William Wades trip up the Hudson was by steam boat. At this time the railroad had not yet been completed along the Hudson so that form of travel was not yet available. What types of transportation were available. Use an encyclopedia to look at the average rate of travel of a steamboat and determine how long would it have taken Wade to travel the river from New York to Albany? Look up travel by carriage and compare how long it would have taken him by coach. The railroad was completed just after Wades panorama was published. Look up the speed of railroads and estimate the time of the same trip by rail.
For those living on the Hudson River , print out your towns section of the Wade panorama. Enlarge this map and ask students to create a modern day map of the same section on an acetate overlay. Study which parts of the town was more heavily settled. What is most settled now. Is it different and why? What services (food, clothes, ferry transportation) are noted on the 1846 map. What services are available to people today? How are they different? Why are they different?
To understand the significance of the river in the Revolutionary war, have students draw a map of the original thirteen colonies. Draw the Hudson River on this map. Locate New Yorks major cities of this period. Where are they located? Ask them to find a way to prevent ships from coming up the river. Where would they locate this device. What would it be made of? How would it be removed for American ships?
After reading about some of the famous people mentioned in this web site, have teams of two students choose one to research in greater detail. Some of these people could include Benedict Arnold, Molly Corbin, George Washington, Robert Parrott, or DeWitt Clinton. After completing their research the students will play a "talk show game" . One student will play the host and have a list of questions to ask the famous person. Questions and answers can be rehearsed ahead of time. Audience participation should be encouraged. For example if the famous person were Benedict Arnold, students would ask why he did it and what were his plans after betraying West Point?
Hudson River Maritime Museum School Education Programs
Explorer Trail New York State History and Geography Curriculum Resources