Orleans, John Fitch, Delaware River, Robert Fulton, Hudson River, New York City
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By Cathy Pearl
1 More and more people started going west in the 1800s. There was a lot of land there. People wanted the chance to buy some of this new land at very cheap prices. The land was easy to get. Getting to the land was the hard part. Travel to the west was very hard.
2 Many of the roads that travelers used were not even roads. They were trails that were barely wide enough for one wagon. Two wagons going in opposite directions could be quite a problem! Thankfully, this didn't happen much. No one wanted to go east. Most of the wagons were headed west.
3 People soon decided that better roads were needed. People in private companies would usually build the roads. To pay for the roads, the company would collect money. This was called a toll.
4 On the road, there would be a pike or a pole that blocked it. A man would stand there and collect money from the wagon. When the wagon had paid, the man would move the pike aside and the wagon could get through. These roads were called turnpikes.
5 There were also roads called corduroy roads. These roads were made out of logs that were linked together. These roads helped to keep wagons from sinking into the mud. The roads were also very bumpy and noisy to ride on.
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