Season 2, Episode 4 The West: Empire upon the Trails

First Aired: September 16, 1996

Part 2 of the Burns-produced 1996 chronicle of “The West” details how the U.S. completed its Westward expansion by 1848, incorporating Texas, British-held land in the Northwest and Mexican-controlled California. Included: Sam Houston's role in securing Texas statehood; his refusal to aid forces at the Alamo and his victory at the Battle of San Jacinto; how the use of the horse intensified warfare among the Kiowa and Lakota tribes; the ill-fated work of some missionaries along the Oregon Trail. Also: Mormon leader Brigham Young, who led his people across the desert to the valley of the Great Salt Lake. Narrator: Peter Coyote.

Guest Cast

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  • Premiered: October 6, 2002
  • Rating: None
  • Premise: A series of documentaries by Ken Burns, including 'The Statue of Liberty,' 'Brooklyn Bridge,' 'Thomas Jefferson' and episodes of 'Jazz' and 'Baseball.' (more)

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