Official State of Iowa Website Here is how you know

"Great Central Route, and U.S. Mail Line" Broadside, 1856

    Download PDF Resource

Courtesy of Library of Congress, "Great central route, and U.S. Mail line..." 1856


This broadside advertises the new central railroad route to Chicago in 1856. It highlights the shorter travel time achieved by this new railroad route. The advertisement also claims that it will help people get to all points on both the Mississippi and the Missouri rivers. The claims are supported by a map showing the railroad routes.

Transcript of "Great Central Route, and U.S. Mail Line" Broadside

Source-Dependent Questions

  • According to this advertisement, what is the best reason to use this route to get to Chicago? How do you know?
  • When you look at the map, where do the rail routes seem to stop? Why?
  • The advertisement claims that the "Great Central Route" is the fastest way to the west. Looking at the map, would passengers be able to ride the train all the way to the westernmost point on the map? How would this information have an effect on movement westward?

Citation Information 

"Great central route, and U. S. Mail line. 6 hours saved! The shortest, quickest, and in all respects the most reliable route to Chicago and all cities and towns in Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas," 1856. Courtesy of Library of Congress