National Road Responsibilities

This month, politicians patted themselves on the back during the unveiling of the National Road Monument in western Maryland.  As was pointed out, the National Road was the first entirely federally financed and built road. As a genealogist and Ohio native, I know that some of my ancestors wrote about their travels westward to the Buckeye state.  One of my relatives, the Rev. Matthew Gardner, described their 1800 journey: There was then little communication with the wilderness west. Not only railroads and steamboats but turnpikes were unknown[.] ... The mountains were difficult to climb, the streams were dangerous to ford, the undertaking was hazardous, and the journey was long. The weather was pleasant and the journey as prosperous as could be expected. They reached Pittsburg on the Ohio river by the first of October, just one month from the time they started. Pittsburg was a small village. They waited two weeks before they found a boat going down the river. They embarked...(Read Full Article)

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