Pioneer migration to the western fringe of settlement: 1837-1850

H. Jason Combs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Platte Purchase region did not become part of the state of Missouri until 1837. Prior to its annexation the area had been part of the territory reserved for Native American relocation. By 1850, the region had attracted over 40,000 pioneers from all areas of the globe. The majority of the early settlers followed the major river routes as they migrated west to the Platte region. The census data indicates that upon arrival many of these early pioneers clustered with other pioneers of similar heritage. As a result, there is a north-south settlement gradation present. Finally, the data highlights the stepping- stone phenomenon associated with westward pioneer movement. Many of the early pioneers simply leapfrogged from state to state on their journeys to northwest Missouri.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4-14
Number of pages11
JournalGeographical Bulletin - Gamma Theta Upsilon
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • And Missouri
  • Clustering
  • Frontier settlement
  • Hybridization
  • Migration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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