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Historical Tidbit Thursdays - The Oregon Trail - Preparing for the Journey - #TidbitThursday


Welcome to our newest addition to the blog - Historical Tidbit Thursdays!

The next few weeks I'm veering off my normal Texas History research trail to dive deep into the Oregon Trail and share my research with you! Hope you enjoy!

Most emigrants arrived at their "jumping off" points (the place where they started the Oregon Trail journey) by steamboat. Jumping off points included Independence (Missouri), Saint Joseph (Missouri) or Council Bluffs (Iowa).

When the emigrants arrived to town, they brought little with them except a lot of money to buy supplies. It took about 2 to 3 weeks to purchase and prepare for the 6 month long trip.

The first thing they bought was a covered wagon or "prairie schooner" (so named because the white canvas looked like ship sails). The wagon could carry 1000 to 1500 pounds of goods. It was four feet wide by 12 feet long. The wagon would be crammed full and there wouldn't be much room for travelers. Only young children or those who couldn't walk or ride would sit in the wagon.

Emigrants would buy several hundred pounds of flour and bacon, sugar, salt, coffee, dried fruit, and other dry goods. They also bought heavy cooking pots and pans, sturdy tin dishes (not many, they usually shared), weapons (guns, ammo). A plow and farming implements.

Each wagon needed 4 to 6 oxen to pull the load.

How Many People Traveled the Oregon Trail? by Miriam Aronin; ISBN#978-0-7613-5332-4

Photo Credits: Britannica.com

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