George Washington Bush
Name: George Washington Bush
Occupation/Training: Entrepreneur, Fur Trader
Abolitionist Involvement: George Washington Bush came into the public arena in the War of 1812, when he fought under Andrew Jackson, in the Battle of New Orleans. After the war, he joined one of the many fur trading companies. It was while working with one of the fur trading companies that he first traveled to the Pacific coast. He began raising cattle, farming and developing a nursery, where he soon emerged as a wealthy man of his time. He then joined a party of whites who were relocating to the westward to Oregon.
Upon arrival in the Oregon Territory, he found himself encountered by the same racism, that he had hoped to escape when he left the Midwest. His confrontations were mostly with southern whites who had also relocated to the Oregon Territory. In 1844, a law was passed forbidding Negroes to settle in the new Oregon Territory. As a result, Bush and his family had to move northward, and settle near Puget Sound, which was British territory. Many whites in his party from Missouri followed him, and settled near him in the same area outside of Oregon.
He settled on a 640 acre donation settlement that became known as Bush Prairie, and with a short time, he became the main supplier of fruit, vegetables, and grain to newcomers in the area. Because of his generosity, he saved the lives of many people who would have died in the winter of 1852. He constructed the first saw mill, and grist mill, and purchased a fanning mill, which he allowed other grain farmers to use.
It was his benefactors from Missouri, who had followed him to Puget Sound that finally were able to use their influence that would eventually convince Congress to give Bush title to his land. In 1855, this man, who had lead a community and assisted in their successful settlement, was finally granted title to this property. He died in 1863.
Family: 5 sons
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