In its literal sense: Greater opportunities are available in the American West for pioneering spirits, but can also be used metaphorically in the context of striking out for pastures new.
Often attributed to the founder and editor of the New York Tribune, Horace Greeley (1811-72), who used the expression frequently. However, the real author is thought to be John Babsone Lane Soule, the editor of the Indiana based Terre Haute Express who first offered the advice in 1851. Between 1840 and 1870 over 250,000 people traveled from the Missouri River to the Pacific.
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