Place:Oregon, United States

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NameOregon
Alt namesORsource: Webster's Geographical Dictionary (1988) p 1257
Ore
TypeState
Coordinates44°N 120°W
Located inUnited States     (1859 - )
Contained Places
Unknown
Bend
County
Baker ( 1862 - )
Benton ( 1847 - )
Clackamas ( 1843 - )
Clatsop ( 1844 - )
Columbia ( 1854 - )
Coos ( 1853 - )
Crook ( 1882 - )
Curry ( 1855 - )
Deschutes ( 1916 - )
Douglas ( 1851 - )
Gilliam ( 1885 - )
Grant ( 1864 - )
Harney ( 1889 - )
Hood River ( 1908 - )
Jackson ( 1852 - )
Jefferson ( 1914 - )
Josephine ( 1856 - )
Klamath ( 1882 - )
Lake ( 1874 - )
Lane ( 1851 - )
Lincoln ( 1893 - )
Linn ( 1847 - )
Malheur ( 1887 - )
Marion ( 1843 - )
Morrow ( 1885 - )
Multnohma
Multnomah ( 1854 - )
Polk ( 1845 - )
Sherman ( 1889 - )
Tillamook ( 1853 - )
Umatilla ( 1862 - )
Union ( 1864 - )
Wallowa ( 1887 - )
Wasco ( 1854 - )
Washington ( 1843 - )
Wheeler ( 1899 - )
Yamhill ( 1843 - )
Former county
Umpqua ( 1851 - )
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region on the West Coast of the United States. The Columbia River delineates much of Oregon's northern boundary with Washington, while the Snake River delineates much of its eastern boundary with Idaho. The parallel 42° north delineates the southern boundary with California and Nevada. Oregon is one of only three states of the contiguous United States to have a coastline on the Pacific Ocean.

Oregon was inhabited by many indigenous tribes before Western traders, explorers, and settlers arrived. An autonomous government was formed in the Oregon Country in 1843 before the Oregon Territory was created in 1848. Oregon became the 33rd state on February 14, 1859. Today, at , Oregon is the ninth largest and, with a population of 4 million, 27th most populous U.S. state. The capital, Salem, is the second most populous city in Oregon, with 169,798 residents. Portland, with 647,805 residents, is the most populous and ranks as the 26th most populous city in the United States. The Portland metropolitan area, which also includes the city of Vancouver, Washington, to the north, ranks the 25th largest metro area in the nation, with a population of 2,453,168.

Oregon is one of the most geographically diverse states in the U.S., marked by volcanoes, abundant bodies of water, dense evergreen and mixed forests, as well as high deserts and semi-arid shrublands. At , Mount Hood, a stratovolcano, is the state's highest point. Oregon's only national park, Crater Lake National Park, comprises the caldera surrounding Crater Lake, the deepest lake in the United States. The state is also home to the single largest organism in the world, Armillaria ostoyae, a fungus that runs beneath of the Malheur National Forest.

Because of its diverse landscapes and waterways, Oregon's economy is largely powered by various forms of agriculture, fishing, and hydroelectric power. Oregon is also the top timber producer of the contiguous United States, and the timber industry dominated the state's economy in the 20th century.[1] Technology is another one of Oregon's major economic forces, beginning in the 1970s with the establishment of the Silicon Forest and the expansion of Tektronix and Intel. Sportswear company Nike, Inc., headquartered in Beaverton, is the state's largest public corporation with an annual revenue of $30.6 billion.

Contents

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Humans have inhabited the area that is now Oregon for at least 15,000 years. In recorded history, mentions of the land date to as early as the 16th century. During the 18th and 19th centuries, European powers – and later the United States – quarreled over possession of the region until 1846, when the U.S. and Great Britain finalized division of the region. Oregon became a state on February 14, 1859, and is home to over 4 million residents.[2]

Earliest inhabitants

While there is considerable evidence that Paleo-Indians inhabited the region, the oldest evidence of habitation in Oregon was found at Fort Rock Cave and the Paisley Caves in Lake County. Archaeologist Luther Cressman dated material from Fort Rock to 13,200 years ago, and there is evidence supporting inhabitants in the region at least 15,000 years ago. By 8000 BC there were settlements throughout the state, with populations concentrated along the lower Columbia River, in the western valleys, and around coastal estuaries.

During the prehistoric period, the Willamette Valley region was flooded after the collapse of glacial dams from Lake Missoula, located in what would later become Montana. These massive floods occurred during the last glacial period and filled the valley with of water.

