1852 - A Congressional pamphlet containing the correspondence between the Governor of the Oregon Territory and President Millard Fillmore regarding his refusal to enforce the relocation of the territory’s capital from Oregon City to Salem. whose agent I. am “I owe it to the people of the United States, whose rights it is my duty to protect to the people of Oregon, to decline any participation in executing your act" to my official oath.

1852 - A Congressional pamphlet containing the correspondence between the Governor of the Oregon Territory and President Millard Fillmore regarding his refusal to enforce the relocation of the territory’s capital from Oregon City to Salem

Washington DC: 1852. Unbound. 32nd Congress, 1st Session [H. of Reps.] Ex. Cod. No. 96.: Oregon-Governor Gains. Message from the President of the United States, transmitting Copies of correspondence with Governor Gaines in reference to the government of the Territory of Oregon. May 3, 1852. 8 pages. Never bound.

Before the creation of the Oregon Territory, a group of American settlers created a provisional government in the ‘Oregon Country’, a contested region in the Pacific Northwest that was also occupied by British and French fur traders. Its legislature selected Oregon City as the capital. When the Territory was established in 1848, its first governor, Joseph Lane, affirmed the location by proclamation. Two years later, the territorial legislature voted to move the capital to Salem, as well as establish a penitentiary at Portland and a university at Marysville.

In a famous “Governor’s Special Message” (the text of which is included in this pamphlet), the territory’s new governor, John P. Gaines, refused to enforce the act, claiming that it was his responsibility to locate those institutions, and the Territorial Supreme Court agreed. While the legislature moved to Salem, the governor and all but one member of the court remained in Oregon City. Subsequently, Gaines began an extended correspondence regarding the legality of the act with President Millard Fillmore that is compiled in this pamphlet.

The matter remained in limbo until the spring of 1852, when it was settled by an Act of the U. S. Congress declaring Salem to be Oregon’s new capital.

. Very good. Item #009867

(For more information see, Horner’s Oregon: Her History, Her Great Men, and Her Literature and Winslow’s “Conquest over the Capital of Oregon” in Oregon Historical Quarterly Vol 9.)

Scarce. At the time of listing, there are no examples for sale in the trade. OCLC identifies only three physical examples held by institutions, and the Rare Book Hub shows none have been sold at auction. The Rare Book Hub does identify three auctions for an “extremely rare” pamphlet, published at Portland in 1852, containing the decision of the Territorial Supreme Court (Huntington No. 651).

Price: $200.00