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List of Governors of Oregon

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This article lists the individuals who have served as Governor of Oregon from the establishment of the Provisional Government between 1841 and 1843 to the present day.

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Transcription

I’m Mr. Beat, and I’m running for governor of Kansas in 2018. Here’s Chris Christie, the former governor of New Jersey. At one time, he was one of the most popular governors in the United States. However, by the time he left office, his approval rating had dropped all the way down to 14%. (Chris Christie clip) Many in New Jersey say he is the worst governor in their state’s history. But what about the worst governors in other states? Based on my research, here are the 10 worst governors in American history that I could find. Oh, and before we get into this list, I didn’t include the governors who are currently in office or recently got out of office. What can I say? We are always biased to have hatred to more recent politicians. #10 Edwin Edwards Governor of Louisiana from 1972 to 1980, 1984 to 1988, and 1992 to 1996, serving 16 years total in office, or 5,784 days, the sixth-longest amount of time in office for any governor since the Constitution. Widely considered one of the most corrupt governors in American history, he actually got caught for racketeering, extortion, money laundering, mail fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy. He went to federal prison for eight years. He was unapologetic about receiving illegal campaign donations. He was accused of obstruction of justice and bribery. The only reason why Edwards is not higher up on my list is because is dedication to civil rights and protecting minorities and the poor. #9 Joel Aldrich Matteson Or MATTson. Both pronunciations are correct. I'll call him Mattyson because that's more fun. Oh Louisiana and Illinois. You both have a long history of electing corrupt and just, plain horrible governors. And Matteson is one of them. Governor of Illinois from 1853 to 1857, he actually had a few accomplishments during his tenure. This was when Illinois began public education, and Matteson oversaw a strong economy and the reduction of the state’s debt. However, after he got out of office people started to find out about his shadiness. You see, while in office, Matteson had found essentially IOU money in the form of scrips to pay for the Illinois and Michigan Canal. Even though scrips had already been cashed in, Matteson found out they could be used again due to poor record keeping. So he took a bunch of them for himself and cashed them in later on. They were like blank checks from the state. It was later estimated, that Matteson stole at least $5 million this way, adjusted for inflation. He would have probably stolen more if it weren’t for getting caught. So Matteson stole a bunch of taxpayer money. Oh yeah, and Abraham Lincoln hated him, too, so there’s that. #8 Peter Hardeman Burnett California’s first governor, and probably its worst. He was also the first California governor to resign, in office for just 14 months, from late 1849 to early 1851. He wanted the American West for whites only, supporting laws that banned blacks from living in Oregon when he lived up there and trying to get laws passed in California to ban blacks from living there after it became a state under his watch. He was also outspokenly racist toward Native Americans and Chinese immigrants. He pushed for heavy taxes on immigrants and for Indian removal. Oh, and he wanted the death penalty for theft. Peter, you were not a good start for California. #7 George Wallace Yeah, you’ve probably heard of George Wallace, he’s one of the most infamous in American history and ran for President several times. He was even in Forrest Gump. But if you want a great bio about him, I recommend this video by Connor Higgins. He’s most infamously known for the “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, and segregation forever” and racist stuff of his tenure, in which he embraced the KKK and basically argued that blacks and whites being in the same room was one of the worst things ever. He even freaking stood in front of a door to prevent black students from attending classes at the University of Alabama. But here’s the thing...he lost his first race for governor because he criticized the KKK and spoke out for African Americans. Later in life, after being paralyzed in an assassination attempt, he reversed his ways also by condemning his past racism. This just makes me assume he said whatever the majority of people wanted to hear in his state to get elected. George Wallace, were you racist or were you not? Ok yeah I think he truly was, though. He was so power hungry he got his wife elected after he couldn’t run for re-election due to term limit laws, and to do so, he hid her cancer diagnosis from her. She ended up dying less than 200 days after she took office. The bottom line is, George Wallace was as us vs. them as one could get. He knew how to divide Americans not only in Alabama, but across the country. Wallace would be higher up on this list if not for changing later in life, asking forgiveness from African Americans. "I was wrong. Those days are over, and they ought to be over." #6 Orval Faubus From one Southern racist governor to another, but at least this one has a cool name. Faubus was governor or Arkansas from 1955 to 1967. Now Faubus really just had one major decision that tainted his legacy Similar to Wallace, he was more about his political power, starting out more moderate when it came to civil rights issues, then all of sudden taking a firm pro-segregation stance after the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision. In 1957, he became internationally infamous in what is known as the Little Rock Crisis. After the federal government ordered racial desegregation, he was like, “nope,” sending the Arkansas National Guard to stop African Americans from attending Little Rock Central High School. President Eisenhower had to send in federal troops to escort them in. And then at the end of the year, the school shut down. What’s frustrating about Faubus is that he really didn’t seem that racist. He just stubbornly did the wrong thing fueled the hatred of blacks in the South. And he never apologized