David Douglas and Sir Edward Sabine: A Discovery

In recent research, (May 2018- ) I found an interesting relationship between David Douglas and Edward Sabine. They shared many similarities, both were explorers, both were interested in botany, and both were members of the Linnaean Society of Great Britain. Sabine was a UK naval officer and specialized in developing magnetic dip measurements and equipment. In his travels around the world, he perfected magnetic dip measurements and taught many other explorers how to take such measurements. So throughout the 19th century, the initiated would take measurements and send their results to Sabine who would gather them all up and publish them in … Continue reading David Douglas and Sir Edward Sabine: A Discovery

David Douglas Shaves Comcomley’s Brother

David Douglas traveled around Oregon, Washington, California, British Columbia and Hawaii from 1824 to 1834. Most of the time Douglas was accompanied by Native packers who helped transport his equipment, hunt for food, translate with local tribes and fend off attackers. Sometimes Douglas has the company of as Euro-American, some mountain man, fur trader or explorer. Most times Douglas was in the company of Native peoples. He could fend for himself when he needed to, shoot with the best men, and was diplomatic enough, or just odd enough,  that tribes treated him well and even tried to help him. He … Continue reading David Douglas Shaves Comcomley’s Brother

David Douglas and the Sugar Pine

In October of 1826, David Douglas descends down the valley surrounding the Multnomah river (Willamette River) traveling in part through the forests on the fringe of the valley. He collects seeds and insects and notes all manner of “new” species.  He sees the valley floor was burned, as it normally is in late September by the Kalapuyan peoples, and notes they are forced into the forests to hunt for food. On the 10th of October Douglas descends into the Umpqua valley and eagerly collects new species. He travels along Red Deer River  valley, a small river which “empties itself into … Continue reading David Douglas and the Sugar Pine

Douglas Encounters Kalapuyans In Oregon

Scottish Botanist David Douglas (25 June 1799 – 12 July 1834) did extensive work in Oregon. On David Douglas’ famous trips to Oregon he documented a collection of plant seeds and samples, but also a collection of animal samples, and material culture (hats and baby boards). He famously names the Douglas fir tree. Douglas shipped the collections in barrels to the Royal Horticultural Society from the port at Fort Vancouver.  His collections are now in the British Museum or in Anthropology  museums in Scotland. The journals of David Douglas offer a glimpse of the environment of the Willamette Valley at … Continue reading Douglas Encounters Kalapuyans In Oregon

Naturalists In Oregon: Robert and Lucia Summers

Reverend Robert Summers, the Episcopalian Minister of McMinnville (1873-1881) had a varied history in Oregon. Robert went from being a settler, to becoming an Episcopalian minister, while he collected Indian artifacts from various reservations in the region while his wife Lucia engaged in botanical  collecting. In 1853 the young Robert Summers, who was born in Kentucky, took up a land claim in Eola Hills, northern Polk County, west of Salem. Summers was a distant relative of the Applegate family. The Applegates famously  settled in Oregon in 1844, at Salt Creek, and was one of the first families in the area, … Continue reading Naturalists In Oregon: Robert and Lucia Summers