A condensed timeline highlighting some key dates on the Road to Statehood. Native people lived in the Pacific Northwest approximately 14,000 years before the first Euro-Americans arrived.
Spanish explorers are believed to have reached the southwest coast of Oregon.
Captain Juan Perez sails along the Northwest Coast.
Captain Robert Gray, an American, sails into the great river of the Northwest and names it the Columbia after his ship.
The Lewis & Clark Expedition travels from St. Louis to the mouth of the Columbia River and returns East.
The Pacific Fur Company is established near present day Astoria, Oregon.
Great Britain and the United States sign a treaty agreeing to joint occupancy of The Oregon Country.
The British Hudson’s Bay Company establishes its Northwest headquarters at Ft. Vancouver on the north bank of the Columbia River. Dr. John McLoughin, a British citizen, is named chief factor.
John McLoughlin claims Willamette Falls for its water power and Hudson’s Bay Company establishes a post there.
Malaria epidemics break out at Ft. Vancouver decimating the local Native population.
Jason Lee, a Methodist missionary, arrives in Oregon and builds the first protestant mission and school near present day Salem.
Dr. Marcus Whitman, H. H. Spaulding and their wives, Narcissa and Eliza arrive in Oregon Country. The Whitmans established their mission amongst the Cayuse Indians near present day Walla Walla, Washington.
John McLoughlin platts the town of Willamette Falls and renames it Oregon City.
Settlers gather at Champoeg and vote to establish a civil government – the first American government west of the Mississippi.
The first large wagon train arrives over the Oregon Trail bringing approximately 900 settlers.
George Abernathy is elected the first provisional governor of Oregon Country.
A treaty between Great Britain and the United States ends the boundary dispute at the 49th parallel.
The first newspaper in the region, the Oregon Spectator is printed in Oregon City.
A measles epidemic breaks out at the Whitman Mission precipitating the “Whitman Massacre.”
The Cayuse Indian War begins – the first major Indian conflict in the Northwest.
Provisional Sheriff Joe Meek leads a delegation to Washington D.C. to ask for military protection for Oregon.
President James Polk signs a bill declaring Oregon Territory to be a federal territory of the United States.
Abraham Lincoln is asked to be the territorial governor but declines.
President Polk appoints Mexican War hero Joseph Lane as the first territorial governor.
The Oregon Donation Land Act becomes law granting 320 acres to white American males and their sons and 320 more acres to their wives.
The Rogue River Indian War begins.
Portland is incorporated.
John McLoughlin becomes an American citizen.
Washington Territory is created from part of Oregon Territory.
Sixty delegates meet in Salem to draft Oregon State Constitution. It’s submitted to Congress for approval.
Congress ratifies the Constitution. On February 14, 1859 Oregon becomes the 33rd state in the Union.
© 2013 Oregon Public Broadcasting.