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Historical Tidbit Thursdays - The Oregon Trail - Oregon Country - #TidbitThursday


Welcome to our newest addition to the blog - Historical Tidbit Thursdays!

The next few weeks I'm veering off my normal Texas History research trail to dive deep into the Oregon Trail and share my research with you! Hope you enjoy!

In the 1500's, Spanish explorers sailed ships to the Oregon area but didn't make permanent homes. They focused their efforts on California.

In 1805, United States President Thomas Jefferson sent explorers Meriwether Lewis (Jefferson's private secretary) and William Clark (who was a friend of Lewis's) to explore the lands west of the Mississippi River, documenting what they saw and creating detailed maps.

In 1810, New York fur-trade businessman John Jacob Astor sent a group of men to set up a trading post in Oregon Territory named Fort Astor (or Astoria). This became the first American settlement in Oregon Country. However, Astoria faced a lot of difficulties - the local natives killed most of the traders after a confrontation. A small group headed back to New York to report to their boss, John, led by Robert Stuart. Along the way, Crow Indians stole their horses. Robert Stuart had traversed the Oregon Trail - in reverse.

In 1833, a letter appeared in a New York Christian-faith newspaper saying that Nez Perce Indians were asking questions about the Bible ("white man's book of Heaven"). In response, churches sent missionaries west to teach natives about Christianity. One missionary was Doctor Marcus Whitman who went to Oregon in 1835. In 1836 he returned to New York. February 18th he married Narcissa Prentiss. The very next day, they went to Oregon Country to set up a missionary. A year later, she gave birth to Alice Clarissa Whitman (who drowned to death two years later).

How Many People Traveled the Oregon Trail? by Miriam Aronin; ISBN#978-0-7613-5332-4

Photo Credit: https://www.biography.com/people/meriwether-lewis-9381267
Photo Credit: https://www.biography.com/people/william-clark-9542620
Photo Credit: https://www.biography.com/people/john-jacob-astor-9191158
Photo Credit: https://www.nps.gov/whmi/learn/historyculture/narcissa-biography.htm

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