Learning Lincoln On-line


The Old National Trail: Death on the Trail

National Trail Activity Tasks

Death on the Trail


 Images of families on a pioneer trail (left) and  the grief of death on a trail (right)

      Most of the information about pioneer life on the trail talks about the big western trails, especially the Oregon Trail.  The travelers would have similar problems on the National Road, but not the same.  PBS has an informational site at http://www.pbs.org/wnet/frontierhouse/frontierlife/essay3.html.  Many pioneer trail problems are described there.  They can be applied to travel on the National Trail.

       Through using the Resource Links, students can find out about the cruelty of the Pioneer Trails.  Sickness, accidents, criminals on the trail (robbing, murdering, cheating for services such as boarding, ferrying, crossing areas), weather, geographically difficult areas, large waterous streams to cross, losing of draft animals, running out of money and supplies, and numerous deaths of loved ones on the trail because of extremes in heat, cold and environment.  It sounds exciting to go on a journey with a covered wagon(s), and it was, but it was not easy in any way.
       On the other hand, there were joyous moments with good moments, especially arrival to the destinations.

       Burial of loved ones along the trail had to be heart-wrenching, and the "whole" family remaining would have to take part in preparation of the loved one for burial.

       This section has the opportunity to be a great motivating theme for writing and presentation in technology or traditional media.

Learning On-Line Activity Page

Learning On-Line Home Page