Bush, George Washington, fl. 1845

Biography:

Mentioned in oral history interview with Jack Tanner which is part of the Washington State University Black Oral History Collection: http://content.wsulibs.wsu.edu/cgi-bin/pview.exe?CISOROOT=/5985&CISOPTR=43&CISORESTMP= From OCLC LCNAF 670 note: "...George Washington Bush ... crossed the North of the Columbia River in 1845 and made the first permanent American settlement in the area which is known today as Washington State..." "George W. Bush (c. 1790?-1863) was a key leader of the first group of American citizens to settle north of the Columbia River in what is now Washington...As a young man, Bush served in the U.S. Army and may have participated in the Battle of New Orleans during the War of 1812. He later worked as a voyageur and fur trapper, first for the St. Louis based Robideaux Company and then for the famed Hudsonís Bay Company, which dominated the fur trade throughout western Canada and in the Oregon Territory. During this time he traveled extensively in the Western plains and mountains, and may have reached the Puget Sound region...In 1844, Bush and his good friend Michael T. Simmons (1814-1867), a white Irish American, led their families and three others over the Oregon Trail. When they found that racial exclusion laws had preceded them and barred Bush from settling south of the Columbia River, they settled on Puget Sound, becoming the first Americans to do so. Bush established a successful farm near present day Olympia on land that became known as Bush Prairie." http://www.historylink.org/essays/output.cfm?file_id=5645 (viewed 5/19/08)

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