Another reason was just for the sense of fun and adventure. It is estimated that more than 400,000 people used the Oregon Trail. Hilarity! In fact, the Oregon Trail is this nation’s longest graveyard. The Oregon, Mormon Pioneer and California trails all cross Wyoming in the central and most popular corridor of the transcontinental migration of the 1840s, 1850s and 1860s. Life on the Oregon Trail was both incredibly boring and extremely dangerous. The trail was popular until the transcontinental railroad connected the east to the west in 1869. The people on the Oregon Trail wanted to go the Oregon territory, or what is now Washington and Oregon. Less famous but equally exciting at the time were other reports of gold being found in Oregon, Idaho, Colorado and other western states. Later farmers took their families west in search of rich farm land. Many of them traveled in large wagon trains using covered wagons to carry their belongings. To the settlers, though, the trail to the Oregon Country was a five-month trip from their old home in the East to their new home in the West. 5:00 pm: When a good campsite with ample water and grass is found, pioneers stop to set up camp for the evening. The number of deaths is difficult to calculate as most were buried in unmarked graves, but it is estimated that up to 30,000 people died during the 20-year migration along the Trail. Some went to escape problems. Trappers first traveled the Oregon Trail. Of the estimated 350,000 who started the journey, the trail claimed as many as 30,000 victims or an average of 10-15 deaths per mile. The first major migration took place in 1843 when a single large wagon train of 120 wagons and 500 people made the trip. It changed with the effects of weather and use. Though the Whitmans were forced to abandon their wagons 200 miles short of Oregon, they proved that families could go west by wheeled travel. The Louisiana Territory Purchased by the United States Government was one of the important events that are linked to the Oregon Trail. Wagons hauled goods, but people had to walk 2,000 miles. The Oregon Trail's nominal termination point was Oregon City, ... With literally thousands of people and thousands of livestock traveling in a fairly small time slot the travelers had to spread out to find clean water, wood, good campsites, and grass. Disease. These letters often told about a good life on the frontier. In 1978, the U.S. Congress officially named the trail the Oregon National Historic Trail. The Oregon Trail’s legacy is still felt in the state of Oregon with several literary pieces being written about it. The Oregon Trail started in Independence, Missouri and ended in Oregon City. Over 400,000 people travel West to start a new life and claim new land along the Oregon Trail, including Lucinda Brown. Historians estimate that about 500,000 people followed trails like the Oregon Trail, California Trail, and Mormon Trail. The real Oregon Trail was filled with about as many accidents and illnesses, and the National Oregon/California Trail Center says more than 300,000 Americans actually did travel along it at the end of the 19th century. One reason people went was for a spirit of adventure. The Oregon Trail was a major route that people took when migrating to the western part of the United States. It was most heavily used in the 1840s, 1850s, and 1860s. Required fields are marked *. Some Americans went to Oregon in the very early 1800s because they wanted to participate in the fur trade. Officially, according to an act of Congress, it begins in Independence, Missouri, and ends in Oregon City, Oregon. The Oregon Trail was an actual path. There were several reasons why settlers went to the Oregon Country. 6:00 pm: Families unpack and make supper. 8:00 pm: Camp settles down for the night, guards go out on duty. Your email address will not be published. As a result, many Americans believed that through divine authority, … In popular culture, the Oregon Trail is perhaps the most iconic subject in the larger history of Oregon. For a modern trip along the Oregon Trail you won't need a covered wagon full of supplies. The first route followed the Santa Fe Trail into Kansas Territory. 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. Between 1841 and 1845, more than 5,000 people traveled the Oregon Trail, a rough, rutted road from Missouri to Oregon. Why did so many people brave such a long journey past much other land where people now live and did live at the time? I don't know about all of them but my Great, Great grandfather and his wife and children came out to Oregon in 1852 because his teenage sons wanted to go … America overcame many obsticles during the 1800s despite how young the country was. The longest, steepest climb on the Oregon Trail, the hill had an even more dangerous descent. Pioneer settlers were sometimes pulled west because they wanted to make a better living. The player assumes the role of a wagon leader guiding his party of settlers from Independence, Wagons are formed into a corral. The people on the Oregon Trail wanted to go the Oregon territory, or what is now Washington and Oregon. One in ten people who set off on the Oregon trail did survive. Missionaries were a common sight. 1:00 pm: Back on the trail. How sleep habits may cut your risk of heart failure: Study The Causes for the Oregon Trail. So who were these crazy people, and why did they place their lives and fortunes in jeopardy to reach a land none of them had ever seen? Despite the romantic depictions of the covered wagon in movies and on television, it would not have been very comfortable to travel in or sleep in the wagon. Financial reasons like escaping debt, starting businesses, or raising a farm with fertile soil. About 200,000- 400,000 people crossed this trail by wagon. Why did people go on the oregon trail? Major threats to pioneer life and limb came from accidents, exhaustion, and disease. It was the longest historic overland migration trail in North America. The answer is not simple, as there was no single route, just a destination: Oregon’s Willamette Valley. 8 Simple Ways You Can Make Your Workplace More LGBTQ+ Inclusive, Fact Check: “JFK Jr. Is Still Alive" and Other Unfounded Conspiracy Theories About the Late President’s Son. National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center | 541-523-1843 | oregontrail.blm.gov Why did people go to the Oregon Territory? Americans' interest in Oregon and California country grew with each passing year, as the emigrants sent letters back home describing the region to their friends and family. The Oregon Trail was an east-to-west wagon route first established by fur traders in the 1830s. The Donner Party departed Missouri on the Oregon Trail in the spring of 1846, behind many other pioneer families who were attempting to make the same overland trip. Portions of what was to become the Oregon Trail were first used by trappers, fur traders, and missionaries (c. 1811–40) who traveled on foot and horseback. The U.S. Supreme Court: Who Are the Nine Justices on the Bench Today? After the discovery of gold in California in 1848, an even larger group of people set out on the overland trails for California. Others received letters from friends or family members who had moved west. 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