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Father Francois (or Francis) N. Blanchet and Rev. Modeste Demers arrive at Fort Vancouver on November 24, 1838.

On November 24, 1838, Father Francois (or Francis) N. Blanchet (1795-1883) and the Rev. Modeste Demers (1809-1871) arrive at Fort Vancouver. They have traveled from eastern Canada with the annual Hud...

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Father Francis (or Francois) N. Blanchet visits Whidbey Island on May 26, 1840.

On May 26, 1840, early missionary Father Francis N. Blanchet (1795-1883) comes to Whidbey Island at the invitation of Chief Tslalakum.

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Robert Newell and Joseph Meek reach Fort Walla Walla with the first wagons driven overland to the Columbia River in September 1840.

In September 1840, Robert Newell, Joseph L. Meek, and their families reach Fort Walla Walla, the Hudson's Bay Company trading post on the Columbia River in present day Walla Walla County, with three w...

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Charles Wilkes begins first American survey of Puget Sound on May 11, 1841.

On May 11, 1841, the U.S. Navy ships Vincennes and Porpoise, commanded by Lt. Charles Wilkes (1798-1877), drop anchor in southern Puget Sound, near the mouth of Sesquilatchew Creek and the Hudson's Ba...

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Wilkes expedition sailing vessel Porpoise anchors in Commencement Bay on May 17, 1841.

On May 17, 1841, the United States sailing vessel Porpoise anchors below the bluff of present-day Tacoma, and her officers name Commencement Bay. The Porpoise is part of the United States Exploring ...

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USS Peacock wrecks at the mouth of the Columbia River, giving her name to Peacock Spit, on July 18, 1841.

On July 18, 1841, the 18-gun U.S. Navy sloop USS Peacock wrecks at foot of the promontory marking the north side of the Columbia River's entrance. The partially submerged sandspit there becomes Peacoc...

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United States Exploring Expedition Surveys the Columbia River during August and September 1841.

During August and September 1841, the United States Exploring Expedition, commanded by Lieutenant Charles Wilkes (1798-1877), carries out a hydrographic survey of the Columbia River from its mouth to ...

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American settlers in Oregon declare a provisional government on May 2, 1843.

On May 2, 1843, following the first major influx of settlers, American citizens in "Oregon Country" meet to organize a provisional government for self-rule. The act challenges the Hudson's Bay Company...

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James Scarborough occupies Chinook Point on the Columbia River on December 1, 1843.

On December 1, 1843, Englishman James A. Scarborough (1805-1855) settles at Chinook Point on the Columbia River in what will become Pacific County, Washington. Scarborough will file a Donation Land Cl...

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Vancouver District, encompassing what is now Clark County in southwest Washington, is created on August 20, 1845.

On August 20, 1845, two days after being passed by Oregon's Provisional Legislature, the act creating Vancouver District, a huge area north of the Columbia River including what will later become Washi...

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Michael T. Simmons settles at Tumwater in October 1845.

In late October 1845, Michael T. Simmons (1814-1867) of Kentucky, Iowa, and Missouri settles at Tumwater near the Falls of the Deschutes River. Tum-wa-ta is a Chinook Jargon word for strong water or w...

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George W. Bush settles with his family at Bush Prairie near Tumwater in November 1845.

In November 1845, George W. and Isabella James Bush and their five sons settle near Tumwater on a fertile plain that comes to be known as Bush Prairie. They and their party, which includes their good...

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