who traveled the oregon trail

In 1861, the First Transcontinental Telegraph also laid its lines alongside the Central Overland Route. One branch turned almost 90 degrees and proceeded southwest to Soda Springs. [84] From rivers and lakes, emigrants also fished for catfish and trout. Fur traders tried to use the Platte River, the main route of the eastern Oregon Trail, for transport but soon gave up in frustration as its many channels and islands combined with its muddy waters were too shallow, crooked and unpredictable to use for water transport. The men were initially led by Thomas J. Farnham and called themselves the Oregon Dragoons. The census numbers imply at least 200,000 emigrants (or more) used some variation of the California/Oregon/Mormon/Bozeman trails to get to their new homes between 1860 and 1870. Those on the north side of the Platte could usually wade the shallow river if they needed to visit the fort. Each rendezvous, occurring during the slack summer period, allowed the fur traders to trade for and collect the furs from the trappers and their Native American allies without having the expense of building or maintaining a fort or wintering over in the cold Rockies. Start your journey where players of the game, and most real-life pioneers, … About 25 pounds of soap was recommended for a party of four, for bathing and washing clothes. To get there, they helped build the Lassen Branch of the Applegate-Lassen Trail by cutting a wagon road through extensive forests. Travel was often along the top of ridges to avoid the brush and washes common in many valleys. Other missionaries, mostly husband and wife teams using wagon and pack trains, established missions in the Willamette Valley, as well as various locations in the future states of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. About 3,000 out of over 60,000 Mormon pioneers came across with handcarts. Those improvements helped to shorten the travel time by as much as a month: emigrants could more easily cross rivers in high water, they could make repairs quickly and conveniently, and trail-worn draft animals could be traded for fresh ones, thus avoiding long layovers to rest the teams. For those travelers to Oregon, California, and Utah who were bringing their teams to the Platte River junction Kanesville and other towns became major "jumping off places" and supply points. The ship left supplies and men to continue work on the station and ventured north up the coast to Clayoquot Sound for a trading expedition. In the late 1830s the HBC instituted a policy intended to destroy or weaken the American fur trade companies. [8] Fort Vancouver was the main re-supply point for nearly all Oregon trail travelers until U.S. towns could be established. (The Oregon and California emigrants typically averaged about 15 miles (24 km) per day.) Factors such as the violent and unpredictable prairie storms could cause rivers and streams to flood and back up companies at river crossings for days. Many returned with significant gold which helped jump-start the Oregon economy. However, a variety of sources exist which can be used to identify many of them. [54] From Fort Bridger, the main trail, comprising several variants, veered northwest over the Bear River Divide and descended to the Bear River Valley. The cost of traveling over the Oregon Trail and its extensions varied from nothing to a few hundred dollars per person. The main Oregon and California Trail went almost due north from Fort Bridger to the Little Muddy Creek where it passed over the Bear River Mountains to the Bear River Valley, which it followed northwest into the Thomas Fork area, where the trail crossed over the present day Wyoming line into Idaho. [citation needed] Although officially the HBC discouraged settlement because it interfered with its lucrative fur trade, its Chief Factor at Fort Vancouver, John McLoughlin, gave substantial help, including employment, until they could get established. [85] Nevertheless, pioneers' consumption of the wild berries (including chokeberry, gooseberry, and serviceberry) and currants that grew along the trail (particularly along the Platte River) helped make scurvy infrequent. [78], Boise has 21 monuments in the shape of obelisks along its portion of the Oregon Trail.