Calvin Tibbets: Oregon’s First Pioneer




When Calvin Tibbets ventured to Oregon Country in 1832 it was looking more British than American. That’s because Hudson’s Bay Company, the Crown’s proxy, had virtual control of the area and some of their French Canadian employees had retired to farms along the Willamette River. The only Americans there before Tibbets were explorers, fur trappers, scientists, and sailors. His goal was different: to settle Oregon with Americans and make it part of the United States.Tibbets got along with his Canadian neighbors and native tribes long enough to assist fellow American settlers when they arrived: first missionaries, then retiring mountain men, and finally wagon train pioneers who crossed the Oregon Trail in such great numbers that the British finally gave up their claims to Oregon in 1846. Unfortunately, Tibbets died soon after achieving his goal, and all that he had done to achieve it soon faded into the shadows of Oregon history.In making the case for Calvin Tibbets being considered Oregon’s first pioneer, this book shines a bright light back on him. New details gleaned from original sources are integrated with previously published, but scattered, accounts of Tibbets’ many adventures. Readers will likely learn things they didn’t know about John McLoughlin, Jason Lee, Ewing Young, Bethenia Owens-Adair, Elbridge Trask, Joe Meek, Solomon and Celiast Smith, and others who played important roles in early Oregon.

This book has been signed by the author.