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Westward Over the Blue Ridge Mountains
Class sets 10 or more print books: $12.00 each
Order code: 9226S
The stories in this book offer an interesting perspective on the United States from the point of view of people who sought to reach and then settle the paradise that lay on the other side of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
When the English colonists first settled along the Atlantic Ocean, they saw the line of mountains to the west of them as an imposing barrier that was blocking their path to the Pacific. While that was true, they did not know that it wasn’t the only barrier blocking their way. If only they could get over that great blue ridge, they opined, they would be able to sail west to China.
Well, the colonists had a thing or two to learn about the vast continent they had stumbled upon, and it’s sheer size was just part of that. There were indigenous people as well, and not only did they know the way through the blue ridge, but they had lived and hunted on the land to the west of it for generations.
The English-American exploring parties failed to find any sensible way over the Blue Ridge Mountains, but a Native American tribe showed a young man through what later came to be known as the Cumberland Gap, and it was the mountain pass the colonists had been looking for. Soon hunters were traveling through the pass for the incredible bounty of animals on the western side, but it was still not an easy trek, and a hundred years later, white men had yet to settle in the region beyond the mountains in what is now the southern Ohio Valley. When they finally began to arrive with the intention of building settlements, the Native Americans were deeply unhappy. They did not want strangers moving into their traditional hunting lands and killing huge numbers of their animals for their pelts.
But men like Daniel Boone were burning with the fever of living in the paradise of Kentucky, so on they came, but not without a fair share of heartache along the way. Ultimately, the land was settled, and the route through the Cumberland Gap was pivotal in making that happen. Boone widened it, and the Wilderness Road became well worn from the feet of frontiersmen heading west. This book begins with the colonists’ first trips into the Blue Ridge Mountains and winds its way through the stories of some of the men who strove to get to the other side, including young George Washington and the great dreamer Daniel Boone.
This book is also available as a series of dyslexia-friendly books. (See below.)