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Hall Jackson Kelley

Kelley, Hall Jackson, 1790–1874, American propagandist for the settlement of Oregon, b. Northwood, N.H. A schoolmaster in Boston (1818–23) and later a railroad surveyor in Maine, he founded (1829) a society to promote American settlement in the disputed Columbia River country and wrote appeals to prospective colonists. He secured the aid of Nathaniel J. Wyeth, but plans for a joint expedition to the West were delayed, and Wyeth went alone. In 1833, Kelley went to New Orleans, sailed to Veracruz, and crossed Mexico to California, where he met the trader Ewing Young. The two arrived in the Oregon country in 1834. A sick and discouraged man, Kelley was sheltered at Fort Vancouver by Dr. John McLoughlin until the spring of 1835, when he returned to Boston. He subsequently wrote a "memoir" on Oregon, which was presented to Congress by Caleb Cushing.

See biography by F. W. Powell (1917); Fred W. Powell, ed., Hall J. Kelley on Oregon (1932).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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