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OREGON, a N. W. state of the American Union, on the Pacific coast, the 20th admitted under the constitution, situated between lat. 42° and 46° 20′ N., and lon. 116° 40′ and 124° 35′ W.; average length E. and W. about 360 m., average breadth about 260 m.; area, 95,274 sq. m. It is bounded N. by Washington territory, from which it is partly separated by the Columbia river; E. by Idaho, from which it is partly separated by the Snake river; S. by Nevada and California; and W. by the Pacific ocean. The state is divided into 23 counties, viz.: Baker, Benton, Clackamas, Clatsop, Columbia, Coös, Curry, Douglas, Grant, Jackson, Josephine, Lake, Lane, Linn, Marion, Multnomah, Polk, Tillamook, Umatilla, Union, Wasco, Washington, and Yamhill. The chief city and commercial metropolis is Portland (pop. in 1870, 8,295), on the Willamette river, 12 m. above its junction with the Columbia. Salem (pop. 1,139), the capital, is on the E. bank of the Willamette, 50 m. S. of Portland. Other places with from 500 to 2,000 inhabitants are Astoria, near the mouth of the Columbia; Forest Grove, 20 m. W. of Portland; Albany, Corvallis, Eugene City, Harrisburg, and Oregon City, on the Willamette; Roseburg, in the valley of the Umpqua river; Jacksonville, in Rogue river valley; Dalles, on the Columbia; La Grande, on Grande Ronde river; Pendleton, on Umatilla river; and Baker City, in Baker co. The total population (federal censuses) has been as follows: 1850, 13,294; 1860, 52,465; 1870, 90,923, of whom 346 were colored, 3,330 Chinese, and 318 non-tribal Indians.

AmCyc Oregon.jpg

State Seal of Oregon.

