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Going the distance

The published account of the 28th Congressional Session in 1843 included a number of maps and drawings. These visuals helped to illustrate proposed or passed legislation, and included maps with legal boundaries and surveys, maps of improvements made or needing to be made, maps describing the populations and settlement of peoples displaced due to the Indian Removal policy, and maps that outlined the forts along the western U.S. boundary.

I thought it would be interesting to see the U.S. fort map in our portion of the historical landscape, the Red River, because this map also includes a distance tabulation - in miles as well as in "days to travel." Today, I can drive from Fort Towson to Fort Jesup in just a few hours, and only need to bring some cash with me, because I can buy all the gummy bears I need along the way. In 1843, this trip would take me 15 days and I'd have to lug my whole kitchen with me.

We could have some fun with this and make up word problems for children who are bored at home. "If George leaves Fort Coffee on Monday and travels to Fort Jesup, and Janet leaves Fort Towson on Tuesday to travel to the Coushatta Village, how many days would they have to travel in 1843 before being eaten by a bear?"

Please note that some of the distance markers are not present on this little snip. To see and enjoy the full map, click on this link, courtesy of the Library of Congress:


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