" the only effectual way to bring the Indians to knowledge of the truth is, first of all, to carry to them the gospel of Jesus Christ and that civilization and domestic economy will follow a reformation of heart and life.".
-- Twentieth Annual Report (1839), Missionary.
Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church (Robert V. 78).
During the eighteenth century, most Americans lived on the East Side of North America. Methodists and Oregonians were known as typically Americans. At the beginning, Methodists settled at the area around New York and in the upper South. Mostly Methodism tended to flourish wherever enthusiastic preachers and exhorters could be found. The settlers' lives were involved in the religions a lot. As Methodism adapted to the contours of American life, they wanted to move their mission toward west (Billington 20). The West Side was an all new mysterious world and wild unknown Indians tribes were living there. Although it was full of new different raw materials and resources, it was a very dangerous place. People could die from cholera, drown while losing their way crossing a river, and losing the direction. As a result, many trails westward started to be blazed to help people travel west easily, and one of the most popular routes to the Pacific Ocean was the Oregon Trail.
The Oregon Trail started at Independence or Westport, along the Platte and North Platte rivers to Fort Laramie, Wyoming, and crossed the Rocky Mountains by the South Pass to the Colorado River basin. Then it continued southwest to fort Bridger, where the Mormon Trail diverged to the Southwest and then ran northwest, via the Snake River, Blue Mountains, and Columbia River, to the Willamette Valley. The total length of the Oregon Trail was 2000mi (3200km) and required about six months for the average wagon train to traverse it (Oregon). Originally, there were about 180,000 Indians, divided into some 125 groups living in the huge wilderness of the Pacific Northwest.