John McLoughlin Legacy

Full bronze statue of McLoughlin in mid-stride. He has top hat in left hand and walking stick in right hand.
Statue of John McLoughlin given to the National Statuary Hall Collection.
McLoughlin has been honored in many ways for the role he played in Oregon's early history. In 1905 the Oregon Legislative Assembly renamed the 9495 ft. Mount Pitt in southern Oregon to Mount McLoughlin. Other Oregon features named after McLoughlin include McLoughlin Boulevard, a major north-south thoroughfare in the Portland area; McLoughlin Elementary School in Oregon City; McLoughlin Middle School in Milwaukie; and Camp McLoughlin, a Boy Scouts camp in southern Oregon.

In 1909 McLoughlin's house in Oregon City was dedicated as a permanent memorial. He is also one of two Oregonians honored in the Statuary Hall in Washington D. C. (the other being Rev. Jason Lee). The U.S. Postal Service honored McLoughlin and Lee in 1948 with a 3¢ stamp celebrating the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Oregon Territory. And, in 1957 the Oregon Legislative Assembly passed the following resolution recognizing McLoughlin's contributions to the early development Oregon and naming him "Father of Oregon."

Text of House Joint Resolution Number 38

Whereas the year 1957 marks the centennial of the death of Dr. John McLoughlin, he having died at his home Oregon City on September 3, 1857; and

Whereas Dr. John McLoughlin came to the Northwest region in 1824 as a representative of the Hudson's Bay Company, and occupied the position of Chief Factor from 1825, when the regional headquarters of the company was moved from old Fort Astoria to Fort Vancouver, until his retirement in 1845; and

Image of house joint resolution transcribed at right.
House Joint Resolution 38 filed in the office of the Secretary of State May 17, 1957.
Whereas, in his capacity as Chief Factor, Dr. John McLoughlin directed the far-flung operations of the fur trade in all the country west of the Rocky Mountains and north of the California line, as well as the more localized activities of agriculture, livestock raising, sawmilling, flour milling, dairying and salmon fishing; and

Whereas, from 1825 until 1843, when the provisional government was first established by the settlers in the Willamette Valley, Dr. John McLoughlin was the undisputed governor of the vast area bounded by the Rocky Mountains on the east, Mexican territory (California) on the south, the Pacific Ocean on the west and the Russian settlements on the north; and

Whereas Dr. John McLoughlin exercised a paternal control over the Indians of the region, welcomed and provisioned missionaries and settlers, encouraged schools and church instruction and for a number of years was the only medical practitioner in the region; and

Whereas the many contributions of Dr. John McLoughlin to the development of the Northwest region in general and the Oregon country in particular make him truly deserving of the title by which he is often referred to, the "Father of Oregon"; now therefore,

Be It Resolved by the House of Representatives of the State of Oregon, the Senate jointly concurring:

That the Forty-ninth Legislative Assembly hereby officially confirms and bestows upon Dr. John McLoughlin the honorary title of "Father of Oregon" in recognition of his great contributions to the early development of the Oregon country and in commemoration of the centennial year of his death; and be it further

Resolved, That a copy of this resolution be suitably and prominently displayed in the Dr. McLoughlin Home located in Oregon City, Oregon.

Further Reading

1784 - John McLoughlin born in Riviere du Loup, St. Lawrence, Canada.
1798 - Begins medical apprenticeship.
1803 - Begins the practice of medicine in Montreal. After a few months attaches himself to the North West Company as resident physician at Fort William, on Lake Superior.
1812 - McLoughlin marries Marguerite Waden McKay, by whom he had four children.
1821 - North West Company merges with Hudson's Bay Company. McLoughlin is put in charge of Hudson's Bay Company's Fort William on Lake Superior.
1824 - The Hudson's Bay Company sends McLoughlin west to become Chief Factor of the Columbia District with headquarters then at Fort George, at the mouth of the Columbia River.
1825 - The headquarters are transferred to Ft. Vancouver.
1827 - McLoughlin oversees the building of the 1st lumber mill in the Pacific Northwest.
1829 - The Hudson's Bay Company, under Dr. McLoughlin, takes a land claim at "The Falls" and encourages former trappers to settle nearby in French Prairie.
1834 - Jason Lee is welcomed and aided by Dr. McLoughlin.
1836 - Marcus and Narcissa Whitman are welcomed to Fort Vancouver by Dr. McLoughlin.
1842 - McLoughlin surveys and lays out the town site of Oregon City, replacing the commonly used name of Willamette Falls.
1842 - John McLoughlin, Jr. (the doctor's 2nd son) is shot and killed.
1842 - Doctor McLoughlin becomes a Roman Catholic.
1842 - The first four American migrations (1842 - 1845) are protected, aided and supplied by Dr. McLoughlin.
1843 - Hudson's Bay Company opens a store in Oregon City.
1844 - Oregon City is incorporated by the Provisional Government.
1846 - McLoughlin leaves service of Hudson's Bay Company and takes up residence at Oregon City.
1848 - Joseph McLoughlin (oldest child of Dr. McLoughlin) dies near Champoeg, Oregon.
1849 - John McLoughlin and Robert Moore make application to the county court to keep a ferry across the Willamette River "to and from Oregon and Linn counties."
1849 - McLoughlin makes Declaration of Intention to become an American citizen.
1850 - A clause is inserted into the Oregon donation land law which strips McLoughlin of his land claim near Willamette Falls.
1851 - McLoughlin becomes an American citizen.
1851- Doctor McLoughlin is elected mayor of Oregon City.
1857 - Doctor John McLoughlin dies.
1889 - Portrait of John McLoughlin is accepted by Governor Pennoyer and placed in the Oregon Senate chamber.
1941 - The McLoughlin house is designated as a National Historic Site by the U.S. Department of the Interior.
1953 - A statue of Dr. John McLoughlin is unveiled in the National Statuary Hall in Washington D.C.
1957 - Dr. John McLoughlin given title "Father of Oregon" by Oregon Legislative Assembly.
1970 - Dr. and Mrs. John McLoughlin's graves are moved to Oregon City.
Original records held by the Oregon State Archives bearing the name of John McLoughlin include citizenship records, land claims, correspondence, U. S. District Court testimony, tax assessment rolls, his probate case file, circuit court case files and petitions to the provisional and territorial governments.

