Benjamin Franklin Burch

Last updated
Benjamin Franklin Burch
Benjamin F. Burch.jpg
Benjamin F. Burch
Delegate to the Oregon Constitutional Convention
In office
Constituency Polk County
Member of the Oregon House of Representatives
In office
ConstituencyPolk County
President of the Oregon State Senate
In office
Preceded by Thomas R. Cornelius
Succeeded by James D. Fay
Personal details
BornMay 2, 1825
Chariton County, Missouri
DiedMarch 24, 1893(1893-03-24) (aged 67)
Independence, Oregon
Political partyDemocrat
Spouse(s)Eliza A. Davidson

Benjamin Franklin Burch (May 2, 1825 March 24, 1893) was an American farmer, soldier, and politician in what became the state of Oregon. A native of Missouri, he moved to the Oregon Country in 1845 and served in the Cayuse and Yakima wars. A Democrat, he represented Polk County at the Oregon Constitutional Convention, in the Oregon House of Representatives, and in the Oregon State Senate including one session as President of the Senate.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City. Most of the country is located contiguously in North America between Canada and Mexico.

Oregon U.S. state in the United States

Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region on the West Coast of the United States. The Columbia River delineates much of Oregon's northern boundary with Washington, while the Snake River delineates much of its eastern boundary with Idaho. The parallel 42° north delineates the southern boundary with California and Nevada.

Missouri U.S. state in the United States

Missouri is a state in the Midwestern United States. With over six million residents, it is the 18th-most populous state of the Union. The largest urban areas are St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield and Columbia; the capital is Jefferson City. The state is the 21st-most extensive in area. Missouri is bordered by eight states : Iowa to the north, Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee to the east, Arkansas to the south and Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska to the west. In the South are the Ozarks, a forested highland, providing timber, minerals and recreation. The Missouri River, after which the state is named, flows through the center of the state into the Mississippi River, which makes up Missouri's eastern border.


Early life

Benjamin Burch was born in Chariton County, Missouri, on May 2, 1825, to Samuel Burch and Eleanor ( née Lock) Burch. [1] In 1845, he crossed the Great Plains on the Oregon Trail bound for the Oregon Country. He settled in what became Polk County in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. [2] At the time it was under the authority of the Provisional Government of Oregon, and in 1848 became the Oregon Territory. In 1846, he helped Jesse Applegate and Levi Scott build the Applegate Trail, a route to the valley through Southern Oregon. [3]

Chariton County, Missouri U.S. county in Missouri

Chariton County is a county located in the North Central portion of the U.S. state of Missouri. As of the 2010 census, the population was 7,831. Its county seat is Keytesville. The county was organized November 16, 1820, from part of Howard County and is named for the Chariton River.

Oregon Trail Historic route to and through the American Old West

The Oregon Trail is a 2,170-mile (3,490 km) historic East–West, large-wheeled wagon route and emigrant trail in the United States that connected the Missouri River to valleys in Oregon. The eastern part of the Oregon Trail spanned part of the future state of Kansas, and nearly all of what are now the states of Nebraska and Wyoming. The western half of the trail spanned most of the future states of Idaho and Oregon.

Oregon Country Early 19th century US fur trade district in North America

In the nineteenth century, the Oregon Country was a disputed region of the Pacific Northwest of North America. The region was occupied by British and French Canadian fur traders from before 1810, and American settlers from the mid-1830s, with its coastal areas north from the Columbia River frequented by ships from all nations engaged in the maritime fur trade, most of these from the 1790s through 1810s being Boston-based. The Oregon Treaty of 1846 ended disputed joint occupancy pursuant to the Treaty of 1818 and established the British-American boundary at the 49th parallel.

