Oregon Trail Propaganda Reasons Why You Should Head Out West! By: Camille Legnani November 2013
Scared to Death “Cholera is in your town! It’s spreading like wild fire! Clean water in Oregon will protect you.” Cholera and other deadly diseases were unfortunately very common. They were spread by contaminated water and food. This led to serve infection and even death. The worst outbreaks occurred from 1849-1852.
Free Land! “There are MILLIONS of Acres of Free Land in Oregon!” Free land (or very cheap land) was wanted when settlers from other states or countries started to move to towns with less land, therefore, property prices started to raise.
Fertile Farm Land! “No work to have fertile farmland!” Most adventurous farmers were drawn to Oregon because of the opportunities of rich, fertile soil, which can help a lot when the soil is poorand dry. Fertile farmland can also be suitable for any garden.
New Jobs, New Lives “A New Way of Life can be yours!” Another reason pioneers journey to Oregon is for jobs and to start a new life. Since settlers were coming in from Europe, there were less available jobs. Oregon was a great opportunity not only for work but to start a better life.
Strike it Rich! Pan for GOLD: “Strike it Rich overnight” Many people from the USA and other countries were drawn to Oregon with the hope to find gold and go home to their town as a wealthy man. One way to pan for gold (as seen here in photo) is to take a pan, go to a river and sift through rocks until you discover gold.
Other Ways to Discover Gold $$$ • Like these men here in the photo, digging for gold was another way to strike it rich. Searching for gold can also be done by mining, leading one to an underground fortune.
“Gain Religious Freedom!” People, like the Mormons, left their homes in the East because they were judged and looked at differently from other religions. Most of the time, for Mormons, they were allowed many wives and other religions didn’t agree. So, they went out West to start a better life. They would usually only bring one wife, though most of the time they had severalwives.
Game and Lumber “Game is plentiful in Oregon!” “TREES--as far as the eye can see!” Pioneers hunted for Bison, Buffalo, Deer, Elk and other animals. These animals were used for furs as well as meat. Lumber, from Pine and Cedar trees, were a excellent resource for building new houses and cabins.
The Trail of Resources • AT student guide & class notes • The Oregon Historical Society(www.ohs.org) • The History Channel (www.history.com) • Hellogiggles.com/lessons-from-the-oregon-trail • Camp Silos website (Life as a Pioneer) • Images from Google and Yahoo.