CHAPTER XXIV. GROWTH OF THE COUNTRY FROM 1820 TO 1840
 In New York many people were demanding a reform in land tenure. One of the great patroonships granted by the Dutch West India Company (p. 72) still remained in the Van Rensselaer family. The farmers on this vast estate paid rent in produce. When the patroon, Stephen Van Rensselaer, died in 1839, the heir attempted to collect some overdue rents; but the farmers assembled, drove off the sheriff, and so compelled the government to send militia to aid the sheriff. The Anti-rent War thus started dragged on till 1846, during which time riots, outrages, some murders, and much disorder took place. Again and again the militia were called out. In the end the farmers were allowed to buy their farms, and the old leasehold system was destroyed. Cooper's novels The Redskins, The Chainbearer, and Satanstoerelate to these troubles. So also does Ruth Hall's Downrenter's Son.
 Read McMaster's History of the People of the U. S., Vol. V, pp. 90- 97.
 Joseph Smith asserted that in a vision the angel of the Lord told him to dig under a stone on a certain hill near Palmyra, New York, and that on doing so he found plates of gold inscribed with unknown characters, and two stones or crystals, on looking through which he was enabled to translate the characters.
 Read McMaster's History of the People of the U. S., Vol. VI, pp. 102-107; 454-458.
 In 1824 W. H. Ashley led a party from St. Louis up the Platte River, over the mountains, and well down the Green River, and home by Great Salt Lake, the South Pass, the Big Horn, the Yellowstone, and the Missouri. In 1826 Ashley and a party went through the South Pass, dragging a six-pound cannon, the first wheeled vehicle known to have crossed the mountains north of the Santa Fe trail, The cannon was put in a trading post on Utah Lake.
 In 1826 Jedediah Smith with fifteen trappers went from near the Great Salt Lake to the lower Colorado River, crossed to San Diego, and went up California and over the Sierra Nevada to Great Salt Lake. In 1827, with another party, Smith went over the same ground to the lower Colorado, where the Indians killed ten of his men and stole his property. With two companions Smith walked to San Jose, where the Mexicans seized him. At Monterey (mon-te-rá) an American ship captain secured his release, and with a new band of followers Smith went to a fork of the Sacramento River. While Smith and his party were in Oregon in 1828, the Indians massacred all but five of them. The rest fled and Smith went on alone to Fort Vancouver, a British fur-trading post on the Columbia River. Up this river Smith went (in the spring of 1829) to the mountains, turned southward, and in August, near the head waters of the Snake River, met two of his partners. Together they crossed the mountains to the source of the Big Horn, and then one went on to St. Louis. Early in 1830 he returned with eighty-two men and ten wagons. This was the first wagon train on the Oregon trail.
 Wyeth had joined Kelley's party; but finding that it would not start for some time, he withdrew, and organized a company to trade in Oregon, and early in 1832, with twenty-nine companions, left Boston, went to St. Louis, joined a band of trappers of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company, and went with them to a great Indian fair on the upper waters of the Snake River. There some of his companions deserted him, as others had done along the way. With the rest Wyeth reached Fort Vancouver, where the company went to pieces, and in 1833 Wyeth returned to Boston.