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Author explores “Oregon’s First Pioneer’ at Seaside library

Jerry Sutherland will discuss explorer Calvin Tibbets

Published on July 10, 2017 3:33PM

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SEASIDE — Jerry Sutherland, author of “Calvin Tibbets: Oregon’s First Pioneer,” will discuss his book at the Seaside Public Library’s Community Room at 1 p.m. Saturday, July 15. The event, hosted by the Friends of the Seaside Library, will include book sales and signings.

“When Calvin Tibbets ventured to Oregon Country in 1832, it was looking more British than American,” the library said in a summary. “That’s because Hudson’s Bay Company, the Crown’s proxy, had virtual control of the area and some of their French Canadian employees had retired to farms along the Willamette River.”

Before Tibbets, the only Americans in the region were explorers, fur trappers, scientists and sailors.

His goal was different: to settle Oregon with Americans and make it part of the United States.

“Tibbets got along with his Canadian neighbors and native tribes long enough to assist fellow American settlers when they arrived: first missionaries, then retiring mountain men, and finally wagon train pioneers who crossed the Oregon Trail in such great numbers that the British finally gave up their claims to Oregon in 1846,” organizers wrote.

Tibbets died soon after achieving his goal, according to press materials, and all that he had done to realize it soon faded into the shadows of Oregon history.

Sutherland will share new details gleaned from original sources and integrate them with previously published, but scattered, accounts of Tibbets’ many adventures.

Sutherland spent two years scouring archives and visiting Calvin Tibbets’ haunts across the United States and Canada to expand on material his father, Art Sutherland, had collected during the previous seven years.

“What he discovered convinced him that Calvin Tibbets was an early Oregonian the public should know more about,” the library wrote.

The Seaside Public Library is located at 1131 Broadway St. For more information, visit seasidelibrary.org or call 503-738-6742.


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