Burch then returned to his home where he had tutored Applegate's children before becoming a teacher at the first school in the county. [1] After the breakout of the Cayuse War in 1847, he volunteered for the militia and served as an adjutant. [3] Following the war, on September 6, 1848, he married Kentucky native Eliza A. Davidson who had immigrated to Oregon from Illinois the year before. [1] [3] They had seven children, including Benjamin, Jr. [3] During the Yakima War in 1856 Burch served as a captain of a company of militia. [3] [4]

The Cayuse War was an armed conflict that took place in the Northwestern United States from 1847 to 1855 between the Cayuse people of the region and the United States Government and local American settlers. Caused in part by the influx of disease and settlers to the region, the immediate start of the conflict occurred in 1847 when the Whitman Massacre took place at the Whitman Mission near present day Walla Walla, Washington when fourteen people were killed in and around the mission. Over the next few years the Provisional Government of Oregon and later the United States Army battled the Native Americans east of the Cascades. This was the first of several wars between the Native Americans and American settlers in that region that would lead to the negotiations between the United States and Native Americans of the Columbia Plateau, creating a number of Indian reservations.

Adjutant military rank

Adjutant is a military appointment given to an officer who assists the commanding officer with unit administration, mostly the management of human resources in army unit. The term adjudant is used in French-speaking armed forces as a non-commissioned officer rank similar to a staff sergeant or warrant officer but is not equivalent to the role or appointment of an adjutant.

Kentucky American state

Kentucky, officially the Commonwealth of Kentucky, is a state located in the east south-central region of the United States. Although styled as the "State of Kentucky" in the law creating it,, Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth. Originally a part of Virginia, in 1792 Kentucky split from it and became the 15th state to join the Union. Kentucky is the 37th most extensive and the 26th most populous of the 50 United States.

Political career

In 1857, he was elected to represent Polk County in the Oregon Constitutional Convention held in Oregon in August and September. [2] At the convention he was part of a special committee with James K. Kelly and La Fayette Grover that designed the Oregon State Seal. [2] Burch was also a member of the Military Affairs Committee. [2] In 1858, he was elected to the first session of the state legislature as a Democrat representing Polk County in the Oregon House of Representatives. [5] Oregon was still waiting to be admitted to the Union, and the legislature did not officially convene until 1859. [6]

Oregon Constitutional Convention

The Oregon Constitutional Convention in 1857 drafted the Oregon Constitution in preparation for the Oregon Territory to become a U.S. state. Held from mid-August through September, 60 men met in Salem, Oregon, and created the foundation for Oregon's law. The proposal passed with a vote of 35 for adoption to 10 against. Oregon then became the 33rd state of the Union on February 14, 1859.

Salem, Oregon State capital city in Oregon, United States

Salem is the capital of the U.S. state of Oregon, and the county seat of Marion County. It is located in the center of the Willamette Valley alongside the Willamette River, which runs north through the city. The river forms the boundary between Marion and Polk counties, and the city neighborhood of West Salem is in Polk County. Salem was founded in 1842, became the capital of the Oregon Territory in 1851, and was incorporated in 1857.

James K. Kelly American judge

James Kerr Kelly was an American politician born in Pennsylvania. He was a United States Senator for Oregon from 1871 to 1877, and later Chief Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court. Prior to his election to the Senate he had been elected to both houses of the local legislature, serving in the Territorial House and State Senate, and was a member of the Oregon Constitutional Convention in 1857.

Burch remained out of politics until 1868 when he was elected to the Oregon State Senate. [7] He represented Polk County as a Democrat during a four-year term. [8] During the 1868 legislature he served as President of the Senate. [7]

Oregon State Senate

The Oregon State Senate is the upper house of the statewide legislature for the US state of Oregon. Along with the lower chamber Oregon House of Representatives it makes up the Oregon Legislative Assembly. There are 30 members of the State Senate, representing 30 districts across the state, each with a population of 114,000. The State Senate meets at the Oregon State Capitol in Salem.

Later years

In 1877, he became the Superintendent of the Oregon State Penitentiary in Salem by appointment of Governor Stephen F. Chadwick, serving two terms. [1] [4] He was appointed as the receiver at the Oregon City Land Office in 1887 by President Grover Cleveland. [1] [4] Benjamin Franklin Burch died on March 24, 1893, at the age of 67 at his farm near Independence. [1] [4]

Oregon State Penitentiary

Oregon State Penitentiary (OSP), sometimes called Oregon State Prison, is a maximum security prison in Oregon, United States. Opened in 1851, the 2,242 capacity prison is the oldest prison in the state. The all-male facility is located in Salem and is operated by the Oregon Department of Corrections.

