This is the fifth of thirty-one readers used in the Veritas Press Phonics Museum program. Designed for kindergarten, this tells the story of traveling West in a wagon using mostly one-syllable words that cover all the short vowel sounds.
But they were not all set to go.
The rig was in the mud!
Pa dug in the mud,
but the mud was wet and did not let go.
The 1840s were a time of great growth and expansion for America. That adventurous spirit which led to the founding of this nation drove many to uproot their families and seek a better life in the west. Numerous families went west to escape the economic depression in the east. Settlers who headed for California (then part of Mexico) and the Oregon Territory (claimed by both the United States and England) considered themselves to be emigrants because they were leaving the United States.
Emigrants often chose one of four routes for their westward journey. The Oregon Trail led to the northwest, an area ideal for farming and fur trading. The California Trail led to the southwest and the promise of wealth with the discovery of gold. A popular cattle trail and trade route comprised the third pathway to the west. The Sante Fe Trail led to New Mexico, a vast land for raising large herds of cattle. The final trail, the Mormon Trail, led to Utah and provided relief from religious persecution for the group called the Latter-Day Saints.
The long, toilsome journey claimed numberless lives of those who sought a new beginning in the west. Travelers endured biting cold, burning heat, hunger, accidents, and disease. The chance of failure was decreased as the pioneers traveled together in groups called "wagon trains." Within each wagon train community laws were often made by the people to govern themselves. As they worked together, numerous families were able to establish new homes in the west.
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