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California Trail


CALIFORNIA TRAIL was the name given to several routes used by settlers traveling to California in the nineteenth century. Several immigrant parties, setting out from towns along the Missouri River, attempted to reach California in the 1840s, after branching south off the Oregon Trail. Some of the early immigrant routes followed the Humboldt River, while the Stephens-Murphy party crossed the Sierra westward to the Truckee River. By 1846 the United States had acquired California in the war with Mexico, and large numbers of wagon trains entered the territory, the most famous being the ill-fated Donner Party.


Morgan, Dale. Overland in 1846: Diaries and Letters of the California-Oregon Trail. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1993. The original edition was published in 1963.

Stewart, George Rippey. The California Trail: An Epic with Many Heroes. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1962.

Lansing B.Bloom/h. s.

See alsoOregon Trail ; Overland Trail ; Westward Migration .

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