Stephen F. Chadwick American politician

Stephen Fowler Chadwick was an American Democratic politician who served as the fifth Governor of Oregon from 1877 to 1878. Governor Chadwick was the first person to obtain the governorship by way of the state's Line of Succession.

Grover Cleveland 22nd and 24th president of the United States

Stephen Grover Cleveland was an American politician and lawyer who was the 22nd and 24th president of the United States, the only president in American history to serve two non-consecutive terms in office. He won the popular vote for three presidential elections—in 1884, 1888, and 1892—and was one of two Democrats to be elected president during the era of Republican political domination dating from 1861 to 1933.

Related Research Articles

Delazon Smith American politician

Delazon Smith was a Democratic Party politician who briefly represented the state of Oregon in the U.S. Senate in 1859. He served for less than one month, making his term among the shortest on record in the Senate. Smith was also a newspaper editor in New York and Ohio, and served in the Oregon Territory's legislature.

James Nesmith American judge

James Willis Nesmith was an American politician and lawyer from Oregon. Born in New Brunswick to American parents, he grew up in New Hampshire and Maine. A Democrat, he moved to Oregon Country in 1843 where he entered politics as a judge, a legislator in the Provisional Government of Oregon, a United States Marshal, and after statehood a United States Senator and Representative.

Charles William Fulton American politician

Charles William Fulton was an American lawyer and politician in the state of Oregon. A native of Ohio, he grew up in Iowa and Nebraska before settling in Astoria, Oregon. A Republican, he served in the Oregon State Senate, including time as President of the Senate, before he was elected as United States Senator from Oregon.

John Whiteaker American politician

John Whiteaker was an American politician, soldier, and judge primarily in Oregon. A native of Indiana, he joined the army during the Mexican–American War and then prospected during the California Gold Rush. After moving to the Oregon Territory he served as a judge and member of the legislature. A Democrat, Whiteaker served as the first state Governor of Oregon from 1859 until 1862 and later was Oregon's Congressman from 1879 to 1881. He also was president of the Oregon State Senate and Speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives.

Asa Lovejoy American politician

Asa Lawrence Lovejoy was an American pioneer and politician in the region that would become the U.S. state of Oregon. He is best remembered as a founder of the city of Portland, Oregon. He was an attorney in Boston, Massachusetts before traveling by land to Oregon; he was a legislator in the Provisional Government of Oregon, mayor of Oregon City, and a general during the Cayuse War that followed the Whitman massacre in 1847. He was also a candidate for Provisional Governor in 1847, before the Oregon Territory was founded, but lost that election.

Jesse Applegate American pioneer

Jesse Applegate was an American pioneer who led a large group of settlers along the Oregon Trail to the Oregon Country. He was an influential member of the early government of Oregon, and helped establish the Applegate Trail as an alternative route to the Oregon Trail.

John N. Williamson American politician

John Newton Williamson was an American rancher and politician in the state of Oregon. A native Oregonian, he served in both chambers of the Oregon Legislative Assembly representing central and eastern Oregon in the late 19th century. A Republican, he then served in Congress from 1903 to 1907 and was involved in the Oregon land fraud scandal.

Oregon Territorial Legislature

Oregon's Territorial Legislature was a bicameral legislative body created by the United States Congress in 1848 as the legislative branch of the government of the Oregon Territory. The upper chamber Council and lower chamber House of Representatives first met in July 1849; they served as the region's legislative body until Oregon became a state in February 1859, when they were replaced by the bicameral Oregon State Legislature.

Levi C. Scott (1797–1890) was a politician in the Oregon Territory of the United States in the 1850s. A native of Illinois, he was a captain during the Cayuse War, helped lay the Applegate Trail, served in the Oregon Territorial Legislature, and in 1857 was a member of the Oregon Constitutional Convention. Scott also founded Scottsburg, Oregon, and is the namesake for several natural features in Southern Oregon.

