Read Microsoft Word - 2011 Melinda Kashuba class migwestfhf_2011.doc text version

American Migration Trails: Western United States

Heritage Faire - Redding, California Saturday, 26 February 2011 Melinda Kashuba

Kashuba Research Services

Synopsis

Tracing your ancestors from the west coast back across the Mississippi may seem like a daunting task. A basic understanding of history and geography of the west is a necessity. This lecture will suggest some of the reasons why they moved, how they traveled, which routes existed and where they may have relocated.

Introduction--Where Did They Come From? · Look for clues in documents you already have and in family stories you may have heard · Work backwards from the present looking for clues in vital records, census records, social security applications, military discharges and pension records, published biographies, obituaries etc. · Collect names of friends, relatives and neighbors--did your ancestor travel with others? Are there names that repeatedly show up in the records? If you cannot find your ancestor, can you trace his or her associates? · Did you ancestor belong to a particular ethnic group or religious affiliation? · Identify a time period you believe your ancestor moved west--i.e. was it before or after the transcontinental railroad in 1869? Was it during the California Gold Rush in the late 1840s or early 1850s? · Understanding the time period your ancestor moved west will suggest "options" how he or she migrated as well as sometimes the "opportunities" that influenced the decision to move west Tools You Will Need for Your Journey

· · · · Modern map of the United States, particularly west of the Mississippi--many of our highways and freeways follow older routes. You will want to consult this map as you study migration history. Access to an atlas showing historical trails (see bibliography for several suggestions) and topography (mountains, valleys and rivers) Blank U.S. map (see syllabus) showing state boundaries for note taking Access to sources that can tell you: When did a state achieve statehood? When did the state begin registration of birth records? When did the state begin registration of death records? When did the state begin registration of marriage records? Where can you obtain copies of vital records? Suggest consulting Everton's The Handybook for Genealogists or Ancestry's Redbook: American State, County & Town Sources or searching websites such as the USGenWeb (<http://www.usgenweb.com>) or Cyndi's List of Genealogical Sites on the Internet <http://www.cyndislist.com>). History outlining the territorial expansion of the United States (see bibliography for suggestions) An ancient path of commerce developed by William Becknell from near Franklin, Missouri (near the Missouri River) to Santa Fe after Mexico gained independence from Spain in 1821. The route is 900 miles long and was popular until the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad reached Santa Fe in 1880. The trail passes through today the states of Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Colorado and New Mexico.

·

The Santa Fe Trail (1821 ­ 1880)

· · ·

1

Melinda Kashuba, Ph.D. All Rights Reserved, 2011.

