Wagon Trains To The Old West

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The Oregon Trail: illustration depicting the first covered wagon caravan, led by Smith-Jackson-Sublette, consisting of 10 wagons drawn by five mules each, heading for Wind River Valley near the present Lander, Wyoming. Undated drawing by William H. Jackso

Wagon-train transportation was organized by settlers in the United States for emigration to the West during the late 18th century and most of the 19th century. These wagon trains became the mode of long-distance transportation for people and goods. During the 19th century is when some of the most famous wagon trains developed, including the Santa Fe Trail, the Oregon Trail, the Smoky Hill Trail, and the Southern Overland Mail route.