The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #59418   Message #1370501
Posted By: Rapparee
03-Jan-05 - 08:18 PM
Thread Name: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
Well now, I thought I'd just pass on a tidbit about George W. Bush:

George Washington Bush (1790?-1863), an experienced frontiersman and successful farmer, was one of the wealthier pioneers to follow the Oregon Trail west. His father, of African descent, was said to be a sailor, and his mother was an Irish American servant. As a young man, Bush worked as a voyageur and trapper for fur trading companies, including the famed Hudson's Bay Company (HBC). During this time he traveled extensively in the Western plains and mountains, perhaps reaching Puget Sound.

By the 1830s, Bush had settled in Missouri and married Isabella (or Isabell) James (c. 1809-1866), a young German American woman with whom he had five sons (a sixth was born in the West). Bush farmed and raised cattle, and the family was well off. However, Missouri, a slave state, had passed racial exclusion laws, and Bush and his sons faced increasing bigotry and discrimination. In an effort to escape the discrimination, the Bushes joined the family of their friend Michael Simmons, a white Kentuckian, and three other white families related to the Simmons, to head west on the Oregon Trail. Bush's frontier experience made him a valuable addition to the party.

When the Simmons party reached the Columbia River in the fall of 1844, they found that the provisional government of Oregon Territory had enacted discriminatory laws, like those of Missouri, barring settlement by African Americans. Not wishing to separate from the Bush family, Simmons and the other members of the party decided to locate north of the Columbia, where American settlers and their provisional government had not yet extended their reach. The party spent the winter of 1844-45 on the Columbia, not far from Hudson's Bay Company's Fort Vancouver in present-day Clark County.


Want to know what happened? His claim was upheld by the US Congress, he farmed Bush Prairie until he died, and his son William O. Bush was a member of the first Washington State legislature. The Bushes were one of the wealthiest families in the Territory.