·

· · ·

Two branches: the northern, angled "mountain route" through the Colorado Rockies (difficult for wagons) or the southern "desert route" known as the Cimarron Cutoff which was much shorter but located away from reliable water sources Bent's Fort located in Colorado at the crossroads of several old trails connecting with distant Yellowstone and the Platte was built in 1833 to trade with Native Americans and trappers This route was used by U.S. soldiers in 1846 to go to war with Mexico Several military forts were built along the route to secure the territory from Native American uprisings, the most notable, near the western end, Ft. Union, was established in 1851. A trail originally established by fur traders and missionaries that stretched from Independence, Missouri into "Oregon Country" to a settlement known as The Dalles on the Columbia River (2,000 miles). Later, Oregon City, located south of Portland would become the terminus after the construction of the Barlow Road. In 1841 less than a hundred American settlers followed the trail. By 1847, with the settlement of a boundary dispute between Great Britain and the United States, emigration swelled to 4,000 per year as people trekked to the newly created Oregon Territory (today Oregon, Washington, Idaho and part of western Montana). Initially the draw was the fertile farmland of the Willamette Valley and the forests of the Pacific Northwest. Later, the trail was used by those traveling to the western mines. The trail passes through what are now the states of Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Idaho, and Oregon. Some travelers began their Oregon Trail journey in St. Louis. They arrived in the spring and loaded their wagons onto Missouri River steamboats bound for Westport (today, near Kansas City). Other places people gathered to purchase supplies were Fort Leavenworth, St. Joseph and Council Bluffs. Most travelers began in Independence, Missouri and traveled northwest to Ft. Kearny on the Platte River. The trail continues northwest along the Platte River past Fort Laramie and Independence Rock. It splits west of South Pass (Colorado) with a southern spur traveling to Fort Bridger where the trail splits into Utah and California-Oregon routes. The northern spur is known as Sublette Cutoff, a dry path to the Green River. At Soda Springs, Hudspeth's cutoff heads westward toward the Raft River, the Humboldt River and to California. Most Oregon traffic proceeded down the Bear River, crossing at Portneuf and descended to Fort Hall on the Snake River. The trail moves westward intersecting with the Boise River, the Grande Ronde River and eventually the Columbia in Oregon. At The Dalles, travelers had the option of loading their wagons on boats to float down the Columbia into the Willamette Valley or take the safer but steeper Barlow Road to the Willamette Valley. Today, 70% of Oregon's population resides in the Willamette Valley. Between 1831 and 1838, Missouri became the home to over 12,000 Mormons fleeing from New York and Ohio. During the Mormon War of 1838, Missouri's Governor ordered the expulsion or extermination of all Missouri Mormons. They moved to Nauvoo, Illinois for a short-lived asylum. Violence in Illinois forced them to leave in 1846 for a safe haven in the west. Approximately 70,000 Mormons traveled along the Mormon Pioneer Trail between 1846 and 1869 when the transcontinental railroad preempted the trail. The trail ran 1,300 miles through the present-day states of Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, and Utah into the Great Salt Lake. Near Council Bluffs on the Missouri River the Mormon Trail heads north along the Platte River, mirroring the Oregon Trail. The northern side of the river was selected to reduce competition for fuel and grass. The trail proceeds to Fort Laramie then north to Fort Caspar. From Fort Caspar, it passes Independence Rock, through South Pass (again, like the Oregon Trail) but then braches southward along the Little Sandy River toward Fort Bridger (like the southern route of the Oregon Trail). From Fort Bridger moves southwestward to Salt Lake. The California Trail (actually many trails) mostly follows the Oregon Trail to a point south of Fort Hall in Idaho. It travels southwest into Nevada to intersect with the Humboldt River (the lifeline of this trail) and

The Oregon Trail (early 1830's ­ mid-1880's)

·

· ·

·

·

·

The Mormon Trail (1846 ­ 1869)

·

· · ·

The California Trail (1840's ­ 1870's)

·

2

Melinda Kashuba, Ph.D. All Rights Reserved, 2011.

