Go West: U.S. Westward Expansion - Preface

Go West:  U.S. Westward Expansion (Illustration) Famous Historical Events Geography Government Social Studies Nineteenth Century Life American History

Pulpit Terraces at Yellowstone, in 1898, by the Detroit Photographic Company.  Image now maintained at the Library of Congress. 


Go West, young man,
Grow up with the country.

John L. Soule, Terre Haute Express, Editorial, 1851

John Soule, an editor for the Terre Haute Express, coined the “Go west, young man” phrase which remains part of America’s vocabulary.

Ten years later, while much of today’s Western United States was still a “foreign area,” Horace Greeley also urged his New York Tribune readers:

If you have no family or friends to aid you...Turn your face to the Great West and there build up your home and fortune.

Greeley reprinted Soule’s editorial in the New York Tribune and, forever after, people have wrongly given the future American presidential candidate credit (scroll down 50%) for the famous line.

Many young men and women took Soule’s advice. Using primary sources (mostly from U.S. archives), this story depicts the dangers and rewards of their great westward trek.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Aug 01, 2005

Updated Last Revision: Nov 09, 2016

To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"Go West: U.S. Westward Expansion" AwesomeStories.com. Aug 01, 2005. Jan 26, 2020.
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