OREGON FEVER / The Great Migration of 1843 & Giveaway

Oregon fever had gripped the county for years. Lewis and Clark accounts started it then others fueled the flames with claims of fertile soil and a temperate climate. Books were written and Congressmen and Senators proposed legislation offering free land in Oregon that finally passed in 1850.

But a fly called The Rockies flew into the ointment. The mountain range stood in the way and must be crossed.

The union of commerce and faith helped blaze the trail west. A merchant by the name of Nathaniel Wyeth and Methodist-Episcopal Missionary Jason Lee set out in 1834 for Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Wyeth had made the trip two years prior and guided Lee to his proposed mission. He promised mountain men that he’d bring trade goods to their next rendezvous.

The Wyeth-Lee party was the first group to traverse the entire Oregon Trail as it’s known today, though not all the way by wagon. They left those at For Hall and packed mules, traveling by foot the rest of the way.

A few more brave souls made it the following years, even two white women were among the number.

Two events spurred even more folks to go west. Missionary Marcus Whitman coming east in the winter of 42’-3 to confer with his mission’s board members, and the Senate passing the Linn Act.

The house narrowly defeated the bill, and it wasn’t until 1850 that it finally did pass, but the vote had been so close, folks figured it would pass soon enough. Plus, if Whitman could make the trek in winter, then traveling in spring and summer shouldn’t be any hill for a stepper.

Over 875 pilgrims met then left from Elm Grove a dozen miles out of Independence, Missouri for what became known as the Great Migration of 1843.

Before the western exodus by covered wagons ended—mostly due to the completion of the intercontinental train—over more than half a million people traveled over the Oregon and California Trails to start a new life.

Oxen were favored over mules and horse to pull the wagons for the bovine could survive on poorer quality feed and were better to eat if the need arose. They cost less as well. Teams of seven pair were common, and some train captains required that many.

Early on, no unaccompanied females were allowed. That fact has been fodder for many an Oregon Trail book, mine included.

Being a former goat fancier—my husband Ron got tired of feeding my girls—I used the death of a milk goat to throw Ruth and Logan together in my latest Prairie Roses offering, RUTH, book eight in the multi-author collection.

Hopefully, I showed the extra hardship of caring for two infants on the journey west. Nappies alone had to have been awful, on top of cooking and seeing to the other chores.

Ever hauled water out of a river? The trains paralleled the Platt most of the way but being close to water proved imperative.

A lot of the immigrants couldn’t stand the wagon’s rough ride and ended up walking the entire two thousand miles. A drover walked beside the main ox, keeping him in line and up to speed with voice commands and a stick he used to prod the animal.

His partner in pulling, the off ox knew his place as did the others. Best not even think about putting an animal in the wrong position. If sojourners did have mules or horses pulling their wagon, then someone had to be driving them.

Prairie Schooners were preferred over the more spacious Conestoga because of the sheer weight. Imagine packing everything you’d need to start over in the wilderness in a fourteen-by-four-foot wagon and head out for parts unknown.

Oregon Fever must have been some kind of powerful bug.


GIVEAWAY – Answer the following question to be in the running for the e’copy of REMI, my first Prairie Roses story.

What one luxury item could you not stand to leave behind, and what would you be willing to leave to make room for it? 




RUTH released on May 3rd, my 71st birthday! It’s a story of redemption and second chances. I’m so grateful that we serve a God of second chances! Here’s the back-cover copy for it:

The Lord works in mysterious ways.
Fleeing heartache, shame, and betrayal, Ruth finds all her plans are thwarted until the untimely death of a goat that gives her hope! Hired as a wet-nurse for Logan’s motherless son, she rejects his marriage-of-convenience proposal, hoping to find true love at the trail’s end. Going West (in what was later called the Great Migration of 1842) satisfies the widower’s wanderlust, and even though she turns him down, he determines to prove his love is true. Come along on this infamous journey of love and adventure. 

