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Dr. John McLoughlin
Land Laws of the Provisional Government


As I have stated, in July, 1843, tne Provisional Government went into effect. Its land laws were purposely framed against Dr. McLoughlin's claim, and in favor of the Methodist Mission. These land laws allowed any person, without regard to citizenship, who was then holding or wished to establish a land claim in Oregon, not exceeding 640 acres, "in a square or oblong form, according to the natural situation of the premises," to have such land claim. Those in possession were allowed one year in which to file a description of the claim in the Recorder's office. Dr. McLoughlin filed his description in 1843. The survey was made by Jesse Applegate in 1843. The record is now in the office of the Secretary of State at Salem, Oregon. In having this survey made Dr. McLoughlin had it extend only about half way from the falls to the Clackamas River and so as to include not more than six hundred and forty acres. He abandoned that part of his original claim extending between his new north line and the Clackamas River.

Article 4 of these land laws of 1843 was the one intended to deprive Dr. McLoughlin of his claim. It was as follows: "Art. 4. No person shall be entitled to hold such a claim upon city or town sites, extensive water privileges, or other situations necessary for the transaction of mercantile or manufacturing operations, to the detriment of the community: Provided, that nothing in these laws shall be so construed as to effect any claim of any mission of a religious character, made previous to this time, of an extent of not more than six miles square." This land law was amended in July, 1845. The only material change, so far as is necessary for the purposes of this monograph, was that said Section 4 of the land laws of 1843 was repealed. It was after the repeal of the objectionable and unfair Section 4 of the land laws of 1843 that Dr. McLoughlin for himself and the Hudson's Bay Company joined the Provisional Government.


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