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The Territory of Oregon was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from August 14, 1848, until February 14, 1859, when the southwestern portion of the territory was admitted to the Unionmarker as the State of Oregonmarker.


The earliest documented discussions, leading to the formation of the Territory of Oregon, were made during a series of meetings held in an early pioneer and Native American encampment and later town known as Champoeg, Oregonmarker. These Champoeg Meetings eventually led to further discussions and the eventual territorial organization, made in Oregon Citymarker on August 14, 1848.

Created by an act of Congress, the territory's birth followed resolution of the international Oregon boundary dispute with the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Irelandmarker. The Territory of Oregon originally encompassed all of the present-day states of Idahomarker, Oregonmarker and Washingtonmarker, as well as those parts of present day Montanamarker and Wyomingmarker west of the Continental Divide. It extended from the 42nd parallel north (the boundary of the Adams-Onis Treaty of 1819), in the south to the 49th parallel .

The first territorial capital was Oregon Citymarker from 1848 to 1851, followed by Salemmarker from 1851 to 1855. Corvallismarker served briefly as the capital in 1855, followed by a permanent return to Salem later that year.

In 1853, the portion of the territory north of the lower Columbia River and north of the 46th parallel east of the river was organized into the Washington Territory.

On February 14, 1859, the territory entered the Union as the U.S. state of Oregonmarker within its current boundaries. The remaining eastern portion of the territory (the portions in present-day southern Idaho and western Wyoming) was added to the Washington Territory.

Image:Wpdms_oregon_territory_1848.png|Oregon Territory, as originally organized, in 1848Image:Wpdms_oregon_washington_territories_1853.png|Oregon Territory (blue) with Washington Territory (green) in 1853Image:Wpdms_oregon_washington_territory_1859.png|State of Oregon (blue) with Washington Territory (green) in 1859

Territorial evolution of Oregon

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