Get you copy today here: Amazon


BIO – Award-winning, Christian author Caryl McAdoo prays her story brings God glory. Of her best-selling novels, readers love her historical Christian romance family sagas most, but she also writes Christian contemporary romance, mysteries, Biblical fiction, and also for young adults and mid-grade booklovers. The large majority of reviewers award her stories five-stars and praise Caryl’s characters, even praying for them at times. The prolific writer loves singing the new songs God gives her almost as much as penning tales—hear a few at YouTube! Married to Ron fifty-three years next month, she shares four children and twenty-one grandsugars. The McAdoos live in the woods south of Clarksville, seat of Red River County in the far corner of Northeast Texas, waiting expectantly for God to open the next door.



BookBub – https://www.bookbub.com/authors/caryl-mcadoo?follow=true  

Website – http://www.CarylMcAdoo.com    

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36 thoughts on “OREGON FEVER / The Great Migration of 1843 & Giveaway”

  1. I’d need my Ouidad products for my hair, and I’d be willing to leave my hair dryer behind. lol I guess that’s too 21st Century.

    I’d take the quilts made by my grandma and leave my dry sink behind.


    • Quilts would have been necessary once you arrived at your northern destination, facing a cold winter, and they could make a softer place to lay your head down at night for the six months of your journey! Good choice! <3

  2. I’d want to take some books — lots and lots of books — and I’d leave behind any furniture items to make room (and weight) for them. However, I might need to be selective because a crate of books can be very heavy, and I wouldn’t want to leave them by the wayside when the mountainous trek got rough.

    • That just hurts my heart, too, Janice! To think they had to choose back at home, cutting belongings to the very necessary, then getting out on the Trail and having to leave more??? It would be so hard.

  3. I couldn’t go with out my deodorant or toothpaste & toothbrush. Those 2 things I can’t live without. I’d give up a piece of heavy furniture for a trunk full of these.

    • Great choices. I agree a trunk full of deodorant would be ideal- I’d even share with those around me…

      • There you go, Stephanie. EVERYONE would be stinky! 🙂 I haven’t mentioned that in one of my covered wagon stories. Perhaps it’s time! 🙂

    • The teeth gear would give you a pretty smile and fresh breath, but I don’t know if even Mitchum could help as infrequently as you’d be able to bathe! 🙂 tee hee hee

    • My “My Pillow” would be so welcome! When you get to your new place, your man can build you some rough furniture from the trees he has to clear for your cabin! 🙂 Blessings!

  4. Good morning! Great blog. There are so many things I wouldn’t want to live without. I have to remember if I had loved in these times I wouldn’t be accustomed to what we have now anyway. I agree with Tonya Lucas on the deodorant, toothbrush & toothpaste but since she said those I’m going to go with a few good pairs of tennis shoes since I’d have a lot of walking to do. I’ve often wondered about people wearing out their shoes on the walk & not being able to get another pair. Not to mention I don’t think shoes back then were that comfy. No air pillow insoles etc.

    I’d love the opportunity to read your book and a giveaway is an awesome way for me to find a new author to add to my go to authors list.

    • In RUTH, my hero actually trades for extra shoe leather to repair shoes along the way! I’d love for you to have the opportunity to read my book, too, then–I hope–you’d have a new favorite author to add to that list! 🙂 Blessings

  5. Caryl, isn’t the Oregon Trail fascinating? My first book was a Trail story, “Westward Hope.” dealt with a young widow who finds, to her horror, that the scout on the wagon train is a man with whom she had a tangled past. Of course God helps them sort it out, but there are some tense times first. What I love about the Trail is the raw courage it must have taken, and also the curiosity of these people. I mean, the United States wasn’t even 100 years old yet and already they wanted more!
    And I love writing about the wagon trains because people were just about trapped and they had to get along with each other. Sometimes they did, sometimes they didn’t.
    Excellent post.

    • Indeed, Kathy. You need to write a story for the fourth annual Prairie Roses Collection! I’d love to have you join us. Ron and I went and drove the Oregon Trail a couple of years ago, and it was so fascinating! Please pray about joining us in 2022! 🙂 Blessings!

