Annalies Corbin Kjorness
MATERIAL CULTURE OF NINETEENTH CENTURY STEAMBOAT PASSENGERS ON THE BERTRAND AND ARABIA.
(Under the direction of Professor Lawrence E. Babits) Department of History, Fall 1995.
The purpose of this research is to conduct a comparative analysis of nineteenth-century passengers emigrating west using western river systems. The analysis focuses on passengers traveling on the steamboats Bertrand and Arabia. Research utilizes documentary sources, photographs, archaeological artifacts and their interpretation to create a series of hypotheses pertaining to nineteenth-century emigrant travel. The hypotheses are evaluated using statistical analysis to identify different groups of people using steamboats on interior rivers for westward emigration. The analysis focuses primarily on gender and socio-economic differences in steamboat populations.
Passenger boxes, or luggage, found in the holds of the Bertrand and Arabia were analyzed to determine gender, group dynamics, and socio-economic differences between passengers on these vessels. The vessels represent a time period between 1856 and 1865, the prime of the second wave of American westward emigration.