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it as applied to the whole district that has yet been brought to light was in a bill introduced in Congress by John Floyd of Virginia, January 18, 1822.1

In the earlier stages of the history of Oregon its boundaries were indefinite, and within it overlapped the claims of Spain and Russia, as well as those of England and the United States. Its limits, however, were at length fixed by a series of treaties, which also greatly simplified the struggle for possession. By the treaty of 1819 Spain surrendered all claims north of 420 to the United States; and a convention concluded by the United States with Russia in 1824 extinguished the Russian claims south of 540 40' 2 This left the country bounded by the parallels of 420, and that of 54° 40', the Pacific Ocean, and the Rocky Mountains — the then western boundary of the Louisiana Purchase north of 420 — to be contended for solely by Great Britain and the United States. Most of it was included in the basin of the Columbia River, but a considerable portion lay in that of the Fraser River, northwest of the Columbia Valley; and the district contained some relatively small areas not belonging to either river system.

The first settlement in the interior of Oregon was Fort McLeod, established by the Northwest Company of Canada in the upper valley of the Fraser River in 1805.l The first in the Columbia Valley was Fort Henry, which was located on the north fork of Snake River by an agent of the Missouri Fur Company managed from St. Louis, but which seems to have been occupied only during the years 1809, 1810.2 That region was far away from the commercial centres of the United States; the furtrade, profitable though it might be, was attended with many risks; and the merchants of the Atlantic ports were more inclined to push the trade by sea than by land. But the whole interior from the Columbia northward was soon dotted with the tradingposts of the British.

1 Niles' Register, XXI., 350. The name is printed in the Register as "Origon." Cf. Bourne, in Oregon Hist. Soc, Quarterly, VI., 364-266.

'Turner, New West {Am. Nation, XIV.), 209.

The first important settlement made by citizens of the United States in Oregon was Astoria, a post on the left bank of the Columbia River near its mouth, established in 1811 by the Pacific Fur Company, at the head of which was John Jacob Astor of New York. It was his intention that the post should serve as a depot for a trade overland to the Columbia and thence to Canton.3 During the War of 1812 it was surrendered to the British. In 1818, in accordance with the terms of the treaty of Ghent, it was restored to the United States, the occupation going not to Astor, but to the Northwest Company, to which it had been sold just before its capture.

1 Bancroft, Northwest Coast, II., 87; the early explorations and claims will be discussed below, chap. xi.

2 Greenhow, Oregon and Cal., 292; De Bow, Industrial Resources, III., 516. Of course, Fort Clatsop, where Lewis and Clark wintered in 1805-1806, is to be excepted.

"Bancroft, Northwest Coast, I., 376.

By the treaty of 1818 the territory of Oregon was open to occupation either by citizens of Great Britain or by those of the United States;1 but the tide of immigration from the United States proved hard to set in motion. Oregon was far away and difficult of access; no liberal grants of land attracted colonists thither; and the policy of the Hudson Bay Company, which was exceedingly jealous of its commercial monopoly, and which intended that the country should finally be settled by the British, served to retard the movement. For many years earnest but unsuccessful efforts were made by men like John Floyd of Virginia and Francis Baylies of Massachusetts, in the lower house of Congress, and Linn and Benton of Missouri, in the Senate, to arouse popular enthusiasm and to secure legal measures for the occupation of the country.2 Among the influences working against them were the opposition of the American fur companies and the fear that Oregon, if acquired, might ultimately separate from the Union.

During the earlier period of the history of Oregon the slender communication with that district went around the Horn, twelve thousand miles by sea. In 1832, Nathaniel J. Wyeth of Cambridge, Massachusetts, went to Oregon overland, making use of knowledge of routes gained from the expeditions of Pike, Bonneville, Smith, and others,1 and of the information of trappers. Wyeth was not the first to find the short road via Fort Hall, but he was the first to show that it was an easy road, practicable even for wagons.2

1 See below, p. 160

'Annals of Cong., 17 Cong., 2 Sess., 413-422,682; Adams, Memoirs, VI., 239; Benton, Thirty Years' View, I., 5°-54. io9. Cf. Bourne, "Aspects of Oregon History Before 1840" (Oregon Hist. Soc., Quarterly, VI., 253-273).

The real colonization of Oregon began with the sending-out of missionaries, in response to the request of the Indians of the upper Columbia themselves, by the Mission Board of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Those sent were two ministers, Jason Lee and his nephew, Daniel Lee; two lay missionaries, Cyrus Shepard and Philip L. Edwards; and one assistant, Courtney M. Walker, whose business was to be purely secular. They attached themselves to the second expedition led by Wyeth to Oregon, which started in 1834; and on their arrival in that country they established themselves on French Prairie, beside the Willamette River, at some distance above a settlement known as Champoeg, made by French Canadians who had retired from the service of the Hudson Bay Company.3 In 1836 two Presbyterian missions were founded, one at Waiilatpu, on the Walla Walla River, and one on Lapwai Creek near its confluence with Clearwater River.1 The group of mission workers in this quarter included Rev. Samuel Parker, Rev. H. H. Spalding, a secular assistant named William H. Gray, and a physician, Marcus Whitman, who carried the first wagon over the divide of the Rockies, and whom a most interesting but wholly unfounded myth has credited with saving Oregon from the English.8

1 Cf. Turner, New West (Am. Nation, XIV.), chap. viii. 'Victor, River of the West, 268; Adams, Memoirs, VI., 250, 428. 'Bancroft, Oregon, I., 66.

Information concerning Oregon now began to be spread broadcast through letters, through the lectures and interviews of those who had returned to the East, through the report of W. A. Slacum, who was sent out as an agent of the United States government in 1836, and through Irving'6 Astoria and Adventures of Captain Bonneville* This stimulated further immigration. The missions were strengthened by reinforcements; and along with the missionaries, and sometimes separately, began to arrive parties of settlers, though for several years few and small. The total number of immigrants up to the end of 1841 was perhaps no more than four hundred; * but the way had been opened and an advance was begun which was sure to be followed up.

1 Gray, Oregon, 166.

1 Ibid., 115-118; Bourne, "The Legend of Marcus Whitman" (Am. Hist. Review, VI., 376-300); revised in Bourne Essays in Historical Criticism, 3-109; the other side, in Mowry, Marcus Whitman.

* Young, in Oregon Hist. Soc., Quarterly, I., 356; Hines, Hist. Oregon Mission, 37.

'Young, in Oregon Hist. Soc., Quarterly, I., 370.

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