|The Wagon Train of 1843
"The circumstances attending the final starting of the emigrants, are thus related by Gen J W NESMITH:----[list is re-alphabetized and notes included for this publication. Please notify me of any errors, corrections, or links to other sites on these names -mjr]
"Without orders from any quarter, and without preconcert, promptly as the grass began to start, the emigrants began to assemble near Independence, at a place called Fitzhugh's Mill. On the seventeenth day of May, 1843, notices were circulated through the different encampments that on the succeeding day, those who contemplated emigrating to Oregon, would meet at a designated point to organize. Promptly at the appointed hour the motley groups assembled. They consisted of people from all the States and Territories, and nearly all nationalities; the most, however, from Arkansas, Illinois, Missouri and Iowa, and all strangers to one another ... Many of the emigrants were from the western tier of counties of Missouri, known as the Platte Purchase ...
"...After the election of [Peter] BURNETT as captain, and other necessary officers, the meeting, as motley and primitive a one as ever assembled, adjourned, with "three cheers" for Captain BURNETT and Oregon. On the 20th day of May 1843, ... we took up our line of march, with Captain John GANTT, an old army officer, who combined the character of trapper and mountaineer, as our guide. ...
"The following list contains the names of every male member of that great train over the age of sixteen years. It was prepared by J W NESMITH when the train was organized, and preserved among his papers for a third of a century before given for publication. [Publication was in OPAT (Oregon Pioneer Association Transactions) 1876, The Occasional Address of Hon J W NESMITH with this list appearing on pp 49-51.] All reached the Willamette Valley, except a few, the exceptions being designated by marks and foot notes:"
"There is a great book, FARMING THE FRONTIER: THE AGRICULTURAL OPENING OF THE OREGON COUNTRY 1786-1846 by James R GIBSON (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1985; out-of-print, per Amazon Books, but available at Eastern & Southern Oregon, Lewis & Clark, Linfield, Whitman, Willamette, U of O and OSU, or Oregon State Library. ). On p 20, he gives a table showing the number of regular employees of the Hudson's Bay Company in the Columbia Department from 1821 to 1846. In 1842-43, he shows 559 men. These numbers came from official documents of the Hudson's Bay Company." --Connie LENZEN
The two-volume book is available in many libraries:
NESMITH's list was first published in Oregon Pioneer Association Transactions [OPAT] 1876, The Occasional Address of Hon J W NESMITH with this list appearing on pp 49-51.] OPATs [annuals, 1874-1928] are available in-print for $20, or on microfilm for $10 from E-mail for info on costs or Oregon Historical Society
Other good sources include: [tip o' the hat to Stephenie FLORA for suggesting this list]
Lloyd addressed the OCTA Convention in Pendleton OR in August 1998 about the 1843 migration. Book and information is also available from him at: 501 E. Orangethorpe, #51 Pine, Anaheim, Ca 92801; telephone 1-800-224-8184.
Originally published in 1847 after he traveled the Oregon Trail in 1845, Joel Palmer's Journal became for many emigrants the authoritative guidebook to the Eden that lay beyond the Rocky Mountains. Considered to be one of the most comprehensive and detailed primary documents available, Palmer's account of the journey west was widely circulated among overlanders who were eager to follow the Oregon Trail after 1847.
Read an historical novel, based on the 1843 wagon train, written by T J HANSON.
The book is an entertaining and detailed account of the Oregon Migration of 1843 in a "historical fiction" setting. In this context, the reader can enjoy the adventure as a participant, rather than as a student or scholar. Reissued in 2006 with added pictures and new title, Oregon Country.
The National Oregon/California Trail Center at Montpelier, Idaho has information and links about the Idaho segment of the Oregon Trail.
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