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Dr. John McLoughlin
Conspiracy against Dr. McLoughlin


It was in 1849 that the conspiracy against Dr. McLoughlin and his land claim began to become effective. In 1846 Governor Abernethy became the sole owner of the Oregon Milling Company and its property on Abernethy Island, Abernethy and his son claiming to own the island, which was then known as "Governor's Island," in supposed compliment to Governor Abernethy. W. P. Bryant, the first Territorial Chief-Justice of Oregon, arrived in Oregon April 9, 1849. May 29, 1849, fifty days after his arrival he purchased all said interests of Gov. Abernethy and son. Bryant gave his promissory notes to Gov. Abernethy, aggregating $30,000 in principal, as part consideration for the purchase. Bryant also bought from Gov. Abernethy, on time, wheat, flour, and staves for about $2500 and a quantity of lumber and logs, the value of which I am unable to give. Bryant's judicial district included Oregon City.

In June, 1849, Samuel R. Thurston was elected Territorial Delegate to Congress from Oregon. He arrived in Oregon in the fall of 1847. He was shrewd enough to obtain the support of the Mission Party. He skillfully made his canvass largely against the Hudson's Bay Company. Having the support of the Mission Party, and many of the voters being then in the California mines, Thurston was elected. The vote was as follows: Thurston, 470; Columbus Lancaster, 321; J. W. Ne-smith, 106; Joseph L. Meek, 40; and J. S. Griffin, 8. The most important measure for Oregon was the passage of a land law, for no person had or could then obtain a legal title to land. It was all owned by the United States except the small portions granted to the Missions. Thurston used his best endeavors to obtain the passage of such a bill. But he was anxious for re-election and to ingratiate himself with the Mission Party and the conspirators against Dr. McLoughlin.


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