Oregon Trail Research Paper

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From Misfortune to Oregon From around 1811 to 1840, a 2,200-mile trail was made, going from Missouri to Oregon. This trail was made by fur trappers and traders, and would soon be called The Oregon Trail. In 1846, thousands of men, women, and children began traveling to Oregon along this road. They had high hopes of finding fertile land, where they could set up large farms. They walked, rode, and pushed and pulled wagons filled with their belongings. People of all heritages, religions, and cultures made the journey along the Oregon Trail, and many of them faced hardships. They walked for sixth months, and walked around ten miles a day. One in five of the women were pregnant, and most already had children. For most families, they were risking …show more content…

River crossings, accidents, weather, and drowning, starvation, dehydration and Indian attacks caused most deaths. However, the main cause of death, by far, was disease. An estimated amount of six to ten percent of all pioneers became ill in some form. Around thirty thousand of the three hundred fifty thousand people on the trail suffered from a disease. The main illnesses were cholera, dysentery, mountain fever, and measles. Cholera often took the lives of its victims within twelve hours of the first symptom. Because cholera is caused by the consumption of unsanitary food or water, most pioneers suffered from this disease. Some other illnesses included food poisoning, scurvy, smallpox, and pneumonia.
One quote from a diary entry by E.W. Conyers, from May 25th, 1852, stated,
"One wagon just passing...with the motto, 'Root, little hog or die '...on both sides...and on another cover is written, 'Bound for Origen.”
The pioneers were very determined to get to Oregon, and were enthusiastic about what lays ahead. Although the journey to Oregon was long and hard, it came with a great reward. Vast, fertile land, along with the opportunity to start a new life, was exactly what the emigrants wanted. Despite the long, difficult walk, bad weather, disease, and many other risks, the pioneers pushed through, and most made it to Oregon. They all had their minds and hearts set on Willamette Valley, and wouldn’t stop until they got there. No matter what hardships the emigrants faced, they knew it was Manifest Destiny.


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