In the early 1800's, much of the travel to the west was on trails like the "Cumberland Road," later called the "National Road," which funneled early pioneers into the midwest. In the early- to mid-1800's, pioneers began to travel farther west on the Oregon Trail, the Santa Fe Trail, and other major wagon train routes. By the middle of the century, the railroads were beginning to make travel easier, and in 1869 the transcontinental railroad was completed, making it possible to ride coast to…
These Oregon Trail pioneers were lucky they weren’t seriously injured or even killed when their wagon overturned on them. Yet they might say their hardships were well worth the price of freedom; and it is for that unique Western experience that preserving the Oregon Trail is vastly important to our national heritage. – True West Archives –
1843 – The first major wagon train heading for the Pacific Northwest sets out on the Oregon Trail with one thousand pioneers from Elm Grove, Missouri. The Oregon Trail is a 3,200 km historic east-west wagon route and emigrant trail that connected the Missouri River to valleys in Oregon and locations in between. It what was dubbed "The Great Migration of 1843."
Oregon's immigration debate: More subtle, but no less heated
Chinese immigrants arrived in Oregon with the gold rush. Many labored in southwest Oregon as laundry workers, packers and cooks. By the 1890s, about 5,000 of Portland's 46,000 residents were Chinese. Most were single men, but a few families lived in the area.
Jesse James' first train robbery was July 21, 1873 near Adair, Iowa. The engine, tender, and baggage cars were derailed and the engineer killed. Jesse and his brother Frank, approached the expressman with cocked 44’s. The James-Younger gang rode off with nearly $3,000—worth about $51,000 today.