A Bit of History from Salem Oregon

Twas a beautiful day. Lord John and I went for a walk around our faire capital of Salem Oregon and we found a couple of very neat statues. The base of one the name Rev. Jason Lee was carved in the stone. A few days later we found a grave with the same name and a brief description.

So, who was this Rev. Jason Lee?

What I found on http://www.bluebook.state.or.us/kids/focus/lee.htm says:

About Jason Lee:

The Reverend Jason Lee, his nephew Daniel, and two other Methodist missionaries came to Oregon and set up a mission station and school near present-day Salem in 1834.

They came in response to an unusual request. In 1832 four weary and starving Native Americans arrived in St. Louis, Missouri after a long walk overland from the West. Three of the group were from the Nez Perce tribe and one was from the Flathead tribe. They came looking for a copy of the white man’s “book of Life.” People of the St. Louis were very moved by the determination of these Native Americans. In response, Lee’s Methodist missionary group went to the Willamette Valley in 1834 to bring the “Word of God” to the Native Americans. However, the missionaries failed in their conversion efforts and concentrated instead on serving the white settlers.
Lee tried hard to convince the United States to make Oregon a territory. He traveled to the East to talk to government officials but without success he returned to Oregon leading a party of 51 settlers.

As of 1840, this was the largest group of genuine settlers to arrive and start farms.

As the years passed, Lee suffered many disappointments. He was removed from being head of the mission. Both his first and second wives died. In 1845 he died in the East on a trip to raise money for an Oregon university.

Jason Lee is now recognized as the founder of Oregon’s capital city of Salem, and the founder of Willamette University. Statues of Lee stand on the state Capitol grounds in Salem and in the National Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol.
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