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Tabitha Brown - "Mother of Oregon"

Our Past - People

Tabitha Brown: May 1, 1780 – May 4, 1858Tabitha Brown

Tabitha Moffatt Brown was an early pioneer on a treacherous journey by wagon train along the Oregon Trail in 1846. She settled with her family in Oregon Country, where she and two reverends founded Tualatin Academy in 1849, and eventually Pacific University in Forest Grove in 1854. In the Oregon State Capitol, 158 names are inscribed in the legislative chambers; only six are women. One of those is Tabitha Moffat Brown.

When Tabitha Brown’s son made the fateful decision to leave Missouri and strike out for Oregon, she refused to be left behind. Despite her son’s concerns, Tabitha hired her own wagon to join the party. Along with her reluctant daughter and her ever-hopeful granddaughter, the intrepid Tabitha had her misgivings. But family ties are stronger than fear.

The trials they faced along the way severely tested Tabitha’s faith, courage, and ability to hope. With her family’s survival on the line, she must make the ultimate sacrifice, plunging deeper into the wilderness to seek aid. What she couldn’t know was how this frightening journey would impact how she understood her own life–and the greater part she had to play in history.


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