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Sidney Smith
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MEMBER OF PEORIA PARTY: In 1837-38 Rev. Jason Lee, accompanied by several Indian boys, stopped in Peoria, IL to lecture on his mission and the beautiful Willamette Valley. The picture painted by these individuals was the only inducement needed for a small party of adventurers to join together and plan a journey to the Oregon Territory. This was the first organized emigration to Oregon with plans for permanent location, and although it broke up on the way and drifted on in fragments, some of the members became prominent citizens. The Peoria Party was organized to go to Oregon and "raise the American flag and run the Hudson's Bay Company out of the country". The members included in this expedition were: Amos Cook, James L. Fash, Francis Fletcher, Owen Garrett, Joseph Holman, Quincy Adams Jordan, Ralph L. Kilbourne, Robert Moore, Obadiah A. Oakley, Thomas Jefferson Pickett, John Prichard, Sydney Smith, Chauncey Wood, John J. Wood, Charles Yates and Thomas Jefferson Farnham. They were later joined by John L. Moore, Robert Shortess and W. Blair. T.J. Farnham was elected leader and the company carried a flag, made by Farnham's wife, that had the motto "Oregon or the Grave!" Several members of the expedition kept daily journals, and in later years, some wrote reminiscences. Farnham carried his journal strapped to his back and he sat down each night to record the days happenings. The most consistent theme found in all of the accounts was the severe weather encountered, the constant disagreements that wore away at the resolve of the members of the party and the hunger endured for days at a time when meat became scarce.
- Carole Conrad
 Added: Dec. 8, 2014
 
SON OF Capt. John S. Smith and grand-nephew of Ethan Allen; member of Peoria Party; shot himself during argument with another member of party, the bullet was extracted with a pocket knife and the wound dressed, he was then carried on a cot strung between two horses for several days until he could mount his own horse again; stayed with Farnham party after split at Bent's Fort: led by Capt. Kelly to Fort Davy Crockett at Brown's Hole on Green River; described in Shortess account as "Sydney Smith, B. NY, Lottery Broker, age c35"; letter from Farnham which was published in Peoria Register lists as "T. Smith"; continued on to Oregon where he spent time in Marion Co before eventually settling in Chehalem Valley; went to California during gold rush, forced home by an attack of scurvy, brought $3,000 in gold dush with him; merchant at Lafayette
- Carole Conrad
 Added: Dec. 8, 2014
 
One of the "Men of Champoeg" who voted to form Oregon's first provisional government in 1843.
- Randy Fletcher
 Added: Nov. 21, 2006
 
 
 
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