Methodists in Oregon

Reverend Jason Lee established the first Methodist Mission near Champoeg in 1835. By 1839 the mission had been damaged by flood waters and Lee established another farm and school in what is now downtown Salem. Lee had the sawmill built first, and with the sawed timbers built first the grist mill then his house on Broadway at the Liberty interchange along Chemeketa Creek (Mill Creek)( the house is now situated at Willamette Heritage Center) and then the mission school, at what is now Willamette University. Many of the students at the first mission were taken off of the French Prairie and … Continue reading Methodists in Oregon

Promise of Citizenship and Informal Allotment at the Grand Ronde Reservation

In 1869 President Ulysses S. Grant gave a short inaugural address as he entered his presidency. The address briefly mentioned that he would support a path to citizenship for Native American peoples. “The proper treatment of the original occupants of this land–the Indians are deserving of careful study. I will favor any course toward them which tends to their civilization and ultimate citizenship.” (March 4, 1869) This short statement caused a storm of policy changes in the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The policy change enabled the Commissioner of Indian Affairs to direct his Superintendents to begin preparing the Indians on … Continue reading Promise of Citizenship and Informal Allotment at the Grand Ronde Reservation

Dispelling the Cloud of Black Eternity: the Willamette School at Grand Ronde in 1857

Once the tribes were removed to the reservations, additional work began to civilize them. The Indian Agents and teachers disregarded the tribe’s cultures and previous life-ways and immediately began a program of education. Adults got their education through changing the ways they used the land. No longer were the tribes allowed to freely travel about and harvest resources from the forests, rivers, lakes, and prairies. In fact, adults at Grand Ronde and Siletz could not own weapons of any type, forcing them to subsist on government handouts of flour, beef, and potatoes, which was supplied at best, inconsistently. At the … Continue reading Dispelling the Cloud of Black Eternity: the Willamette School at Grand Ronde in 1857

They Were of Good Character and Industrious, Kalapuya and Umpqua Off-Reservation Allotments

Indian Off-Reservation Allotments Members of the Halo Family of Yoncalla Indians, were allotted with off-reservation Indian Allotments in 1892. Most of their allotments were in an areas covered by GLO maps 20S, 4W; 23S, 4W; and the vast majority in 22S 4W, a mountainous and hilly region of central-western Oregon, on the edge of the Calapooia Range. This area is the dividing range between the Willamette and Umpqua watersheds, within the original tribal territory of the Yoncalla Indians. The Fearns, as detailed below are the sons and grandchildren of Chief  Halo. This cluster of four families in the area between … Continue reading They Were of Good Character and Industrious, Kalapuya and Umpqua Off-Reservation Allotments

Differential Immigration and Citizenship in the 19th Century in Oregon

The immigration debate that is being discussed nationally, has caused me to think about what immigration was like in the 19th century in Oregon. Too often today immigrants are discussed as being synonymous with “criminals” as if the very action of immigration is a criminal act. But, as many know, immigration into the USA has been one of the mainstays of the American democracy, its how the US got so many people from so many countries seeking a new country to survive and thrive in. In the 19th century Americans took to immigrating into the Oregon Territory without requesting this … Continue reading Differential Immigration and Citizenship in the 19th Century in Oregon