According to the state census of 1865 it was 65,090. Next to Nevada it is the least populous state of the Union. Of the total population in 1870, 79,323 were native and 11,600 foreign born, 53,131 males and 37,792 females. Of the natives, 37,155 were born in the state, 7,061 in Missouri, 4,722 in Illinois, 4,031 in Ohio, 3,695 in Iowa, 3,451 in Indiana, 3,092 in New York, 2,387 in Kentucky, 1,930 in Pennsylvania, 1,710 in California, 1,544 in Tennessee, 1,447 in Virginia and West Virginia, 746 in Massachusetts, 676 in Maine, and 606 in Washington territory; and there were persons living in the state born in every other state and every territory except Dakota. Of persons born in the state, 6,225 were living in other parts of the Union. Of the foreigners, besides the Chinese, 3,771 were natives of the British isles, 1,875 of Germany, and 1,187 of British America. There were 24,608 male citizens of the United States 21 years old and upward residing in the state. The number of families was 18,504, with an average of 4.91 persons to each; of dwellings, 19,372, with an average of 4.69 to each. There were 2,609 persons 10 years old and upward unable to read, and 4,427 unable to write, of whom 3,003 were natives and 1,424 foreigners, 808 Chinese, and 118 Indians; 122 insane persons, 55 idiotic, 23 deaf and dumb, and 35 blind; paupers supported during the year ending June 1, 133, at a cost of $24,800; receiving support on that date, 81; persons convicted of crimes during the year, 80. Of the 30,651 persons 10 years old and upward returned as engaged in all occupations, 13,248 were employed in agriculture, including 3,126 agricultural laborers and 9,758 farmers and planters; 6,090 in professional and personal services, including 162 clergymen, 830 domestic servants, 2,962 laborers, 194 lawyers, 206 physicians and surgeons, and 410 teachers; 2,619 in trade and transportation; and 8,694 in manufactures and mining, including 3,965 miners. A majority of the inhabitants are settled in the Willamette valley, the districts W. of the Coast mountains and E. of the Cascade range being thinly inhabited. The tribal Indians of Oregon in 1875 numbered about 8,000, of whom 2,500 or 3,000 were roving bands, chiefly along the Columbia river and in the E. and S. E. parts of the state; the rest are settled on reservations or at agencies. Some of them are partially civilized and are engaged in agriculture. There are seven reservations: the Alsea, about the centre of the Pacific coast; the Siletz, N. of this; the Grande Ronde, E. of the Siletz; the Klamath, in the Klamath basin; the Warm Springs, in the N. part of the state, just E. of the Cascade mountains; the Umatilla, in the N. E. part of the state; and the Malheur, on the N. fork of the river of that name. The Oregon Indians comprise numerous small bands, including Alseas, Bannacks, Calapooyas, Cayuses, Clackamas, Clatsops, Coosas, Klamaths, Modocs, Molels, Nez Percés, Pi-Utes, Shasta Scotans, Shoshones, Sinselaws, Snakes, Terrinoes, Tillamooks, Umatillas, Umpquas, Walla-Wallas, Warm Springs, and Wascoes.—Oregon is divided into two unequal parts, known as eastern and western Oregon, by the Cascade mountains, which cross the state from N. to S. at an average distance of 130 m. from the coast. The two sections differ in climate, soil, and topography. The Cascade mountains are from 4,000 to 10,000 ft. high, with occasional peaks rising still higher, of which the principal are Mt. Hood, in lat. 45° 20', according to Lieut. Col. Williamson (1867), 11,225 ft high; Mt. Jefferson, in lat. 44° 40', 10,200 ft the Three Sisters, in lat. 44° 10', 9,420 ft.; Diamond peak, 9,420 ft.; Mt. Thielsen, 8,500 ft.; Mt. Scott, 8,500 ft.; and Mt. McLaughlin or Pitt, in lat. 42° 25', 11,000 ft. All these rise into the region of perpetual snow, and all of them are extinct volcanoes. How long they have been extinct is not known, but the Indians have traditions of a time when Mt. Hood was an active volcano. Western Oregon, extending from the Cascade range to the Pacific ocean, embraces about a third of the state, and is divided by mountain chains into four districts differing somewhat from each other in soil, climate, and topography. The Coast mountains, running N. and S. at an average distance of 25 m. from the coast, vary from 1,000 to 4,000 ft. in height. The tract between them and the ocean is broken and hilly. Between the Coast and Cascade mountains, terminated on the south by the Calapooya range (1,000 to 2,000 ft. high), is the Willamette valley, a rolling prairie 40 by 140 m. in extent. S. of this is the Umpqua valley, consisting of alternate hills and vales, and S. of the Umpqua valley and separated from it by the Umpqua mountains (1,000 to 4,000 ft. high) is the Rogue river valley, of irregular width and diversified surface. It is bordered S. by the Siskiyou mountains (2,000 to 5,000 ft. high), which lie along the California border. Eastern Oregon, embracing all the state E. of the Cascade range, consists generally of undulating table lands, seamed by deep cañons, and marked by truncated cones of moderate altitude, which rise abruptly from the general level. It is traversed by the Blue mountains, which extend S. W. from near the N. E. corner of the state. These have an average altitude of 7,000 ft., but toward the north fall to 5,000 ft. They throw off spurs in various directions, which divide the country, particularly on the east, into a series of deep valleys. The Eagle Creek mountains are the most important of these spurs, extending 40 m. E. and W., and then N. along the Snake river, including the valleys of Burnt, Powder, and Grande Ronde rivers. They are cut in many places by cañons, with perpendicular faces from 1,000 to 2,000 ft. high. In the S. part of eastern Oregon are a number of minor mountain ranges, having an altitude of from 1,000 to 4,000 ft. The Great Basin extends into eastern Oregon from Nevada, stretching N. W. to the head waters of the Des Chutes river.