Fort William (Oregon)

Fort William (Oregon)

Fort William (Oregon)

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Fort William was a fur trading outpost built by American Nathaniel Jarvis Wyeth in 1834. It was located on the Columbia River on Wappatoo Island in what is now part of Portland, Oregon. It was the site of a murder and the first Euro-American trial in what is now the state of Oregon. After a few years the post was leased to the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1837.


The fort was built as part of the Pacific Trading Company, a joint-stock company formed by Wyeth to exploit the fur trade in the Oregon Country.The island chosen was previously visited by the Lewis & Clark Expedition, and was previously inhabited by natives. However, by the time Wyeth established his outpost the island was void of any human habitation due to diseases that had swept through the lower Columbia wiping out nearly 90% of the native inhabitants. Oregon Historical Society. Retrieved on February 26, 2008.


Wappatoo Island, now Sauvie Island, lies just north of the main confluence of the Willamette and Columbia Rivers, with the north end of the island being the location of the confluence with the Multnomah Channel. The post was built on the north end of the island, but was moved the next year towards the center of the island due to flooding.Fort William was west of and on the opposite side of the river from the Hudson’s Bay...
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