Why did people go on the Oregon Trail?
Why did people go on the Oregon Trail?
There were many reasons for the westward movement to Oregon and California. Economic problems upset farmers and businessmen. Free land in Oregon and the possibility of finding gold in California lured them westward.
How did pioneers travel?
The safest way for the pioneers to travel was with a wagon train. They would pack their most treasured belongings, furniture, and what they needed for the journey into a covered wagon. Wagonmasters led the train, cowboys rode along and helped the wagons as they crossed tough terrain and rivers.
How long did it take to travel the Oregon Trail?
four to six months
Why would a family use a covered wagon to travel westward on the Oregon Trail?
By far, the most important item for successful life on the trail was the covered wagon. It had to be sturdy enough to withstand the elements yet small and light enough for a team of oxen or mules to pull day after day. Most wagons were about six feet wide and twelve feet long.
Why didn’t most pioneers ride in their wagons?
Most pioneers used the typical farm wagon with a canvas cover stretched over hooped frames. An emigrant wagon was not comfortable to ride in, since wagons lacked springs and there was little room to sit inside the wagon because most space was taken up with cargo.
Did pioneers sleep in covered wagons?
Some pioneers did sleep in their wagons. Some did camp on the ground—either in the open or sheltered under the wagon. But many used canvas tents. 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.
What did pioneers sleep on?
Pioneers slept in or under their wagons. Some slept in a tent and some slept just out under the stars. How did they cook? They built a campfire and cooked their food in iron pots and skillets.
How much did wagons cost in the 1800s?
It was costly—as much as $1,000 for a family of four. That fee included a wagon at about $100. Usually four or six animals had to pull the wagon. Oxen were slower, but held up better than horses or mules.
What type of animal did most pioneers use to pull their wagons?
What were most wagons pulled by?
of every ten wagons were pulled by oxen. Mules were strong, quick and tolerated the heat better; but oxen on the other hand were good tempered, strong, could eat native grasses and were a lot cheaper.
Why did most pioneers ride in wagons?
To be on the safe side, the pioneers drew their wagons into a circle at night to create a makeshift stockade. If they feared Indians might raid their livestock—the Plains tribes valued the horses, though generally ignored the oxen—they would drive the animals into the enclosure.
What was one of the most deadly illnesses the pioneers faced?
Diseases and serious illnesses caused the deaths of nine out of ten pioneers. Such diseases as cholera, small pox, flu, measles, mumps, tuberculosis could spread quickly through an entire wagon camp. Cholera was the main scourge of the trail.
Why is cholera called the Blue Death?
Cholera has been nicknamed the “blue death” because a person’s skin may turn bluish-gray from extreme loss of fluids.
What were the real enemies of the pioneers on the trail?
The real enemies of the pioneers were cholera, poor sanitation and–surprisingly–accidental gunshots. The first emigrants to go to Oregon in a covered wagon were Marcus and Narcissa Whitman (and Henry and Eliza Spalding) who made the trip in 1836.
What were the dangers of moving West?
Disease. By far, the most common cause of death along the westward trails was by disease. Diseases such as those described below spread quickly among families and camps because of the unsanitary conditions or lack of nutrition that prevailed. Scurvy is a condition caused by a lack of Vitamin-C over time.
What were two main causes of death along the trail?
Emigrants feared death from a variety of causes along the trail: lack of food or water; Indian attacks; accidents or rattlesnake bites were a few. But the number one killer, by a wide margin, was disease. The most dangerous diseases were those spread by poor sanitary conditions and personal contact.
Why did settlers move west?
Pioneer settlers were sometimes pushed west because they couldn’t find good jobs that paid enough. Others had trouble finding land to farm. Pioneer settlers were sometimes pulled west because they wanted to make a better living. Others received letters from friends or family members who had moved west.
How did the pioneers solve their problems?
However, because of the freed land and rich wildlife and soil, the pioneers were willing to overcome the challenges. Because of no trees or stone to build with, pioneers had to rely on prairie sod. Farmer’s in the 1800s used mules, oxen or horses, and special plows to cut through the tough roots of the sod.
How did pioneers make money?
Into wild country went hunters, trappers, fur traders, miners, frontier soldiers, surveyors, and pioneer farmers. The farmers tamed the land and made it productive.
What types of dangerous weather did the pioneers have to face on their journey west?
Weather-related dangers included thunderstorms, lethally large hailstones, lightning, tornadoes, grass fires, and high winds. A half-dozen emigrants were killed by lightning strikes; many others were injured by hail the size of apples.
What did the pioneers do for fun?
They had races and played games such as Sheep Over the River, Hide and Seek, Pull the Rope, and Steal-Stick Duck-Stones. They also sang and danced. They made dolls from corn cobs and rags and used a bladder balloon for ball games.
What did pioneers wear?
American pioneers wore clothing made from cotton or fabrics they produced themselves, such as wool or linen. Men and boys wore buckskin trousers, cotton shirts, leather boots and wide-brimmed hats. Women and girls wore cotton dresses or skirts, bonnets and leather boots.
What did pioneers eat?
The mainstays of a pioneer diet were simple fare like potatoes, beans and rice, hardtack (which is simply flour, water, 1 teaspoon each of salt and sugar, then baked), soda biscuits (flour, milk, one t. each of carbonate of soda and salt), Johnny cakes, cornbread, cornmeal mush, and bread.
What kind of toys did the pioneers have?
Pioneer children had simple toys and games made out of any available materials such as pebbles, rope, pieces of wood and scraps of material. Dolls were made out of scraps of material and wool. Some toys were made of wood. Many of the games they played are still being played today.
What games did Pioneers play?
There were several games played by pioneer children that are still played today in homes, schools, and on the playground. Hide-and-Seek, baseball, jump rope, tag, and string games are just a few. Word games were played both at home and at school, because these games helped the children to learn language skills.
What was life like for a pioneer child?
For the pioneer child life on the frontier was hard and lonely. Families were isolated and most children had no opportunity to make friends or play with people their own age.
Why did wagon trains form a circle overnight?
At night, wagon trains were often formed into a circle or square for shelter from wind or weather, and to corral the emigrants’ animals in the center to prevent them from running away or being stolen by Native Americans.
Is anyone still alive from wagon train?
Only two are alive today. One of these survivors is Michael Burns who ‘evolved’ into a regular after appearing in an early episode as a boy stricken speechless by the murder of his father.
Did they really circle the wagons?
Contrary to the depictions of dime novels and Hollywood Westerns, attacks by the Plains Indians were not the greatest hazard faced by westbound settlers. While pioneer trains did circle their wagons at night, it was mostly to keep their draft animals from wandering off, not protect against an ambush.
What type of wagon did the pioneers used?