—Oregon has a coast line on the Pacific of more than 300 m. Numerous capes and promontories are formed by spurs of the Coast mountains, the principal of which, commencing at the south, are Cape Orford or Blanco (the westernmost point of the state), Cape Arago, Umpqua head, Cape Perpetua, Cape Foulweather, Cape Lookout, Tillamook head, and Point Adams, at the mouth of the Columbia. The harbors are neither large nor numerous, but are generally safe. The first on the south is formed by Rogue river (lat. 42° 25′), reported to have two fathoms of water. Many rocks border the shore, and a dangerous reef, with a channel 1 m. wide, lies off the entrance. Port Orford (lat. 42° 40′) is safe during the summer, that is, while the N. winds blow, but is open to the south and is insecure during the winter months. The harbor is 2 m. long and 1 m. wide, and has good anchorage in from 4 to 6 fathoms. It has been proposed to make it a harbor of refuge by the erection of a breakwater to protect it from S. winds, and the matter has been brought to the attention of congress. The Coquille river (lat. 43° 7′) is accessible by vessels of light draught. Coös bay (lat. 43° 21′) is about 10 m. long and 2 m. wide, and has a depth of from 3 to 4 fathoms; the bar sometimes fills up in winter, which prevents large vessels from crossing it for a week or two. Umpqua river (lat. 43° 41′) is accessible by vessels drawing 3 to 15 ft. Yaquina bay (lat. 44° 40′) is about 4 m. long and 2 m. wide; the bar has a depth of less than 2 fathoms at low water. Tillamook bay (lat. 45° 34′) has an area of about 6 sq. m.; the entrance has a width of 600 yards, with a channel 135 yards wide and from 4 to 8 fathoms deep. Nehalem river (lat. 45° 41′ 30″) forms a bay 4 m. long and 8 m. wide, with an entrance from 200 to 400 yards wide, and a depth of 18 ft. at high tide. False Tillamook bay (lat. 45° 45′) is nearly round, ¾ m. in diameter, with an entrance ¼ m. wide, opening to the south, and is secure except against S. winds. The Columbia river furnishes the best harbors in the state. Between Cape Disappointment (now officially called Cape Hancock) and Point Adams it is 5 m. wide. It has two channels: the south channel, more than 2 m. wide, with a depth of 4 fathoms at the lowest stage; and the north channel, more than 600 yards wide at the narrowest point, with a depth of 3½ fathoms. Its chief drawbacks are a shifting bar and the prevalence of fogs at certain seasons. On Cape Disappointment at the N. entrance is a lighthouse, while Point Adams at the south is the site of Fort Stevens. There are several other lighthouses on the coast.—The Columbia forms the N. boundary of the state for about 300 m., and is navigable by steamers the entire distance, with portages of 6 and 15 m. at the Cascades and the Dalles respectively, around which railroads have been constructed. Ships ascend 115 m. above its mouth. Its chief tributary W. of the Cascade mountains is the Willamette, formed by the junction near Eugene City of three streams, known as Coast, Middle, and McKenzie forks, which rise in the Cascade range S. of Diamond peak. The Willamette flows N. 155 m., and joins the Columbia 110 m. above its mouth. It is navigable by light steamers in summer 126 m. above Portland, and by sea-going ships 18 m. Navigation was formerly obstructed by the falls at Oregon City, but the difficulty is now overcome by locks constructed at a cost of $450,000. The chief tributaries of the Willamette are the Tualatin and Yamhill from the west, and the Clackamas, Santiam, and Calapooya from the east. East of the Cascade mountains the Columbia receives the Des Chutes river, which rises in the Cascades near the source of the Willamette, and after a N. course of about 250 m. joins the main stream a few miles above the Dalles. Crooked river rises in the Blue mountains, and after a N. W. course of 75 m. joins the Des Chutes near the centre of the state. John Day's river rises in the Blue mountains, and has a N. course of 250 m., emptying into the Columbia a short distance above the mouth of the Des Chutes. The Umatilla and Walla Walla rivers rise in the Blue mountains, and empty into the Columbia (the latter in Washington territory) after a N. W. course of 75 m. The Snake river forms the E. boundary of the state for more than 150 m., and is navigable above the mouth of the Powder river. Its chief tributaries from Oregon are the Grande Ronde, Powder, Burnt, Malheur, and Owyhee rivers. The Grande Ronde rises in the Blue mountains, and drains the N. E. corner of the state, joining the Snake in Washington territory after a N. E. course of about 100 m. The Powder (200 m. long), Burnt (100 m.), and Malheur (140 m.) also rise in the Blue mountains, and have a general E. course. The Owyhee enters the S. E. corner of the state from Idaho, flows N. W. and N. E. in a curve, and joins the Snake, after a total course of 200 m., at the point where that river first strikes the boundary. The principal streams that flow into the Pacific from this state are the Rogue and Umpqua rivers, each about 200 m. long, which rise in the Cascade mountains and flow W., breaking through the Coast range. The Umpqua is navigable by steamers of light draught to Roseburg, about 90 m. above its mouth, though more than half this distance is obstructed by rapids. Numerous streams rise in the Coast mountains and flow W. to the Pacific, the largest of which do not exceed 50 or 60 m. in length. Among these are the Nehalem, Tillamook, Coös, and Coquille. The Nehalem alone is navigable, and but for a few miles. The head waters of Klamath river, which empties into the Pacific in California, are in the S. W. corner of eastern Oregon, just E. of the Cascade range. The Klamath marsh, 5 by 20 m. in extent, is often submerged in winter, and discharges through Williamson river into Upper Klamath lake (6 by 20 m.), which empties through Link river into Lower Klamath lake on the California border. The latter lake is the immediate source of the Klamath river. Lost river rises in California, flows N. into Oregon, and then curving W. and S. empties into Rhett or Tule lake on the California border, a few miles E. of Lower Klamath lake. E. of Tule lake is Goose lake, lying chiefly in California. Its waters find their way through Pitt river into the Sacramento. Other important lakes are Silver, Summer, and Abert, N. and N. E. of those named, and Harney and Malheur, near the head waters of the Malheur river.—The principal geological formations in Oregon are the eozoic, the volcanic, the tertiary, and the cretaceous. The eozoic occupies the Coast range and the Blue mountains, while the Cascade range and the E. and E. central portions of the state are volcanic. The tertiary forms a narrow strip along the Pacific, and occupies the Willamette valley, the upper portion of the Umpqua valley, the valley of the Grande Ronde, and a considerable tract E. of the Cascade mountains and S. of the 44th parallel. The cretaceous chiefly occurs along the upper Des Chutes and John Day's rivers and their tributaries.