By the 16th century, Oregon was home to many Native American groups, including the Chinook, Coquille (Ko-Kwell), Bannock, Chasta, Kalapuya, Klamath, Klickitat, Molalla, Nez Perce, Takelma, Killamuk, Neah-kah-nie, Umatilla, and Umpqua.

European and pioneer settlement

The first Europeans to visit Oregon were Spanish explorers led by Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo, who sighted southern Oregon off the Pacific coast in 1543. Sailing Golden Hind in search of the Strait of Anian, Drake briefly sought shelter anchoring at South Cove, Cape Arago, just south of Coos Bay, Oregon, before sailing for what is now California. Exploration was retaken routinely in 1774, starting with the expedition of the frigate Santiago by Juan José Pérez Hernández (see Spanish expeditions to the Pacific Northwest), and the coast of Oregon became a valuable trading route to Asia. In 1778, British captain James Cook also explored the coast.

French Canadian and métis trappers and missionaries arrived in the eastern part of the state in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, many having travelled as members of Lewis and Clark and the 1811 Astor expeditions. Some stayed permanently, including Étienne Lussier, believed to be the first European farmer in the state of Oregon. The evidence of this French Canadian presence can be found in the numerous names of French origin in that part of the state, including Malheur Lake and the Malheur River, the Grande Ronde and Deschutes rivers, and the city of La Grande.


The Lewis and Clark Expedition travelled through northern Oregon also in search of the Northwest Passage. They built their winter fort in 1805–06 at Fort Clatsop, near the mouth of the Columbia River, staying at the encampment from December until March.

British explorer David Thompson also conducted overland exploration. In 1811, while working for the North West Company, Thompson became the first European to navigate the entire Columbia River. Stopping on the way, at the junction of the Snake River, he posted a claim to the region for Great Britain and the North West Company. Upon returning to Montreal, he publicized the abundance of fur-bearing animals in the area.

Also in 1811, New Yorker John Jacob Astor financed the establishment of Fort Astoria at the mouth of the Columbia River as a western outpost to his Pacific Fur Company; this was the first permanent European settlement in Oregon.


In the War of 1812, the British gained control of all Pacific Fur Company posts. The Treaty of 1818 established joint British and American occupancy of the region west of the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean. By the 1820s and 1830s, the Hudson's Bay Company dominated the Pacific Northwest from its Columbia District headquarters at Fort Vancouver (built in 1825 by the district's chief factor, John McLoughlin, across the Columbia from present-day Portland).

In 1841, the expert trapper and entrepreneur Ewing Young died leaving considerable wealth and no apparent heir, and no system to probate his estate. A meeting followed Young's funeral, at which a probate government was proposed. Doctor Ira Babcock of Jason Lee's Methodist Mission was elected supreme judge. Babcock chaired two meetings in 1842 at Champoeg, (halfway between Lee's mission and Oregon City), to discuss wolves and other animals of contemporary concern. These meetings were precursors to an all-citizen meeting in 1843, which instituted a provisional government headed by an executive committee made up of David Hill, Alanson Beers, and Joseph Gale. This government was the first acting public government of the Oregon Country before annexation by the government of the United States. It was succeeded by a Second Executive Committee, made up of Peter G. Stewart, Osborne Russell, and William J. Bailey, and this committee was itself succeeded by George Abernethy, who was the first and only Governor of Oregon under the provisional government.

Also in 1841, Sir George Simpson, governor of the Hudson's Bay Company, reversed the Hudson's Bay Company's long-standing policy of discouraging settlement because it interfered with the lucrative fur trade. He directed that some 200 Red River Colony settlers be relocated to HBC farms near Fort Vancouver, (the James Sinclair expedition), in an attempt to hold Columbia District.

Starting in 1842–43, the Oregon Trail brought many new American settlers to the Oregon Country. For some time, it seemed that Britain and the United States would go to war for a third time in 75 years (see Oregon boundary dispute), but the border was defined peacefully in 1846 by the Oregon Treaty. The border between the United States and British North America was set at the 49th parallel. The Oregon Territory was officially organized on August 13, 1848.

Settlement increased with the Donation Land Claim Act of 1850 and the forced relocation of the native population to Indian reservations in Oregon.

