1843    Pioneer Problems & a Promise

May 2, 1843

Oregon Country Provisional Government was established. To encourage settlement under the Provisional Land Law, each white male had  rights to a full square mile of land (640 acres.) Included was a system of free public education.

Midwest Problems     

Problems had been multiplying for midwesterners. The Panic of 1837 brought an economic depression that continued into the early 1840s. Bank failures, falling agricultural prices, unemployment, and diseases like malaria caused thousands of deaths.  Many saw their homes swept away with massive flooding of the Missouri, Mississippi, and Ohio rivers.  Challenges mounted and an increasing number of midwesterners simply wanted to walk away from their problems in search of a better place to live.

Oregon Fever “Epidemic”

With the promise of free land, tales of the Oregon Country quickly reached the midwest. The fur traders and the missionaries helped spread the word of this peaceful land. Stories told of the fertile soil, mild climate, plenty of sunshine and rain, vast stands of timber, fish jumping out of the rivers, and no diseases.  It was truly a land of milk an honey awaiting settlers.


Oregon Territory

Oregon Provisional Government  1843

  1. -Free Land

  2. -Free system of Education

Midwest Problems

- Economic Depression

- Bank Failures

- Unemployment

- Rivers Flooding

  1. -Homes Swept Away

- Disease

Oregon Fever

- Fertile Soil

  1. - Mild Climate

  2. -Timberland

  3. -Land of Milk & Honey

America is a land of pioneers, dreamers, idealists, who dared to explore new frontiers.  Today the quest continues.

Ginny Mapes photo