The History of the West - Wagon Trains

The Wild West

The History of the West  -  Wild West Merchandise

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Wagon Trains


Wagon Trains

One of the most famous mountain men was Jim Bridger, he joined a fur trapping expedition when he was 18. He found many routes through the Rockies, later escorting travellers to start a new life in the west. Although he couldn't read it was said that he had a photographic memory for landscape and that he used to create maps of the Territory. In 1943 he built Fort Bridger, which was a staging post on the route to the west. Once people like Jim had established the routes to the West coast and the lands of Oregon and California the first settlers set out from the eastern United States. These people were called 'pioneers' and they were attracted by the idea of finding themselves a new home or making their fortune.

From 1830 onwards" small groups of pioneers set off from towns in Missouri like St Louis and Independence to cross the Great Plains. In 1843 the first large group of pioneers left for Oregon. About 1,000 settlers made the difficult journey along the' Oregon Trail'. Whole families travelled with their belongings in covered wagons. The Great Plains were called the Prairie ocean' so sometimes these wagons were referred to as 'Prairie schooners', because they looked like boats sailing on the grassland of the Plains. The Oregon trail was dangerous, progress was slow and many people died on the way. 10,000 people died on the journey between 1835 and 1855.The pioneers faced attacks by the Indians, diseases like smallpox and cholera, blizzards and heavy rainfall. Most of the people who made the journey to California and Oregon went there to obtain a piece of land for themselves. Other groups, for example people like the 'Mormons' were escaping religious persecution or from famine. Between 1845 and 1847 one and a half million people emigrated from Ireland because of famine. Thousands of them made their way to the west coast of America.

The History of the West - Native American Peoples Of the Plains - Gold Fever - Ranches on the Plains - Cowboys - Homesteaders - The Railroad - Justice in the Wild West - War Between The Settlers and The Native American Indians



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