Statehood

In December 1844, Oregon passed its Black Exclusion Law, which prohibited African Americans from entering the territory while simultaneously prohibiting slavery. Slave owners who brought their slaves with them were given three years before they were forced to free them. Any African Americans in the region after the law was passed were forced to leave, and those who did not comply were arrested and beaten. They received no less than twenty and no more than thirty-nine stripes across their bare back. If they still did not leave, this process could be repeated every six months. Slavery played a major part in Oregon's history and even influenced its path to statehood. The territory's request for statehood was delayed several times, as members of Congress argued among themselves whether the territory should be admitted as a "free" or "slave" state. Eventually politicians from the south agreed to allow Oregon to enter as a "free" state, in exchange for opening slavery to the southwest United States.

Oregon was admitted to the Union on February 14, 1859. Founded as a refuge from disputes over slavery, Oregon had a "whites only" clause in its original state Constitution. At the outbreak of the American Civil War, regular U.S. troops were withdrawn and sent east. Volunteer cavalry recruited in California were sent north to Oregon to keep peace and protect the populace. The First Oregon Cavalry served until June 1865.

Post-Reconstruction

Beginning in the 1880s, the growth of railroads expanded the state's lumber, wheat, and other agricultural markets, and the rapid growth of its cities. Due to the abundance of timber and waterway access via the Willamette River, Portland became a major force in the lumber industry of the Pacific Northwest, and quickly became the state's largest city. It would earn the nickname "Stumptown", and would later become recognized as one of the most dangerous port cities in the United States due to racketeering and illegal activities at the turn of the 20th century. In 1902, Oregon introduced direct legislation by the state's citizens through initiatives and referenda, known as the Oregon System.

On May 5, 1945, six people were killed by a Japanese bomb that exploded on Gearhart Mountain near Bly. This is the only fatal attack on the United States mainland committed by a foreign nation since the Mexican–American War, making Oregon the only U.S. state that has experienced fatal casualties by a foreign army since 1848. The bombing site is now located in the Mitchell Recreation Area.

Industrial expansion began in earnest following the 1933–37 construction of the Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River. Hydroelectric power, food, and lumber provided by Oregon helped fuel the development of the West, although the periodic fluctuations in the U.S. building industry have hurt the state's economy on multiple occasions. Portland in particular experienced a population boom between 1900 and 1930, tripling in size; the arrival of World War II also provided the northwest region of the state with an industrial boom, where Liberty ships and aircraft carriers were constructed.

During the 1970s, the Pacific Northwest was particularly affected by the 1973 oil crisis, with Oregon suffering a substantial shortage.

In 1994, Oregon became the first U.S. state to legalize physician-assisted suicide through the Oregon Death with Dignity Act. A measure to legalize recreational use of marijuana in Oregon was approved on November 4, 2014, making Oregon only the second state at the time to have legalized gay marriage, physician-assisted suicide, and recreational marijuana.

Timeline

YearEventSource
1811John Jacob Astor establishes Fort AstoriaSource:Wikipedia
1825Fort Vancouver builtSource:Wikipedia
1842The Oregon Trail infuses region with new settlersSource:Wikipedia
1850Oregon's first censusSource:Population of States and Counties of the United States: 1790-1990
1859Oregon is admitted to the UnionSource:Wikipedia

Population History

source: Source:Population of States and Counties of the United States: 1790-1990
Census Year Population
1850 12,093
1860 52,465
1870 90,923
1880 174,768
1890 317,704
1900 413,536
1910 672,765
1920 783,389
1930 953,786
1940 1,089,684
1950 1,521,341
1960 1,768,687
1970 2,091,385
1980 2,633,105
1990 2,842,321

Note: The Oregon region was long in dispute with Great Britain, and was jointly occupied by the two countries until definitively acquired by the United States in 1846. Oregon was established as a territory in 1848, including present-day Washington, Idaho, and parts of Montana and Wyoming. It acquired its present boundaries and was admitted as a State on February 14, 1859. In 1850 the census covered only areas west of the Cascade Mountains; the 1850 total excludes persons enumerated in present-day Washington. In 1860 census coverage included the whole State.. Total for 1850 excludes population (1,201) of Clark and Lewis Counties, located in present-day Washington. Total for 1890 includes population (3,937) of certain Indian reservations not reported by county.

Research Tips

Births, Marriages, and Deaths

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Outstanding guide to Oregon family history and genealogy (FamilySearch Research Wiki). Birth, marriage, and death records, wills, deeds, county records, archives, Bible records, cemeteries, churches, censuses, directories, immigration lists, naturalizations, maps, history, newspapers, and societies.


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