The Crowded Trails

“these masses of westering overlanders do not coincide with the popular media image of widely scattered wagon trains traveling in relative isolation. Indeed, particularly between 1843 and 1853, most overlanders longed for privacy instead of the congested trails, crowded campsites, and overgrazed grasses they were experiencing. So many overlanders, for example, set forth from near St. Joseph on the same day in 1852 that teams traveled twelve abreast.”