Pioneers – Travel

The pioneers traveled to the frontiers of North America. In the 1700s the frontiers were the Appalachian Mountains. Later they traveled west across the Mississippi River. Look at the map below to see the Westward Expansion of the United States.

The orange-colored section represents the settled areas of the the United States.

Map #1 shows that the settlers had moved into the  Appalachian Mountains by the 1760s.
Map #2 shows that settlement had reached as far as the Mississippi River by 1783.
Map #3 shows that during the early 1800s pioneers began claiming fertile areas of land beyond the Mississippi River.
Map #4 shows that during the mid-1800s Americans started settling the Great Plains, Pacific Coast, and Texas.

Natchez Trace

In the early 1800s the Natchez Road, later called the Natchez Trace, was developed.  There were two major Indian tribes that lived in the area of the Natchez Trace, the Choctaw and the Chickasaw.  In the early 1800s many Tennessee and Kentucky farmers would take their farm goods to sell or trade to the New Orleans Market.  They would arrive at Kentucky via a trail called the “Wilderness Road.”  When they reached Nashville they continued on the Natchez Trace.  Then later the Natchez Trace became the trail the pioneers used to travel to the frontiers of Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Texas.  The Natchez Trace went from Nashville, Tennessee to Natchez, Mississippi.

Oregon Trail

The Oregon Trail was one of the most famous trails ever. It was a series of trails that were used by the first explorers and fur traders.  It was the longest overland trail in North America. In the 1840s America and England agreed that Oregon would belong to the first country to settle the most people in that area.  The United States encouraged people to move to Oregon by offering land for homesteading.  In 1843 the “Great Migration” to Oregon began.  These pioneers who traveled to the area used the Oregon Trail.   The trail started in Independence, Missouri and went past Chimney Rock, Nebraska.  From there it crossed the southwest tip of Wyoming and into the southern part of Idaho.  The trail ended up in the northwest corner of Oregon.  It took them approximately six months to travel the 2000 miles from Independence, Missouri to their final destination in the Oregon territory.


(source – written by nine and ten year old students at Floresville Elementary School in south Texas)