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Oregon Trail

 Related Terms

• John C. Fremont
California Trail
Chisholm Trail
Mormon Trail
Santa Fe Trail


Definition: Way west followed by thousands of Americans during the 1840s and 1850s. The Trail was mapped out by the great explorer John C Fremont and began at Independence, Missouri, and ended at Fort Vancouver, in what is now Washington. The last part of the trail was the Columbia River; pioneers usually traveled by raft. Use of the Oregon Trail fell off when gold was discovered in California in 1848 and people went there instead.

Related Resources:
Oregon Trail Map

The Westward Movement
Find out more about Americans' travels west.

The 19th Century
Get a glimpse of what life was like in the exciting 1800s.

Elsewhere on the Web:
On the Oregon Trail
Students just like you put together this great site, which includes diary entries of travelers along the Trail.

Fish and Wildlife on the Oregon Trail: Then and Now
Learn about the animals of the Trail, in the past and in the present. You'll find that some things don't change.

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