The Oregon Trail Was Filled with Hardship and Surprises, these 16 Facts Prove It

Wagons in a circle on the Oregon Trail. wyoshpo.

10. The Numbers of Oregon Trail Travelers Skyrocketed for Years

While “Oregon Fever” began to take hold in 1841 with the first pioneer wagon, it was not until two years later in 1843 where “Oregon Fever” really took shape. In 1841, the first pioneer wagon train held about 70 people who made their way to Oregon Territory. The following year, the number jumped to nearly 100 pioneers who traveled the Oregon Trail. However, 1842 would not even compare to the number of pioneers which would traverse the Oregon Trail in 1843. In total, around 1,000 pioneers took the trail to Oregon or California during the spring, summer, and fall of 1843.

Many historians believe that the main reason why the number of pioneers jumped so high within a year had to do with the depression which took shape between 1842 and 1843. This reason, mixed with the advertising about the land in Oregon from the fur traders, government, and missionaries created the will in farmers to travel west. On top of this, farmers were getting frustrated with their land out in Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, and Tennessee, which was not doing much to help their finances and lives. These combined reasons made the farmers believe and hope that they would be able to create a better experience for themselves and their families in Oregon.