Lower Chinook Vocabulary by Robert Shortess, 1853

Robert Shortess married a Clatsop woman in the late 1840s in Astoria, Oregon. He had arrived in Oregon in 1839 and was active around the Willamette Valley for a few years and then settled at Astoria by 1844. He took up a land claim just south of Tongue Point along the waters edge and it is suggested that he inherited other lands and claims from his father-in-law, suggesting that his wife was of royalty. Some sites online suggest Shortess’ wife was Nez Perce, but due to the location of his land claim, and his land rights, she was more likely … Continue reading Lower Chinook Vocabulary by Robert Shortess, 1853

Salmon-Skinned Aristocracy: Beginnings of Oregon Statehood

Robert Shortess was an 1839 emigrant to Oregon. In 1843 he was was elected to the Oregon Territorial Legislature in the 2nd wolf meeting (teh founders of Rome were suckled by a wolf). This early Oregon government worked to take control of the territory, from the British. In 1844, Shortess and some 65 other American settlers signed a petition to Congress, largely written and coordinated by Shortess, filing charges in Congress against the Hudson’s Bay Company, for unfair trade practices. Shortess, and co-author George Abernethy, claimed that John McLoughlin, and the Hudson’s Bay Company, took complete control of all trade … Continue reading Salmon-Skinned Aristocracy: Beginnings of Oregon Statehood

The 1851 Tansy Point Treaty Journal: The Clatsop Treaty

For the Tansy Point Treaties, Dart worked to get all the land from the tribes. By this time the tribes had already heard rumors of the treaties, and the plan to remove all tribes to eastern Oregon. Likely, news about the Willamette Valley treaties at Champoeg had already reached the Clatsop. There, the Kalapuyans, beginning with the Santiam tribe, had powerfully held out for a reservation in their traditional lands during days of negotiations. From this news the Clatsop tribe was reassured that they may be able to remain on their lands. Robert Shortess is an interesting figure here. He … Continue reading The 1851 Tansy Point Treaty Journal: The Clatsop Treaty

Robert Shortess On the Columbia

Robert Shortess was an early pioneer settler and Indian agent on the Columbia River. He is drawn to Oregon after witnessing a speech given by Jason Lee who is on a tour of the east working to get more white men and women to come to the Willamette Valley.  He leaves Missouri in 1839, and arrives in Oregon in 1840 as part of the Peoria Party, and settles in Astoria by 1844 . In Missouri, Shortess worked for a time as a mill worker with the Applegate family, and after arriving in Oregon, corresponds with the Applegates, specifically Jesse, selling … Continue reading Robert Shortess On the Columbia