The Oregon Trail

Oregon Fever! Thousands had it and the only cure was to pack up and head for a land that was new and a life that was uncertain. Beginning in 1841, and for more than 20 years, nearly 400,000 people ventured west on the Oregon Trail. Some had heard of opportunities for successful farming. Others hoped the gentle climate would cure what ailed them. Still others dreamed of freedom from prejudice and financial hardship. They all had something in common: facing the unknown, and all the joys and sorrows that went with it. Essays are combined with important historical documents, illustrations, and photographs to help tell the story of what people sacrificed to expand our nation. The essays include a multicultural portrait of the emigrant population and their reasons for traveling to Oregon, a study of how people prepared for the journey, a look at daily life along the trail, and landmarks along the way. Among the primary source materials are entries from actual diaries, letters from emigrants to those back home, remedies for cholera, Jackson photographs, and a survey map by John Fremont. This portfolio includes a Study Guide with reproducible student activities and a timeline of events between 1803 and 1858. 5 Illustrated Broadsheet Essays: * History of the Oregon Trail * Why the Emigrants Went West * Leave-taking * Life Along the Trail * Routes, Landmarks and Trail's End 16 Primary Source Documents: * John Fremont map, "Road from Missouri to Oregon" * New York Daily Tribune, July 19, 1843, editorial page * The Oregon Trail, Francis Parkman's first installment, 1849 * Missouri River steamboat schedule * Shively's Guide, Guidebook for emigrants, 1846 * Letter from Medoram Crawford, 1845 * Diagram of a covered wagon * Patent drawings and notes of a wagon odometer, 1848 * Ho! Westward Ho! sheet music * Remedies for cholera * Horn's map * William Henry Jackson's photographs * Diary of Elizabeth Dixon Smith * Barlow Road letter * Plat of Oregon City * The Oregon Trail Today, photo essay

Product type: Primary Source Portfolio
ISBN: 978-1-5669-6145-5
Author: Carol L. Cohen
Copyright: 1998
Reading Level: Grades 5-8
Interest Level: Grades 5-8
Dimensions: 14" x 9 1/4"