· ·

· · ·

parallels the Humboldt River until the "Forty Mile Desert" (a waterless area) to the base of the Sierra Nevada. There were many possible crossings of the Sierra Nevada--multiplying after the discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill in 1848. Popular cutoffs were the Applegate Trail (north towards Modoc), the Lassen Trail (to Lassen's Ranch south of Red Bluff), the Nobles Trail (to Ft. Reading), the Beckwourth Trail (to Bidwell Bar), the Carson Trail (through Carson Pass to Sutter's Fort) plus others that traveled south to Sonora and Stockton. By the mid-1840s there were 3,000 settlers in the Sacramento Valley. In 1858, the federal government constructed a shortcut between South Pass and Fort Hall called the Lander Road that further stimulated migration into California (13,000 the first year it opened). The construction of the Central Pacific Railroad caused migration to decline along this route after the completion of the transcontinental railroad. This trail is formed from a number of trails that traverse the deserts of the southwest. It connects water sources and mountain passages along one branch of its 2,000 mile route beginning at the Missouri River and ending at the shores of the Pacific Ocean near San Diego. The Gila Trail's official central starting point is El Paso, Texas. At El Paso, many trails come together: the Southern Overland Trail, also known as the Butterfield Route, from Fort Smith, Arkansas; the Old San Antonio Road, also known in places as the "Lower Road"; and the Chihuahua Trail from Santa Fe south to El Paso. The Butterfield Trail which connected St. Louis to San Francisco, California operated began operations in 1858 and carried mail as well as passengers along its 2,800 stretch. The route ran from St. Louis to Fort Smith, Arkansas, through Indian Territory (Oklahoma) to Texas near El Paso, then through New Mexico and Arizona to Los Angeles, California. From Los Angeles, the route proceeded north to San Francisco. It would cost $200 for a passenger to take this 25 day journey. At its height, more than 250 coaches and several hundred wagons, about 2,000 employees, 1,800 horses and mules and 240 stage wagons traversed this route. In 1861, the route was abandoned because of looming Civil War conflict. The mail route was transferred to a St. Louis-Salt Lake City-Sacramento route. The Gila Trail was a popular route to southern gold mines until hostilities between Native Americans, settlers and travelers peaked during the 1860s until the reservation plan of the 1870s forced Native Americans into reservations. This trail branches off the Oregon Trail and North Platte River north along the Bighorn Mountains, crossing Sioux and Cheyenne hunting grounds (today known as the Crow Indian Reservation) then north to the Yellowstone River and the Gallatin Valley to Virginia City, Montana. The purpose of the trail was to move miners from the Oregon Trail into the northern mines of Colorado, Montana, and Idaho. This trail caused some of the worst battles between the Sioux and whites. Several military forts were built along the route to secure the area: Ft. Reno, Ft. Phil Kearny, and Ft. C.F. Smith. Construction began in 1863 on the Union Pacific Railroad across the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains from Omaha, Nebraska. Irish, Germans, Italians, and freed African-American slaves worked on this portion of the railroad. The Central Pacific Railway was extended eastward from Sacramento over the Sierra Nevada. Thousands of Chinese immigrants worked on this portion of the railroad. The railway connection was completed at Promontory Point, Utah located west of Ogden on 10 May 1869. The railroad was 2,000 miles long. Passenger service was $40 for immigrant class, $80 for second class and $111 for first class. It took about seven days to travel across the country.

The Gila Trail (1840's ­ 1880's)

·

·

·

·

The Bozeman Trail (1863 ­1868)

·

· · ·

Transcontinental Railroad (1863)

·

· · ·

3

Melinda Kashuba, Ph.D. All Rights Reserved, 2011.

Cape Horn

· This route became very popular following the discovery of gold in California although settlers going to the Pacific Northwest and those in the military also took this voyage. Initially it was the "fastest" way to the goldfields in spite of the fact that it took 4-8 months to travel the 13,328 nautical miles from the east coast to San Francisco around the tip of South America. The trip was dangerous (storms, pirates) and difficult (diseases such as scurvy and cholera). The cost for passage was between $100 and $1,000. Communities in the east chartered ships to take members to the gold fields. There are some surviving passenger manifests available. Check passenger lists for your ancestor's associates and relatives.

· · ·

Isthmus of Panama

· · · The route across Panama supplanted the Cape Horn route for speed. The distance was about 5,300 miles with a travel time of 2-3 months. Ships landed at several ports on the east coast of Panama. Travelers used a combination of small boats and overland horse/mule trains across 50 miles to the Pacific Ocean. They caught a ship on the west coast of Panama to continue their journey north. Disease and violence were two constant problems along the route. When the future U.S. president, Ulysses S. Grant took this trip in 1852, one-seventh of the more than 1,000 people he traveled with died. Beginning in 1849, the Panama Railroad Company built a 50-mile stretch across the Isthmus. It was completed in February, 1855. Travel time was reduced to from 5 days to 4 hours, costing $25 per person plus extra fees for passenger baggage and freight. In 1854, the year before the railroad was completed, 30,108 passengers rode the 31 miles of finished track and then packed across the rest of the Isthmus.