for it, like Wallace did. #5 Lilburn Boggs Governor of Missouri from 1836 to 1840 Boggs is best known for Missouri Executive Order 44, or as many Mormons call it, the “Extermination Order.” It was a response to the growing violence during what became known as the 1838 Mormon War, a series of clashes between Mormons and those they threatened in northeast Missouri. Governor Boggs issued the order to drive Mormons out of the state because of their “open and avowed defiance of the laws, and of having made war upon the people of this State.” He also added, “The Mormons must be treated as enemies, and must be exterminated or driven from the State if necessary for the public peace.” Geez, dude. And yep, it worked. The Mormons fled to the town of Nauvoo, Illinois. Other great stuff about Boggs. He wasted a bunch of taxpayer money building a new capitol. Oh, and he almost caused a war with Iowa Territory due to a border dispute. Actually, it was known as a war. The Honey War. Awwww, what a sweet name for a war. #4 Len Small Well, here we go. Another Illinois governor. In office during the Roaring Twenties, from 1921 to 1929. His corruption started long before he was governor, back when he was the Illinois Treasurer. He was charged with embezzling over a million dollars through money laundering, by “misplacing” state funds into a fake bank. He went to trial for it while he was governor, and despite there being pretty good evidence that he was guilty, got off scot-free. Coincidentally, eight of the jurors who said he was not guilty in his trial later got cushy state jobs, and so did the brothers of the judge in that case. Coincidence? In 1925, when the Illinois Supreme Court said that yep, Small was guilty and he had to pay back that $1 million after all, Small fought back with a legal team and forced his own state employees to help pay for his defense. Small pardoned or released more than 1000 convicted felons, including a dude who was convicted of kidnapping young girls and making them slaves in which they were forced to be prostitutes. Also, Small released a bootlegger who later became the leader of one of the most powerful bootlegging gangs in Chicago. Oh Lenny. I can’t make this stuff up, can I? #3 Wilson Lumpkin Another great name, another bad governor. He was in office for the lovely state of Georgia from 1831 to 1835. He thought his biggest accomplishment, you know, something he was most proud of, was the removal of the peaceful Cherokee Indians from north Georgia. Yep, he was proud of kicking the Cherokee off their land, which led to the Trail of Tears and eventual death of 4,000 people. Wow, Wilson. Just wow. Did I mention he went against the Supreme Court by kicking them out? Check out that decision, by the way, I have a video about that called Worcester v. Georgia. He encouraged white settlers to take their land while they were still there. And did I mention he was a big supporter of slavery? Of course he was. And speaking of slavery... For #2, it’s a tie. In fact, 28 governors all tie for #2 on this list. They are the 28 Southern governors who all agreed to secede from the Union and become leaders in the Confederate States of America during the Civil War. Here are their names. I’m not going to read them off for you, but all of them declared allegiance to the Confederacy in the name of preserving the institution of slavery. I’m not going to call them traitors, because they didn’t think they were traitors. But they were wrong, and in my opinion, they do not deserve to be honored. And this last one will likely surprise you… #1 Brigham Young If you’re one of his 1,000 direct descendants, I’m pretty sure you are going to be offended by what I’m about to say. And if you’re Mormon, well I talked trash about Boggs earlier so hopefully this evens out. In case you didn’t know, Brigham Young was governor of the Territory of Utah from 1851 to 1858. Governor? Dictator might be a better word. I mean, he had absolute power. And there was no separation of church and state, it was a theocracy. After he led his Mormon followers into what is now known as Utah, and before the Feds go involved, whatever he said went. He argued slavery was a “divine institution.” Yep, people forget Utah used to allow slavery. Ok, and obviously the polygamy thing. He had 55 wives, for crying out loud. After he couldn’t convert the local Native American population to the Church of Latter Day Saints, he basically ordered to kill them. Yep. Genocide. Ethnic cleansing. And under his watch, the Mountain Meadows Massacre happened. Just Google it. It’s horrific, and it caused him to step down as governor. When the federal government came to challenge him during the Utah War, Young declared marital law and told his followers they may have to burn down their homes, hide in the woods, and conduct guerilla warfare to defend their way of life. He maybe started out as a nice guy, but in the end I think the power corrupted him, as power tends to do. So that’s it. I’m sure that last one surprised you, probably because you didn’t realize how horrible Brigham Young was or maybe you didn't realize he was a governor for a short while. He does have tons of monuments out there celebrating him and even a university named after him that’s one of the biggest universities in the country. Before I go, I want to point out that I was fairly out of my comfort zone when researching for this video There are so many governors in American history. that it's really hard to keep track of them. Plus, there's a lot of really bad ones and a lot of governors that we don't know much about in the early years. So if there are any governors that I did not include, that I totally missed please let me know in the comments. I will not be offended. Just let it all out. I do have a list of honorable mentions. Or should I say "DIShonorable mentions." That I included in the description of this video. They didn't quite make the cut. But as far as I know, this is the only video out there about the worst governors in American history. And thank you to Ian for giving me the idea. This video is dedicated to him. And to his mom. Thank you to you both for your support on Patreon. It means so much. I'll be back with a new episode of Supreme Court Briefs next week. Thank you for watching. And there's just one more thing. I'm really not running for Kansas governor in 2018. I just made that up.