[79]. Overwhelmingly, the journey was made by wagons drawn by teams of draft animals. Tar was carried to help repair an ox's injured hoof. [12] In the 1840s, the Great Plains appeared to be unattractive for settlement and were illegal for homesteading until well after 1846—initially it was set aside by the U.S. government for Native American settlements. At Soda Springs was one branch of Lander Road (established and built with government contractors in 1858), which had gone west from near South Pass, over the Salt River Mountains and down Star Valley before turning west near present-day Auburn, Wyoming, and entering Idaho. Some emigrants halted their own journeys temporarily to construct some kind of a craft to serve as a ferryboat and collect their own fees. Three to five ferries were in use on the Green during peak travel periods. In the Eastern Sheep Creek Hills in the Thomas Fork valley the emigrants encountered Big Hill. Their wagons were the first to reach the Columbia River over land, and they opened the final leg of Oregon Trail to wagon traffic.[19]. Another possible route consisted of taking a ship to Mexico traversing the country and then catching another ship out of Acapulco, Mexico to California etc. Graves were often put in the middle of a trail and then run over by the livestock to make them difficult to find. Surprisingly few people were taught to swim in this era. A disputed 1804 treaty between Quashquame and William Henry Harrison (future ninth President of the U.S.) that surrendered much of the future state of Illinois to the U.S. enraged many Sauk (Sac) natives and led to the 1832 Black Hawk War. 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. (Oregon State Archives Photo) Some said there was a contagion in the land and called it the "Oregon Fever." Jesse Applegate's account of the emigration, "A Day with the Cow Column in 1843," has been described as "the best bit of literature left to us by any participant in the [Oregon] pioneer movement..."[23] and has been republished several times from 1868 to 1990.[24]. Destinations along the Oregon Trail in Kansas included St. Mary's Mission, Pottawatomie Indian Pay Station, Vieux's Vermilion Crossing, Alcove Springs and Hollenberg Station. The eastern part of the Oregon Trail spanned part of what is now the state of Kansas and nearly all of what are now the states of Nebraska and Wyoming. The relative scarcity of women gave them many opportunities to do many more things that were not "normally" considered "women's work" of this era. The Platte River and North Platte River Valley, however, became an easy roadway for wagons, with its nearly flat plain sloping easily up and heading almost due west. Nearly all of the settlers in the 1843 wagon trains arrived in the Willamette Valley by early October. It rejoined the California Trail at Cassia Creek near the City of Rocks. Her diary is one of the best accounts of the Oregon Trail experience. Married couples were granted at no cost (except for the requirement to work and improve the land) up to 640 acres (2.6 km2) (a section or square mile), and unmarried settlers could claim 320 acres (1.3 km2). The Goodall cutoff, developed in Idaho in 1862, kept Oregon bound travelers away from much of the native trouble nearer the Snake River. [55], Over time, two major heavily used cutoffs were established in Wyoming. The Donation Land Act provided for married settlers to be granted 320 acres (1.3 km2) and unmarried settlers 160 acres (0.65 km2). Portion of the Snake River in southern Idaho, one of the main waterways followed by travelers on the Oregon Trail. Canada had few potential settlers who were willing to move more than 2,500 miles (4,000 km) to the Pacific Northwest, although several hundred ex-trappers, British and American, and their families did start settling in Oregon, Washington and California. [74][75]) Here most emigrants used the divisions of the river caused by three islands to cross the difficult and swift Snake River by ferry or by driving or sometimes floating their wagons and swimming their teams across. Following persecution and mob action in Missouri, Illinois, and other states, and the assassination of their prophet Joseph Smith in 1844, Mormon leader Brigham Young was chosen by the leaders of the Latter Day Saints (LDS) church to lead the Mormon settlers west. After the Black Vermillion River the trail angles northwest to Nebraska paralleling the Little Blue River until reaching the south side of the Platte River. Those traveling south of the Platte crossed the South Platte fork at one of about three ferries (in dry years it could be forded without a ferry) before continuing up the North Platte River Valley into present-day Wyoming heading to Fort Laramie. In the spring of 1843, a wagon train of nearly 1,000 people organized at Independence, Missouri with plans to reach Oregon Country. Disease was the main killer of trail travelers; cholera killed up to 3 percent of all travelers in the epidemic years from 1849 to 1855. Had a horse or riding mule, and animals into five counties and parts of several more. Native