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Whitman-Spalding missionary party arrives at Fort Vancouver on September 12, 1836.

On September 12, 1836, missionaries Marcus Whitman (1802-1847) and Henry Spalding (1803-1874) and their respective wives, Narcissa (1808-1847) and Eliza (1807-1851), arrive at Fort Vancouver after a s...

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Dr. Marcus Whitman establishes a mission at Waiilatpu on October 16, 1836.

On October 16, 1836, Dr. Marcus Whitman (1802-1847), a Presbyterian missionary and a physician, establishes a mission at Waiilatpu on the Walla Walla River. He chooses the site because of its proximit...

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Missionary women organize the Columbia Maternal Association, the first women's club in the Northwest, on September 3, 1838.

On September 3, 1838, the wives of six pioneer missionaries meet at the Whitman mission at Waiilatpu (near present-day Walla Walla) and organize the Columbia Maternal Association, the first women's cl...

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Protestant missionaries choose Tshimakain plain as site for a mission to the Spokane Indians on September 25, 1838.

On September 25, 1838, missionaries Elkanah Walker (1805-1877) and Cushing Eells (1810-1893) choose a site to build a mission near where the town of Ford in Stevens County will later be located (some ...

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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 Ex...

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Wilkes Expedition holds Puget Sound's first Fourth of July celebration on July 5, 1841.

On July 5, 1841, the seamen and Marines of the Wilkes Expedition hold the first Fourth of July celebration in the Puget Sound region. The men are from two expedition ships anchored in the sound off th...

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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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Esther Clark Short and her family settle near Fort Vancouver on December 25, 1845.

On December 25, 1845, Esther Clark Short (1806-1862) arrives at the Hudson's Bay Company's Fort Vancouver in what will become the city of Vancouver, Clark County. She, her husband Amos Meade Short (1...

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Britain and the United States agree on the 49th parallel as the main Pacific Northwest boundary in the Treaty of Oregon on June 15, 1846.

On June 15, 1846, Britain and the United States sign the Treaty of Oregon establishing the 49th parallel as the primary international boundary in the Pacific Northwest. Since 1818, the entire region, ...

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Edmund Sylvester and Levi Smith stake a claim on the future site of Olympia in October 1846.

In October 1846, Edmund Sylvester and Levi Lathrop Smith stake a joint claim to 320 acres on Budd Inlet at what will become Olympia. Smith choses a two-acre clearing to build a 16-foot-square log cabi...

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St. Anne's Mission is established on Umatilla River on November 27, 1847.

On Saturday, November 27, 1847, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Walla Walla, Augustin Magliore Alexander Blanchet (1797-1887), and John Baptist Abraham Brouillet (1813-1884) leave Fort Walla Walla and es...

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Cayuse attack mission, in what becomes known as the Whitman Massacre, on November 29, 1847.

On November 29, 1847, a small group of Cayuse Indians attack the Whitman Mission near Walla Walla in what will become known as the Whitman Massacre. Dr. Marcus Whitman (1802-1847), his wife Narcissa P...

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Bishop Augustin Magloire Blanchet performs the first Catholic ordination in the future state of Washington at Fort Walla Walla on January 2, 1848.

On January 2, 1848, Bishop Augustin Magloire Blanchet (1797-1887) ordains Oblate Missionaries Eugene Casimir Chirouse (1821-1892) and Charles M. Pandosy (1824-1891) as Catholic priests in a hastily a...

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Palouse Indians and Oregon Volunteers battle in future Columbia County for 30 hours beginning on March 14, 1848.

On March 14 and 15, 1848, a battle between Oregon Volunteers and members of the Palouse Tribe takes place in present-day Columbia County during the Cayuse War. The fighting continues for 30 hours. The...

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