On August 14, 1848, Congress created the Oregon Territory, an area encompassing present-day Oregon, Idaho, Washington, and parts of western Montana and Wyoming. Peter Burnett, a Missouri lawyer who joined an expedition to the Oregon Territory in 1843, hoped to make enough money there to repay his accumulated debt.
(Photo, Rural life in Neb. c.1886, Solomon D. Butcher, Library of Congress, http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.08378 ) During the 19th century, your perspective on the western U.S. would be very different--depending on whether you lived in the West or not! Click above to take a Teachinghistory.org quiz contrasting pictures of the West created in the eastern and western U.S.