In We Were There on the Oregon Trail, William O. Steele provides an historical fiction account of Jeffrey Hunt, a 14 year-old young man who departs from Independence, Missouri in 1843 to go to Oregon in the footsteps of his father—who disappeared on a similar trip two years earlier. With hopes to find his lost father, dears for the known dangers of the journey, and courage to press on, Jeffrey begins his trip. William O. Steele provides an historically and geographically accurate adventure story typical of many who walked the original trail.
Between 1841 and 1869, the Oregon Trail was used by many settlers migrating west. The Oregon Trail spanned 2,170 miles through what is now Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Idaho, and Oregon.
In 1843, an estimated 800 wagon-borne immigrants, led by Marcus Whitman, arrived in the Willamette Valley, Oregon Territory. Hundreds of thousands more followed, especially after gold was discovered in California in 1848. Once the first transcontinental railroad was completed in 1869, the use of this trail diminished as the railroad slowly replaced it. The trail was still in use into the 1890s, and highways eventually paralleled much of it—but the Oregon Trail has left its indelible mark on the countryside, history, and culture of the American nation to this day.
Did you find this review helpful?