Essay on Life of the Female Pioneer on the Oregon Trail

917 Words Dec 4th, 2012 4 Pages
Life of the Female Pioneer on the Oregon Trail

University Of Phoenix

HIS/110

August 25, 2012
Kim Murphy
Life of the Female Pioneer on the Oregon Trail My life as a female pioneer taking the journey down the Oregon Trail was one of hardship and adventure. During the early 1800s settlers began to explore new territory in the New World looking for new opportunities. Through the pioneer journeys of Lewis and Clark a route through America was discovered that would take settlers to new land in the Pacific Northwest portion of the country. To reach the new land pioneers, such as I, had to travel down what became known as the Oregon Trail. Through the Oregon Trail the expansion of the West began but to get to this new
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Women were forced to become the slave of an Indian family or the wife of an Indian brave while the children were adopted by Indian families or made to be slaves. I and the other women were responsible for ensuring the food supply lasted on the long journey as well as packing the wagon. We were also responsible for cooking the meals on the Oregon Trail. We were required to wear long dresses with long sleeves in oppressive heat and care for all of the needs of the men and children as well as tend to the sick. There was a major risk to the female pioneer of losing our husbands or even our children to illness or accidents along the Oregon Trail. If the food supply ran short the men would hunt for food, use supplies meant for our new homes, or die of starvation. Illnesses, such as Typhoid and cholera, were common and would spread through the wagon trains creating more work for us women (Bledsoe, 1984). The overworked women would in turn become more vulnerable to becoming sick and perishing. Women who gave birth while on the Oregon Trail faced vast difficulty and in many cases the female pioneer or the new born would die. Women pioneers were usually fairly young because women during this time married as young as 14 but quickly toughened up because of the major responsibilities we faced on the trail. Despite the many hardships faced by myself and the other female pioneers, we helped to pave the