Samuel Royal Thurston - circa 1847


Samuel Royal Thurston

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Born in Maine in 1815 and educated as a lawyer, Thurston became Oregon Territory's first representative to the U.S. Congress in 1849. Known for his advocacy of the Donation Land Claim Act previously championed by Missouri Senator Lewis F. Linn, he was well-known and appreciated by early settlers able to stake their claims based on that act. Both he and Linn have counties named after them; Thurston's is in what became the State of Washington.

However, Thurston was also narrow in his vision - because of his anti-British bias he helped strip Dr. John McLoughlin of his properties as part of the Donation Land Claim Act, and he worked to block African-Americans from settling in Oregon Territory.

He died young, at age 35, on his return from from Washington D.C., after becoming ill crossing the isthmus of Panama.

-- This photo is restored and printed by Old Oregon from an original at the Washington State Archives.

Additional Information

Item Number AA1136
Photographer Unknown
Location Unknown Location
Subject Portraits
Decade 1840s
Print Maker Old Oregon
Original Type Copy Negative
Size of Original 4 x 6 inches
Photographer's Number No

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