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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near North Powder in Union County, Oregon — The American West (Northwest)
 

Marie Dorion

Woman of Courage

 
 
Marie Dorion Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, June 29, 2017
1. Marie Dorion Marker
Captions: (top center) Marie Dorion as she may have appeared.; (bottom left) Astoria in Oregon territory as it appeared when Marie Dorian and her family arrived with the Hunt expedition on February 15, 1812.
Inscription. Madame Marie Dorion, a Native American of the Sioux Nation, gained recognition for her endurance and courage in the early American West. As the only woman on the long and difficult Wilson Price Hunt expedition from Montreal to the wild Oregon territory, Marie's strength of character and courage earned her a reputation for bravery.
In 1811, explorer Wilson Hunt hired Pierre Dorion as an interpreter for an expedition seeking an overland route from Missouri to Fort Astoria, Jacob Astor's fur-trading post on the Oregon coast. Hunt would then assume command on the fort. Pierre and his wife, Marie, and their two young sons accompanied the expedition to the distant West.
The expedition left Missouri in April of 1811. During the tortuous 11-month journey to Oregon, the members of the expedition endured great hardships and several of the party died of exposure and starvation. As the only woman, Marie suffered unique difficulties caring for her young sons and enduring many arguments with Pierre. On December 30, 1811, Marie Dorion gave birth near North Powder to a third child, who died nine-days later. Marie and her family rejoined the expedition 3 days later in the Grande Ronde Valley.
In 1814, Marie Dorion's husband Pierre was murdered in eastern Oregon. Marie and her children escaped into the wilderness where they barely survived
Marie Dorion Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, June 29, 2017
2. Marie Dorion Marker
a long winter journey to safety. The family eventually settled in Oregon's Willamette Valley at French Prairie, where Marie remained until her death.
When Marie Dorion died in 1850, she was buried at French Prairie, Oregon. Neighbors spoke of her as an impressive and admirable woman.
 
Erected by Oregon Highway Commission.
 
Location. 45° 3.912′ N, 117° 52.992′ W. Marker is near North Powder, Oregon, in Union County. Marker is on La Grande - Baker Highway (Oregon Route 237) near Government Gulch Road, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 52244 La Grande - Baker Highway, North Powder OR 97867, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 4 other markers are within 11 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Baker Valley Rest Area Oregon Trail Kiosk (approx. 10.9 miles away); A Cattle Drives (approx. 10.9 miles away); "The 1880's Park" in Haines (approx. 10.9 miles away); Chandler Cabin (approx. 11 miles away).
 
Also see . . .  Marie Dorion - Women's History Blog. Marie Dorionís story became well known in her lifetime through the published recollections of Fort Astoria pioneers and through Washington Irvingís book Astoria (1835). Her son Paul escorted famous writer Francis Parkman on the Oregon trail, while Jean Baptiste went on to a career with the British Canadian fur-trading Hudson Bay Company. (Submitted on December 11, 2017, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.) 
 
Categories. ExplorationNative AmericansWomen
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 11, 2017. This page originally submitted on December 11, 2017, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 54 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on December 11, 2017, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.
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