Pioneer Women: Voices from the Kansas Frontier Short Essay - Answer Key

Joanna Stratton
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1. Prior to the mid 19th century, as what was Kansas known and what happened in 1854 to change that?

Prior to the middle of the 19th century, Kansas was called "The Great American Desert." To many it was unfit for cultivation, an arid wasteland. However, by 1850, America's growing population was demanding new sources of land, and in 1854 Congress passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which opened Kansas to settlement (it used to be only an Indian reservation).

2. What were some of the methods of transportation for people moving west to Kansas?

Lured by cheap land, people from all places and economic conditions came to Kansas. Boats, though slow and crowded, were a popular form of transportation due to comfort. The stagecoach was ideal for single people or small families, though the roads were rough. Horses were changed every 15 or so miles at stations to ensure the fastest coach possible. The covered wagon was the preferred mode of transportation for those with large families, or those with a lot possessions to haul to their new homestead.

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