The Centennial History of Oregon, 1811–1912/Volume 1/Oregon Chronology

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OREGON CHRONOLOGY

1542—It is said that Juan Rodrigues Cabrillo. a Spaniard, sailed up the coast as far as 44 degrees, landed and returned south. This would be somewhere in the neighborhood of Port Orford.

1578—Authorities differ as to the distance which Sir Francis Drake, an Englishman, sailed up the coast. There is no record of his having landed north of San Francisco Bay.

1592—Is given as the date upon which Juan de Fuca, a Spaniard, discovered the straits which now bear his name. It is doubted whether he ever saw them as claimed by him.

1603—Sebastian Vizcaino, a Spaniard, named Cape Blanco, also reported a snow-capped peak to the eastward, calling it San Sebastian (Mt. Shasta). He also discovered a river, supposed to be the Umpqua. Capt. Aguilar, one of his expedition, claimed to have discovered the Columbia river.

1742—Two sons of Chevalier de La Verendrye. of Montreal, led an overland expedition to the Stony mountains (Rockies), coming as far west as the country embracing Missoula. Deer Lodge and Silver Bow counties in Montana. On May 19, 1744, they set up a monument and christened the country "Beauharnois."

1744—Lieut. Juan Perez, a Spaniard, sailed as far north as 54 degrees. On his return trip he discovered a mountain now called Mt. Olympus. He gave it the name of Sierra de Santa Rosalia.

1763—Kodiak Island settled by the Russians.

1766—The river "Oregon" was conceived in the mind of Capt. Jonathan Carver, of Connecticut, who made an expedition into the country adjacent to the headwaters of the Mississippi in that year. This river has borne several different names, among them being: Spanish-Esenada de Asuncion (Assumption Inlet"*. Esendada de Heeeta (Heceta Inlet), Rio de San Roque (River of San Roque), Rio de Aguilar (River of Aguilar). and Rio de Thegays (River of Thegays).

1775—Capt. Bruno Heceta, a Spaniard, planted a cross on July 14th. upon n point to which he gave the name of Punta de Martinez (Martyr's Point), a location now known as Point Grenville. On the same day some of the crew of one of his vessels went on shore for a supply of fresh water, and were massacred by the Indians. This was the first recorded instance where the blood of the white race was shed in the Pacific Northwest.

1778—On March 7th, Capt. James Cook named Cape Foulweather. and Cape Flattery on March 22d. The latter had been previously (1774) called Punta Martinez by Perez.

1785—Capt. James Hanna, an Englishman, arrived. Not for the purpose of exploration, but to gather furs for the Oriental market. He was quite successful, selling his cargo in the Cantonese market tor $20,000. This was the first expedition coming to the North Pacific waters solely for trading purposes.

1787—Capt. Dixon, an Englishman, was the first to establish the fact that Queen Charlotte Island was an island. He named it in honor of his vessel.

1788—The American sloop, Lady Washington, of Boston, arrived, at Nootka on August 16. She was commanded by Capt. Robert Gray, who afterwards discovered the Columbia river. On the voyage up the coast, the vessel was run into Murderers' harbor, since known as Tillamook Bay. While here one of the crew was murdered by the Indians, the first instance of the kind occurring south of the Columbia river, so far as known.

1791—Capt. Robert Gray, who returned in the ship Columbia after making a voyage to Canton and Boston, wintered in the harbor of Clayoquot, Queen Charlotte's Island. He there erected buildings and mounted guns, the first thing of such a nature to be done by an American. During his stay there he built the first American vessel to be built on the Pacific coast. This was the sloop Adventurer. Robert Haswell, formerly mate with Capt. Gray, was the first master of this vessel. She was sold to Capt. Cuadra, the Spanish commander in the Pacific Northwest, in 1792, when she was taken south.

1792—In the spring of this year, Capt. Robert Gray left Queen Charlotte's Island, where he had wintered, and coasted south. On May 7th he entered Bulfinch harbor (now known as Gray's Harbor) naming it in honor of the owners of his vessel. On the 11th he arrived off the Columbia river bar and successfully crossed it, anchoring above Tongue Point in what is now known as Gray's bay. He was the first to be certain that it was a river. Capt. Gray was the first American to circumnavigate the globe.

1793—Alexander Mackenzie, a Scotchman, was the first white man to make the trip across the continent to the Pacific ocean. He discovered the Fraser river, while enroute, which he believed to be the Columbia. The Fraser river was so called in later years for Simon Fraser, who established a trading post upon its banks in 1807.

1805—Lewis and Clark expedition came across the plains. Followed down the Columbia river and wintered at Fort Clatsop, a fort built by them at the mouth of the river, the winter of 1805-6. They bestowed names upon many of the tributaries of the Columbia, gave the Indians names of others and named prominent points along the route.

Castle Rock they called Beacon rock; Hood river, Labiesche river; Klickitat river, Cataract river; John Day river, Lepage river; Touchet river, White Salmon river. This was subsequently named John Day for a Kentucky hunter coming with the Hunt party in 1811. Sandy river, Quicksand river; Washougal river. Seal river; White Salmon river, Canoe river; Sauvie's Island was Wapato island; the Willamette was Multnomah river from the Columbia to the falls; above the falls the stream was known as the Willamette; Tillamook was named by Clark Killamuck Head. It had been called Cape Falcon by the Spanish and Cape Lookout by Meares.

