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Pioneer and Frontier Children

Between 1841 and 1865, some 40,000 children moved westward on the overland trails, headed to California, Oregon, Utah, and other destinations. Their accounts of their journeys and of their childhood experiences in the Far West bring the hardships and joys of pioneering to life. Their words allow us to appreciate its difficulties, but also the opportunities it gave even very young children to exhibit their resilience and inner strength.

Essential Questions:

1. What were some of the hardships and difficulties children faced as they and their families traveled the overland trails?

2. Draw upon the following accounts to describe how a pioneer or frontier childhood differs from childhood today.

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