The Oregon Trail: Pathway to the West

Overview

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 ...
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Overview

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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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Anita Barnes Lowen
In the middle of the nineteenth century approximately 52,000 pioneers followed the Oregon Trail to "lands that they hoped held promise and prosperity" in the Pacific Northwest. Despite the difficult journey across the Great Plains and the Rockies, the 2,170 mile trail quickly became the most heavily used trail crossing the American West. From the "Milestones in American History" series, this book introduces readers to the people who traveled in wagons, pack trains, and on horseback (as well as foot, raft, and boat) to reach new homes in the Oregon Territory. Who were the people who set out to find better lives? What were the hardships and dangers they faced? What was daily life like during the months of travel? "Although there is not much to cook, the difficulty and inconvenience in doing it, amounts to a great deal—so by the time one has squatted around the fire and cooked bread and bacon...washed the dishes...and gotten things ready for an early breakfast, some of the others already have their night caps on" wrote one woman in 1857. Filled with the actual words of those who traveled this route and illustrated with photographs and drawings, this book is an excellent introduction to the colorful history of the Oregon Trail. Included in the final pages are a chronology, time line, chapter notes, bibliography, suggested books and websites for further information, photo credits, and an index. A better map tracing the trail's route should have been included. Reviewer: Anita Barnes Lowen
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Product Details

Table of Contents

1 Introduction 1

2 Traders and Trappers 14

3 New Pioneers on the Trail 32

4 New Missions in Oregon 43

5 Wagon Road West 55

6 Preparing the Way West 71

7 The Way of the Western Emigrant 87

8 A Flood of Emigrants 107

Chronology 125

Timeline 126

Notes 130

Bibliography 133

Further Reading 135

Index 138

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