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why did they travel the oregon trail

why did they travel the oregon trail插图

To emigrate west
The Oregon TrailThe Oregon TrailThe Oregon Trail is a computer game developed by the Minnesota Educational Computing Consortium and first released in 1985 for the Apple II. It was designed to teach students about the realities of 19th-century pioneer life on the Oregon Trail. In the game, the player assumes th…en.wikipedia.orgwas a roughly 2,000-mile route from Independence,Missouri,to Oregon City,Oregon,that was used by hundreds of thousands of American pioneers in the mid-1800sto emigrate west. The trail was arduous and snaked through Missouri and present-day Kansas,Nebraska,Wyoming,Idaho and finally into Oregon.

Who did people meet while traveling the Oregon Trail?

Mary Ellen Todd, who left Arkansas for Oregon in 1852, claimed of the 100 wagons that began the trip, 96 of them turned around after traveling a considerable distance. In 1850, Oregon Trail pioneer Seth Lewelling met a 300 wagon caravan retreating from St. Joseph, Missouri, one of the jumping-off towns.

What was life on the Oregon Trail was really like?

Life on the Oregon Trail was both incredibly boring and extremely dangerous. Pioneers had to exercise extreme caution and a lot of bravado to cross the 2,170 mile stretch of land starting in Missouri and ending in Oregon. Accidents and disease were just waiting around the corner, but a majority of…

What are some interesting facts about the Oregon Trail?

The Oregon TrailThe Oregon Trail stretched more than 2,000 miles from Missouri almost to the Pacific Ocean and the Oregon coast. …Rumors abounded about the wonders of the west. …Life on the Oregon trail wasn’t any easier. …The settlers traveled in “wagon trains” for safety. …More items…

How long did it take to walk the Oregon Trail?

Perhaps some 300,000 to 400,000 people used it during its heyday from the mid-1840s to the late 1860s, and possibly a half million traversed it overall, covering an average of 15 to 20 miles (24 to 32 km) per day; most completed their journeys in four to five months.

What states did the Oregon Trail lead to?

The trail was arduous and snaked through Missouri and present-day Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Idaho and finally into Oregon. Without the Oregon Trail and the passing of the Oregon Donation Land Act in 1850, which encouraged settlement in the Oregon Territory, American pioneers would have been slower to settle the American West in the 19th century.

Why did the Oregon Trail become a well-beaten path?

Travelers often left warning messages to those journeying behind them if there was an outbreak of disease, bad water or hostile American Indian tribes nearby. As more and more settlers headed west, the Oregon Trail became a well-beaten path and an abandoned junkyard of surrendered possessions.

How many wagons did Whitman carry?

Great Emigration of 1843. When Whitman headed west yet again, he met up with a huge wagon train destined for Oregon. The group included 120 wagons, about 1,000 people and thousands of livestock. Their trek began on May 22 and lasted five months.

Why did the Oregon Trail leave in late spring?

Leaving in late spring also ensured there’d be ample grass along the way to feed livestock. As the Oregon Trail gained popularity, it wasn’t unusual for thousands of pioneers to be on the path at the same time, especially during the California Gold Rush.

How long did the Cayuse war last?

In the ongoing conflict, Whitman, his wife and some of the mission staff were killed; many more were taken hostage for over a month. The incident sparked a seven-year war between the Cayuse and the federal government.

Where did Whitman meet his wife?

Whitman’s first attempt took him as far the Green River Rendezvous, a meeting place for fur trappers and traders in the Rocky Mountains near present-day Daniel, Wyoming. Upon returning home, Whitman married and set out again, this time with his young wife Narcissa and another Protestant missionary couple.

What was the name of the emigration that occurred in 1843?

It effectively opened the floodgates of pioneer migration along the Oregon Trail and became known as the Great Emigration of 1843.

Why did the Oregon Trail start?

While settlers traveled west along the Oregon Trail for a variety of reasons, most were motivated either by land or gold. Various land acts in Oregon provided free land to pioneers, while the start of the California Gold Rush in 1848 lured thousands more. Less famous but equally exciting at the time were other reports of gold being found in Oregon, Idaho, Colorado and other western states.

Why did emigrants move to the West?

Emigrants moved in part due to the widespread economic depression of the 1830s and ’40s, while others were fleeing the political turmoil of the Civil War. Missionaries were a common sight. As more and more people settled in the west, travelers set out to join their families.

