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Discover_our_World_Yellow / Lesson 4: Moving Westward And The Trails

Moving Westward And The Trails

Reasons to make the Trip West in the 1800's

  • 1. Religious or Personal Freedom

  • 2. To discover gold or silver

  • 3. To get cheap land

The westward journey

  • 1. the journey took 4-5 months

  • 2. the family had to take everything on the journey they would need for their new house: pots, pans, food for several months, weapons, farm tools, etc.

  • -----so they needed to give up other things

  • 3. Travelers left in Spring to cross the Rocky Mountains

  • Native Americans left them alone, as long as they did not settle on their lands

Wagon Trains  

  • The pioneers or westward travelers, traveled in wagon trains

  • Wagon trains are large groups of covered wagons that moved westward together

The Trails  

  • The pioneers could take a variety of westward trails; depending on where they wanted to settle

  • Most of the Trails were old Native American trails that were expanded by fur trappers in the early 1800s

    1. The Oregon Trail: most popular trail

    2. The California Trail: this trail led into California along with the Old Spanish Trails

    3. The Mormon Trail: this trail began at the Mississippi River

    4. The Santa Fe Trail: this trail crossed New Mexico and Arizona & then it followed an old Spanish trail

Oregon Territory

  • If a travelers wanted to go to the Oregon Territory than they would take the Oregon Trail

  • More than 300,000 pioneers followed the Oregon trail west

  • There are still visible remains of the wagon wheels today because so many wagons took this trail

Chimney Rock

  • A huge rock on the Oregon Trail was known as Chimney Rock and this trail marked the spot where supplies for pioneers usually run low

  • Chimney Rock is in Bayard, Nebraska

  • This is the place where tired travelers also threw out their furniture to lighten their journey---for years this area was littered with household furniture

Marcus Whitman & Narcissa Whitman

  • 1836-Marcus & Narcissa traveled on the Oregon Trail to Oregon Territory

  • They settled by the Columbia River

  • They set up a resting place there for weary travelers

  • Their job was to be missionaries to the Native Americans and the pioneers; this means that they not only fed travelers and gave them rest but they also told the pioneers and the Indians about Jesus and God


  • Narcissa Whitman wrote many letters to her family back east about the beauty of Oregon country

  • Her family published her letters and as a result, many other travelers traveled westward to see the beautiful land

  • In 1847 on November 29---The Whitmans were killed by the Native Americans they had preached to because they were seen as healers, but they could not heal the Indian children of the measles and the Indian children died and so the Native American parents killed them and 12 other whites as revenge

    To know more information click on above image

The Mormon Trail


  • In 1847---14000 travelers took the Mormon Trail west from Illinois


  • The travelers were led by a leader who was Brigham Young


  • The travelers were known as the Mormons and they settled by the Great Salt Lake in Utah


  • The Mormons were a religious group that is also known as The Church of Jesus Christ or Latter - day Saints


  • They traveled west for religious freedom


Mountain Men

  • Mountain Men were the fur trappers that lived in the western or Rocky Mountains

  • Mountain man, Jim Bridger-set up a fort in Wyoming for travelers on both the California and the Mormon Trails to rest at

  • This fort became a trading place for food, goods and wagon repair