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INTRODUCTION

The Oregon Territory forms the terminus of these Travels; and, as that country is an object of much interest on both sides of the Atlantic, I have thought proper to preface my wanderings there by a brief discussion of the question as to whom it belongs.

By treaties between the United States and Spain and Mexico and Russia, the southern boundary of Oregon is fixed on the 42nd parallel of north latitude; and the northern on an east and west line, at 54° 40′ north.1 Its natural boundary on the east is the main ridge of the Rocky Mountains, situated about four hundred miles east of the Pacific Ocean, which washes it on the west. From these data the reader will observe that it is about six hundred miles in length, and four hundred in breadth.

1 Our treaty with Spain, made in 1819, adjusted the boundary as far as the Pacific Ocean, between the latter's possessions in North America and those of the United States; see Gregg's Commerce of the Prairies, in our volume xix, p. 217, note 52. By this convention the United States considered itself the heir of all Spanish claims north of the international boundary line (42°).

Our treaty with Mexico, in 1828, ratified the boundary as defined by the Spanish treaty of 1819.

By our convention with Russia in 1824, the two countries agreed to make no settlements north or south, respectively, of the line 54° 40′. This by no means established the United States claim as far as the line specified.— Ed.

According to the well-established laws of nations applicable to the premises, the title to the sovereignty over it depends upon the prior discovery and occupancy [x] of it, and upon cessions by treaty from the first discoverer and occupant. These several important matters I proceed to examine, with Greenough's History of the North-west Coast of America, and the works therein named, before me as sources of reference.2

2 Robert Greenhow, born in Virginia in 1800, was educated at William and Mary College and later studied medicine in New York, afterwards spending some years in Europe. In 1828 he was appointed clerk in the department of state at Washington, where he soon rose to the position of official translator and librarian, an office retained until 1850, when he went to California with the United States Land Commission, dying in San Francisco in 1854. In 1837 he prepared, at the request of the senate, a History of the Discovery of the Northwest Coast, published in Senate Docs., 26 Cong., 1 sess., 174. This was later expanded into a History of Oregon and California (Boston, 1845). His access to the records of the state department, and his knowledge of Spanish sources, make Greenhow's books authoritative in their field.— Ed.

About this Item

Title
Farnham's Travels in the great western prairies, etc., May 21-October 16, 1839
Other Title
Travels in the great western prairies, the Anahuac and Rocky Mountains, and in the Oregon Territory
Contributor Names
Farnham, Thomas Jefferson, 1804-1848.
Thwaites, Reuben Gold, 1853-1913.
Created / Published
Cleveland, Ohio : The Arthur H. Clark Company, 1906.
Subject Headings
-  West (U.S.)--Description and travel
-  Oregon--Description and travel
-  Overland journeys to the Pacific
-  Rocky Mountains--Description and travel
-  Indians of North America--West (U.S.)
-  West (U.S.)--History--To 1848
Notes
-  "Reprint of ... original London edition, 1843."--p. [21].
-  Includes facsimile of t.-p. of 1843 London edition with title: Travels in the great western prairies, the Anahuac and Rocky Mountains, and in the Oregon Territory.
-  Also available in digital form on the Library of Congress Web site.
Medium
2 v. ; 25 cm.
Call Number/Physical Location
F592 .T54 vol. 28-29
Source Collection
Early western travels, 1748-1846. v. 28; v. 29, p. 11-102
Digital Id
http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.gdc/lhbtn.th028
http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.gdc/lhbtn.th029_0011
Library of Congress Control Number
06032127
Language
English
Online Format
image
online text
pdf
Description
"Reprint of ... original London edition, 1843."--p. [21]. Includes facsimile of t.-p. of 1843 London edition with title: Travels in the great western prairies, the Anahuac and Rocky Mountains, and in the Oregon Territory. Also available in digital form on the Library of Congress Web site.
LCCN Permalink
https://lccn.loc.gov/06032127
Additional Metadata Formats
MARCXML Record
MODS Record
Dublin Core Record

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The contents of the Library of Congress American Notes: Travels in America, 1750 to 1920 Collection are in the public domain and are free to use and reuse.

Credit Line: Library of Congress, American Notes: Travels in America, 1750 to 1920 Collection.

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Chicago citation style:

Farnham, Thomas Jefferson, and Reuben Gold Thwaites. Farnham's Travels in the great western prairies, etc., May 21. Cleveland, Ohio: The Arthur H. Clark Company, 1906. Pdf. https://www.loc.gov/item/06032127/.

APA citation style:

Farnham, T. J. & Thwaites, R. G. (1906) Farnham's Travels in the great western prairies, etc., May 21. Cleveland, Ohio: The Arthur H. Clark Company. [Pdf] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/06032127/.

MLA citation style:

Farnham, Thomas Jefferson, and Reuben Gold Thwaites. Farnham's Travels in the great western prairies, etc., May 21. Cleveland, Ohio: The Arthur H. Clark Company, 1906. Pdf. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/06032127/>.