How long did it take to get to the Oregon Trail?

The Oregon Trail was the only land route for settlers seeking to move west and took approximately four to six months, in contrast to the sea route which could take up to a full year.

Did Great Britain claim land in the Southwest?

Great Britain also had claims in the Northwest and Mexico in the Southwest; the Bureau of Land Management hypothesizes that some settlers may have been motivated by patriotism to claim land for America. Though the first emigrants to use the Oregon Trail arrived in 1836, the first large-scale mass migration did not occur …

What were the wagons called on the Oregon Trail?

Most pioneers instead tackled the trail in more diminutive wagons that become known as “prairie schooners” for the way their canvas covers resembled a ship’s sail. These vehicles typically included a wooden bed about four feet wide and ten feet long. When pulled by teams of oxen or mules, they could creak their way toward Oregon Country at a pace of around 15 to 20 miles a day. They could even be caulked with tar and floated across un-fordable rivers and streams. Prairie schooners were capable of carrying over a ton of cargo and passengers, but their small beds and lack of a suspension made for a notoriously bumpy ride. With this in mind, settlers typically preferred to ride horses or walk alongside their wagons on foot.

How did Ezra Meeker travel?

Meeker was concerned that the legacy of the Oregon Trail was being forgotten, so he made frequent stops to give lectures on its history and install homemade “Meeker Markers” at pioneer landmarks. The trip made him a national celebrity. Crowds gathered to mark his arrival in major cities, and he eventually piloted his wagon all the way to Washington, D.C. for a meeting with President Theodore Roosevelt. Meeker went on to journey the Oregon Trail several more times by wagon, train and automobile. His final crossing came at age 94, when he made the trip in a biplane flown by famed pilot Oakley Kelly.

How many people traveled the Oregon Trail?

Only around 80,000 of the estimated 400,000 Oregon Trail emigrants actually ended their journey in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Of the rest, the vast majority splintered off from the main route in either Wyoming or Idaho and took separate trails leading to California and Utah. The California Trail was eventually traveled by some 250,000 settlers, most of them prospectors seeking to strike it rich in the gold fields. The Utah route, meanwhile, shuttled roughly 70,000 Mormon pilgrims to the lands surrounding Salt Lake City.

How many people were on the Oregon Trail in 1850?

Traffic soon skyrocketed, and by the late-1840s and early 1850s, upwards of 50,000 people were using the trail each year. 3. The iconic Conestoga wagon was rarely used on the Oregon Trail.

Why is Fort Laramie called Camp Sacrifice?

Fort Laramie in Wyoming eventually became known as “Camp Sacrifice” for its reputation as an Oregon Trail dumping ground. During the Gold Rush of 1849, pioneers reportedly abandoned a whopping 20,000 pounds of bacon outside its walls. 5. Indian attacks were relatively rare on the Oregon Trail.

What are some interesting facts about the Oregon Trail?

Check out nine surprising facts about the route that once served as the gateway to the American West. 1. The Oregon Trail didn’t follow a single set path. pinterest-pin-it. A map showing the westward trail from Missouri to Oregon. (Credit: MPI/Getty Images)

What was the name of the wagons that resembled a ship’s sail?

Most pioneers instead tackled the trail in more diminutive wagons that become known as “prairie schooners” for the way their canvas covers resembled a ship’s sail. These vehicles typically included a wooden bed about four feet wide and ten feet long.

How did the Oregon Trail affect Native Americans?

An honest telling of that story cannot skirt the facts: The arrival of settlers in lands long stewarded by Native Americans wreaked a devastation that destroyed entire communities, subjugated native ways of life and ultimately changed the character of this place forever. European traders and then migrants on the Oregon Trail introduced diseases that devastated native populations. The very territory settlers claimed hindered access to the land upon which tribes had relied for sustenance for centuries. In fact, federal lawmakers intentionally premised the Oregon Donation Land Act on removing tribes from the land so as to “leave the whole of the most desirable portion open to white settlers.”

How many people made the journey from Missouri to Oregon in the 1840s?

The numbers alone are enough to chill. Of the estimated 500,000 settlers who made the five-month journey from Missouri to Oregon in the 1840s to 1860s, one in 10 would never arrive, having succumbed to all manner of mid-journey surprises: snake bites, gunshot wounds, drowning, starvation and, of course, dysentery. Those who did make it to the Willamette Valley and beyond faced the rigors of starting from scratch in an unknown and often unforgiving landscape.