Contents

Governors

Champoeg Meetings

The Champoeg Meetings, including a constitutional committee, held from February 1841 until May 1843, served as a de facto government before the government was officially established. While early attempts at establishing a government had been unsuccessful because of discontent between English American and French Canadian settlers over the question, whom they should choose as Governor, several other officers were elected at these meetings, including the position of Supreme Judge as the highest position at the second meeting. For lack of a government the Supreme Judge also received executive and legislative duties and was mostly chosen as the chairman of the following meetings.[1][2]

Executive Term start Term end
Jason Lee missionary.png
Chairman Jason Lee[3] February 17, 1841
David Leslie.png
Chairman David Leslie[4] February 18, 1841
1 Supreme Judge Ira Babcock February 18, 1841 May 2, 1843
Vacant[5] May 2, 1843 July 5, 1843

Provisional Government

The meetings at Champoeg led up to the first constitution of the Oregon Country and several petitions for U.S. territorial status. The resulting acts also created this body as a provisional government for the region. The first executives of this government were a three-person, elected committee known as the Executive Committee. In 1845, elections for a chief executive were held. The first person in Oregon to hold the title of governor was George Abernethy, a prominent businessman.

Executive Term start Term end Born Date Died Date
1
Oregon Provisional Government Seal.png
First Executive Committee
David HillAlanson BeersJoseph Gale
July 5, 1843 May 14, 1844
2
Oregon Provisional Government Seal.png
Second Executive Committee
Peter G. StewartOsborne RussellWilliam J. Bailey
May 14, 1844 June 3, 1845
3
George Abernethy.jpg
George Abernethy June 3, 1845 March 3, 1849[6] October 7, 1807 March 2, 1877
4
Oregon Provisional Government Seal.png
Thompson Mckenziee March 3, 1849 June 3, 1849 December 25, 1807 March 2, 1894

Governors of the Territory of Oregon

Oregon became a U.S. Territory in 1848. Like most other U.S. territorial governments, Oregon's territorial governor was appointed by the President of the United States. As transportation and communications were not as reliable or as fast as 21st-century methods, there were times when a departing governor left office and a new governor could not yet take over. This resulted in several local individuals acting as territorial governor until the new executive was appointed and arrived to take office.

President Polk initially appointed Brigadier General James Shields to be Oregon's first territorial governor and Shields was confirmed by the Senate, but he declined the position and Joseph Lane was appointed in his place.

  Democratic (3)       Whig (1)

Governor Took office Left office Appointed by Party
1  
Joseph Lane (2).jpg
Joseph Lane March 3, 1849 June 18, 1850 James Polk Democratic
 
No image.svg
Kintzing Prichette June 18, 1850 August 18, 1850 Acting Governor Democratic
2  
John P Gaines.png
John P. Gaines August 18, 1850 May 16, 1853 Zachary Taylor Whig
 
Joseph Lane (2).jpg
Joseph Lane May 16, 1853 May 19, 1853 Acting Governor Democratic
 
George Law Curry 1853.jpg
George Law Curry May 19, 1853 December 2, 1853 Acting Governor Democratic
3  
John Wesley Davis.jpg
John W. Davis December 2, 1853 August 1, 1854 Franklin Pierce Democratic
4  
George Law Curry 1853.jpg
George Law Curry August 1, 1854 March 3, 1859 Franklin Pierce Democratic

Governors of the State of Oregon

  Democratic (16)       Republican (19)       Independent (1)

