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Dr. John McLoughlin
Eulogy upon Dr. McLoughlin


Like many others of the world's great men, Dr. John McLoughlin had many characteristics, apparently conflicting, but making in the aggregate a wonderful and harmonious whole. He was the autocrat of the early Oregon Country, yet all his feelings and political sympathies were for a republican form of government, and for rule by the people, and for personal liberty; he was a trader, with the training of a trader and of a business man, yet he gave credit, without security, to the early pioneers, because he was a humanitarian; he was quick tempered and impulsive, yet he was courteous and kind, for he was a gentleman; he was stern and severe and a strict disciplinarian, yet he had a sympathy like that of a woman, and a heart as tender and susceptible as that of a little child.

Whatever Dr. John McLoughlin did to or for the Oregon settlers, missionaries and immigrants, he did to every citizen of Oregon, man, woman, and child, for all time, then, now, and to come. In honoring him, we honor ourselves. To fail to honor him and his memory, we would dishonor ourselves. To every true, honest Oregon pioneer, and to the descendants of every Oregon pioneer, has come the pleasing and loving duty of letting the whole world know of Dr. McLoughlin's actions and character, so that memory of him and his humanity shall never perish. The time will come -and it should come soon-when a magnificent and stately monument will be erected in Oregon in honor of Dr. John McLoughlin. But it must be a monument of such size and beauty as, in that manner, to show the appreciation of the people of Oregon for him, and of the good and noble deeds of this grand old man.

His name should be enrolled in the Temple of Fame of distinguished Americans. A county in each of the states of Oregon and Washington should be named for him. For prior to March 2, 1853, what is now the State of Washington, was a part of the Territory of Oregon, and Fort Vancouver, where his noblest deeds were performed, is in the State of Washington. That State would do itself great honor if it should change the name of Thurston County to that of McLoughlin. I am glad that the last Legislative Assembly of Oregon restored the name of Mt. McLoughlin to that sublime, snow-covered mountain in Southern Oregon, sometimes called Mt. Pitt, but, prior to 1838, named for Dr. John McLoughlin by the early residents of Oregon, and for years called and shown on the maps as Mt. McLoughlin. It will forever be known by his name. It would have been appropriate if the Legislative Assembly of Oregon had changed the name of Mount Hood to that of Mount McLoughlin, for, in the days when Dr. John McLoughlin was in charge at Fort Vancouver, it was the custom of the Indians, in what is now called Eastern Oregon and Eastern Washington, to point to Mt. Hood as showing near where was his residence.

Dr. McLoughlin died more than forty-nine years ago. Under the canons of the Roman Catholic Church no one can be canonized until he or she has been dead at least fifty years. If I may do so with propriety, I suggest that, when the fifty years have passed, those in proper authority in that Church cause Dr. John McLoughlin to be canonized, if it is possible to do so. But the people of Oregon, as a people, are not bound by this canon. Already the memory of this grand old man is enshrined in their hearts. To them he is now the patron saint of Oregon, without regard to canon or rules, religion or sect.

Of all the names and titles given to, or bestowed upon Dr. John McLoughlin, the one I like best is "Father of Oregon;" for he was, and is truly, the Father of Oregon. And it enables every old, true Oregon pioneer, and every son and daughter of every Oregon pioneer, and his and her descendants, to the remotest generations, to speak of Dr. John McLoughlin with affection and love, with respect and veneration as "Our Father." In the past the fervent prayers of these grateful pioneers were made in his praise and that his tribulations might end and persecutions of him might cease. Their tears consecrated his martyrdom and his memory. Today the hearts of the survivors and of the descendants of these pioneers quicken at thoughts of what he was and what he did; and their eyes moisten in recalling what he suffered and what he endured in the making of Oregon.

Of all the men whose lives and deeds are essential parts of the history of the Oregon Country, Dr. John McLoughlin stands supremely first-there is no second. In contemplating him all others sink into comparative insignificance. You may search the whole world, and all its histories from the beginning of civilization to today, and you will find no nobler, no grander man than Dr. John McLoughlin. His life and character illustrate the kinship of man to God. He was God-like in his great fatherhood, in his great strength, in his great power, and in the exercise of his strength and of his power; he was Christ-like in his gentleness, in his tenderness, in his loving-kindness, and in his humanity.


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