Hayward’s United States Gazetteer (1853) page 122

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the territory ; this exploration of the river being the first ever made by civilized adventurers.
The first trading-house established in that region was erected on Lewis's River, a branch of
the Columbia, in 1808, by the Missouri Fur Company; and in 1811, the town of Astoria was
founded by the Pacific Fur Company, under John Jacob Astor, of New York. This post was
subsequently transferred to the British “ Hudson's Bay Company," in consequence of its ex-
posed situation during the war of 1812; but was afterwards restored, according to a stipula-
tion in the treaty of Ghent. The British government, however, claimed certain portions of
the northern part of the country ; and the question of boundary between the English and
American possessions was for a long time a matter of controversy and negotiation. The sub-
ject was at length adjusted in 1847, and the 49th parallel of north latitude agreed upon as the
line of demarcation. Congress, at about the same period, passed an act for the organization
of a territorial government. The provisions of this act, so far as they relate to civil and
judicial magistrates, to the Indians, the public lands, school reservations, &c., are similar to
those established in the case of Minnesota Territory. {See
Minnesota.) The act has since been
amended in some particulars; but its general features are not essentially altered.

The Territory of Oregon is bounded north by the British possessions, from which it is
divided at the parallel of 49° north latitude; east by the main range of the Rocky Mountains,
separating it from the waste region of Nebraska; south by the Territory of Utah, and the
State of California; and west by the Pacific Ocean. It extends from latitude 42° north to the
above parallel; and, along its southern boundary, reaches from the lG8th to the 124th degree
of west longitude. Its area is estimated at upwards of 340,000 square miles.

The surface presents three distinct sections or tracts of country, formed by separate and
nearly parallel mountain ranges, two of which extend through the territory from north to south.
The Cascade Mountains form the eastern limit of the first section, its western boundary
being the ocean ; between these mountains and the next eastern range, called the Blue Moun-
tains, lies the middle or second section; and the third section, still farther eastward, reaches
to the Rocky Mountains.

These divisions differ considerably in most of their physical characteristics — in soil, climate,
and natural products. The soil of the western or coast section, for the space of 100 to 150
miles east of the ocean, is not remarkably well adapted to the growth of grains, although
many kinds of vegetable esculents may be successfully cultivated. The land is well tim-
bered with firs, spruce, pine, oaks, ash, cedar, poplar, maple, willow, and other forest-trees.
Fruit-trees of the more hardy kinds, shrubbeiy, vines, &c., are found to thrive in all unexposed
places. Towards the coast, some of the forest-trees attain a prodigious size and height.
Near Astoria, eight miles from the sea, there is, or recently was, a fir-tree 46 feet in girth,
and 300 feet high ; the trunk rising to a height of 153 feet before giving off a single branch.
On the banks of the River Umpqua is a still more enormous specimen of the fir, being 57 feet
m circumference, and 216 feet high below7 the branches. Pines reaching an altitude of 200
to 300 feet, and 20 to 40 feet round, are quite common. Good grazing tracts, and lands
suited to the culture of many kinds of grain, and to the growth of pears, apples, and similar
fruits, are found in the interior of this section, and at the base of the Cascade Mountains.
The climate in this quarter is mild, though affected unfavorably at times by the raw sea fogs.
It is not, however, unhealthy. The winters continue only from two to three months, com-
mencing in December, though the rainy season lasts from November to March. Snow is not
common, except upon the summits of the mountains. The middle section of the territory
possesses a fair soil, consisting in part of a light, sandy loam, with many tracts of rich allu-
vion in the valleys. It is peculiarly suited to the production of w7heat, and is fruitful in
almost every description of vegetation. The climate here, especially towmrds the south, is
uniformly pleasant and salubrious. The third division, lying between the Blue and Rocky
Mountains, is extremely rough, and generally barren, with a correspondingly uncongenial
climate. It is traversed by gigantic and lofty mountain ridges in various directions, and so
broken into rocky masses as to present few level or productive spots. It is covered, in the
elevated parts, with snow, to a greater or less depth, during almost the entire year Rain

A Gazetteer of the United States of America by John Hayward.

Hartford, CT: Case, Tiffany and Company. 1853. Public domain image

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