Governor Took office Left office Party Terms
[note 1]
1  
Gov John Whiteaker.jpg
John Whiteaker March 3, 1859 September 10, 1862 Democratic 1
2  
Oregon Governor AC Gibbs.jpg
A. C. Gibbs September 10, 1862 September 12, 1866 Republican 1
3
George Lemuel Woods portrait.jpg
George L. Woods September 12, 1866 September 14, 1870 Republican 1
4
La Fayette Grover - Brady-Handy.jpg
La Fayette Grover September 14, 1870 February 1, 1877 Democratic 1 12
[note 2]
5
Oregon Governor Stephen Chadwick.jpg
Stephen F. Chadwick February 1, 1877 September 11, 1878 Democratic 12
6
Oregon Governor William Wallace Thayer.jpg
W. W. Thayer September 11, 1878 September 13, 1882 Democratic 1
7
Zenas Ferry Moody (1903).jpg
Z. F. Moody September 13, 1882 January 12, 1887 Republican 1
8
Governor Sylvester Pennoyer.jpg
Sylvester Pennoyer January 12, 1887 January 14, 1895 Democratic 2
9
OrGovWPLord.jpg
William Paine Lord January 14, 1895 January 9, 1899 Republican 1
10
Oregon Governor TT Geer.jpg
T. T. Geer January 9, 1899 January 15, 1903 Republican 1
11
George E Chamberlain.jpg
George Chamberlain January 15, 1903 March 1, 1909 Democratic 1 13
[note 2]
12
Frank W. Benson 1910.JPG
Frank W. Benson March 1, 1909 June 17, 1910 Republican 13
[note 3]
13
Oregon Governor Jay Bowerman.jpg
Jay Bowerman June 17, 1910 January 11, 1911 Republican 13
14
Oswald West.jpg
Oswald West January 11, 1911 January 12, 1915 Democratic 1
15
Withycombe.jpg
James Withycombe January 12, 1915 March 3, 1919 Republican 1 12
[note 4]
16
Ben W Olcott.jpg
Ben W. Olcott March 3, 1919 January 8, 1923 Republican 12
17
Walter M. Pierce Oregon.jpg
Walter M. Pierce January 8, 1923 January 10, 1927 Democratic 1
18
Isaac L. Patterson.jpg
I. L. Patterson January 10, 1927 December 21, 1929 Republican 12
[note 4]
19
A. W. Norblad as circuit judge.jpg
A. W. Norblad December 21, 1929 January 12, 1931 Republican 12
20
Julius L. Meier 1911.png
Julius L. Meier January 12, 1931 January 14, 1935 Independent 1
21
Charles H Martin.jpg
Charles H. Martin January 14, 1935 January 9, 1939 Democratic 1
22
Charles A. Sprague.jpg
Charles A. Sprague January 9, 1939 January 11, 1943 Republican 1
23
Earl Snell.jpg
Earl Snell January 11, 1943 October 30, 1947 Republican 1 13
[note 4]
24
John Hubert Hall.jpg
John H. Hall October 30, 1947 January 10, 1949 Republican 13
25
Douglas McKay.png
Douglas McKay January 10, 1949 December 27, 1952 Republican 13 + ​12
[note 5]
26
Paul Patterson.jpg
Paul L. Patterson December 27, 1952 February 1, 1956 Republican 12 + ​13
[note 4]
27
Elmo Smith.jpg
Elmo Smith February 1, 1956 January 14, 1957 Republican 13
28
Robert D. Holmes.jpg
Robert D. Holmes January 14, 1957 January 12, 1959 Democratic 13
29
Mark Hatfield – 1967.jpg
Mark Hatfield January 12, 1959 January 9, 1967 Republican 2
30
Tom McCall 2.jpg
Tom McCall January 9, 1967 January 13, 1975 Republican 2
31
Bob Straub.jpg
Robert W. Straub January 13, 1975 January 8, 1979 Democratic 1
32
Victor Atiyeh in 1986.jpg
Victor Atiyeh January 8, 1979 January 12, 1987 Republican 2
33
Neil Goldschmidt.jpg
Neil Goldschmidt January 12, 1987 January 14, 1991 Democratic 1
34
Governor Barbara Roberts.jpg
Barbara Roberts January 14, 1991 January 9, 1995 Democratic 1
35
Governor Kitzhaber.jpg
John Kitzhaber January 9, 1995 January 13, 2003 Democratic 2
36
Ted kulongoski.jpg
Ted Kulongoski January 13, 2003 January 10, 2011 Democratic 2
37
Governor Kitzhaber.jpg
John Kitzhaber January 10, 2011 February 18, 2015 Democratic 1 12
[note 6]
[note 7]
38
Kate Brown in 2017.jpg
Kate Brown February 18, 2015 Incumbent Democratic 1 12

Other high offices held

This is a table of congressional seats, other federal offices, and other governorships held by governors. All representatives and senators mentioned represented Oregon except where noted.

