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Crater Lake, Oregon
Crater Lake, Oregon in 1913

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Congress Created the Oregon Territory
August 14, 1848

Have you ever been to the Pacific Northwest? On August 14, 1848, Congress created the Oregon Territory, an area that includes what is today Oregon, Idaho, Washington, and western Montana. The Oregon Territory quickly became a popular place for various groups of immigrants and settlers.

Settlers had been traveling west for years. In 1843, one Missouri lawyer named Peter Burnett decided to join an expedition for the Oregon Territory in the hopes that he would be able to make enough money to repay his debts back east. Some 40 years later, Burnett recalled, "I saw that a great American community would grow up, in the space of a few years, upon the shores of the distant Pacific; and I felt an ardent desire to aid in this most important enterprise."

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