Cowlitz Region
The Cowlitz region is in present-day southwest Washington State, and is named after the Cowlitz, a Salish-speaking people who, upon European contact, shared this area with numerous other tribes of varying populations.1 Cowlitz and the surrounding area was a nexus of British and US land disputes in the mid-1800s and, amidst increased trade-rights rivalry, the Puget's Sound Agricultural Company—ostensibly, the HBC—established a farm at the headwaters of the Cowlitz River, which branches north from the Columbia River.2
James Douglas, then chief trader of the HBC, oversaw the formation of the Cowlitz farm in 1838, as it was hoped that, after the ongoing boundary disputes between Britain and the United States, the British would gain land north of the Columbia River.3 However, the Oregon Treaty of 1846 moved the British boundary to the 49th parallel.
  • 1. Rudolph C. Ryser, Background and History of the Cowlitz Tribe, The Center for World Indigenous Studies.
  • 2. Arthur S. Morton, A History of the Canadian West to 1870-71 (London: Thomas Nelson & Sons, 1939), 727.
  • 3. E. E. Rich, Hudson's Bay Company 1670-1870, vol. 3, 1821-1870 (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1961), 686.
Mentions of this place in the documents
People in this document

Douglas, James

Places in this document

Columbia River