Nickname: “The Beaver State.”
State Motto: " She Flies With Her Own wings."
State Food: Pears.
State Bird: Western Meadowlark.
State Flower: Oregon Grape.
State Animal: Beaver
The earliest visitors were the Spanish. in search for the elusive Northwest passage. a link between the highly prized water of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. In 1579 Sir Francis Drake, an English adventurer tried claiming the waters for his country. but was deterred from further exploration by the weather. However in 1775, The Spanish continued their explorations. Juan Francisco Bodega y Quadra and Bruno Heceta sighting the mouth of the Columbia river decided to push northward, to avoid disaster and sailed on ward over the bar into the river.
Three years later Captain James Cook returned. mapping out portions of the coast for evident reasons. bestowing the name of Cape Foul weather on the prominent coast. In later years Cook’s journals were published. Sparking interest in the area by speaking about the abundance of fur bearing animals.
The Russians enter and based their North American operations in was known today as Alaska. they would send fur traders and trappers southward, competing with the English’s interests. The Russians were trying to force their way in and claim Oregon until, they surrendered it with a treaty in the 1820’s. The demand for fur was all over. including china which, hugely developed into a lucrative market.
The united states completed the Louisiana purchase. securing a tract of land from France. Thomas Jefferson helped in the planning of an exploration of the new land with the leadership of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. They were disappointed to find a very easy route across the continent. however they came out with very valuable information about the flora, fauna and the areas people. 1805-1806 they weathered the winter at Fort Clatsop. just south of the Columbia. When returning to the east, reports sparked great interest among all other explorers and entrepreneurs. The expedition served to the U.S claim to Oregon.
American influence increased. New Yorker John Jacob Astor established a settlement in Astoria. He had planned on this settlement serving as a warehouse for furs gathered from a string of trading posts all the way back to the Mississippi river. However his plans were interrupted by the war of 1812. In fear of losing his investment to the British, he sold to his holding to rival northwest company. Astoria was returned to the U.S upon peace terms. at the end of the war, however tensions mounted when both the British and Americans kept occupying the territory.
With the U.S and Britain putting off the final resolution to the ownership. signed a treaty stating for joint occupation; it was renewed in 1827 without an expiration date. Each side tried to strengthen by bringing in settlers, a task much easier for Americans to accomplish.
The treaty with Spain helped established the southern boundary of Oregon at the 42nd parallel.
The British’s presence remained strong, contributing largely to the Hudson’s bay company. who had acquired the same company that bought John Jacob Astor’s Business. The northwest company. John Mcloughlin established Fort Vancouver on the north side of Columbia; which is known as Washington state in present day, about 100 miles from the pacific. Those who came from America to settle got discouraged, however Mcloughlin later became an American citizen and is now known as the “Father Of Oregon.” Because of his helpfulness to new comers.
In the 1830’s Americans decided to bring gospel to the Indians in the northwest specifically the Willamette valley. At first the Indians welcomed the strangers in friendship, but tension arose with the difference of culture which eventually led to warfare. Despite the inability to win over the coverts, the American missionaries wrote back to their friends in their home town to inform them about the richness of the soil. Their friends back east were eager to hear such news because of the suffering of the prolonged depression that followed the Panic of 1837. Importance agriculture grew to the people who settled in Oregon as the fur trade declined.
The eastern people took on the 2,000 mile journey from Independence Missouri to what became known as the Oregon trail. Once settled into Oregon the settlers pressed for the complete removal of the British. With the presidential election of 1844, major issue arose of the ownership of Oregon.
Americans became very belligerent in the expansion, and called for “Fifty-Four forty or Fight!” a stance that would establish the international boundary north of Vancouver island known today as British Columbia. Soon the British came to the conclusion that their population was not worth losing and relocated the Hudson’s Bay Company that was once the home of Fort Victoria in 1843. That same year settlers of Champoeg, near the present day Newberg, in the valley of Willamette. then organized a provisional government in an effort of self-rule.
By 1846 the Oregon Question was resolved with mutual agreement. The 49th parallel became the international boundary for the northwestern United States and Canada, clarity of the San Juan Islands was still needed. The Oregon territory was formally established two years later by congress, which counted the areas between the 42nd and 49th parallels, which include Oregon, Washington, Idaho and some portions of Wyoming and Montana.
Due to the high demand for beaver hats and coats and unregulated trapping during the early settlement years, beavers were nearly eliminated by the mid-19th century. Since then, proper management has allowed the semi-aquatic mammals to flourish once again. Known as the “Beaver State,” Oregon features a picture of a beaver on the back of its state flag.
Mount Hood, a dormant volcano that last erupted around 1865, is covered by 12 glaciers. At 11,239 feet, it is the tallest peak in Oregon.
Oregon grows 99 percent of all hazelnuts produced in the United States. It is also the country’s leading producer of Christmas trees, with an output of more than 4.9 million trees in 2009.