Thursday, March 28, 2013


"When the missionaries came they had the Bible and we had the land. By the time they were finished we had the Bible and they had the land." This is usually attributed to native Hawaiians and Maori.

Native Americans in the Oregon country could have said the same. Jason Lee was a Methodist missionary sent in the 1830's in response to the request of Flathead Indians to bring the "Book of Heaven." Little did they know that what they were going to get was someone more interested in getting Oregon into the union than in educating the Native Americans. And by the 1870's the Polynesian lament was true for almost all the tribes in the Oregon country; the Nez Perce were the last to go.

Anyway, each state has a statue on display. Lee is Oregon's. Evidently there's a movement to replace Lee's statue with one of former Oregon governor and senator Mark Hatfield. To be honest I'd rather they either bring back the statue of John McLoughlin or bring in Hatfield. Stick the missionary of Manifest Destiny in  a corner somewhere.

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