Dawn Comer Jefferson (L) and Dr. Rosanne Welch (R) present on their book, The Promise
On Friday March 21st my co-author, Dawn Comer Jefferson and I had the pleasure of making a presentation on “Slavery and the Oregon Trail” based on our book The Promise to the 3rd, 4th and 5th grades of Carpenter Avenue Elementary School as the guests of the non-profit Parents For Carpenter.
And this family — one of things we liked about this family’s story was that this family travels on The Oregon Trail.
It started in Independence, Missouri and it went 2,000 miles across the country to the territory of Oregon. And the reason this family wanted to take it was because — in order to get people to come to Oregon — the Territory of Oregon said “We will give you free land.” So people traveled — travelled this route. It took them months to do it and it is a route that now, if you went in a car, would take us, what, 4 days. If we went on a plane, it would take 4 hours. So they would start and go all the way through.
And there were places they would stop along the way. There was a rock along the way — I think we have a picture of it — called Independence Rock. And the people who were in the wagon train would stop and carve their name in the rock, to let people who were coming after them know “we made it this far.” Going on The Oregon Trail was a very difficult, dangerous treacherous thing to do. There were lots of things that they could encounter.
These are actual pictures – this is a picture of people’s actual carvings into the rock.