Why did African Americans not settle in Oregon?

But despite that apparent generosity, the eligibility requirements were grossly discriminatory: Single women whose husbands died along the trail were out of luck, and African Americans were outright denied the right to settle in Oregon — due to stipulations in the land act as well as other black exclusion laws.

Where is the Tamástslikt Cultural Institute located?

For a deep dive into Native American life in the Pacific Northwest , the Pendleton-based Tamástslikt Cultural Institute expansively surveys some 10,000 years of living history. Interactive exhibits, special events and a Living Culture Village celebrate the traditions of Cayuse, Umatilla and Walla tribes. The institute is the only museum located along the historic Oregon Trail that documents how the arrival of settlers forever changed tribal life.

Why is it important to paint a more accurate picture of how the mass migration decimated tribal life?

But today many historians strive to paint a more accurate picture of how this mass migration decimated tribal life, in hopes that illuminating deep-rooted inequity might keep history from repeating itself.

What is the mythology behind the white topped wagons?

On one hand, there is the mythology: the lines of white-topped wagons carrying pioneer families dreaming of a better life in a place of unmatched beauty. But then there are the stories of culture clash, environmental change, systematic displacement and violence attached to the largest mass migration in U.S. history.

What was the challenge of the 19th century?

Nineteenth-century America was challenged by the conflicts of the emerging Civil War, a cholera epidemic and a devastating economic depression in the Midwest.

Why did families take wagons?

Prosperous families usually took two or more wagons because the typical wagon did not have a large carrying capacity. After flour sacks, food, furniture, clothes and farm equipment were piled on, not much space remained. Space was so limited that, except in terrible weather, most travelers cooked, ate and slept outside. A.J. McCall wrote of his fellow travelers, “They laid in an over-supply of bacon, flour and beans, and in addition thereto every conceivable jimcrack and useless article that the wildest fancy could devise or human ingenuity could invent—pins and needles, brooms and brushes, ox shoes and horse shoes, lasts and leather, glass beads and hawk-bells, jumping jacks and jews-harps, rings and bracelets, pocket mirrors and pocket books, calico vests and boiled shirts.” A passerby was reminded of birds building a nest while watching one family load its wagon. The members of the Applegate train often killed buffalo and antelope, but a more dependable supply of meat was the herd of cattle led behind the wagons.

How old was Jesse Applegate?

Among the travelers was Jesse Applegate’s young nephew and namesake. The 7-year-old boy’s full name was Jesse Applegate Applegate to distinguish between them; he was called Jesse A. or just Jess. Along with his uncle, Jess traveled with his parents, four brothers, one sister and numerous other relatives.

How long was the Oregon Trail?

Oregon Trail summary: The 2,200-mile east-west trail served as a critical transportation route for emigrants traveling from Missouri to Oregon and other points west during the mid-1800s. Travelers were inspired by dreams of gold and rich farmlands, but they were also motivated by difficult economic times in the east and diseases like yellow fever …

Why were mobile homes called prairie schooners?

These early American mobile homes were called “prairie schooners” because they resembled a fleet of ships sailing across a sea of grass. In fact, when rivers were too deep to be forded and there was no timber to build rafts, the travelers would remove the wheels and float the wagons across.

Why did the Oregon Trail open?

The Oregon Trail opened at a time when the westward settlement and development of the trans-Mississippi West had stalled at the Missouri River; Mexico still claimed all of California, and Alaska remained Russian territory. Everything from California to Alaska and between the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Ocean was a British-held territory called Oregon. The trail pointed the way for the United States to expand westward to achieve what politicians of the day called its “Manifest Destiny” to reach “from sea to shining sea.”

How many Indians were killed in the Oregon Trail?

It is estimated that prior to the 1849 California gold rush, only 34 whites and 25 Indians were killed in fighting on the Oregon Trail.

What were the women used to doing in the backwoods?

They were adept with wagons, livestock, rifles and axes. The women were used to walking beside the men as wilderness equals. Above all, they were restless—once a farm had been tamed, the narrow horizons of the backwoods communities closed around them.

What was the Hastings cutoff?

