Plots and Plans and Travel Writing
The word "plot" derives from the Old English word meaning "a piece of land." Use these panoramic maps as a jumping off point to "plot and plan" a journey across the United States.
Imagine you are taking a journey during the timeframe represented by the collection Panoramic Map, 1847-1929. Use the browse feature of this collection to select two panoramic maps: one of a city from which you will start your journey, and the other of a city that will be your destination. Use these maps, and perhaps others that depict places along the way, to write about a journey. If you are having trouble selecting either a place from which to begin or a destination, just choose one of the two examples below.
- What is the year of your journey?
- Why are you making this journey?
- What route will you take to get to your destination?
- What form of transportation will you choose? Will you travel by steamer, wagon, or stagecoach? Will you go on foot as did Johnny Appleseed, Elijah Parish Lovejoy, or John Muir?
- What places will you visit in the towns and countryside along the way? Where will you sleep?
- Where and what will you eat?
- How much money will you need to take the journey? Might you barter your work for shelter or food?
- Who might you expect to meet?
- What local, national, and international news will you discuss with others along the route? What political and social issues will you discuss?
- What forms of entertainment might you find? Will you carry a fiddle, harmonica, or another musical instrument with you for entertainment?
- Would you write letters, keep a diary, send a telegram? What would you write about along the way?
- Would you read during your journey? What would you read?
- Where will you live or stay when you reach your destination?
- What kind of map, or maps, might be useful as you travel?