In the early 1800s, many Americans living in the eastern states wanted to explore the western frontier. Vast amounts of land and resources lay to the west—but the Appalachian Mountains formed a huge wall stretching from Canada to Georgia. How could Americans cut through it? Who could create a workable plan? What overwhelming challenges did the workers face? Discover how the Erie Canal opened the passage to the West, bringing people new opportunities for trade and expansion.
Mary Jemison was born in 1743 as her parents emigrated from Ireland to Pennsylvania. When she was fifteen years old, a group of raiding Shawnee Indians and French soldiers captured her and her family. She was the only one to survive. For seventy-five years, she lived among the Seneca Indians who adopted her. She outlived two husbands and bore eight children. She witnessed two wars and a revolution. Even though she could have returned to the white world, she chose to remain with the Senecas and became a loyal and respected member of her tribe.
More than a century after Louisa May Alcott wrote them, classics such as Little Women, Little Men, and Jo’s Boys continue to be read and treasured by readers around the world. Alcott began writing as a young girl and dreamed of becoming a rich and famous author. Despite supporting her entire family with the proceeds from her writings, she was able to achieve her dreams and became one of the best-known and admired writers of her time.