Oregon Trail Research Article from The Way People Live

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Of the myriad problems that plagued travelers on the Oregon Trail, the one that most of them dreaded above all others was an Indian attack. Martha Gay's father, however, was not concerned, or pretended not to be for his family's sake:

Father told people he was not as much alarmed about the Indians as many other obstacles we might encounter: the swollen streams, the cyclones and dangerous roads, the snow in the mountains, sickness, suffering for water, shortage of fuel and other privations. He thought if we were kind to the Indians they would not molest us.

Though Martin Gay's assessment would turn out to be essentially correct, he could not convince his family of it. They had heard too many tales of Indians butchering settlers and kidnapping their children, and they prepared themselves for the worst:

The...

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This section contains 3,487 words
(approx. 12 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Oregon Trail Encyclopedia Article
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Oregon Trail from Lucent. ©2002-2006 by Lucent Books, an imprint of The Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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