US Migration Rivers and Lakes

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United States  >  Migration  >  Rivers and Lakes

In the East, some American settlers moved to their new home on rafts, riverboats, or by boat on the Great Lakes. The rapid spread of shallow-draft steamboats after 1811 on most of the rivers on the map below had a significant impact on American transportion until railroads or automobiles became a safer, faster alternative in the local area.[1]

Eastern U.S. Rivers

Significant Lakes

Western U.S. Rivers

Farther west (of the Mississippi River) migrants had to follow trails near rivers in order to water their livestock. For example, the Oregon trail followed the Missouri, North Platte, Sweetwater, Snake and Columbia rivers.

  • Missouri River
  • North Platte River
  • Sweetwater River
  • Snake River
  • Columbia River
  • Arkansas River
  • Red River
  • Sabine River
  • Colorado River (Texas)
  • Rio Grande
  • Colorado River
  • Gila River
  • Green River
  • Sacramento River
  • San Joaquin River
  • Yukon River in Alaska

External Links


  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Steamboat" in Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia at (accessed August 4, 2010).