The promise of a fresh start in a wide open land. The opportunity to escape the oppression of overcrowded cities. The lure of undiscovered riches and the conceit of Manifest Destiny. For legions of Americans in the mid-19th century, the call of the West could not be ignored. And so they came, "saints and sinners, dreamers and schemers," to claim their place in the ever-expanding American landscape. Find out more in this article from American Experience: "The Donner Party."