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Open Access Publications from the University of California

From Trunk to Branch: Toll Roads in New York, 1800-1860

  • Author(s): Baer, Christopher T.
  • Klein, Daniel B.
  • Majewski, John
  • et al.

The years 1800-1830 are sometimes designated "the turnpike era," since in the 1830s canals and railroads began eclipsing the old wagon roads. Its true that long distance travel went by water and rail, but the journey often began on one of the many short toll roads feeding the system. This paper documents the changing composition of the New York toll road system as a whole, and provides some firm-level data. Toll roads continued to play an important role up to the Civil War and afterwards.

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