Hosted by the Three Rives Folk Life Society
The version of the Oregon Trail journey that most of us learned as children presents hardy, American-born pioneers heading west for adventure. The truth is far different. This vast stream of “emigrants” was a hugely diverse group, and for the most part was fleeing something – whether they were Easterners fleeing the financial Panic of 1837, Irish immigrants fleeing the potato famines, blacks escaping slavery, or Germans and Italians fleeing civil war. Along their way, Native Americans seldom attacked – in fact, many emigrant groups would not have made it without their aid. Folksinger and storyteller Hank Cramer will share the traditional folk songs of these cultures and explore how immigration via the Oregon Trail affected the travelers, their songs and the culture of the Pacific Northwest.
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