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Historical Sketches of the Catholic Church in Oregon, During the Past Forty Years

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By: (1795-1883)

This book is a first-hand account of the experiences of Fr. Norbert Blanchet and his fellow missionaries to Oregon in the 1830’s and 1840’s. The original duo, Fr. Blanchet and Fr. Demers, had incredible adventures traveling across Canada by canoe, horseback, and river raft to arrive at the Hudson’s Bay Company Fort at Vancouver, Washington. From there, they energetically and joyfully established churches in the Willamette valley, along the Columbia River, and into present day Washington state and British Columbia. They were tireless in their efforts to bring the Gospel and the sacraments to the Indian tribes of the west, and also to the increasing number of American immigrants. The author knew well and writes about some of the great characters of Oregon history including Dr. John McLoughlin and Fr. Pierre DeSmet. Of particular interest is his full account of the events of the Whitman massacre of 1847. Fr. Blanchet has outspoken opinions about such things as the behavior of the Protestant missionaries, and the politics of the day, in particular the unjust treatment of the Indians. This book will definitely be of interest to those who want to delve into a primary source of Oregon history. - Summary by Carol Pelster

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