Chronology of Oregon Events

1543

Spanish explorers sight the Oregon Coast north of the forty-second
parallel near the Rogue River.




1765

British Major Robert Rogers uses the name "Ouragon" in a proposal
to explore the country west of the Mississippi.




1778

British Captain James Cook trades along the Oregon Coast. Publication
of his journals about these voyages spurs great interest in future trade.




1792

American sea captain Robert Gray and British explorer George Vancouver arrive at the mouth of the Columbia River on separate voyages of discovery. Gray names the river after his ship, "Columbia Rediviva."




1793

Alexander McKenzie leads an expedition over the Canadian Rockies to the Pacific.




1805

Sent by President Thomas Jefferson, the Lewis and Clark Expedition
reaches the mouth of the Columbia River.




1811

British trader and explorer David Thompson completes a survey of the Columbia River. The Pacific Fur Company, founded by American financier John Jacob Astor, establishes a string of trading posts along the lower Columbia.




1813

British interests take control of Fort Astoria and rename it Fort George.
Jane Barnes becomes the first woman to land in 1814 Oregon.




1818

The United States and Great Britain agree on "joint occupancy"
for the Oregon Country.




1819

The Adams-Onis Treaty establishes the 42nd parallel as the southern
boundary of the Oregon Country.




1821

The Hudson's Bay Company acquires a fur monopoly for all of British North America after merging with the North West Company.




1822

Dr. John Floyd urges Congress to look into settling the "Origon" territory,
marking the first American use of the name.




1825

John McLoughlin, Chief Factor of the Columbia District for the Hudson's Bay Company, constructs Fort Vancouver on the north bank of the Columbia and uses it as his headquarters.




1827

The United States and Great Britain renew the terms of the 1818 "joint occupancy" agreement for the Oregon Country.




1829

Hall Jackson Kelley organizes the "American Society for Encouraging the Settlement of the Oregon Territory."




1830

Epidemics strike the Oregon Indians, killing thousands along the Columbia and Willamette Rivers.




1831

Three Nez Perce and one Flathead Indian travel to St. Louis reportedly seeking knowledge of Christianity.




1832

Nathaniel Wyeth leads an American colonizing expedition overland to the Columbia but the venture fails.




1834

Separate expeditions, led by Wyeth and Kelley, arrive at Fort Vancouver. Methodist
missionaries Jason and Daniel Lee accompany Wyeth to Fort Vancouver and establish
a mission ten miles north of present day Salem.




1836

Marcus and Narcissa Whitman and other missionaries establish missions among the Indians. Mrs. Whitman and the other missionary wives become the first white women
to cross the Continental Divide. On orders from President Andrew Jackson, Lieutenant William Slacum arrives to report on conditions in Oregon.




1837

The Willamette Cattle Company is formed marking the first cooperative venture among Oregon settlers.




1838

Jason Lee delivers a petition to Congress asking for legislation securing title to lands that settlers occupy and for the extension of the laws of the United States over the Oregon Country. Fathers Francois Blanchet and Modeste Demers, Catholic missionaries, arrive in Oregon.




1840

Parties of Americans from California and Illinois, and reinforcements to the Methodist mission, arrive in the Willamette Valley.1822 Dr. John Floyd urges Congress to look into settling the "Origon" territory, marking the first American use of the name.




1841

Ewing Young's death and the need to probate his estate prompt some American settlers to attempt to establish a provisional government. Three meetings are held at Champoeg but because French Canadians refuse to participate, no government is established.




1842

John McLoughlin plats his land claim and names it Oregon City.




1843

Settlers meet to deal with the menance of wild animals. The "Wolf Meetings" lead to the drafting of a constitution and the formation of Oregon's first government.




1844

Acts to prohibit slavery and to exclude blacks and mulattoes from Oregon are passed.




1845

The Hudson's Bay Company officially recognizes the provisional government. The executive committee is reorganized and changes are made to allow British participation in the government. Two thousand settlers now reside in the Willamette Valley.




1846

The United States and Great Britain agree to divide the Oregon Country at the forty-ninth parallel. Hudson's Bay Company headquarters are moved from Fort Vancouver to Fort Victoria on Vancouver Island. John McLoughlin resigns his position as Chief Factor and moves to Oregon City. The Applegate Trail is established off of the Oregon Trail. The "Oregon Spectator" begins publication.




1847

The Whitmans and twelve others are killed by the Cayuse Indians at the Waiilatpu Mission.




1848

The Oregon Country is made a United States territory.




1849

The territorial government convenes in Oregon City.




1850

More settlers move to the Oregon Territory and Indian-white hostilities increase as results of the passage of the "Donation Land Law." Congress provides for the renegotiation of treaties with the Indians of the territory. Gold is discovered in the Rogue River Valley leading to the establishment of cities and towns in Southern Oregon. Five Indians are sentenced to hang for the "Whitman Massacre."




1853

Washington Territory is created from land north of the Columbia River. Willamette University is chartered. A treaty is made creating the Oregon Territory's first Indian Reservation at Table Rock.




1854

Congress authorizes making treaties, whenever necessary, with the Indians in the Oregon Territory.




1857

A convention is held in Salem to write a state constitution. Voters overwhelmingly approve the document that fall.




1859

Congress admits Oregon as the thirty-third state on February 14.




1998 Roxann Gess Smith
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