Biographical Sketch of Governor George Abernethy
GOVERNOR GEORGE ABERNETHY . – Oregon’s first governor will of necessity occupy an important place in her annals. This is due both to the intrinsic character of the man and to his official position. So frequently, however, does he appear in the narration of the body of events described in this work that it is not necessary to do more here than give the mere outlines of his career. He was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, in 1807. The family moved to the United States soon after; and the future governor spent the first thirty-two years of his life in New York.. In 1840 he came to Oregon as a lay member of the Methodist Mission. Settling at Oregon City, and taking charge of the Mission store and its business in general, he soon developed a shrewdness that provided the Mission as well as himself personally with an abundance of the mammon of unrighteousness. At the inauguration of the Provisional government in 1845, he was chosen governor; and thereafter by successive elections he remained in the executive office till the establishment of the territory in 1849. Afterwards he became largely instrumental in starting various mercantile operations at Oregon City and Linn City. In some of his speculations he was unfortunate, and lost a great part of the savings of his active life. He suffered also in the great flood of 1861 at Oregon City. In that year he removed to Portland, where he died in May, 1877.