Warre, Henry James
b. 1819(?)
d. 1898(?)
Captain Henry James Warre was a British officer selected along with Lieutenant Mervin Vavasour to spy on the Americans in the Oregon Territory.
At the height of tensions between the United States and Britain over ownership of the Oregon Territory, the British government sent two officers, Captain Warre and Lieutenant Vavasour, to spy on the American military strength and determine the defensibility of the British position in Oregon, in the case of a war with the United States. Disguised as travellers, Warre and Vavasour journeyed from the Willamette Valley in present day Oregon to Fort Victoria on Vancouver Island from May 1845 to July 1846. They concluded that the British position in Oregon was indefensible.
This information was given to the British government. It is likely this strengthened those favouring a boundary settlement along the 49th parallel when negotiating the Oregon Treaty of 1846. 1
During this mission, Warre painted over 80 pictures of the landscapes and people he encountered. These remain one the earliest visual records of European colonization of the Pacific Northwest. 2
Biographical information for this person is not yet complete.
Mentions of this person in the documents
  1. Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online, s.v. Vavasour Mervin, http://www.biographi.ca/009004-119.01-e.php?id_nbr=4759 (accessed June 2, 2009).
  2. Arader Galleries, Sir Henry James Warre—Sketches in North America and the Oregon Territory, Arader Galleries,http://www.aradergalleries.com/detail.php?id=1587 (accessed June 2, 2008).
People in this document

Vavasour, Mervin

Places in this document

Oregon Territory, or Columbia District

Vancouver Island


Willamette Valley