Madame Dorian: Her Journey to the Oregon Country

Author Lenora Rain-Lee Good says of Madame Dorion:

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The year 2014 marks the 200th anniversary of Marie Dorion’s dramatic escape, with her two young sons, from the horrific massacre that killed not only her husband, but also their friends and fellow trappers on the Boise River.

In 1811 Marie, her husband Pierre and their two sons Jean Baptiste and Paul, joined the Wilson Price Hunt expedition to travel from Saint Louis, Missouri to Fort Astoria, Oregon. The party originally planned to follow the trail of the Lewis and Clark expedition seven years earlier but at roughly present-day Mobridge, South Dakota; they turned west to go overland through uncharted territory to avoid trouble with the Sioux farther upriver. The Astorians, as the group was called, survived a harrowing cross-country journey suffering deadly thirst, starvation, extreme weather, loss of supplies and life—while in the fierce winter wilds of the Blue Mountains, Marie gave birth to a baby who lived about a week.

This is a story of Marie Dorion’s journey to the Oregon Country. She was an incredibly strong and brave woman who not only witnessed history and the opening of the Oregon Country to trappers and immigrants, she played an active and vital role in the making of that history. Unlike her contemporary, Sacajawea who returned with Lewis and Clark, Marie and her boys remained, even when offered the opportunity to return to Saint Louis with a group of returning Astorians. She and her family became early settlers in the Oregon Country.

This journal, Madame Dorion – Her Journey to the Oregon Country, is fiction. It is my interpretation of what happened, based on the history and journals of the men who made the journey and lived to write about it.


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