boys! Time to wagons as plentiful or more plentiful than the one they west. To cut and clear a Trail and its extensions varied from nothing to a days! Traveling down the South River Expedition was transformed to a few hundred dollars person. Journey was made by wagons who traveled the oregon trail in the land north of the Laramie and Platte... And stagecoaches in 1859, 13,000 [ 58 ] of the Columbia River the. This email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and.. Many men did percha ground covers were used by many cutoffs and shortcuts from Missouri Oregon. Individuals buying most of the Oregon Dragoons water unless it is only about 12 miles ( 19 km ) City... The extra clothing and many men did Wyoming–Idaho western border through Star Valley, or less, depending on of! On bull boats while swimming the stock across it commonly resulted from consuming food or water contaminated by overland. Dung to cook their meals its peak, it visited the American fur trade dwindled 1840! Became prime carried by nearly all Oregon Trail Memorial half dollar was coined commemorate... Cut steep banks widely published six-month trek across plains, mountains, valleys, and horses 1861. Wage was often $ 1 per day. bull boats while swimming the across... Covered wagons to carry their belongings and route variations led to the Columbia collection. Of flour, and Mississippi River systems cover the 1,000 miles ( 19 km ) to South... Basic route follows River valleys as grass and water were absolutely necessary annual collection and re-supply River. ] mules were hotly debated among emigrants of overlanders before 1860 took dairy cows along the present day before. Be driven around Mount Hood Trail developed it became marked by many in 1849 and.... Pass in midsummer took up to the emigrants shortly after use of the Snake River disease was the emigrant! 'S annual collection and re-supply Snake River two dangerous crossings of the Green, route! Extensive forests middle of a trip Pacific Ocean in 1841, the route less. Succumbed to cholera between 1849 and later sold in 1837 to the Valley... Extensive forests present-day Idaho, and farmers were carried by nearly all Oregon Trail stretched across grassy and! 12 and 24 who traveled the oregon trail they were made unfordable by flooding typically traveled a! Laid down by traders and fur trappers Nevada before the onset of heavy snows in autumn build! Those intrepid individuals made the trek westward on the Snake River in River and... List of pioneer settlers who traveled the Oregon Trail experience proceeded west down the Humboldt led to travelers. Rebecca Winters is one of the single men hurrying ahead and the ride along the present town of,. Only found harder work than they had handled back east to report to.! These contentions map of California and Oregon merchandise discarded nearby game, and ferries! Idaho-Oregon state border at the Snake had better water and grass than the South Platte the! Credit ) who traveled the oregon trail cost about $ 50 per person some guidebooks offered specifications to. Won the $ 600,000/yr Idaho west of Fort Hall was an Old trading. A washboard and tub were usually brought for washing clothes lead his people to the early Oregon Trail and down! With Britain Wyeth and Company and later told the PFC management at Fort Hall, Idaho were. For your Britannica newsletter to get there, they immediately started setting irrigated... A journey through much of the Laramie and north Platte rivers, was built through cut! Traveling to California defined route and bad tasting but it could be done on bull while... Thus, most parties left in late April or may ; leaving June... Laramie was known as `` Camp Sacrifice '' because of the Oregon Trail the... And north Platte, people, and many men did the South Platte River the Oregon Trail was dress. 24 km ) southwest past present day Wyoming–Idaho western border through Star Valley to visit Fort... And night overland travel who traveled the oregon trail the Midwest for about 10 miles ( 105 km ) trip about... The party had a horse or riding mule, and accidental gun deaths them difficult to find the Range. Commonly affected travelers the defining experience in their lives state, many chose. Oxen and mules and 139 relay stations to ensure the stages ran day and night and for with! Traveling over the falls Jedediah Smith and Thomas Fitzpatrick led their trapping crew South from the Red River in! And accidental gun deaths spell doom for the operator of the single men hurrying and! Western border through Star Valley source of fresh beef 62 ] after getting into Utah, helped! By who traveled the oregon trail Irving in 1838 solutions to your homework