Trails West

Trails West
Who went West & Why?
Mountain Men
Spent most of the year alone,
trapping beavers for beaver
skin hats, popular at the time.
Rendezvous system –
Businessmen from the East
would meet trappers and sell
them supplies while being paid
in furs; 1825-1840.
Explored Far West looking for
new streams – their knowledge
and the trails they blazed made
it possible for later pioneers to
move west.
Jim Beckwourth
The Missionaries
Groups who came West to convert native
people to Christianity.
The best known missionaries were Marcus &
Narcissa Whitman & Henry and Eliza
Spalding. They made the journey west from
St. Louis in 1836.
Very few Indians became Christian, but the
missionaries reports of a “Pioneer’s
Paradise” helped to convince many
Americans to make the journey.
Lure of the West
Land speculators – Bought
huge areas of land hoping
they would become valuable
and would break them up to
sell to settlers.
Manufacturers and
merchants – hoped to make
and sell supplies for farmers
moving west.
Others – new beginnings;
find jobs; get away from
clutter of city; avoid paying
people whom they owed
The Mormons
Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day
Saints founded in N.Y. by Joseph Smith in 1830.
Wherever they settled, they were persecuted by the
neighbors who disagreed with their beliefs or
resented their growing wealth and power.
In 1844, an angry mob killed Smith & Brigham Young
took over as leader.
Young decided to move the group to Utah on the
Mormon Trail.
The group founded Salt Lake City & the church has
grown into a worldwide religion with over 7 million
Popular Trails
Santa Fe
Old Spanish Trail
Mormon Trail
Oregon Trail