Historical People of the Pacific Northwest Coast
A listing of events that are influential in shaping the history of the Pacific Northwest listed here in chronological order of birth.
James Colnett (1753 to 1806)
An officer of the British Royal Navy, an explorer, and a maritime fur trader. He served under James Cook during Cook's second voyage of exploration. Later he led two private trading expeditions that involved collecting sea otter pelts in the Pacific Northwest of North America
Robert Gray (1755 to 1806)
American merchant sea captain, first American circumnavigation of the world and exploration of the Columbia River in 1792.
José María Narváez (1768 to 1840)
Spanish naval officer and navigator who first explored the Strait of Georgia and Burrard Inlet in 1789, three years before George Vancouver.
William Clark (1770 to 1838)
Clark helped lead the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1804 to 1806 across the Louisiana Purchase to the Pacific Ocean, and claimed the Pacific Northwest for the United States.
Meriwether Lewis (1774 to 1809)
An American explorer, soldier, politician, and public administrator, best known for his role as the leader of the Lewis and Clark Expedition
John McLoughlin (1784 to 1857)
A French-Canadian, later American, Chief Factor and Superintendent of the Columbia District of the Hudson's Bay Company at Fort Vancouver from 1824 to 1845. He was later known as the "Father of Oregon" for his role in assisting the American cause in the Oregon Country in the Pacific Northwest.
Gabriel Franchère (1786 to 1863)
Franchère was a native of Montreal and joined the Pacific Fur Company as a merchant apprentice, arriving at Fort Astoria on the Tonquin.
Chief Seattle (1786 to 1866)
A Squamish Tribe and Dkhw'Duw'Absh (Duamish) chief, prominent figure among his people, he pursued a path of accommodation to white settlers, forming a personal relationship with "Doc" Maynard.
Ross Cox (1793 to 1853)
Clerk in the Pacific Fur Company and the North West Company who wrote 'Adventures on the Columbia River'
Joseph Lane (1801 to 1881)
An American politician and soldier. President James K. Polk appointed Lane as the first Governor of Oregon Territory.
Marcus Whitman (1802 to 1847)
An American physician. In 1843, Whitman led the first large party of wagon trains along the Oregon Trail to the West, establishing it as a viable route for the immigrants who used the trail in the following decade.
Narcissa Whitman (1808 to 1847)
An American missionary in the Oregon Country of what would become the state of Washington. One of the first European-American women to cross the Rocky Mountains in 1836.
William H. Wallace (1811 to 1879)
Wallace served a single term representing Washington Territory in the House. During his term, he got Congress to establish Idaho as a territory. Shortly after his term expired in March 1863, Lincoln appointed Wallace governor of the new Idaho Territory and he took office July 10, 1863.
Hubert Howe Bancroft (1832 to 1918)
An American historian and ethnologist who wrote, published and collected works concerning the western United States, Texas, California, Alaska, Mexico, Central America and British Columbia.