February 20, 1963
The time between the 1830s and 1880s, which is known as the American westward expansion, is viewed through the different experiences of two families who lived through it. The two families, the Prescott and Rawlings, migrate through the Erie Canal and eventually find themselves traversing over the great prairies on a journey from the city of St. Louis. This happens during the California gold rush, but also during the Civil War. They are not only experiencing these two events, but are also part of the massive undertaking of bringing both justice and law to the new frontier, and building railroads on the Great Plains. They meet numerous people along the way such as mountain men, the Native Americans, learn about and journey via wagon train, and are eventually forced to face and deal with the outlaws of the Great Southwest.