With this party came York, the first negro to come to the Pacific coast.

1807—Fraser river named for Simon Fraser, who established a trading post on Fraser Lake adjacent to it.

1808—Aiiierieaii Fur Company organized. Fort Henry established on Snake river. Tlie first American trading post.

1810—Capt. Jonathan Winship located at Oak Point, Oregon, opposite the present place of that name in Washington. The floods washing away his houses, and learning of Astor's plans, he deemed it inadvisable to try to compete with Astor, and abandoned the undertaking.

1811—Astoria founded by Pacific Fur Company. Fort built on a point called Point George, by Lieut. Broughton, in 1792. The first of this company to arrive, came on the Tonquin. She anchored in Baker's bay, March 22, 1811. This was the first vessel to be blown up on the coast, her ship's clerk doing so to kill a host of Indians on board who had murdered the crew two days before. Alexander McKay, a partner of Astor, the first husband of the wife of Dr. McLoughlin, was among those whom the savages massacred. October 2, 1811, was launched the first vessel, the Dolly, built here. She was afterwards called the Columbia. Here the first marriages in the Paeifie Northwest were celebrated, and the first children born, one of whose parents were white; the first river steamer, the Columbia, 1850, was built; the first custom house erected on the coast, and one of the two (Oregon City) postoffices west of the Rockies. Twelve potatoes planted at Astoria in May yielded 190 potatoes. Turnips and radishes also raised.

Wm. Cannon was probably the first American to come to the Pacific Northwest and permanently reside here. He came in 1811 with the Hunt party, and after years of employ as a trapper for the fur companies, finally settled in the Willamette valley. He was a native of Pennsylvania. His death took place at French Prairie, August 29, 1854. He was 99 years of age at that time.

1812—January 12th, the Hunt party arrived at Astoria.

In November, Robert Stewart of the Astor expedition, discovered the South pass. This became the main gateway through the Rockies used by the pioneers.

John Clark, of the Astor expedition, hanged an Indian for stealing. The first "neck-tie" party on the Pacific coast. Fort Boise established by Donald McKenzie on Snake river. 1813—December 12th, Astoria reehristened Fort George by Capt. Black, a British naval officer, and the Northwest Company succeeding the Pacific Fur Company through the treachery of some of the Scotch partners.

Fifty bushels of potatoes from the start of 1811.

1814—Ship Isaac Todd arrives at Astoria. On her came Jane Barnes, the first white woman to set foot on the Pacific Northwest. On this vessel also came the pioneer physician. Dr. Swan, to the Pacific Northwest.

1818—Fort George again becomes Astoria on August 18. Old Fort WallaWalla (originally Fort Nez Peree) established. The site was where the town of Wallula, Wash., now stands.

1821—Dr. John Floyd, of Virginia, introduced an Oregon bill in congress. This was the first bill introduced providing for the occupation of the Pacific Northwest by the government.

1825—Fort Colville established by Hudson's Bay Company. David Douglas, Scotch scientist, who found and named the Douglas spruce of the Pacific coast, discovered the natives cultivating the indigenous tobacco plant of the Columbia river.

1827—The first apple trees grown in the Pacific Northwest were planted at Vancouver, Washington. They sprang from the seed of an apple eaten at a dinner party given in London, England. One of the ladies present, more in jest than in earnest, took the seeds from an apple brought in with the dessert, and gave them to Captain Simpson, of the Hudson's Bay Company's coast service, who was also a guest, telling him to plant them on his arrival at Vancouver.

First sawmill west of Rocky Mountains built by Dr. John McLoughlin, six miles east of Fort Vancouver, the Hudson 's Bay Company 's post on the Columbia river.

1828—Massacre of the Smith party by the Rogue river Indians.

Hudson's Bay Company's ship, William and Ann, wrecked on the Columbia river bar. Some twenty lives lost, said to have been murdered by the Clatsop Indians, who plundered the vessel. Dr. McLoughlin caused their village to be bombarded, during which many of them were killed, among the number two chiefs, and since then their chiefs have been merely phantom rulers.

1829—James M. Bates, American, settled at Scappoose, Oregon.

Etienne Lucier, settled where Portland (east) now stands. He afterwards moved to Fi-ench Pi'airie. Was one of the fifty-two men who voted to form the provisional government. Died March 6, 1853.

Dr. McLoughlin located Willamette Falls (Oregon City) and erected a sawmill there.

Captain Dominis of the brig Owyhee, arrived from the Atlantic seaboard. On the voyage out, he secured some peach trees at the Island of San Juan Fernandez (Crusoe's Island), which he brought to Vancouver and presented to Dr. McLoughlin, who had them planted. These were the first peach trees to come to the Pacific Northwest. During his stay on the coast the captain went to California and while there brought up a shipment of sheep, the pioneer shipment. The captain was a good sailor, but a poor stock raiser. When the sheep were landed they were all found to be wethers. On his return to Boston he took with him a shipment of salmon in barrels. This was the first shipment of this kind going to the eastern states.

