Importance of Oregon Trail

Topics: Travel, Oregon Trail, United States Pages: 2 (738 words) Published: April 19, 2010
Oregon Trail was a route of wagon trains bringing settlers from all over the united sates to the Oregon or California in 1840 to 1860s. It is one of the most important events in the history of the United States. Unlike other trails like Santa Fe Trail, most of the pioneers in Oregon Trail were settlers rather than traders. Pioneers usually travelled in family groups rather than individually (The Overland Trail, page no. 503). The trail was the only appropriate route to get to the west coast. It was in 1843 when for the first time, about one thousand settlers made the trip at one time. The trip usually took about four to six months of time (Frontier trail). Independence and Missouri were the initiating place to start the trip. A Wagon, jument, food and clothing supply that would accommodate the family or the group travelling together for up to six months of the trail were gathered. Oxen were the first choice as a jument for the migration for the reason being that they were cheaper and could sustain extreme weather conditions. They were slow traveler but were strong, compliant and calm (The Oregon Trail). With the discovery of gold in California in 1848, about 30,000 pioneers travelled the trail by 1849 in search of gold and rich leading to a well contained and prosperous life. Travelling west via the trail was exclusively challenging. The travelling usually began sometime around April. Being summer time, the travelers had to deal with extreme weather conditions with hail stones, thunder storms, and lightening. There were times when people were killed because of lightening and due to hail stone almost the size of baseballs (Frontier Trail). Also another big obstacle in the journey was the issue of health and sanitation leading to several disease conditions amongst the travelers. Diseases like pneumonia, whooping cough, smallpox, measles, and cholera as a result of poor sanitation practices in cooking and food storage and also due to fluctuating weather...
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