—Oregon is rich in minerals. Gold is found at various points in the southwest along the streams and in the sands of the seashore. It was first discovered in 1852 in Jackson co., and mining is still carried on in Jackson, Josephine, and Douglas cos.; but the chief mining region is E. of the Cascade mountains (where the metal was discovered in 1861), on the head waters of John Day's river and on Burnt and Powder rivers. The most productive mines are in Baker and Grant cos. The mines are chiefly placer, but attention has recently been directed also to the quartz lodes. Silver occurs in all the quartz ledges of the state, and is found mingled with galena and other minerals, but mining operations have not been carried on. In Baker co. a deposit has been found yielding from $150 to $300 per ton of ore. Copper has been found not only in the form of oxides and carbonates, but also in solid ledges. It occurs in all the counties E. of the Blue mountains, in those W. of the Coast range, and in Douglas, Jackson, and Josephine cos. The only mine in operation is in Union co. in the N. E. part of the state. Iron ore underlies a great portion of the surface, and in some parts forms low hills. It has been found in the Willamette valley, along the coast, and in the S. and E. parts of the state. Coal of a lignitic character, and apparently of a miocene formation, is widely diffused. It is found along the Coast range and the region W. of this, in the Umpqua and Willamette valleys, E. of the Blue mountains, and elsewhere. The principal mine is on Coös bay, whence large quantities are shipped. Limestone is most abundant in the south and in the coast region. Marble of good quality occurs in Jackson and Josephine cos. Granite, sandstone, slate, syenite, &c., suitable for building, are comparatively abundant in western Oregon. In this region also occur salt springs, which yield large quantities of good salt. Steatite or soapstone is found in the Klamath basin and elsewhere. Clays for brick making and pottery occur, and the sand dunes of the coast furnish an excellent material for the manufacture of glass. The number of gold mines returned by the United States census of 1870 was 168 (139 placer, 26 hydraulic, and 3 quartz), employing 880 hands and a capital of $321,520; wages paid during the year, $79,022; value of materials used, $29,930; of product, $417,797; 3ut these returns are admitted to be imperfect. The number of quartz mills in 1870 (including those not in operation), according to the report of the United States commissioner of mining statistics, was 15 (1 for the production of silver and 14 of gold), with 62 stamps and 19 arrastras. The bullion product of the state to the close of 1867, according to J. Ross Browne, was $22,000,000, which United States Commissioner Raymond thinks more than 50 per cent. too high. The subsequent yield, according to Raymond, has been as follows: 1868, $3,500,000; 1869, $2,625,000; 1870, $2,625,000; 1871, $2,200,000; 1872, $1,775,000; 1873, $1,375,000; 1874, $650,000; total, $14,750,000. The entire product to the close of 1874 may therefore be stated at from $26,000,000 to $37,000,000. The amount of gold deposited at the United States mints and assay offices from Oregon to June 30, 1874, was $12,314,071 10. Mineral springs, both hot and cold, occur in the Rogue river valley, in the Siskiyou mountains, and in eastern Oregon.—Western Oregon has a moist and equable climate; eastern Oregon, one dry and variable. In the former division there are but two seasons, the wet and the dry. The wet season commences about the latter part of November and lasts till March or April, during which drizzling rains and thick mists prevail, though there are many clear days. In the dry season the sky is generally clear, and though rain is not entirely wanting, very little falls from June to October. The climate of this division varies somewhat in different localities. In the southern portions the dry season is longer and the wet season shorter than in the northern, while in the district W. of the Coast range the atmosphere is more humid than between the Coast and Cascade mountains. Snow falls occasionally, but seldom to any considerable depth, and generally soon disappears. Ice rarely forms more than an inch or two in thickness, and soon thaws. In some winters flowers bloom in the gardens even in the N. portion of the Willamette valley. The nights in summer are always cool, and the heat during the day, seldom extreme, is never oppressive. The Cascade mountains shut out from eastern Oregon the moisture of the Pacific. The temperature here is subject to greater extremes than in the west, but the winters are shorter and milder, and the summers cooler and more equable than on the Atlantic coast. The winter commences late in December, and generally, lasts three months. Snow frequently falls to the depth of 12 inches in the valleys, but 6 inches is the usual depth. In the high mountainous region of Grant co. a much greater quantity falls. Ice is formed every winter, but commonly it does not exceed a few inches in thickness. A warm S. E. wind is not uncommon, before which the snow speedily disappears. In summer the heat occasionally reaches 100°, but owing to the dryness and rarity of the atmosphere it is not severely felt. Considerable rain falls in spring, but in summer there is little rain and not much dew, though crops do not suffer from drought. In the Klamath valley, owing to its elevation (4,200 ft.), frosts occur every night of the year, and snow lies from three to five months. Thunder, lightning, hail, and heavy winds are rare in Oregon. In most parts of the state cattle are wintered without shelter or prepared food, but loss is suffered in seasons of unusual severity. In western Oregon the most careful farmers erect sheds to protect their stock from cold rains, and furnish fodder for five or six weeks. The mean temperature of the seasons and year at Port Orford (lat. 42° 40′) and Astoria (lat. 46° 10′) on the coast, at Corvallis (lat. 44° 30′) in the Willamette valley, and at Dalles (lat. 45° 36′) just E. of the Cascade range, is stated by Murphy as follows:

