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

  • By Walt Crowley
  • Posted 2/19/2003
  • Essay 5248

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 and defacto British administration of the region under the 1818 Treaty of Joint Occupation.

The Hudson's Bay Company and British government did not resist the new "republic," which for a brief time existed independently of both Britain and the United States. The Provisional Government of Oregon convened its first legislature on June 18, 1844, and 480 votes were cast in its June 3, 1845, election.

Britain ceded its claims to the Pacific Northwest below the 49th parallel by signing the Treaty of Oregon on June 15, 1846, and Oregon (including the present-day states of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho) became a Territory of the United States on August 14, 1848.


Edmond S. Meany, History of the State of Washington (New York: The Macmillan Co., 1909); Clarence Bagley, History of King County, Washington (Chicago: S.J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1929); Dictionary of Oregon History ed. by Howard McKinley Corning (Portland, OR: Binfords & Mort, 1956).

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