The following documents and publications relate to McLoughlin:
U. S. Census, Clackamas County, 1850.
Secretary of State, framed picture of John McLoughlin.
Clackamas County naturalization citizenship application record, 1849-1851.
Clackamas County Probate Court case file, 1857-1858.
Clackamas County Circuit Court case records, 1845-1850.
Oregon Statuary Committee, minutes and other records of the committee for the statues of Dr. John McLoughlin and Rev. Jason Lee in the United States Capitol Building, Washington D. C., 1945-1953.
The Oregon Archives : Including the Journals, Governors Messages and Public Papers of Oregon published La Fayette Grover, Commissioner, 1853.

The following numbered documents from the Oregon Provisional and Territorial Government Documents collection also relate to McLoughlin:
#35 Signer of road petition n.d.
#60 Signer of petition to abolish intoxicants, 1849
#420 Statement regarding disposal of lots at Oregon City, 1850
#444 Remonstrance against petition for opening road through his claim, n. d.
#684 Petition to grant Robert Moore and McLoughlin a joint license to run ferry, n. d.
#705 Petition of Ermatinger for McLoughlin to run ferry, n. d.
#731 Signer of bond of Francis Ermatinger, 1845
#863 Tax List, Oregon City, 1846
#1035 Answer to complaint re Oregon City claim (11 pages), n. d.
#1083 Constitution Committee to consult, 1841
#1385 Letter to A. L. Lovejoy, 1844
#1386 Letter from H.A.G. Lee, J.M. Garrison, and B. Lee re provisional government, 1845
#1387 Letter to George Abernethy concerning the "Peacock", 1846
#1388 Indenture between McLoughlin and Burns lease of ferry, 1845
#1389 Letter from D. Hill, R. Newell and P. H. Hatch concerning road, 1845
#1390 Petition for ferry license, Oregon City, 1845
#1391 Application for ferry license, Oregon City - Robin's Nest, 1845
#1392 Letter to Osborne Russell and P. G. Stuart, Executive Committee, 1845
#1393 Letter to D. Hill, R. Newell, and P. H. Hatch concerning road, 1845
#1394 Letter to J. McClure, J. W. Smith and J. Applegate concerning the "Peacock", 1845
#1395 Petition for extension of time to build canal around Willamette Falls, n. d.
#1396 Petition for ferry, n. d.
#1397 Petition to construct canal, n. d.
#1408 Letter to Executive Committee concerning Williamson claim, 1845
#1409 Letter to Executive Committee concerning Williamson claim, 1845
#1815 List of voters, Clackamas County, 1849
#1905 Election returns, Clackamas County, 1852
#2499 Letter to Cornelius Rogers, 1842
#2502 Letter to Cornelius Rogers, 1841
#2506 Letter to Cornelius Rogers, 1841
#2526 Letter to Cornelius Rogers, 1842
#3268 Petition against repeal of Oregon City incorporation, 1850
#3452 Census, Clackamas County, 1849
#3563 Petition to construct break water and locks, n. d.
#4373 Signer of petition for water works, Oregon City, 1851
#4529 Signer of petition for the incorporation of the Rockville Canal Company, 1852
#4540 Signer of petition for road from Oregon City to Corvallis, n. d.
#5448 Resolution of thanks for help to early settlers, n. d.
#5518 Signer of petition for reprieve of Nimrod O'Kelly, n. d.
#7476 Signer of petition for support of insane persons, n. d.
#9085 Witness to bond of Joseph Sloan, 1857
#10568 Signer of recommendation for J. N. Banker as notary public in Clackamas County, n. d.
#11818 Petition of S. S. White re lot bought from Dr. McLoughlin, 1859
#12194 Census, Clackamas County, 1845
#12196 Letter to J. W. Smith, H.A.G. etc. re "articles of compact", 1845
#12197 Letter to McClure, J. Applegate, etc. re provisional government, 1845
#12275 Assessment Roll, Clackamas County, 1856
#12275A Assessment Roll, Clackamas County, 1857
#12277B Assessment Roll, Marion County, 1855
#12277C Assessment Roll, Marion County, 1856