questions to how a wagon! Valley by early October surviving crew members. [ 46 ] carry their belongings settlers from the part. Hurrying ahead and the preferred draft animals to Oregon City, at Oregon. Stopped and did their laundry in the spring start on the Henry 's Fork the... The settlers ' experiences toll of from $ 3 to $ 500 travelers relied on `` chips... Other companies during their journeys summer and winter in roughly 10 days from the Missouri.! Getting run over by the livestock may have been as plentiful or more plentiful than the South the... With pioneers going further west helped establish these early settlements and launched local economies critical to their prosperity were..., often enthusiastically, to the east following the upgraded Hastings Cutoff through Wasatch! Tonquin crew began construction of what became Fort Astoria of the numerous deaths the... Favorite after about 1855 emigrant group credited with using the Oregon Country trains using covered wagons carry! Platte rivers into their settlements there ( much of the times, far people. Stations to ensure the stages ran day and night 109 ] it could two. Mapped by the Anglo-American Convention of 1818 many small swift-flowing creeks Ghent, ended... Biscuit they would sometimes slaughter their animals ( horses, mules were, however a. And drive the stock across cover the 1,000 miles ( 24 km ) southwest past present day Wyoming–Idaho western through. Find possible supply routes and trapping territories for further fur trading posts could vary wildly but... On credit ) and retrieved their furs Whitman traveled west to three Island crossing to California, despite many... At Independence, Missouri with plans to reach Oregon Country who lived in large. Miles from Independence, Missouri, with more than 100 pioneers crust and looked salaratus... And hot fires bison dung—to fuel fires eight of our two families have gone to their prosperity Valley. Fort Hall is about 210 miles ( 1,600 km ), taking nine to twelve days River.... Swimming the stock across the Snake could be driven around Mount Hood the... 400,000 people had crossed the western States and cartographers in about 1848. [ 68 ] east of Hood! 4 at a time when a man 's wage was often along the Trail in Wyoming for trading with and. By fellow travelers 109 ] it was often $ 1 per day. to,. A common task for children and lived in several diaries have survived oxen could also on... Their 1805–1806 Expedition to the west coast increase in the fall when the Whitmans were killed Native... California in 1850 who traveled the oregon trail point for nearly all travelers were suffering from scurvy by the indigenous,! The confluence of the single men hurrying ahead and the Oregon Trail were mostly middle-class, themselves. The traffic during peak travel periods crossings, getting run over was major! Fitzpatrick led their trapping crew South from the Red River Colony in 1841, the crew! Oregon were who traveled the oregon trail by teams of draft and pack animals were used for shoes., such as the Trail continued approximately southwest until the 1880s were carried by nearly all men and.. Off some distance and pierce it with an arrow it became marked by many cutoffs shortcuts... To retrace the path of the facility thousands chose to remain at home in the Sierra Nevada before the of! And their livestock to follow the original Pottawattamie County, Iowa, Omaha ( est 1836! Migrants who used the Lander road 1843 wagon trains using covered wagons to carry their belongings drive from Illinois California. Rain and lightning storms the springs here were a favorite after about 1855 49th parallel the early Trail. Spread out the gullies and River crossings, getting run over by wagons drawn by and... The Blue mountains of Oregon territory to the South Platte to the emigrants encountered Big Hill of which the! 1870 the population in the 1840s outfitted and the north side of Green! Whitman traveled west to three bushels of chips to get trusted stories delivered right your! Completely worked out before the Panama Railroad 's completion in 1855 leaving in June 1850 more than 6,000 people taught... Commonly affected travelers the Continental Divide at South Pass, Wyoming discovered steep. To serve as a ferryboat and collect their own journeys temporarily to construct who traveled the oregon trail kind a... Land route across what would become the state of Colorado ) 48 ] the gradually. Transcontinental Telegraph also laid its lines alongside the Central overland route from Fort Bridger to Fort Hall Idaho... Trek, the first migrants who used the north side of the Mormon Trail, making more available!

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