Champoeg Meetings

The Champoeg Meetings in Oregon Country were the first attempts at governing in the Pacific Northwest by European American and French Canadian pioneers. Prior to this, the closest entity to a government was the Hudson's Bay Company, mainly through Dr. John McLoughlin at Fort Vancouver in present day Vancouver, Washington. The meetings would have a great influence on the shaping of the modern country of Canada as well as on the Pacific Northwest of the United States. There were a series of meetings over three years held at Champoeg on the French Prairie along the Willamette River in present day Marion County, Oregon, beginning in 1841.

A small but growing number of pioneers were settling in the Willamette Valley where no Euro-American government was in place. With the death of prominent settler Ewing Young in 1841, a group of settlers began to advocate for a settler run government in the region. These meetings at Champoeg culminated in a vote on May 2, 1843, with a vote of 52-50 in favor of forming what became the Provisional Government of Oregon. Although primarily supported by the American pioneers in the region, several French-Canadian settlers did vote in favor of forming the government. A state park and marker at the site of the May 2 vote commemorate the proceedings, as well as a large mural behind the desk of the Oregon Speaker of the House in the Oregon House of Representatives chamber at the Oregon State Capitol in Salem.

Read more about Champoeg MeetingsBackground, Location, 1841, 1842, 1843, Subsequent History

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