The Oregon Trail: Pathway to the Westby Tim McNeese
During the nineteenth century, hardy pioneers used the Oregon Trail to migrate to the Pacific Northwest. The five- to six-month journey spanned 2,170 miles through territories that later became the states of Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. The journey west was not an easy one; about one-tenth of the emigrants perished along the way. In time, others took to the trail and headed for California, pulled west by the lure of newly discovered gold, along a route that American Indians called the Great Medicine Road. For more than a generation, the Oregon Trail witnessed hundreds of thousands of emigrants, who carried their life's goods in creaking, wooden wagons, and hoped to find a place in which to begin their lives anew. For many, the trail represented the greatest adventure of their lives. The Oregon Trail focuses on the period between the 1840s and the 1860s when approximately 52,000 pioneers moved to Oregon, and nearly five times that number moved to California and Utah.
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