Denotes those offices that the governor resigned to take.
Governor Gubernatorial term U.S. Congress Other offices held Source
House Senate
Joseph Lane 1848–1850
1853–1853
S Delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives from Oregon Territory [7]
John P. Gaines 1850–1853 U.S. Representative from Kentucky [8]
John W. Davis 1853–1854 U.S. Representative from Indiana; United States Commissioner to China [9]
John Whiteaker 1859–1862 H [10]
George L. Woods 1911–1915 Governor of Utah Territory [11]
La Fayette Grover 1866–1877 H S* [12]
William Paine Lord 1895–1899 United States Minister to Argentina [13]
George Chamberlain 1903–1909 S* [14]
Walter M. Pierce 1923–1927 H [15]
Charles H. Martin 1935–1939 H [16]
Douglas McKay 1949–1952 United States Secretary of the Interior* [17]
Mark Hatfield 1959–1967 S [18]
Neil Goldschmidt 1987–1991 United States Secretary of Transportation [19]

Living former governors of Oregon

As of December 2018, there are four former governors of Oregon who are currently living at this time, the oldest governor of Oregon being Barbara Roberts (served 1991–1995, born 1936). The most recent death of a former governor of Oregon and also the death of a former governor of Oregon who served most recently was of Victor Atiyeh, (served 1979–1987) on July 20, 2014.[20]

Governor Gubernatorial term Date of birth (and age)
Neil Goldschmidt 1987–1991 (1940-06-16) June 16, 1940 (age 78)
Barbara Roberts 1991–1995 (1936-12-21) December 21, 1936 (age 82)
John Kitzhaber 1995–2003
2011–2015
(1947-03-05) March 5, 1947 (age 72)
Ted Kulongoski 2003–2011 (1940-11-05) November 5, 1940 (age 78)

Notes

  1. ^ The fractional terms of some governors are not to be understood absolutely literally; rather, they are meant to show single terms during which multiple governors served, due to resignations, deaths and the like.
  2. ^ a b Resigned to take an elected seat in the United States Senate
  3. ^ Resigned due to ill health
  4. ^ a b c d Died while in office
  5. ^ Resigned to take the position as United States Secretary of the Interior
  6. ^ Also served two consecutive terms from 1995 to 2003.
  7. ^ Resigned due to an ethics scandal.

References

General

  • "Governors of Oregon". National Governors Association. Archived from the original on June 29, 2011.
  • "Governor Records". Oregon State Archives. Retrieved July 15, 2010.

Constitution

Specific

  1. ^ DR. IRA L. BABCOCK, biography from Oregon Government, retrieved 15 May 2017
  2. ^ A History of Oregon, 1792-1849, retrieved 15 May 2017
  3. ^ Chaired the first Champoeg Meeting.
  4. ^ Chaired the second Champoeg Meeting, during which Babcock was elected Supreme Judge.
  5. ^ Albert E. Wilson was elected Supreme Judge, but declined to serve.
  6. ^ While Abernethy's term officially ended August 14, 1848, he continued to act as Governor until Lane arrived in 1849.
  7. ^ "Lane, Joseph". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  8. ^ "Gaines, John Pollard". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  9. ^ "Davis, John Wesley". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  10. ^ "Whiteaker, John". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  11. ^ "George Lemuel Woods". Utah History to Go. State of Utah. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  12. ^ "Grover, La Fayette". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  13. ^ "Former U.S. Ambassadors to Argentina". Embassy of the United States, Argentina. U.S. Department of State. Archived from the original on May 27, 2010. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  14. ^ "Chamberlain, George Earle". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  15. ^ "Pierce, Walter Marcus". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  16. ^ "Martin, Charles Henry". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  17. ^ "Past Secretaries of the Department of the Interior". U.S. Department of the Interior. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  18. ^ "Hatfield, Mark". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  19. ^ "Biographical Sketches of the Secretaries of Transportation". U.S. Department of Transportation. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  20. ^ Mapes, Jeff (July 20, 2014). "Republican Vic Atiyeh, who guided Oregon through economic upheaval, dies at 91". The Oregonian. Retrieved 2014-07-20.

External links

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