Nebraska Moments

By Donald R. Hickey; Susan A. Wunder et al. | Go to book overview

3. The Oregon Trail

For almost a century and a half, the Platte River route has been one of the most heavily traveled corridors in the American West. Although the Platte River itself has never been suitable for navigation, its hard, flat-bottom valley lands provide an ideal bed for roads. As one early traveler put it, “It is undoubtedly the best natural road in the world.” Travelers across the Plains have long taken this route. In the 1840s they traversed the Oregon Trail; in the 1870s they rode the Union Pacific Railroad; in the 1920s they drove Highway 30; and today they speed along Interstate 80.

The first great byway to funnel people into the West was actually a series of interconnected roads collectively called the California Road, the Overland Trail, the Platte River Road, or, most commonly, the Oregon Trail. The principal legs of this system in Nebraska were initially blazed by Zebulon Pike’s troops in 1806, Stephen H. Long’s exploring expedition in 1819–20, and William Ashley and Alexander Henry’s fur trappers in 1824–25

The Oregon Trail was not heavily used until the mid-1840s, when the first wave of migration carried settlers to the fertile lands of the Oregon Country. A second migration began in 1847 when Mormons, under the leadership of Brigham Young, set out for Utah to build a “desert Zion.” In 1849 numerous prospectors rushed to the gold fields of California, and in 1859 thousands headed to the gold and silver mines of Colorado. In all, probably five hundred thousand people traveled the Oregon Trail through Nebraska between the 1840s and the 1860s.

Such was the lure of precious metals that more than half of the travelers were prospectors. Gold and silver acted like magnets, drawing people not only to California and Colorado but also to Nevada, Montana,

-15-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Nebraska Moments
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 403

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.