Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Rates of Travel In the 1800s

"How fast could you travel across the U.S. in the 1800s?" (Via John D.)

As the article notes, here's a nice map of travel radii for 1800, using NYC as the starting point.  (Click on images to see full size).

...[I]n 1800, it took a whole day to barely get outside of the city; two weeks to reach Georgia or Ohio; and in five weeks, you could just about get to Illinois and Louisiana.

...By 1857, which is still within one lifetime from someone born around 1800, travel by rail (the fastest way to get around at the time — remember that the Wright brothers were not even born yet and air travel was far off in the future) had gotten significantly faster. You could now do in a day or two what used to take a couple weeks. With a week's travel you could get to the eastern border of Texas, and in about four weeks you could get to California. Only the Northwest took longer than a month to reach from New York City.