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Auction: 344 - The Numismatic Collector's Series Sale at Grand Hyatt, NY INC
Lot: 2161

Oregon Territory. American Society for Encouraging a Settlement of the Oregon Territory. One share. No.52. "Oregon Settlement Stock" at the top. Embossed paper and wax seal with 1831 and "SOCIETY OREGON TERRITORY." The "proprietor" (owner of the share) is entitled to either 160 acres of "good farming land" or $100 plus six percent interest. Partially prepared; signed by J. McNeil as President, and R. P. Williams as Secretary. Extremely Fine.
After the American Revolution, U.S. merchants started buying furs from the coastal regions along the Pacific Northwest. This activity preceded the discovery of the Columbia River, by Robert Gray, an American in the employ of Boston merchants, giving the United States a claim to all land drained by the Columbia River. The British disputed the claim, and after the War of 1812, took possession of the area, and another war with Great Britain almost occurred in 1818. Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed, the nations agreed to joint occupation. The dispute would not be settled until 1846 with the signing of the Oregon Treaty. The use of the words "Oregon Territory" on this certificate was, in fact, premature - the correct terminology should have been "Oregon Country." Territorial status was not granted until 1848.
A few of these certificates are in institutional hands, but this is the first seen by this cataloger. Off the market since 1980, when it was first acquired by our consignor. Here is a truly rare opportunity to purchase an important piece of Pacific North West history; also included is a stock transfer from the Utica and Schenectady Rail-Road, 1834, issued to John Jacob Astor, but not signed by him. [2]

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