Peter Courtney American politician

Peter C. Courtney is an American politician, lawyer, and professor who is currently a Democratic member of the Oregon State Senate, representing the 11th District since 1999. He is currently President of the Senate, serving since 2003. He was a member of the Oregon House of Representatives in 1981, 1983, and from 1989 through 1998. Courtney teaches at Western Oregon University.

Thomas R. Cornelius American politician

Thomas Ramsey Cornelius was a prominent American politician and soldier in the early history of Oregon. Born in Missouri, he moved to the Oregon Country with his family as a young man, where he fought in the Cayuse War and Yakima Indian War against the Native Americans. He settled in Washington County near what later became Cornelius, named in his honor.

Col. Isaac R. Moores was an American soldier and politician in Illinois and Oregon. A native of Kentucky, he would serve in the Seminole War and the Black Hawk War before immigrating to the Oregon Territory. In Oregon, Moores served in the Territorial Legislature and at the Oregon Constitutional Convention. His son, Isaac R. Moores, Jr. would become Speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives.

Benjamin Hayden American politician

Benjamin F. Hayden was an American attorney and politician in the state of Oregon. A native of Kentucky, he moved to the West Coast with the California Gold Rush in 1849 and to Oregon in 1852. A Democrat, he served in the Oregon House of Representatives, including the 1870 session as speaker of the body.

Winlock W. Steiwer American politician

Winlock W. Steiwer was an American banker, rancher, and politician in the state of Oregon. Born in the Willamette Valley, he made his name in Eastern Oregon as the founder of a bank and as county judge. A Republican, he twice served in the Oregon State Senate. He pleaded guilty in the Oregon land fraud scandal of the early 1900s.

Richard O. Eymann American politician

Richard O. Eymann was an American businessman and politician in the state of Oregon. A native of Alberta, Canada, he served as an airman during World War II and then graduated from Dartmouth College. Eymann moved to Oregon where he would serve as a Democrat in the Oregon House of Representatives, including one session as Speaker.

Parish L. Willis American politician

Parish Lovejoy Willis was an American attorney and politician in the state of Oregon. A native of Illinois, he served as cavalry in the Rogue River War before becoming a lawyer. A Republican, he served one term in the Oregon State Senate in the early 1890s.

Stan Bunn American politician

Stan Bunn is an American politician and lawyer in the U.S. state of Oregon. Born and raised in Yamhill County, he is part of a political family that includes his brother Jim Bunn who served in Congress. A self-described moderate Republican, Stan served in both houses of the Oregon Legislative Assembly, including a successful run for the Oregon House of Representatives while in law school in 1972. Later he served as Oregon Superintendent of Public Instruction from 1999 to 2003, in a political career spanning four decades. In non-elective offices, he was chairman of the state's ethics commission and on the Oregon Traffic Safety Commission between stints in the legislature.

Frederick Waymire was an American farmer and politician in what became the state of Oregon. A native of Ohio, he served in the Oregon Territorial Legislature and was a member of the Oregon Constitutional Convention. He also helped start the La Creole Academy in Polk County and represented that county in the Oregon House of Representatives after Oregon became a state.

Charles Drain (pioneer) American politician

Charles Drain was a politician in the Oregon Territory and later the U.S. state of Oregon, and the founder of the city of Drain. He was born in 1816 near Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The family moved to Shelby County, Indiana, when Charles was five. Both parents soon died. He married Nancy Ensley in 1839, and in 1852 the family moved to Marion County, Oregon, and later to Linn County, to farm in the Willamette Valley.

Ben Musa American politician

Benjamin M. Musa, known as Ben Musa, was an American politician and Certified Public Accountant from Oregon. He served four terms in the Oregon State Senate between 1949 and 1968. Musa was a conservative Democrat from a rural district, known for his ability to work with Republicans as well as fellow Democrats in the state senate. He held the position of President of the Oregon Senate during the 1963–1964 legislative term. Musa ran for governor in 1966, but lost the Democratic primary to Robert W. Straub.