By: Kayla Wagner
Steamboats are the way to life.
Unlike canals and roads, steamboats were entirely a private business at the outset. Inventors had been laboring to attach steam power to boats, allowing them to move against a river current. A means of transportation that could move people and goods upstream would create a new economy and new towns, and would bring unimagined luxuries to the settlers. Before the steamboat, settlers on the other side of the Appalachian mountains slowly floated their products on flatboats and keelboats down the Mississippi River, and only at great expense poled them up. The spread of goods and information was almost completely a one-way route, governed by the currents of the great river.