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John McLoughlin was one of the most influential figures of the fur trade andsettlement periods of Pacific Northwest history Chief Factor of the Columbia District ofthe British Hudsons Bay Company he reigned as a benevolent autocrat befriendedAmericans and eventually became an American citizen at Oregon City He was born in Quebec in 1784 and trained as a physician near Montreal Hebecame a physician and traveled to the Northwest region in 1824 as a representativeof the Hudson Bay Company Here he occupied the position of Chief Factor from 1825when the regional headquarters of the company was moved from old Fort Astoria toFort Vancouver until his retirement in 1845During his reign as Chief Factor Dr John McLoughlin directed the operations ofthe fur trade in all the country west of the Rocky Mountains and north of the Californialine as well as the more localized activities of agriculture livestock raising sawmillingflour milling dairying and salmon fishing From 1825 to 1843 when the provisionalgovernment was first established by the settlers in the Willamette Valley he was theundisputed governor of the vast area bounded by the Rocky Mountains on the eastMexican territory California on the south the Pacific Ocean on the west and theDr John McLoughlin exercised control over the Indians of the region welcomedand provisioned missionaries and settlers encouraged schools and church instructionand for a number of years was the only medical practitioner in the region Hiscontributions to the development of the Northwest region in general and the Oregoncountry in particular make him truly deserving of the title by which he is often referredIn 1857 the man who had ruled an empire two and a half times the size of Texasdied broken and bitter He was 75 at the time Five years later in an act of penitencethe legislature of the new State of Oregon restored his land to his heirs1784 - John McLoughlin was born in Riviere du Loup St Lawrence Canada1798 - Begins medical apprenticeship1803 - Begins the
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