On August 14, 1848, Congress created the Oregon Territory, an area encompassing present-day Oregon, Idaho, Washington, and parts of western Montana and Wyoming. Peter Burnett, a Missouri lawyer who joined an expedition to the Oregon Territory in 1843, hoped to make enough money there to repay his accumulated debt.
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GEORGE WASHINGTON (1817-1905), former slave, son of an African American slave and a woman of English descent, came to the Oregon Territory with his former owner in 1850, to establish a farm. In 1875, George and his wife, Mary Jane Washington, founded the town of Centerville (now Centralia), in Lewis County in Southwest Washington. (Oregon Historical Society) photo: circa 1900.
Joseph Lafayette "Joe" Meek (1810–1875) was a trapper, law enforcement official, and politician in the Oregon Country and later Oregon Territory of the United States. A pioneer involved in the fur trade before settling in the Tualatin Valley, Meek would play a prominent role at the Champoeg Meetings of 1843 where he was elected as a sheriff. Later he served in the Provisional Legislature of Oregon before being selected as the United States Marshal for the Oregon Territory.