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Home > Cultural > History > Chronology > 1543 to 1850

Oregon History: Chronology - 1543 to 1850



1543 Bartolome Ferrelo possibly reaches southwest coast
1565 Manila Galleon trade route opens across North Pacific
1579 Sir Francis Drake allegedly visits Oregon
1603 Sebastian Vizcaino possibly sights Cape Sebastian
1707 San Francisco Xavier probably wrecks at Nehalem
1738 Pierre Gaultier de la Verendrye leads first expedition into Oregon
1765 First use of word "Ouragon" in Maj. Robert Rogers' petition to explore American West
1774 Capt. Juan Perez sails to Northwest Coast for Spain
1775 Capt. Bruno Hezeta sees mouth of Columbia and names it Rio San Roque
1775-1780 First smallpox outbreak among Oregon’s indigenous people
1778 Capt. James Cook makes landfall at Cape Foulweather and discovers fur wealth of Northwest Coast
1788 Capt. Robert Gray trades with tribes in Tillamook Bay
Marius Lopius, African traveling with Gray, probably killed at Tillamook
1792 Capt. Robert Gray enters and names the Columbia River
Capt. George Vancouver expedition charts Columbia estuary
  Lt. William E. Broughton names Mount Hood after British naval officer Alexander Arthur Hood
1801-1802 Second smallpox outbreak among Oregon’s tribes
1803 Louisiana Purchase extends United States to Rocky Mountains
1804 President Thomas Jefferson dispatches Lewis & Clark Expedition
1805 Lewis & Clark Expedition explores lower Snake and Columbia Rivers and establishes Fort Clatsop
1806 Lewis & Clark Expedition returns to the United States
1811 John Jacob Astor’s Pacific Fur Company establishes Fort Astoria
1812 Overland Astorians discover South Pass in Wyoming, later route of Oregon Trail
1813 North West Company purchases Fort Astoria and names it Fort George
1814 First English woman, Jane Barnes, visits Fort George
First domestic livestock imported by sea from California
1817 William Cullen Bryant refers to "Oregon" in poem Thanatopsis
1818 North West Company establishes Fort Nez Perce
James Biddle and John Prevost assert United States interests in Oregon
U.S. and Great Britain agree to "joint occupancy" of Oregon
1819 Adams-Onis Treaty cedes Spain's discovery rights north of 42 degrees to the U. S.
1821 Hudson's Bay Company subsumes North West Company
1824 U.S. and Russia agree to 50 degrees as southern boundary of Russian interests
Dr. John McLoughlin begins long tenure as Chief Factor for Hudson's Bay Company
1825 Workmen build Fort Vancouver on Columbia River
1827 U.S. and Great Britain agree to indefinite "joint occupancy"
First sawmill begins cutting lumber near Fort Vancouver
1828 Jedediah Smith’s party travels overland from California but Indians kill 15 men on the Umpqua River
First grist mill starts making flour at Fort Vancouver
1829 Dr. John McLoughlin establishes claim at Willamette Falls, later Oregon City
1830 Fever pandemic begins calamitous death toll of tribes
1832 Newspapers report four Indians from Pacific Northwest in St. Louis seeking missionaries
Nathaniel Wyeth enters Oregon fur trade
Capt. B. L. E. Bonneville arrives overland to trap and trade for furs on Columbia Plateau
Hudson's Bay Company establishes Fort Umpqua at Elkton
1833 First school opens at Fort Vancouver
First lumber exports by Hudson's Bay Company to China
1834 Jason Lee's party establishes Methodist Mission near Wheatland
John K. Townsend and Thomas Nuttall collect natural history specimens
1836 First steamship Beaver begins service for Hudson's Bay Company on the Columbia River
Lt. William Slacum mounts reconnaissance of western Oregon
Whitman-Spalding mission party, including Narcissa Whitman and Eliza Spalding, arrives overland via Oregon Trail
Washington Irving publishes Astoria
1838 Willamette Cattle Company drives livestock overland from California
Priests Blanchet and Demers arrive overland from Canada
1839 Catholics establish mission at St. Paul
1841 Lt. Charles Wilkes mounts reconnaissance with U.S. Exploring Expedition
Ewing Young's death leads to public meetings
First Catholic boys' school founded at St. Paul
First ship, Star of Oregon, built by settlers
1842 Methodist missionaries found the Oregon Institute in Salem, an antecedent to Willamette University
First brick building, a house, erected by George Gay in Polk County
1843 First large migration of over 900 emigrants arrives via Oregon Trail
Lt. John C. Fremont mounts reconnaissance of Oregon Trail
"Wolf Meetings" lead to Provisional Government
Oregonians submit petition to Senate seeking U.S. jurisdiction
1844 First plat surveyed for a town at Oregon City
First Catholic girls' school founded at St. Paul
  Acts to prohibit slavery and exclude blacks and mulattoes from Oregon Territory were passed and the “Lash Law” enacted requiring Blacks – “be they free or slave – be whipped twice a year until he or she shall quit the territory”
1845 Meek Cut-off opens as alleged short-cut to Oregon Trail
Estimated 3,000 overland emigrants arrive
Oregonians petition Congress for federal services
First Provisional governor, George Abernethy, elected
Francis Pettygrove and A. L. Lovejoy name Portland and commence plat of city
1846 Lt. Neil Howison mounts reconnaissance of western Oregon
Barlow Road opens as toll route
Applegate Trail opens as alternative to Oregon Trail
Oregon Treaty affirms U.S. sovereignty to Pacific Northwest
First newspaper, Oregon Spectator, founded in Oregon City
1847 Cayuse Indians attack Whitman Mission
Oregon Volunteers engage in Cayuse Indian War
First postmaster, John Shively, named at Astoria
First English book, a Blue Back Speller, printed in Oregon City
1848 Joseph Meek carries petition east seeking federal "patronage"
Organic Act creates Oregon Territory
James Marshall discovers gold in California
First U.S. Customs Service office opens in Astoria
1849 First territorial governor, Joseph Lane, assumes duties
First Mounted Riflemen of U.S. Army arrive overland
First "Beaver" gold coins minted in Oregon City
1850 Congress passes Oregon Donation Land Act
First capital punishment—five Cayuse are hanged in Oregon City
Investors start printing The Oregonian in Portland
Census enumerates 11,873 Oregonians