Westward Expansion Book Project

An Orphan for Nebraska by Charlene Joy Talbot

This book is about a boy named Kevin and his travel west for a better life and adventure.
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American Progress by John Gast

A symbol of Manifest Destiny, the figure "Columbia" moves across the land in advance of settlers, replacing darkness with light and ignorance with civilization.


Why did people go west during westward expansion?

People out west wanted to help children

Many Orphans were sent west to have a better life.

for example:

The older boys would work for farmers while the younger boys would go to families that want them and that will raise them. Many people wanted to get boys off the street so the boys can have a good life.

(Relations to book)

Many boys that we're living on the street jumped to opportunity to get off of the streets and get a home.

Many orphans from New York got to live with new families in the west.


In New York the orphans that did not have a home didn't go to school

Many people could not read or write

(Relations to book)

-Kevin got a job selling papers with many other boys.

-However Kevin could because he came from Ireland originally

-None of the boys that sold papers could read or write

-All trusted Kevin to read it to them

Kids made their own money

(Relations to book)

-Many sold papers, such as the characters in the book by walking around and hoping someone will buy them.

West brought opportunity for school

-Kevin could read and write but he wanted to go west so he could go to school to gain a better education.


The west brought new jobs for many people such as tradesmen, businessmen,

journalists, adventurers, missionaries, gamblers, and miners.

During the gold rush over 86,000 people moved to California for gold.

New Location=New Jobs

(Relations to book)

The kids went west so they could live with new families and work for them.

They made way more money this way.

Manifest Destiny

Manifest Destiny is a term for the attitude during the 19th century period of American expansion that the United States not only could, but was destined to, stretch from coast to coast.

Many people believed in the Manifest Destiny and did what ever they could to get from one coast to the other.

This belief was so strong that many people moved west.


Out west there was new opportunity for adventure.

There were many new jobs, new lifestyles, and new people.

Many people moved west just for the adventure.

Virtual Field Trip: Moving West