Oct. 16, 1797 Washington Sullivan County New Hampshire, USA
Mar. 1, 1869 Salem Marion County Oregon, USA
BIOGRAPHICAL: David Leslie came with his family in 1837 and was in charge of mission when Jason Lee went back east. He was active in building dam and mill on Mill Creek. What is now the Salem Pioneer Cemetery was on David Leslie's Donation Land Claim.
BIOGRAPHICAL: David LESLIE (1787 - 1869) -- A leader in the effort to organize a government, Leslie arrived in Oregon in 1837 as one of the first reinforcements for Lee, and became a principal assistant in managing the Willamette Mission. In 1839 he drafted the "Farnham Petition" to Congress, signed by 67 residents, which requested the "civil institutions of the American Republic," and contended that theft, murder and other crimes were increasing with the people only able to protect themselves by their self-instituted tribunals. The petition, carried to Washington by Thomas Farnham, had little effect on Congress. Leslie presided over the meeting of settlers in February 1841, leading to the eventual organization of government. He went to the Sandwich Islands in 1842, but returned the next year and opened the first frame church in Oregon City. He also served as chaplain for the first territorial legislature in 1849 and, in common with many other members of the mission, helped found Willamette University. CAPITAL NAMES, pg. 41.
BIOGRAPHICAL: David Leslie was born in Washington, New Hampshire, in 1797, a son of the Reverend George Leslie, of Puritan stock. Leaving his home in Salem, Massachusetts, Leslie came west with his wife and three young daughters in 1837 in a company of Methodist missionaries on the ship "Sumatra". This was known as the second reinforcement, and brought the number of residents at the Mission up to sixty, half being Indians. The ship was loaded with supplies for the Mission, and these were transported with difficulty up the Willamette river during the fall. The little colony was increasing in numbers and influence, and assumed the leadership of the American settlers. With the consent of Dr. McLoughlin in 1839, Jason Lee appointed Leslie as one of two magistrates for the country south of the Columbia. -- That same year Leslie was sent with W. H. Willson to establish a mission on Puget Sound. At Nisqually, near Tacoma, they erected buildings and held services. [In 1841] while Mrs. Leslie was seriously ill, their house with all their personal effects burned to the ground. -- For the advancement of education and religion, he was a diligent worker, but because of unauthorized expansion of building plans at the Mission, he was left without appointment and without salary in the years 1842-43. His wife, formerly Mary A. Kinney, had died in 1841, leaving him with six children and under these circumstances he determined to go to the Sandwich Islands. They were all on the ship ready to sail, September, 1842, when Cornelius Rogers, an outstanding young man, persuaded Leslie to give him in marriage his eldest daughter, Satira. They were married on the ship and disembarked for the land, taking under their care two of the little sisters. One daughter left with Leslie died and was buried in the Islands; a terrible fate awaited two others in Oregon. It was in February, 1843, that Rogers, his bride and her little sister were swept over the falls of the Willamette in a canoe at Oregon City and drowned. This disaster plunged the whole community into mourning. The following spring Leslie was recalled, returning in the Fur Company boat the Llama in April, 1843. At the forming of the provisional government shortly after his return, Leslie was chosen one of three on a committee to draft and administer the oath of office to persons elected on May 2, 1843. He was the first pastor and organizer of the Methodist Episcopal church in Salem, 1841, and again served as pastor in 1843. At the same time he had charge of the societies in the Willamette Valley, and preached with great power and earnestness at many camp meetings. He opened for public worship in 1844 the first frame church in Oregon City, and followed Gustavus Hines as its pastor. The year 1844 was marked in Leslie's life by his marriage to Mrs. Adelia Judson Olley, and by the arrival of the Reverend George Gray, who was empowered by the Board to investigate the Mission. Leslie was chaplain of the first territorial legislature in 1849. He was elected president of the board of trustees of the Oregon Institute in 1845, and held that position through its transition into Willamette University until the time of his death. It was he who laid the cornerstone of the new brick building which was put into use October 21, 1867. Possessed and driven by religious ideals, he ceased his struggles for his beloved Oregon on May 1, 1869, when seventy-two years of age. He is buried in the I.O.O.F. cemetery at Salem, Oregon. Dobbs, Caroline. MEN OF CHAMPOEG: A RECORD OF THE LIVES OF THE PIONEERS WHO FOUNDED THE OREGON GOVERNMENT. Metropolitan Press, Portland, Oregon, 1932. pgs. 60-63
OBITUARY: FUNERAL OF FATHER LESLIE -- The funeral obsequies of Rev. Father Leslie, were largely attended. The M. E. Church was crowded to it utmost capacity, and the procession to the cemetery, is said to have been the largest ever seen in this city. Our citizens united as of one common brotherhood, to pay the last marks of respect and honor, to the memory of this veteran in the ministry of the gospel, and early pioneer to the wilds of an unsettled wilderness. Daily Unionist March 4, 1869 3:1
The Pacific Christian Advocate 6 March 1869 2:2 gives the complete funeral service. Col. I. R. Moores was Marshal, the Trustees of the Willamette University were pall-bearers. Services were led by Rev. J. L. Parrish, Rev. A. F. Waller, Rev. J. F. DeVore, Rev. Dr. Wythe, Rev. G. Hines, Rev. C. C. Stratton, and Rev. N. Doane. (bio source: Salem Pioneer Cemetery Website)