- from The Midwest
It’s 1862, and your family is getting ready to make a big change. It means you’ll be leaving your old life behind and moving to a new place far to the west, where almost no one has settled.
In other words, you’re going to be a pioneer! Your parents tell you and your sister that traveling there will be hard – and living there might be even harder – but it still sounds really exciting, and you can’t wait to start the trip.
In 1803, President Thomas Jefferson bought a giant chunk of land from France, doubling the size of the United States. Known as the Louisiana Purchase, this territory included much of the Great Plains and meant that Americans could continue to move west and build a bigger nation. At first, however, few settlers wanted to live on the Great Plains because they thought the region was too dry to farm. Plus, it was a long way from most cities and towns.