· ·

Routes through Nicaragua & Mexico

· · · Ships landed on the east coast of Nicaragua and passengers were loaded on to smaller boats to travel the mostly water crossing (about 170 miles). Numerous tropical diseases plagued travelers on this route. It was most popular between 1851 and 1855 (the year the Panama Railroad was completed). Mexico journey was 213 miles long overland, popular between the years 1851-52. Cholera and bandits were major problems along this route.

Bibliography

Beck, Warren A. and Ynez D. Haase. Historical Atlas of the American West. Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press, 1989. Boyd, Greg. "Navigating the world of U.S. river-map research," NGS NewsMagazine, July-September 2007, pp. 24-28. Eichholz, Alice. Red Book: American State, County & Town Sources. Salt Lake City: Ancestry Publishing, 2004. Eldridge, Carrie. An Atlas of Trails West of the Mississippi River. Privately printed by the author, 3118 CR 31, Chesapeake, OH 45619, 2001. Everton Publishers, Inc., The Handybook for Genealogists. Logan, Utah: Everton Publishers, 11th edition, 2005. Fryxell, David A. "Moving Targets," Family Tree Magazine, March 2008, pp. 22-29. Holliday, J.S. Rush for Riches, Gold Fever and the Making of California. Berkeley: University of California, 1999. Kashuba, Melinda. Walking With Your Ancestors, A Genealogist's Guide to Using Maps and Geography. Cincinnati, Ohio: Family Tree Books, 2005. Mitchell, John G. "The Way West." National Geographic Magazine. Vol. 198 (September 2000). See also in this issue the map supplement "Western Migration: Dreams of Gold and a Better Live Drives Mass Movement." The map supplement is available from the National Geographic Society (800-962-1643 or <http://www.nationalgeographic.com>.

4

Melinda Kashuba, Ph.D. All Rights Reserved, 2011.

Modelski, Andrew M. Railroad Maps of North America. Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 1984. Sale, Randall D. and Edwin D. Karn. American Expansion: A Book of Maps. Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 1962. Stamm, Patricia Walls. "Rollin' down the river," NGS NewsMagazine, July-September 2007, pp. 20-23. Stewart, George R. The California Trail. Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 1962, reprinted August 1983. Stuart-Warren, Paula. "Tracking railroad records and railroad history," NGS NewsMagazine, April/May/June 2006, pp. 21-25. Wexler, Alan. Atlas of Westward Expansion. New York: Facts on File Books, 1995. Websites American Memory Collection, Library of Congress <http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/gmdhtml/gmdhome.html> (see Discovery and Exploration and Transportation and Communications sections of this web site) California Trail <http://www.nps.gov/cali> Cyndi's List: Migration, Routes, Roads & Trails <http://www.cyndislist.com/migration.htm> David Rumsey Map Collection <http://www.davidrumsey.com/> Maritime Heritage Project <http://www.maritimeheritage.org/log.htm> Michael Smith's Historical American Migration and Settlement Patterns, A Selected Bibliography <http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~gentutor/biblio.html#migration> Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail <http://www.nps.gov/mopi/> Oregon-California Trails Association < http://www.octa-trails.org/> Oregon Trail <http://www.isu.edu/~trinmich/Oregontrail.html> Overland Trails, Old Towns & Forts <http://www.over-land.com/ Panama Railroad <http://www.panamarailroad.org/> Perry-Castañeda Map Library <http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/> Pioneer Trails from U.S. Land Surveys <http://www.kansasheritage.org/werner/> Railroads ­ Library of Congress American Memory Collection <http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/gmdhtml/rrhtml/rrhome.html> Santa Fe Trail < http://www.santafetrail.org/index.php > Trails West: A Map of Early Western American Trails <http://www.tngenweb.org/tnletters/usa-west.htm>

5

Melinda Kashuba, Ph.D. All Rights Reserved, 2011.

Information

Microsoft Word - 2011 Melinda Kashuba class migwestfhf_2011.doc

5 pages

Find more like this

Report File (DMCA)

Our content is added by our users. We aim to remove reported files within 1 working day. Please use this link to notify us:

Report this file as copyright or inappropriate

1075643