The Hastings Cutoff was a fairly untried shortcut, and Fort Bridger (pictured) sat at the trailhead. There was actually someone riding ahead of the Donner Party acting as a scout, and Edwin Bryant sent a letter back warning them it was too dangerous to take the so-called shortcut.

What did Keseberg say about time?

when it came to something like this. Keseberg had sent his wife and a child on ahead, and said, "For their sakes I must live. … I can not describe the unutterable repugnance with which I tasted that first mouthful of flesh. … This food was never otherwise than loathsome, insipid, and disgusting."

What was Fort Laramie used for?

According to The Plains Across, Fort Laramie became a major trading post. Settlers would keep as much as they could on their overloaded wagons in hopes of trading once they reached the fort, but that wasn’t always possible. Everyone was in the same boat, so to speak, and traders didn’t have much use for the more impractical items they’d brought along. Accounts tell of the dumping grounds outside the fort, filled with treasured possessions like bookcases and furniture, iron safes, and books. Practical things were left, too, by people needing to spare their oxen from dragging the heavy loads. Anvils, weapons, plows, kegs, and barrels … all dumped.

How long did Tamsen Donner stay in the cabin?

He spent two months in the cabin, surrounded by the bodies of his dead friends, with wolves scratching to get to the meat inside. Tamsen Donner left her dead husband and joined him only a short time before she died, too. He swore he only ate and never killed, writing, "A man, before he judges me, should be placed in a similar situation."

What did emigrants carry?

Emigrants only had what they could carry. Imagine taking your entire family across the country with only what you can pack into a minivan, and no rest stops or Taco Bells along the way. Food was a huge concern, and that makes Fort Laramie — nicknamed "Camp Sacrifice" — that much more tragic.

How many people died on the Oregon Trail?

The National Park Service calls the Oregon Trail "this nation’s longest graveyard." They estimate one in ten travelers didn’t survive, and the National Oregon/California Trail Center says the 2,000-mile trail averaged 10 deaths per mile. There was just as much dysentery and cholera as your MS-DOS family faced, but there was another huge problem, too — a lack of gun safety classes. Did you always pick the banker because you’d start with the most money? Good in theory, but how many bankers knew which way to hold a gun?

How many pounds of bacon were dumped?

Also dumped? Extra foodstuffs, and one account even talked about the 20,000-odd pounds of bacon left behind. Given the starvation that happened later, it’s impossible not to wonder how many people died dreaming of everything they dumped.

What did it mean to leave Independence in the spring?

But leaving too late meant the possibility of encountering fall snows in the mountains — a June departure might well end in disaster. But leaving in the spring meant encountering rivers swollen with melt waters, violent spring prairie thunderstorms, and blistering mid-summer heat while crossing the deserts of southern Wyoming, Idaho, and eastern Oregon.

Why was parched corn so popular?

It was usually ground into a rough flour and cooked as a mush, which was served with milk from the traveler’s cows.

How many people were farmers in 1840?

By 1840, that population had grown to more than 17 million — an increase of almost 33 percent. Estimates based on the preserved diaries of the travelers suggest as many as 70 percent of the Western immigrants were farmers by trade.

What is the meaning of the painting "Manifest Destiny"?

This painting by John Gast illustrates the pioneer’s concept of Manifest Destiny: a belief that the growth of the United States was divinely preordained.

Why did the young people move west?

These “youngsters” were forced to move further west because all the best river-bottom land for farming had already been claimed, and the competition for even the less-desirable farmland was growing. In 1830, the U.S. Census determined the population of the settled U.S. was nearly 13 million.

How many pioneers traveled from the East to the West?

While they may have been the first, they certainly weren’t the last. By the end of the 1860s, an estimated 500,000 pioneers had traveled overland from the settled East to the uncertain West in search of a new life, new land, and golden treasure. To make the journey, these pioneers gave up nearly everything they possessed, left behind family and friends they might never see again, and walked across half a continent through seemingly endless prairie, high deserts, and snow-covered mountains. On the journey, they would pass through territories that would later become Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Idaho, and Oregon.

What year was issue #176?

Issue #176 ? April/May/June, 2019. The year was 1834, a year that didn’t really stand out as all that particularly important in American history. But like any other year, it had its share of firsts. The first railroad tunnel was completed in Pennsylvania and the United States Senate censured President Jackson for taking federal deposits from …