Hogs arrived at Vancouver during this year from China and the Sandwich Islands. Cattle came from Fort Ross, Red river, settlement.

1830—Nathaniel J. Wyeth 's overland expedition arrived. Wyeth was the first to export salmon, sending to market half a ship's load in barrels in 1835. He established Fort William on Wapato (Sauvie's) Island, in 1834. Left in 1835.

1832—Hudson's Bay Company established an English fur trading post on the IJmpqua river. It was besieged in 1839 by Indians.

1833—First school taught in the Pacific Northwest at Vancouver by John Ball, one of the Wyeth party of 1832. The scholars were all Indians.

Louis LaBonte settled in Yamhill county, Oregon. He was the first settler in that section.

Fort Nisqually established.

1834—Revs. Jason and Daniel Lee, Methodist missionaries, arrive. They establish a mission on the Willamette river. In 1840 same was moved to Chemeteke plain, now Salem.

Rev. Jason Lee preaches first serinou delivered in tiie Pacific Northwest on Sunday, September 28th, at Vancouver, and the first in the Willamette valley on September 28th.

Webley Hauxhurst erects a grist mill at Champoeg. He was the first white person to become converted in the Pacific Northwest. (January, 1837.)

Hall J. Kelley and Ewing Young arrive in October. Kelley's plan for a Pacific Northwest metropolis embraced all the land between the confluence of the Columbia and Willamette rivers on the east bank of the Willamette and south of the Columbia.

1835—Rev. Samuel Parker, a Congregational missionary, arrives at Vancouver, coming across the plains. The next year he left via the Sandwich Islands and did not return.

1835—Dr. W. J. Bailey, the first doctor to locate in the Willamette valley, arrived. He died at Champoeg, February 5, 1876.

Ewing Young and Lawrence Carmichael set up a still and manufactured whiskey.

Rev. Herbert Heaver and wife arrived by sailing vessel at Vancouver. He was the first Episcopal divine to come to the Pacific Northwest. They left again in 1838.

1836—Steamer Beaver arrived from Gravesend, England, the first steam vessel to come into the Pacific Ocean. Came under sail. First ran under steam in the Columbia, April 17th. Was wrecked in 1888 in Burrard's Inlet, B.C.

Dr. Whitman and wife. Rev. H. H. Spalding and wife, and W. H. Gray arrived and established a mission at Wai-il-at-pu. Mrs. Whitman and Mrs. Spalding were the first white women to cross the plains and come to the Pacific coast.

John Work explored the Umpqua.

1837—(Sir) James Douglas and Miss Nellie Connolley were married at Vancouver. This was the first marriage ceremony performed in Washington. Miss Connolley had Indian blood in her veins.

July 16th, occurred the first marriage among the white race on the Pacific coast. Rev. Jason Lee was man-ied to Miss Anna M. Pittman, and Mr. Cyrus Shepard to Miss Susan Downing. It was a double wedding. Rev. Daniel Lee performed the fir.st ceremony and Rev. Jason Lee the second.

Alice C, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Whitman, born at Wail-il-at-pu. March 14, 1837, was the first white child born on the Pacific coast, and was drowned in the Walla Walla river, June 22, 1838.

1838—The first step taken to secure a government for Oregon by Americans, was made March 16, 1838. Thirty-six of the settlers in the Willamette valley sent a memorial to congress setting forth the resources and conditions of the country, petitioning occupation by the United States. This was presented in the senate on January 28, 1839, and after its reading was laid on the table and neglected.

The first sawmill erected by Americans, built on the Chehalem, Yamhill county, by Ewing Young.

The first paper, called the Oregonian, was published this year at Lynn, Massachusetts.

1839—(Vicar General) Blanehet and (Bishop) Demers, the pioneer Catholic missionaries, arrived.

Rev. Demers rings the first church bell in the Pacific Northwest at the Cowlitz Mission, Washington, October 14th.

Rev. Blanehet blesses the first church bell blessed in the Willamette valley on French Prairie, December 23rd; also celebrates the first mass to be celebrated in the valley at the same place in January, 1840.

Pioneer printing press of the Pacific coast brought from the Sandwich Islands. Set up at Lapwai Mission. Booklets, etc., printed in the Spokane and Nez Perce languages. It was brought here by E. 0. Hall. He was the first printer to work at his trade on the coast. This press and type is now in the custody of the Oregon Historical Society.

Rev. J. S. Griffin arrives. He published the first paper issued in the Pacific Northwest.

Peoria Party arrives. This was the first company of immigrants to come.

1840—Harvey Clarke independent missionary party arrives.

First American vessel, the Thomas H. Perkins, to enter the Columbia with cargo, arrives.

Salem, Oregon, founded. First called "The Mill," called "Chemekete" by the Indians. The latter name means "Here we rest" or "Place of Peace." "Salem" has also a similar meaning.

1841—Joseph Gale and others built the Star of Oregon, the first vessel built by Americans in the Pacific Northwest. Mr. Gale was one of the first executive committee of the provisional government. He died in Wallowa county, December 23, 1881, aged 92 years.