 LOCALITY.   Spring.   Summer.   Autumn.   Winter.   Year. 






Port Orford   52.00°   60.00°   55.00°   47.50°   53.5°
Astoria  51.00  61.50  54.00  42.50  52.0
Corvallis  52.19  67.13  53.41  39.27  53.0
Dalles  53.00  70.50  52.00  35.50  53.0

At Eola (lat. 44° 57′), near Salem, the average mean temperature of the years 1870, '71, and '72 was 49.66°, varying from 49.25° to 50.4°; average annual rainfall, 38.62 inches, varying from 37.11 to 40.84 inches; average mean temperature of spring, 47°; summer, 66.1°; autumn, 49.1°; winter, 37.3°; maximum temperature, 83°; minimum, 13°. The annual rainfall at Astoria is stated at 60 inches, and in eastern Oregon at from 15 to 20 inches. The climate is generally healthy, and there is no prevailing type of disease. A species of intermittent fever occurs in the low bottoms along some of the watercourses in western Oregon, but it is mild and readily yields to treatment. The climate is believed to be beneficial to consumptives, particularly in eastern Oregon. The number of deaths according to the census of 1870 was 622, viz.: from general diseases, 304, including 85 from fevers, 34 from diphtheria, and 112 from consumption; diseases of the nervous system, 54; circulatory system, 19; respiratory system, 61, including 23 from croup and 30 from pneumonia; digestive system, 63; accidents and injuries, 55; the rest from various causes.—The soil in the valleys of the Willamette, Umpqua, and Rogue rivers is very fertile. The district W. of the Coast mountains is generally rugged, but along the watercourses and at the mouths of the streams are tracts adapted to agriculture, which possess a good soil. These valleys are more extensive toward the south. In eastern Oregon the chief agricultural tracts are along the streams. The most extensive and productive valleys are those of the Grande Ronde, Powder, and Malheur rivers. On John Day's and Crooked rivers there are also productive lands. Much of the district belonging to the Great Basin is a desert, covered in the east with sand and sage, and in the west with volcanic ashes and pumice. Lava terraces often rise one above the other to the height of 1,000 ft., and chasms appear on every hand. The only tree is a dwarf pine. Western Oregon, with the exception of the extensive prairie tracts in the Willamette valley and smaller ones in some of the other valleys, is densely wooded with gigantic forests. This is particularly true of the Coast range and the region W. of it. On the Cascade mountains the forests extend to the snow line. While several varieties of deciduous trees occur, the forests consist chiefly of coniferous evergreens. These furnish excellent ship timber, and several species attain a height of 300 ft., and a diameter of from 8 to 20 ft. The principal varieties are the Douglas spruce or red fir (abies Douglasii), Williamson's spruce (A. Williamsonii), the yellow or western balsam fir (A. grandis), the silver fir (A. amabilis), the noble fir (A. nobilis), the twisted or scrub pine (pinus contorta), the yellow pine (P. ponderosa), the sugar pine (P. Lambertiana), the red cedar (thuja gigantea), the white cedar (libocedrus decurrens), the Oregon yew (taxus brevifolia), the western juniper (juniperus occidentalis), and the Port Orford cypress (cupressus Lawsoniana). The largest tree in Oregon is the redwood (sequoia sempervirens), which grows along the shores of the Pacific, and is surpassed in size only by the sequoia gigantea of California. Among deciduous trees the most important are the Oregon oak (quercus Garreyana), the only oak in the state, confined to the region between the Coast and Cascade mountains; the white maple (acer macrophyllum), the Oregon ash (fraxinus Oregona), the Oregon alder (alnus Oregona), the western chinquapin (castanea chrysophylla), and Nuttall's cornel (cornus Nuttalli). In eastern Oregon timber is scarce, except along the streams and on the mountains. The Blue mountains are well wooded. The principal varieties here are poplar, cottonwood, aspen, birch, willow, &c., on the watercourses, and the larch, pine, fir, cedar, maple, &c., on the mountains. Some species are found in both divisions of the state. Among wild fruits are grapes, cherries, plums, and numerous species of berries, including gooseberries, currants, cranberries, strawberries, and blackberries. In western Oregon, particularly W. of the Coast range, grass is abundant, owing to the prevalence of moisture, while in the E. section the nutritious bunch grass (festuca scabrella) abounds. The greater part of the state is well adapted to stock and sheep raising. The table lands of eastern Oregon may be profitably devoted to this industry. Wheat is the chief crop; its yield is large and its quality excellent. By far the greater portion is raised in the Willamette valley. The climate and soil are also well adapted to oats and barley. Rye and buckwheat have been little cultivated. Indian corn is not extensively raised, the climate being better suited to the production of the smaller grains. It grows best in portions of eastern Oregon and in the S. valleys between the Coast and Cascade mountains. Potatoes, peas and beans, cabbages, onions, turnips, carrots, and other root crops grow well. Flax grows wild in the vicinity of the Klamath basin. Apples, pears, plums, cherries, and grapes thrive, and considerable quantities of apples are raised in the Willamette valley. Prunes are grown in many portions of western Oregon, and peaches succeed well in the E. and S. sections of the state. Figs have been successfully grown in the S. part of western Oregon.—The principal indigenous quadrupeds of Oregon are the grisly bear, black bear, American panther (felis concolor), the wild cat, the gray wolf, the coyote (canis latrans), the mountain sheep, the elk, the black-tailed deer, and the antelope. The most prominent birds are the California vulture (cathartes Californianus), turkey buzzard, golden eagle, bald eagle, fish hawk, trumpeter swan (cygnus buccinator), American swan, Canada goose, snow goose, brant, four species of albatross, three of pelicans, and seven of gulls. Of reptiles there are none deserving special men- tion, save the rattlesnake, which is not abundant. The rivers of Oregon abound in salmon at the proper seasons; there are several species. Other varieties of fish are the cod, halibut, sturgeon, herring, smelt, &c. Lobsters, oysters, clams, and other shell fish are also common. The salmon alone is caught to any considerable extent. There are a number of fisheries near the mouth of the Columbia, and several canning establishments. The total annual value of the salmon fisheries of the state is estimated at $1,500,000. Most of the animals, birds, and fishes, as well as the trees and other vegetable productions of Oregon, differ from those of the eastern states, and are peculiar to the Pacific coast.—The number of acres of land in farms in 1870 was 2,389,252 (1,116,290 improved and 1,272,962 unimproved); number of farms, 7,587, of which 634 contained less than 10 acres each, 579 from 10 to 20, 1,545 from 20 to 50, 1,409 from 50 to 100, 2,994 from 100 to 500, 338 from 500 to 1,000, and 88 more than 1,000. The cash value of farms was $22,352,989; of farming implements and machinery, $1,293,717; wages paid during the year, including value of board, $719,875; estimated value of all farm productions, including betterments and additions to stock, $7,122,790; value of orchard products, $310,041; produce of market gardens, $105,371; forest products, $259,220; home manufactures, $87,376; animals slaughtered or sold for slaughter, $1,365,737; live stock, $6,828,675. The productions were 1,794,494 bushels of spring wheat, 546,252 of winter wheat, 3,890 of rye, 72,138 of Indian corn, 2,029,909 of oats, 210,736 of barley, 1,645 of buckwheat, 12,575 of peas and beans, 481,710 of Irish potatoes, 1,970 of sweet potatoes, 1,220 of grass seed, 10,988 of flax seed, 3,847 lbs. of tobacco, 1,080,638 of wool, 1,418,373 of butter, 79,333 of cheese, 9,745 of hops, 40,474 of flax, 11 of maple sugar, 1,207 of wax, 66,858 of honey, 1,751 gallons of wine, 30 of maple molasses, 107,367 of milk sold, and 75,357 tons of hay. The live stock consisted of 51,702 horses, 2,581 mules and asses, 48,325 milch cows, 2,441 working oxen, 69,431 other cattle, 318,123 sheep, and 119,455 swine; besides 12,923 horses and 30,049 cattle not on farms. The live stock assessed in 1874 was as follows: horses, 65,789; cattle, 232,132; sheep, 388,241; swine, 72,825.—The number of manufacturing establishments in 1870 was 969, having 88 steam engines of 2,471 horse power, and 236 water wheels of 5,806 horse power; hands employed, 2,884; capital invested, $4,376,849; wages paid during the year, $1,120,173; value of material used, $3,419,756; of products, $6,877,387. The following are the statistics of the principal branches:

 INDUSTRIES.  Number of
 establishments. 
Hands
 employed. 
Capital
 invested. 
Value of
 products. 





Awnings and tents $5000  $56,000
Blacksmithing 118  199  90,068  286,176
Boots and shoes 54  88  44,525  98,312
Bread and bakery products 19  12,770  62,345
Carpentering and building 104  248  53,395  417,152
Clothing 29  80  33,430  120,700
Flouring and grist mill products  64  165   1,116,825   1,972,444
Furniture 28  58  54,200  68,292
Iron castings 39  28,000  65,000
Leather, tanned 14  38  35,700  73,555
Leather, curried 10  21  11,700  73,688
Liquors, distilled 13,500  10,760
Liquors, malt 13  30  52,750  74,776
Lumber, planed 25  40,000  57,850
Lumber, sawed 165  692  913,262   1,014,211
Machinery, not specified 9,000  14,360
Machinery, engines and boilers 48  63,000  146,400
Meat, packed beef 10,000  37,000
Meat, packed pork. 12  50,000  101,750
Quartz, milled 19  36,200  50,800
Saddlery and harness 32  78  112,892  131,919
Sash doors and blinds 13  52  106,800  97,940
Tin, copper, and sheet-iron ware  23  61  166,040  158,462
Upholstery 23  95,800  127,600
Wheelwrighting 61  98  61,142  106,435
Woollen goods 173  380,500  492,857

Oregon is divided into three customs districts, Southern Oregon (port of entry, Coös bay), Oregon (port of entry, Astoria), and Willamette (port of entry, Portland). The commercial statistics for the year ending June 30, 1874, are given in the following table:

DISTRICTS. FOREIGN TRADE. COASTWISE TRADE. Vessels
 belonging in 
the state.


