Ch. 7 sec. 3 life in the new landPresentation Transcript
Life in the Rugged New Land CH. 7 section 3
Put Yourself in President Jefferson’s position at the time of the Louisiana Purchase. Would you purchase the land? Why or Why not?
In the early years of the nineteenth century (the 1800’s), settlement was slow because AR was hard to reach and not on the way to anywhere. Americans moving westward tended to move directly west, going to land that would grow the same crops as the land they had left behind.
Overland travel was very difficult for wagons carrying household goods, so the AR river was the major avenue into AR. People traveled on the rivers by canoe, flatboat , or keelboat.
On land, travelers either walked or rode horseback. The Southwest Trail, an old indian path, which was no more than a path through the forest. After Arkansas became apart of the U.S. the Southwest Trail was the first “road” to be chosen by the national government for improvement.
The remote position of AR helped it become known as a haven for people who wanted to become “lost.” Stories spread that a lot of the early settlers in AR were men who had gotten in trouble with the law. They were most likely fugitives.
By 1810, a special census, was taken there were a little more than 1,000 people in AR, not including the Indians.
¾’s of them lived in the AR River Valley, including villages at AR Post, Pine Bluff, Little Rock, Crystal Hill, and Cadron.
Early Settlements continued
In these early years , there were 2 different types of settlers, the hunters and the farmers. The hunters lived in more of the isolated areas. They hunted and trapped for animal skins and traded with the Indians.
Early Settlements continued
Arkansas was rich in animal life. There were herds of American bison , which the settlers called buffalos. However, mass hunting and the clearing of land for farming thinned out the bison.
AR had fertile land, a long growing season, and plenty of rainfall to water the crops. Most parts of AR had soil and climate conditions that were suitable for growing cotton, corn, or wheat.
Wheat, which was milled into flour, was generally grown and used locally.
Corn provided food for the family and its horses, cows, and pigs.
Early Agriculture continued
Some early Arkansans also planted rice, tobacco, hemp (for rope), indigo (for a blue dye), and grapes (for wine).
One of Arkansas’s early problems was being known as an unhealthy place to live.
Heavy rainfall and frequent floods left large areas of standing water. Standing water is a breeding ground for malaria and yellow fever .
The settlers frequently complained about ague or bilious fever , or the “ chills and fevers” which are all names for the malaria or the flu.