Winter 2021 Educator Guide - The Stagecoach in Upstate NY
Evolutions in Transportation
The 19th and early 20th centuries produced significant changes in transportation technology. As technology brought about faster methods of transportation, older methods remained in use. In his article, With Energy and Success, Dave Waite gives a detailed account of one stagecoach line’s rise to success and subsequent decline in Upstate New York. The article explains the ways stagecoaches became a popular means of transportation in the 1800s and how the availability of railroads led to the eventual end of stagecoach service in Upstate New York.
Compelling Question: How do changes in technology impact society both socially and economically?
Setting the Stage
Show this video from pbslearningmedia.org to introduce students to the evolution of transportation.
Guided Reading Questions
1. How does the author describe stagecoaches in upstate New York?
2. What were the three types of coach accommodations?
3. Why did the express have strict regulations?
4. What choice did travelers have to make when choosing public transportation in the early 1800s?
5. What problems could occur when traveling by stagecoach?
6. What event led to the end of stagecoach travel in upstate New York?
7. Even after railroads became a common means of travel, what role did the stagecoach continue to play in transportation?
8. What new form of transportation eventually led to the end of all stagecoach travel?
9. Draw a picture of what British journalist Harriet Martineau described on her stagecoach journey.