Value of
imports.
Value of
exports.
 ENTRANCES.   CLEARANCES.  ENTRANCES. CLEARANCES.





No. Tons. No. Tons. No. Tons. No. Tons. No. Tons.













Oregon $263  $705,971  674  21  14,829  150  168,794  138  160,016  41  2,148 
Southern Oregon  ........  ........  ..  ......  ..  ......  246  218  579 
Willamette 490,217  1,953,539  49  25,651  75  43,661  157  121,519  79  83,129  61  17,769 












Total  $490,480   $2,659,510   50   26,325   96   58,490   309   290,559   218   243,363   108   20,496 

The chief exports were 1,680,837 bushels of wheat, valued at $1,923,351, and 101,847 barrels of flour, valued at $577,016. Of the vessels belonging in the state, 36, tonnage 2,253, were sailing vessels; 60, tonnage 17,111, steamers; and 12, tonnage 1,132, barges. Twelve vessels, tonnage 1,430, were built in the state during the year. There are two lines of railroad (257½ m. in 1874) in operation in the state, the Oregon and California and the Oregon Central. The former runs along the E. bank of the Willamette and through the Umpqua valley, from East Portland to Roseburg, 200 m., and is to be extended thence to the California line, a total distance of 290 m., to connect with the Oregon division of the Central Pacific railroad. The Oregon Central railroad is to extend from Portland along the W. bank of the Willamette to Eugene City, 124 m., and is completed to St. Joseph, 57½ m. There were 427½ m. of telegraph lines in 1874. In that year seven fire and three life insurance companies of other states and countries were doing business in the state, and there was one national bank (at Portland), with a capital of $250,000.—The government of Oregon is exercised by a governor (salary $1,500), a secretary of state ($1,500), and treasurer of state ($800), who are chosen by a plurality of votes for four years. The governor must be a citizen of the United States, 30 years of age, and for three years a resident of the state. The secretary of state is ex officio auditor of public accounts. The governor, secretary of state, and treasurer are eligible for reëlection for any number of terms, though not for more than two successively. A state printer and superintendent of public instruction (salary, $1,500) are chosen by popular vote for four years. The legislature is composed of two branches, a senate of 30 members and a house of representatives of 60 members, and is styled the legislative assembly. Senators and representatives are elected by the qualified voters of the respective counties or districts, the former for four and the latter for two years, one half of the senators retiring every two years. They are apportioned among the different counties and districts according to population, and after each decennial state (commencing in 1865) and federal census a new apportionment is made. Senators and representatives must be citizens of the United States, 21 years of age, and for one year residents of their respective districts or counties. A quorum consists of two thirds of each house, and a two-thirds vote is necessary to set aside the governor's veto. Regular sessions are held biennially, commencing on the second Monday of September of even years. Extra sessions may be called by the governor for any period not exceeding 20 days. Members of each house receive $3 a day (the presiding officers $5) and $3 for every 20 miles of travel, but it is provided that the per diem of no member shall exceed $120. The power of special legislation is restricted. It is provided that the legislative assembly shall not create any debt or liabilities to an amount exceeding $50,000, except in case of war, or to repel invasion or suppress insurrection, and that no county shall create any debt or liabilities exceeding $5,000, with the like exceptions; that the state shall never assume the debts of any county, town, or other corporation, except such as have been created to suppress insurrection, &c.; that the state shall not subscribe to or be interested in the stock of any company, association, or corporation, nor shall any county or municipal corporation become a stockholder therein, raise money therefor, or loan its credit thereto; that no money shall be drawn from the treasury for the benefit of any religious or theological institution; and that no bank or moneyed institution shall be incorporated, nor shall any such exist with power to circulate paper money. The judicial power is vested in a supreme court, circuit courts, county courts, and justices of the peace. The supreme court, which has appellate jurisdiction only of final decisions of the circuit courts, and holds one session annually at Salem, consists of five justices elected by districts for a term of six years, one or more retiring every two years. The number of justices and districts may be increased, but cannot exceed seven. A circuit court is held in each county at least twice a year by a justice of the supreme court. These courts have general original jurisdiction, civil and criminal, and appellate jurisdiction and supervisory control over the county courts and other inferior tribunals. A county judge is elected in each county by the qualified voters for four years, who holds a county court with probate jurisdiction and jurisdiction of inferior crimes and of civil cases not involving more than $500. Justices of the peace have jurisdiction of civil cases not involving more than $250. Public officers cannot be impeached, but in a criminal proceeding for incompetency, corruption, &c., judgment of dismissal from office may be given; and judges of the supreme court may be removed from office by the governor upon the joint resolution of two thirds of each house of the legislature, alleging cause. The right of suffrage is conferred by the constitution upon every white male citizen of the United States, of sound mind and not a convict, who has attained the age of 21 years and has resided in the United States one year, and in the state during the six months immediately preceding the election, and under the like circumstances upon every white alien who has declared his intention to become a citizen of the United States one year preceding the election. Colored citizens have the right to vote under the federal constitution. Voting is by ballot, and electors may vote in any county of the state for state officers. General elections occur biennially on the first Monday of June of even years. Amendments to the constitution must be proposed by two successive legislatures and ratified by a vote of the people. The rate of interest in the absence of special agreement is 10 per cent., but as high as 12 per cent. may lawfully be agreed upon. Oregon, having one representative and two senators in congress, has therefore three votes in the electoral college.—The valuation of property, according to the United States censuses, has been as follows:

 YEARS.  ASSESSED VALUE. True value
 of real and 
personal.

