In March 1836 Narcissa Whitman, her husband, Marcus, and three other missionaries set off on a journey that would take them over the Mississippi River, beyond the Rocky Mountains, past Pawnee villages, and to the frontier called Oregon. Along the way, the Whitman party rode mules and wagons, and walked from sunup to sundown. On a good day, they covered 15 miles during their two thousand-mile journey. The Whitmans were the first settlers to go to Oregon in a covered wagon. In the 1840s thousands of pioneers headed to the western frontier of the United States along the most popular westward routethe Oregon Trail. Mrs. Whitman kept a diary in which she described the magnificent scenery, the challenges of the frontier, and the thrill of exploration. Visit this site to read her diary and to discover more about the Oregon Trail.
Destination Title: The Oregon Trail
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Start at the Oregon Trail Web site.
- Click on Trail Archive.
- Click on Diaries.
- Under the "Letters and Diaries of Narcissa Whitman" heading, click on Read the full text. Browse through the site, taking notes as you go. Be sure to click on All About the Trail for background information and video clips. Click on Historic Sites to see a map and sites along the trail.
Read through the information, and then answer the following questions.