John Whiteaker

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John Whiteaker (May 4, 1820October 2, 1902) 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.


  • While our common country has been afflicted, and still suffers, from the greatest calamity a people can experience, our own State has been visited by scourges which, though relieved from the horrors of civil war, has resulted in the loss of immense quantities of property, the depriving of many of our citizens of their homes, or the means of support, and seriously crippling, for the present, the Agricultural interests of the State. Indeed, the high waters of December last did more than destroy property, and desolate homes; and many human lives were lost, while attempting to escape the floods, or generously assisting to relieve others from their perils.
    • John Whiteaker (September 8, 1862). Governor John Whiteaker - Governor's Message, 1862. Oregon State Archives, Oregon Secretary of State. Source: House and Senate Journal, Salem, Oregon, Henry L. Pittock, State Printer, 1862: Proceedings of the House, Appendix to the House Journal, Page 3.

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