If offered the opportunity, would you undertake a journey across the Oregon Trail in a mule-pulled covered wagon?
About the Show
Ben Franklin’s World is a podcast about early American history.
It is a show for people who love history and for those who want to know more about the historical people and events that have impacted and shaped our present-day world.
Each episode features a conversation with a historian who helps us shed light on important people and events in early American history.
During our exploration, Rinker reveals how he and his brother Nick Buck came up with the idea to travel the Trail in a mule-pulled covered wagon; Why thousands of men and women traveled west; And, what daily life was like on the Trail for both Rinker in the twenty-first century and Trail migrants in the nineteenth century.
What You’ll Discover
- How Rinker and Nick Buck found the idea to travel the Oregon Trail in a mule-pulled covered wagon
- Why thousands of men and women traveled west
- The Panic of 1837
- The Second Great Awakening
- Mormon influence on the Oregon Trail
- Debris on the Trail
- How merchants took advantage of Trail migrants
- Rinker’s 21st-century experience on the Trail
- The Oregon Trail today
- Why Rinker chose mules to pull his covered wagon
- What Rinker and Nick’s days and nights were like
- Daily life and experiences of 19th-century Trail migrants
- How overcrowding on the Trail affected migrants’ journeys
- Connections between the Mormons’ westward migration and the Oregon Trail
- The roles Narcissa and Marcus Whitman played in opening the Trail
- The Whitman Massacre
- The most difficult part of crossing the Oregon Trail in the 21st century
Links to People, Places, and Publications
- Rinker Buck’s Facebook Page
- The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey
- John D. Unruh, The Plains Across: The Overland Emigrants and the Trans-Mississippi West, 1840-60
- Merrill Mattes, A Great Platte River Road: The Covered Wagon Mainline via Fort Kearny to Fort Laramie
- Oregon and California Trails Association
In your opinion what might have happened if gold had not been discovered in California and the young United States had experienced fewer economic panics? How would the history of the Oregon Trail be different?
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