Emigrant Characteristics

Most of the emigrants shared certain characteristics as a group: they were men and women who had already made one or more moves before in a restless search for better lands. They were children of parents who themselves had moved to new lands. If ever a people could be said to have been “prepared” for the adventure of the Overland Trail, it would have to be these men and women. They possessed the assortment of skills needed to make the journey and start again. They had owned land before, had cleared land before, and were prepared to clear and own land again. And they were young. Most of the population that moved across half the continent were between sixteen and thirty-five years of age.