As the United States expanded westward during the first half of the nineteenth century, residents of Cornwall, and other Connecticut towns, were lured to the frontier for a variety of reasons. Some sought to make fortunes, others were enticed by the promise of high quality farm land. Cornwall residents moved to Ohio, Kansas, Minnesota, Wisconsin, California and other states, successfully establishing themselves in new lands while staying in close contact with family who remained here.

The ruggedness of frontier life expanded the domain of women outside the home, helping with tasks and chores normally considered suitable only for men.

Map of the United States (cropped), 1856
(Collection of Library of Congress Geography and Map Division)

Cornwall Women of this Era