Wednesday, March 29, 2017

National Road For Western Wednesday...!

Even the great projects of the western days were more often than not held up by politics. Here is a good example of what I'm talking about!

Congress authorizes survey of Cumberland Road

Congress authorizes surveying to begin for the construction of the Cumberland Road, which sped the way for thousands of Americans heading west.

Four years earlier, Congress had recognized the importance of building a network of national roads to facilitate western immigration. The 1803 act that admitted Ohio into the Union included a provision setting aside money from the sale of public lands to use in “laying out, opening, and making roads.” By 1806, enough funds had accumulated to begin surveying a proposed national road from Cumberland, Maryland, through the Appalachian Mountains to Wheeling, Virginia, on the Ohio River.

The task of surveying the route for the new national road went to the Army’s Corps of Engineers, setting an important precedent for the military’s involvement in building transportation routes that would be used for non-military purposes. The Corps of Engineers also built the road once construction began in 1811. Progress was slow, and the Corps did not complete the 130-mile road until 1818. Its value, though, became apparent well before it was completed. Stagecoaches, heavy freight wagons, and droves of stock animals soon crowded the route in numbers far surpassing those expected. The Corps even had to maintain and repair older sections of the road before the entire route was completed.

The Cumberland Road proved such a success that Congress agreed to continue extending it westward. By 1850, this National Road, as it came to be called, reached all the way to Indianapolis. By that time, mid-western excitement over the National Road was fading in favor of a fever for canal building. The Cumberland-National Road, however, set the precedent for further government involvement in road building. The resulting network of roads greatly facilitated American expansion into western territory, and parts of the route blazed for the Cumberland Road are still followed to this day by interstate and state highways.

Pretty amazing that we managed to get anything done from the old days to now. Involving politics seems to always slow things down more than a little .

Coffee in the kitchen this morning. We are expecting high winds and possibly hail as a storm system moves through later


linda m said...

Gosh that sounds like the road projects here in WI. The crews get started, work a while, then some politician stops the project, then it gets started again. We have roads that are under constant construction for years due to politics.

Rob said...

That was a fine piece of history & educational about the value of roads in general. Can you imagine the US without the interstate highways?

JO said...

Sounds about right for getting things done. But it sure did get a much needed road done.

We had a storm like that night before last and lots of winds here now. See you in the kitchen my friend

Caddie said...

A very interesting and valuable read. Thank you.

HermitJim said...

Hey Linda...
Guess it's that way all over. Some roads here have been "under construction" since I first started driving...and that was a long time ago!
Thanks for stopping by this morning!

Hey Rob...
I'm glad that you enjoyed it. I think we often forget that we started from scratch when it came to transportation in this country. Made a lot of positive strides in our relative short history.
Thanks for coming over today!

Hey Jo...
Sometimes just getting the ball rolling is the hard part.
Hopefully, our weather won't be as bad as predicted. We can only hope!
Thanks for dropping by today, girl!

HermitJim said...

Hey Caddie...
I'm sure glad that you found it interesting, my friend!
Thanks for the visit this morning!