« PreviousContinue »
BULLETIN OF THE UNIVERSITY OF OREGON.
SEMI-CENTENNIAL HISTORY OF
MILE POSTS IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF OREGON
CHARACTERISTICS OF OREGON AS AN AMERICAN
HORACE S. LYMAN,
With a Supplement:
A WORLD MOVEMENT AND A NATIONAL MOVEMENT THAT
MAKING OF OREGON,
EDITOR OF THE HISTORICAL SERIES.
PUBLISHED WITH THE APPROVAL OF THE
PUBLISHED BY THE UNIVERSITY,
PRICE 25 CENTS.
The average youth of the Pacific Northwest gets but little help towards understanding the elements of civilization around him as the outgrowth of an orderly historical development. He has not such bearings as would stimulate him to do some real thinking about the land-marks and institutions under his observation. He is not equipped so that he can run out independently the lines of historical relationship between the civilized life about him and the life of the rest of his country and of the civilized world.
His study of American history drew his attention to the Atlantic Coast and held it there with only an occasional glance at his own region as the names of Drake, and Lewis and Clark were mentioned. To him the Oregon question was only a party ruse.
Some of the more earnest students of Oregon history believed that such a state of darkness pertaining to the Pacific Northwest history in our schools need no longer exist. There was a wealth of guiding power among them to afford the best historical instruction to the Oregon youth. As two noteworthy anniversaries of great turning points in the history of Oregon occur during this school year it was felt that the time was auspicious for arousing a general interest in the history of the Pacific Northwest.
The University of Oregon proposed to utilize these opportunities. Its proposition was most heartily seconded by the Press. Papers constituting a complete Semi-Centennial history of this state on a co-operative basis were patriotically pledged. The Legislature of Oregon reinforced this project by taking steps to arrange for appropriate observances of the anniversaries at Salem, Feb. 14, 1899; at Portland, June 15, 1899.
We have ardent hopes that the superintendents and teachers of the Oregon schools will give an enthusiastic response to this movement and make it a new and true point of departure for an enlightened and strong commonwealth spirit. The American State as a political organization has, says Bryce, shriveled in im
portance since the days of our Revolutionary forefathers. But that body politic upon which devolves the solution of questions of the relations of labor and capital, of corporations and the maintenance of conditions fostering social and industrial evolution; in whose keeping are the interests of education and public philanthropy cannot but expand to vigorous life again, if it fulfils its destiny.
The spirit of co-operation, which this undertaking manifests in operation among the contributors, will we trust will communicate itself to every school district of the commonwealth and inspire the teachers and students to find every vestige of historical data and use it so that it may not be hid "as a candle under a bushel," but be made to shed its light for all.
There are historical sites in almost every school district, where some worthy public deed was done. These should be identified and commemorated by permanent inscriptions. There are more or less extensive collections of newspaper files to be found in many school districts. Left where they are these are liable to lose worth in the eyes of their possessors and be consigned to the rubbish heap, turned over to a public custodian and combined with others they become invaluable. Likewise there are old diaries, account books, collections of letters written in the early days; some possibly could be secured from the East from persons to whom they were written or from their heirs. Many a garret has old books touching upon life in early Oregon. These should go to the district school library. In not a few places records of literary societies now no longer active are to be found. The reminiscences of the living pioneers of every district should be carefully secured. An accurate history of land-holding in each district from the first settler down would be valuable.
County associations of teachers could catalogue the memorable historical sites of their respective counties, assign the work of compiling histories of the leading industrial and commercial interests and county institutions, and aid the writers by supplying them with material. The following anniversary dates could be used as times for general meetings with historical exercises: February 14, 1859-Admission of Oregon as a State.
March 3, 1849-Extension of the laws of the United States over the Oregon Country.
May 2, 1843-Organization of the Provisional Government of Oregon.
May 11, 1792-Discovery of the Columbia River.
June 15, 1846-Treaty between the United States and Great Britain by which the Americans were given sole right to territory south of the 49th parallel.
University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon, Nov. 12, 1898.
MILE POSTS In the DevelOPMENT OF OREGON
Conventional Divisions of Historic Times versus
Epochal Events (Mile Posts) — Oregon as
a Region of Myth and an Emblem of Remote-
ness-Captain Gray's Discovery of the Colum-
bia, the First Mile Post-The Period of Polit-
ical Uncertainty-Whitman's Journey, the Or-
ganization of the Provisional Government
and the Immigration of 1843, the Second
Mile Post-The Industrial and Social Develop-
ment of Oregon Little Advanced Organically
-Opening of Rail Transportation and its
Completion into Eastern Connection, the Last
CHARACTERISTICS AS AN AMERICAN COMMONWEALTH
The Most Distinctive Characteristics of the Peo-
ple within the Limits of the Old Oregon-Its
Cause Its Significance-Mental Restlessness
and the Influence of Our National Organiza-
tion in Checking the Tendency to Diversity
and Separation-The Ideal to which Nature
A WORLD Movement anD A NATIONAl MovemenT THAT
HAD IMPORTANT RELATIONS TO THE MAKING OF ORE-
The Movements of Exploration and of Occupa-