Good morning! I’m excited to announce I’ve been tapped to write book 3 in a publisher-generated, three-author series coming from Harlequin’s Love Inspired Historical line in 2015. The series will focus on two sisters and a brother, the Hewitts, and will follow these three siblings as they travel west on the Oregon Trail.
I’ve only just scratched the surface in my research, which is my fancy way of saying I haven’t really started digging into the story of the Oregon Trail. Thus, for today I’ll share with you an overview of the Oregon Trail. As the weeks (and months) follow I’ll share more detailed information, another fancy way of saying when I know more you’ll get more.
So, what was the Oregon Trail? It was a 2,000-mile wheeled-wagon route that connected the Missouri River to various valleys in Oregon. The first caravan went to Oregan in 1841. It’s estimated that 300,000 people crosssed in the twenty years following this first trip. The epoch years were 1846-1869.
The route started in Independence, Missouri and ended in either Oregon City or the gold fields in California. Since my book ends in Oregon City I’ll be focusing on the northern route. This was not an easy journey, but became easier and faster every year as roads were improved, cutouts were created, and ferries and bridges were added along the way.
The first land route was mapped by Lewis and Clark. Fur traders followed. Army outposts were built. Missionaries soon joined the migration. Men seeking their fortunes in the California gold mines weren’t long behind. Eventually emigrants looking for a better life made the journey.
The latter groups traveled by covered wagon, which led to the rapid development of prairie schooners, pulled by four to six oxen or six to ten mules. As I continue to blog about the Oregon trail I’ll give more detailed mentions of what the emigrants brought with them.
This picture says it all. Crossing the country on the Oregon Trail was HARD!!!! What do you think? Would you have joined in the journey?