Digital History>eXplorations>Children and the Westward Movement>The Trail to California>John Bidwell

John Bidwell, who was a 21-year-old schoolteacher when he led the first group of pioneers on the overland trail from Missouri to California in 1841.

Our ignorance of the road was complete. We knew that California lay west, and that was the extent of our knowledge. I doubt whether there was one hundred dollars in the whole party, but all were enthusiastic and anxious to go.

Source: Emmy E. Werner, Pioneer Children on the Journey West, 7

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