Traveling Tuesday: Oregon in the 1800s
Oregon has been home to indigenous peoples for thousands of years. The Spanish arrived in the mid-1500s to explore and map the area as well as study ocean currents. The French came soon thereafter, then the British, and finally the Americans. President Jefferson sent Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to find a practical route across the western half of the continent and to establish and American presence before the other European powers could claim it. Their secondary objectives were scientific and economic: to study the plants, animal life, and geography, and to establish trade with the local native tribes.
During the 1820s and 1830s, the American West was explored by private trappers who formed fur
Starting in the 1830s, pioneers came to the area via the famous Oregon Trail, many of whom were missionaries seeking to convert the natives to Christianity. In 1843 and “all citizen” meeting was held that instituted a provisional government headed by an executive committee. More settlers came and the territory became jointly settled with the United Kingdom. After much disagreement, the border between the US and British territory was established along the 49th parallel, with the territory above going to Britain and later becoming part of Canada. The Oregon Territory was officially organized in 1848 with bits and pieces carved off over a period of years to create the territories of Washington, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. Oregon was admitted as a state on February 14, 1859.
In 1851 and 1852, gold was discovered in the Rogue River Valley in southern Oregon, but apparently the volume was not worth working or reporting. Ten years later gold would be found in the Blue Mountains and attract a significant number of miners, including many from China. Racial prejudice persisted, and there were periodic episodes of violence in the early days of mining. However, as time passed, the Chinese and whites managed to work side by side in peaceful co-existence.
Have you visited this beautiful and geographically diverse state?
About Legacy of Love:
Escaping Boston to avoid a marriage of convenience aimed at garnering society’s respect for her family name in the shadow of her father’s war profiteering, Meg Underwood settles in Spruce Hill, Oregon. Despite leaving behind the comforts of wealth, she’s happy. Then the handsome Pinkerton agent, Reuben Jessop, arrives with news that she’s inherited her aunt’s significant estate, and she must return home to claim the bequest. Meg refuses to make the trip. Unwilling to fail at his mission, Reuben gives her until Christmas to prove why she should remain in Spruce Hill and give up the opportunity to become a woman of means. When he seems to want more than friendship, she wonders if her new-found wealth is the basis of his attraction.
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