    • You can never have too much soap. I guess they’d have to take lye and other ingredients to make more after they arrived???

    • I still have an extra 24 rolls under one of the beds that I don’t intend to get into! I suppose they used a lot on leaves and grass on the trail??? yuckadoo! 🙁 tee hee hee TP is a very important commodity, Charlene!

  6. I would have left heavy things behind and taken only things that were necessary like clothes, blankets and food.

    • Husband would need some substantial tools to be ready to build you a new home on arrival. It was never just the Trail! That part was hard enough, but think of it . . . all that had to be done after your arrived! Finding land then building a cabin, clearing for crops. My book LILAH in the Prairie Roses Collection goes more into that part of the journey. The wagon train is only about half of that story. I love how God gives such different tales every time! 🙂 Blessings!

  7. I would leave behind furniture, but would want some books and as someone else mentioned toilet paper!

    • I would think a person would NEED books. They must have been so valued back then! Blessings! <3

    • I don’t know if your husband would have even considered carrying a bathtub! They were so heavy back then!–OH or is that what you’d leave? Maybe so 🙂 I wouldn’t mind bathing in a creek or pond or river so long as my husband was on the lookout for me 🙂 Blessings!

  8. I would want a pencil and some paper to record my travels and dental floss-you can do a lot of things with a piece of dental floss. Cut some things, tie up stuff, and clean teeth are just a few.

    • I was thinking pencils and dental floss weren’t invented yet, but 1795 and 1815, respectively! WOW! Learn something new everyday! My characters have always taken a quill and ink well . . . the fountain pen was invented in France in 1827, but wasn’t in wide use in America until the 1850s. One of my books COVERING LOVE (book eight in the Texas Romance Family Saga) the patent on the first ball-point pen is issued in 1888 🙂 🙂 I love history and the internet for researching!

  9. Book sounds and looks like a great read. Would love to read and review all your books in print format including this book.
    One luxury item I could not stand to leave behind, and what would you be willing to leave to make room for it? The one luxury item I could not stand to leave behind is my Bible and would leave behind my boxes of my print books to make room for my Bible.

    • Oh yes, my Bible would be with me! I’d never leave it behind! So many Christians take owning several Bibles for granted! It’s difficult to understand that the “book” LIVES! It’s God’s LIVING Word; it’s Jesus! Her will have the name The Word written on His . . . is it forehead or thigh? When He comes on the white horse in the sky! I need to go find that! He gave me a new song about the end times when I asked for one. It’s called “Days of Trouble, Days of Dread” That verse goes,

      “Heaven will open, behold a white horse!
      Its rider is Faithful and True, of course.
      On His head there is written a name no man knows but He Himself!
      His eyes will burn bright as flames of fire
      And on His head there will be many crowns
      In righteousness he will judge all the world and make war!”

      Revelation 19:13 “And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.” (doesn’t say where it’s written!)

  10. Some very thoughtful comments above – soap, simple meds available then, and durable clothing would be my requirements.

    • We recently had a discussion about how many changes of clothes they would take. We figured most would only have a couple. Can you imagine how worn they would be after wearing them, walking every day for 6 months?

  11. Wow, what a question. I would have to be able to pack my books and Bible. I am not sure that I would go out to the unknown wilderness without some form of entertainment and relaxation. I would also need to have fabric and material to make blankets and clothes. I am not sure what I would leave behind.

    • I believe books and Bible is the winner! I mean, you’re so right! The “escape” good stories offer would be so needed on the Trail! <3 Blessings, Debra!

  12. I have an antique cradle that has been in the family 7 generations and goes back well into the 1800’s. It isn’t that big and can be broken down into 2 pieces. It would be important for me to bring it with me. It isn’t too heavy and I might be able to hang it from the supports for the wagon’s cover. I am not sure I would have to leave much. I would change out Some things for smaller versions, like a small daisy churn for a large crock churn, maybe a smaller wash tub, fewer or no crocks (too heavy even though I could pack things in them.). It would be hard. I have a tendency to pack everything but the kitchen sink when we travel.
    Thanks for an interesting post.

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