Real. Personal. Total.





1850 ..........  ..........  ..........   $5,063,474
1860  $6,279,602   $12,745,313   $19,024,915   28,930,637
1870 17,674,202  14,124,308  31,798,510  51,558,932

The total taxation in 1870 amounted to $580,956, of which $177,653 was state, $362,753 county, and $40,550 town, city, &c.; total public debt, $218,486, of which $106,583 was state, $105,903 county, and $6,000 town, city, &c. The balance in the state treasury on Sept. 1, 1872, was $172,597 41; receipts during the following two years, $628,775 01; expenditures, $663,193 45; balance, Sept. 1, 1874, $138,178 97 ($73,014 23 in coin and $65,164 74 in currency). The current expenses for the two years ending Sept. 1, 1876, were estimated at $453,350, viz.: legislative expenses, $30,000; salaries of executive officers, $15,000; salaries of judges, &c., $36,600; salaries, &c., of various officers, $40,000; penitentiary, $80,000; insane asylum, $120,000; conveyance of convicts and insane, $15,000 each; public printing and binding, $25,000; agricultural college, $10,000; keeping and tuition of mutes, $10,000; support of poor, $5,000; blind school, $5,000; orphans' aid society, $3,000; miscellaneous, $48,750. The total amount of taxes levied in 1873 for state purposes was $238,482 57, of which $222,701 57 (55 cents on $100) was on property and $15,781 on polls. The equalized value of property for purposes of taxation in 1874 was $45,688,924 94, including land (3,489,394 acres), $22,220,381 40; live stock, $8,116,841; property of corporations, $2,283,296 49. The actual value is estimated by the secretary of state at from $100,000,000 to $150,000,000. The total debt on Sept. 1, 1874, was $596,256, of which $247,247 was in bonds bearing interest at 7 per cent., and $349,009 in warrants bearing interest at 10 per cent. The state institutions are the penitentiary (established in 1854), deaf-mute school (1870), and institute for the blind (1872), at Salem, and the hospital for the insane (1862), at East Portland. The penitentiary has a farm connected with it; a new building of brick has recently been erected. The convicts are employed chiefly in brick making, but also on the farm, in the construction of public buildings, and in various manufactures. The number of convicts in prison from Sept. 1, 1872, to Sept. 1, 1874, was 211; remaining at the latter date, 98. The state has not erected buildings for the other institutions. The deaf-mute school is conducted in a leased building; the hospital for the insane and the institute for the blind are carried on under the control and at the expense of the state, board and accommodations being furnished in each case by a contractor. The number of pupils in the deaf-mute school in 1874 was 29, of whom 15 were males and 14 females; in the institute for the blind, 8, of whom 2 were males and 6 females. The number of patients in the hospital for the insane from Sept. 1, 1872, to Sept. 1, 1874, was 295, of whom 205 were males and 90 females, 285 state patients and 10 private patients; remaining at the latter date, 195, of whom 140 were males and 55 females, 193 state and 2 private patients, 124 natives of the United States and 71 of foreign countries.—The public schools of Oregon, considering the youth of the state and the smallness of its population, are well supported. The board of education consists of the governor, secretary of state, and superintendent of public instruction. There are county superintendents of common schools, elected by the people for two years, and boards of district officers. The following statistics, incomplete owing to the failure of some districts to report wholly or in part, are from the report of the superintendent of public instruction for 1873-'4:

Number of districts 680
Persons of school age, 4 to 20 years (21,519 males and 19,379 females)  40,898
Pupils enrolled in public schools (11,138 males and 9,542 females) 20,680
Average attendance 15,169
Persons of school age attending private schools 2,926
Persons of school age attending no school 10,711
Number of public schools (518 of ordinary and 12 of advanced grade)  530
Number of teachers employed during the year 860
Largest number employed at one time 591
Average monthly salaries of teachers, males $45 92
Average monthly salaries of teachers, females $34 46
Average length of public schools 1.52 quarter.
Number of districts having six months' school or more 288
Number of private schools (43 primary, 21 academic, and 6 collegiate)  70
Number of public school houses 555
Value of school property $332,764 34

The schools of advanced grade include those in which most of the pupils pursue the higher branches; in many of those of ordinary grade, probably 100, some of the higher English branches are taught. The total receipts for public school purposes during the year amounted to $204,760, viz.: from district tax, $47,243; state apportionment, $31,589; county apportionment, $87,573; rate bills and subscriptions, $34,672; other sources, $3,683. The expenditures were $215,107, of which $157,103 was for teachers' wages, $46,609 for erection of school houses, and $11,395 for incidental expenses. The “irreducible school fund,” the income of which is apportioned among the different districts, amounted to about $500,000. The statistics of the colleges for 1873-'4 are contained in the following table:

INSTITUTIONS. LOCATION. Date of
 charter. 
DENOMINATION. Number of
 instructors. 
 Students.   Volumes in 
libraries.







Pacific university and Tualatin acad'my   Forest Grove  1853  None 8 124 5,000
Willamette university  Salem 1853  Methodist Episcopal 9 322 2,500
McMinnville college  McMinnville 1859  Baptist 6 150 ....
Christian college  Monmouth 1865  Christian Brothers 9 180 ....
Philomath college  Philomath 1865  United Brethren 4 110 ....
Corvallis college  Corvallis 1868  Methodist Episcopal, South  6 134 ....

