Near North Powder in Union County, Oregon — The American West (Northwest)
Woman of Courage
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
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.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Oregon Beaver Boards marker series.
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); 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. • Exploration • Native Americans • Women •
Credits. This page was last revised on February 11, 2018. This page originally submitted on December 11, 2017, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 75 times since then and 25 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on December 11, 2017, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.