The Great Migration of ’46

“The “Great Migration” of the histories is variously the first big push toward Oregon in 1843 or the more populous one of ’45. The phrase is rightly used in that, as the texts say, those years made Oregon American soil no matter what might be said in Congress or Downing Street. Yet the migration of ’46 was the decisive one – this was the year of decision – and though [Francis ] Parkman failed to understand it, he was right in calling it great.”