Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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CURRY, George Law, governor of Oregon, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2 June 1820" died in Portland, Oregon, 28 July 18'78. Ills grandfather was a native of England, and his father, George Curry, commanded the Philadelphia "Washington Blues" as first lieutenant in the battle of Bladensburg in 1812. Young Curry removed with his family to Caracas, Venezuela, in 1824. but soon returned, residing near Hohnesburg, Pennsylvania, till his father's death in 1829. From 1831 till 1840 he lived with his uncle in Boston, where he was apprenticed to a jeweler. In 1838 he was president of the Mechanic apprentices' library, and delivered several addresses and poems before the association. He went to St. Louis in 1843 and connected himself with Joseph M. Field in the publication of the "Reveille." He removed to Oregon City, Oregon, in 1846, took charge of the "Oregon Spectator," the first newspaper published on the Pacific coast, and in 1848 founded the " Oregon Free Press."
He was appointed secretary of the territory in 1853, and, after twice acting as governor for short periods, was appointed to that office in 1854, and held it till the admission of Oregon into the Union in 1859. His administration was marked by the rapid development of the territory and by several Indian wars, one of which--in 1855--was the most bloody in the history of the northwest coast. Besides U. S. troops, about 2,500 volunteers were kept in the field for several months, and Governor Curry distinguished himself by his services in conquering a peace. He was afterward thanked by the legislatures of Oregon and Washington territories. In 1860 he came within one vote of an election to the U. S. Senate. In 1866 he worked earnestly in behalf of the Northern Pacific railroad, which he had first advocated in St. Louis in 1845. He afterward retired to his farm on Willamette river. He was subsequently state land commissioner.
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