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Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly volume 12.djvu/383

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REVIEW

ACQUISITION OF OREGON AND THE LONG SUPPRESSED EVIDENCE ABOUT MARCUS WHITMAN

By William I. Marshall, of Chicago

(Seattle: Lowman and Hanford Company, 1911. Volume I, pp. 450; Volume II, pp. 366)

Though many writers have essayed history of the acquisition period of Oregon, none has quite rilled the need. More or less common is lack of scrutiny of "original sources" and of keen discernment of materials. Frequently, writers have based chronicles and conclusions on "facts" remembered long afterwards, not recorded at the event often tinted with imagination or biased opinion of a later time.

Many "original sources" must yet be studied before a satisfactory history can be written of the large movements in discovery, exploration, settlements and acquisition of Oregon. Records of Hudson's Bay Company are yet to be opened and of the British Government; those of the United States Government are. to be examined for fuller data and writings of its statesmen and diplomats; also of missionary organizations that contributed to early settlement. Much knowledge is to be gleaned from letters, diaries and journals of contemporary periods.

A book just published, "Acquisition of Oregon," written by the late William I. Marshall of Chicago (2 Vols., Lowman & Hanford Co., Seattle), delves farthest into first-hand materials of any history yet published of the pioneer period. The labor expended on this book by Professor Marshall was immense. His search into the issues of diplomacy over Oregon, through government archives and through diaries and letters of American diplomatists for the period 1814-46; his inquiry into records of the executive department and of Congress for that period; his study of letters and diaries of missionaries and pioneer immigrants between 1832 and 1846 all this makes the completest and most illuminating story of pioneer Oregon yet compiled.