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Dr. John McLoughlin
Immigration of 1845


The immigration of 1845 numbered about three thousand persons. Many of them suffered more than the preceding immigrations. They also were assisted by Dr. McLoughlin as he had the immigrants of 1843 and 1844. For this he was charged with disloyalty by one of the British spies then at Vancouver. Stephen Staats was one of the immigrants of 1845. In his address before the Oregon Pioneer Association, in 1877, he said: "We reached Oregon City in thirteen days (overland) from The Dalles (two of which we were without food), and on our arrival, those of us in advance were kindly and hospitably received by old Dr. McLoughlin. He immediately furnished us with provisions, without money and without price, and extended to us favors which we were ever ready to reciprocate. I am not one of those who wish to cast reflections on the character of Dr. McLoughlin, or wish to impute to him anything wanting in the kindest feeling towards the immigrants of 1845. For well do I know, that but for him, many would have been more embarrassed in making provision for the coming winter's necessities than they were. And I have yet to see the immigrant of 1845, who,, when speaking of the 'Old Man Doctor,' does not speak in high commendation of his actions towards the immigrants of that year." The wise, humane, and paternal foresight of Dr. McLoughlin was of great assistance to the immigrants of 1845. In the McLoughlin Document he says: "When the immigration of 1842 came, we had enough of breadstuffs in the country for one year, but as the immigrants reported that next season there would be a great immigration, it was evident, if there was not a proportionate increase of seed sown in 1843 and 1844, there would be a famine in the country in 1845, which would lead to trouble, as those that had families, to save them from starvation, would be obliged to have recourse to violence to get food for them. To avert this I freely supplied the immigrants of 1843 and 1844 with the necessary articles to open farms, and by these means avoided the evils. In short I afforded every assistance to the immigrants so long as they required it, and by management I kept peace in the country, and in some cases had to put up with a great deal."


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