In the mid-1800s, thousands of hardy pioneers braved the long and arduous journey across the Great Plains for a chance to build a new life in the West. These emigrants traveled more than 2,000 treacherous miles to the Pacific Ocean over the Oregon Trail in what became the largest mass migration in American history. Along the way they wrote letters and kept diaries, and some published memoirs of their trip years after their journey.
Oregon Trail Stories offers a selection of these intriguing narratives told in the pioneers’ own words. From the diary of a member of the Donner Party to an excerpt from the memoirs of a girl orphaned as her family made their way West, these documents speak of the difficulties of facing an uncertain future and the hardships of the trail-including the very real threat of illness or death-and are an enduring reminder of our country’s history.
Today almost all traces of the Oregon Trail have been obliterated by settlement, but these stories of courage, stamina, and adventure in the wide-open West survive, offering readers a fascinating first-hand account of life on the trail during America’s long-gone frontier days.