Shawnee in Johnson County, Kansas — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
Westport - Santa Fe Trail - Oregon / California Trail
Westport, along with Independence, was a major outfitting point for the Santa Fe, Oregon, and California Trails. Founded in 1834 by John C. McCoy and platted around the trading post he built the previous year, Westport's early fortunes were directly tied to it's [sic] namesake landing on the Missouri river four miles due north of the town. Through the decade of the 1830's, Independence was the main outfitting point for Santa Fe traders. But as the decade closed and opportunities for commerce expanded to including outfitting for emigrant wagon trains bound for Oregon and California, Westport equaled and eventually, by the 1850's, surpassed Independence in the size of the trade.
Francis Parkman launched his famous 1846 journey to the west from Westport. The Bidwell-Bartleson party, the first emigrant wagon train destined for the Pacific shores, started from Westport in 1841. Thomas Fitzpatrick, Kit Carson, and Jim Bridger, three of the greatest mountain men and traders, lived in Westport for a time. Before his rendevzous with destiny in California, John Sutter kept shop in Westport in 1837.
Santa Fe Trail
This famous trail was founded in 1821 when WIlliam Becknell led a small group of men from Franklin, Missouri to Santa Fe on a trading expedition. Having recently declared its independence
Present day Shawnee is on the route from Westport. Both routes met near present day Gardner and then continued southwest as one trail. The Santa Fe Trail was designated by Congress as a National Historic Trail in 1987.
Hundreds of thousands of people emigrated to the western frontiers along the Oregon Trail, laying claim to much of the West from the late 1830's through the Civil War. Originally a route established by mountain men and fur trappers to and through the Rocky Mountains, by 1836 the Oregon Trail was being followed by missionaries to the Indians in Oregon Territory. In the Kansas City area the Oregon Trail actually followed the route of the earlier established Santa Fe Trail west, until branching off on its own west of present day Gardner. By 1841 the Oregon Trail traffic included people destined for California,
Solomon N. Carvalho, 1853
Traveling as a daguerreotypist with the westward expedition of John C. Fremont S.N. Carvalho described his travel through present day northern Johnson County
"....started in excellent order and spirits'...[the group camped at] 'the Methodist Mission, about six miles from Westport'...and the next day proceeded to the "Shawnee Mission, a few miles further, and camped for the night."
Carvalhos's referral to the "Methodist Mission" describes the existing Shawnee Methodist Mission site in present day Fairway. His reference to "Shawnee Mission" refers to the location of the Shawnee Indian Church that was located at about present day 59th Terrence [sic - Terrace] and Bluejacket.
Erected 2006 by City of Shawnee and State Historical Society of Missouri.
Location. 39° 0.862′ N, 94° Touch for map. Marker is in Pioneer Crossing Park. Marker is at or near this postal address: 10401 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Shawnee KS 66203, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Gum Springs (here, next to this marker); Wagonmaster's House (a few steps from this marker); The Development of the Kansas City area Frontier Trails Network (a few steps from this marker); Fort Leavenworth Military Road (a few steps from this marker); California Road (within shouting distance of this marker); Shawnee Friends Mission (approx. 0.4 miles away); Quantrill's Raid on Shawneetown (approx. ¾ mile away); Campbell Home (approx. 0.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Shawnee.
Also see . . .
1. Santa Fe National Historic Trail. (Submitted on December 19, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Oregon National Historic Trail. (Submitted on December 19, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. California National Historic Trail. (Submitted on December 19, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
4. National Frontier Trails Museum. (Submitted on December 19, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
5. The History of Westport, Missouri. (Submitted on December 19, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
6. Pioneer Crossing Park, Shawnee KS. (Submitted on December 19, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Categories. • Industry & Commerce • Roads & Vehicles • Settlements & Settlers • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 19, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 1,432 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on December 19, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. 6, 7. submitted on December 17, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.