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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…

'On The Oregon Trail' - Jim Carson Studio / 'O resistless restless race! O beloved race in all! O my breast aches with tender love for all! O I mourn and yet exult, I am rapt with love for all, Pioneers! O pioneers!...' ~Walt Whitman, from 'Pioneers, O Pioneers!'

William H Russell, Alexander Majors and William B Waddell were partners. In 1849 they had a freighting business called Leavenworth & Pikes Peak Express Company. In 1850, the name changed to Central Overland and Pikes Peak Express Company. They held government contracts for moving army supplies to the Western frontier. They had the idea of using mounted riders so they could speed delivery of the mail from St Joseph, Missouri to Sacramento, California in 10 days.

When you need to get the real story about some of history's most fascinating women, call Stacy Schiff. The Pulitzer Prize-winning author's work includes Véra (Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov) and Cleopatra: A Life. In her highly anticipated new book, The Witches: Salem, 1692, Schiff focuses on an infamous and dark period of American history, especially as it relates to women: the Salem witch trials.

from Owlcation

Blood of the Irish: What DNA Tells Us About the Ancestry of People in Ireland

Medieval map of Ireland, showing Irish tribes. The latest research into Irish DNA has confirmed that the early inhabitants of Ireland were not directly descended from the Keltoi of central Europe. In fact the closest genetic relatives of the Irish in Europe are to be found in the north of Spain in the region known as the Basque Country. These same ancestors are shared to an extent with the people of Britain - especially the Scottish.