These institutions, besides the ordinary college courses, have classes of inferior grades which embrace the greater part of the students. Pacific university, Philomath college, and Willamette university admit females. A medical department was organized in Willamette university in 1866, which in 1873-'4 had 11 professors and 14 students. The state agricultural college, endowed with the congressional land grant of 90,000 acres, was organized as a department of Corvallis college in 1872. It has a farm connected with it, and receives an annual grant of $5,000 from the state. The number of students in this department in 1873-'4 was 32. The university of Oregon was established by the legislature in 1872, and is under the control of a board of nine directors, six of whom are appointed by the governor. It receives from the state as an endowment the “university fund,” amounting to more than $50,000. Grounds have been selected and buildings erected near Eugene City, but the institution has not yet (1875) been opened.—According to the census of 1870, the number of libraries was 2,361, with 344,959 volumes, of which 2,195, with 273,427 volumes, were private. Those not private were classified as follows: 1 state, 3,578 volumes; 1 town, 1,161; 1 court and law, 180; 4 school, college, &c., 4,400; 126 Sabbath school, 33,547; 22 church, 10,420; 3 of benevolent and secret associations, 1,096. The state library in 1874 contained 6,217 volumes, chiefly reports, public documents, &c. In that year there were 41 newspapers and periodicals published in the state, of which 4 were daily, 1 tri-weekly, 33 weekly, 1 semi-monthly, and 2 monthly. The number of newspapers and periodicals returned by the census of 1870 was 35, issuing 3,657,300 copies annually, and having an aggregate circulation of 45,750, viz.: 4 daily, circulation 6,350; 26 weekly, 30,400; 5 monthly, 9,000. The statistics of churches for that year are given in the following table:

DENOMINATIONS.  Organizations.   Edifices.   Sittings.  Value of
 property. 





Baptist, regular 26  14  4,350  $28,200
Baptist, other 400  1,000
Christian 26  16  4,400  25,000
Congregational 2,300  49,500
Episcopal 1,800  53,200
Evangelical Association 550  9,300
Lutheran 300  15,000
Methodist 97  49  15,100  113,400
Presbyterian, regular 2,425  33,000
Presbyterian, other 12  3,250  11,200
Roman Catholic 13  14  2,750  94,500
Spiritualist 800  25,000
Unitarian 250  10,000
United Brethren in Christ  10  500  1,200
Universalist ....  .....  .......
Union 250  1,600




Total 220  135   39,425   $471,100

—The name Oregon was long applied to all the territory claimed by the United States on the Pacific coast, extending from lat. 42° to 54° 40' N. Under the treaty of 1818, the provisions of which were continued in 1827, it was jointly occupied by Great Britain and the United States till 1846, when the latter, by the N. W. boundary treaty, abandoned all claim to the country N. of the 49th parallel, and the name Oregon was restricted to the region S. of that line, to which in turn Great Britain renounced all claim. Though the coast of Oregon had been previously seen by various navigators, its history as known to civilized man may be said to commence with the discovery of the Columbia river by Capt. Robert Gray, who entered its mouth in the American ship Columbia from Boston, May 7, 1792, and gave the name of his vessel to the river. By the Louisiana purchase in 1803 the United States acquired whatever title France may have had to this region. The report of Capt. Gray led the administration of Jefferson to send an exploring expedition under the command of Captains Lewis and Clarke across the continent in 1804-'6. The expedition was successful, and gave the Americans an additional title to the country. In 1811 the Pacific fur company, of which John Jacob Astor was the leading member, established a trading post at the mouth of the Columbia river, and called it Astoria; but it was very soon sold to the Northwest fur company to save it from being taken during the war. The Northwest and the Hudson Bay companies, both British associations, for a while separate and afterward united, engaged in trapping and trading, kept many trappers and traders in Oregon until a recent period, for it was only in 1860 that their trading post at Fort Vancouver on the Columbia, a little above the mouth of the Willamette, was abandoned. The Hudson Bay company employed many Canadians among its trappers, and these formed for a long time the main body of the white population. Most of them took Indian wives and were the fathers of numerous half-breed children. In 1833 the emigration of Americans commenced overland, and previous to 1850 several thousand reached Oregon. In 1848, 1849, and 1850, many of the settlers were drawn away by the gold excitement in California; but in the last named year many arrived from California in consequence of the passage of the “donation law” by congress, giving without cost 320 acres of public land to every person settled on such land before Dec. 1 of that year, and 320 acres more to his wife; and to those persons who should settle between Dec. 1, 1850, and Dec. 1, 1853, 160 acres to each man and 160 to his wife. Under this law 8,000 claims were registered in Oregon. Subsequently the discoveries of gold attracted many settlers. The first attempt at organized government was made in 1841, and resulted in the establishment of an executive and a legislative committee in 1843. In 1845 the legislative committee framed an organic law, which was approved by the people, for the provisional government of the country till the United States authority should be extended over it. The territory of Oregon was organized by the act of Aug. 14, 1848, comprising all the United States territory W. of the summit of the Rocky mountains and N. of the 42d parallel. The territorial government went into operation on March 3, 1849, upon the arrival of Governor Joseph Lane. The act of March 2, 1853, created Washington territory, comprising all of Oregon N. of the Columbia river toward the west and of the 46th parallel toward the east. In 1857 a convention called by the territorial legislature framed a state constitution, which was ratified by the people on Nov. 9 of that year; and by the act of Feb. 14, 1859, congress admitted Oregon into the Union with its present limits. The E. part of the territory was by the same act annexed to Washington territory. Oregon has been troubled with many Indian wars, the last one being the Modoc war in 1872 and 1873. (See Modocs.)—See “The Oregon Hand-Book and Emigrants' Guide,” by J. M. Murphy (Portland, 1873).