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Curriculum - 7th Grade Standards - Kansas History Standards - Prehistory to 1854 (Benchmark 1) - Kansas forts and trails (Indicator 5) - Oregon-California Trail

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Abstract of journals from the 1845 Kearny Expedition

Abstract of journals from the 1845 Kearny Expedition
Date: 1846
This excerpt from the congressional report of the Secretary of War includes the abstracts of two journals, one by Lieutenant William B. Franklin, a topographical engineer, and another by Lieutenant H.S. Turner of the 1st dragoons stationed at Fort Leavenworth. Under the command of Stephen Kearny, the 1st dragoons and their accompanying engineers left Fort Leavenworth on a military march, heading northwest on what would become the Oregon Trail, down along the Rocky Mountains to Mexican territory, and back up via the Santa Fe Trail. This march was intended as a display of the United States' military power to both native tribes and the British government (which at this time was exerting its authority over Oregon Territory). For the most part this abstract details their route, but it does include a transcription of a conversation between Kearny and a Sioux chief named Bull Tail.


Covered wagons, Manhattan, Kansas

Covered wagons, Manhattan, Kansas
Date: 1910
This photograph, taken by an unknown photographer in 1860, shows a train of covered wagons, oxen, and men on horseback setting out from Manhattan, Kansas. These wagons were a common form of transportation on the plains.


Kansas : early routes, old trails, historic sites, landmarks, etc.

Kansas : early routes, old trails, historic sites, landmarks, etc.
Creator: Root, George A. (George Allen), 1867-1949
Date: 1939 December
This map, created by George Allen Root and later reproduced by the Kansas Turnpike Authority, depicts trails, landmarks, and historic sites in the state of Kansas. The original map was compiled by George Allen Root and delineated by W. M. Hutchinson from information obtained from the Kansas State Historical Society.


Map of the route pursued by the late expedition under the command of Col. Stephen Watts Kearny

Map of the route pursued by the late expedition under the command of Col. Stephen Watts Kearny
Creator: Franklin, William Buel, 1823-1903
Date: 1845
This map, included in the Report of the Secretary of War, illustrates the route taken by Stephen Watts Kearny and the 1st Dragoons in an 1845 expedition. This expedition began in Fort Leavenworth and proceeded on a circular march, heading northwest on what would later become the Oregon Trail, down along the Rocky Mountains to Mexican territory, and back up via the Santa Fe Trail. This march was intended as a display of the United States' military power, both for the benefit of local Indian tribes and also for the British government, which at this time was trying to exert control over Oregon Territory. The map was drawn by a topgraphical engineer named Lieutenant William B. Franklin. It was published in U.S. serial set 480.


Report of a summer campaign to the Rocky Mountains, etc., in 1845

Report of a summer campaign to the Rocky Mountains, etc., in 1845
Creator: Kearny, Stephen Watts, 1794-1848
Date: September 15, 1845
This typescript recounts the journey of the 1st Dragoons under the command of Stephen Watts Kearny. In 1845, the dragoons (cavalry troops) left Fort Leavenworth on a circular march, heading northwest on what would become the Oregon Trail, down along the Rocky Mountains to Mexican territory, and back up via the Santa Fe Trail. This march displayed the military power of the United States to both native tribes and to the British government (which at this time was exerting its authority over Oregon Territory). Kearny described in detail the route taken by the dragoons, their encounters with the Pawnee, Sioux, Cheyenne, and Arapaho, the soil and landscape of the plains, and the traders moving goods to and from Santa Fe. Kearny also discussed his opinion on the best way to protect American settlers traveling to Oregon--he disliked the idea of establishing a military post near Fort Laramie and instead advocated making large circular marches every few years to remind the Indian tribes of "the facility and rapidity with which our dragoons can march through any part of their country." The report includes a postscript by General Winfield Scott and was published as part of the Report of the Secretary of War delivered to the 29th Congress, in serial set 480, document 2, no. 1, pp. 210-214.


The Oregon Trail through Pottawatomie County, Kansas

The Oregon Trail through Pottawatomie County, Kansas
Date: 1928
This map shows the route of the Oregon Trail through Pottawatomie County, Kansas, and the trail's proximity to the towns of St. Mary's, Belvue, Louisville, and Westmoreland. It also includes water features, such as rivers and creeks, and the sites of two cemeteries.


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