Peter Skein Ogden 1774-1854  

Peter Skein (Skene) Ogden was born in 1774 of Chief Justice Isaac Ogden of Quebec and Sarah Hanson. He began working for the Northwest Company in 1811. He transferred to the Columbia Department in 1818. In 1823, he was employed by the reorganized Hudson's Bay company. He was promoted to chief trader and in 1824 assigned to Spokane House under McLoughlin. In 1835, he was made chief factor still working under McLoughlin. He was witty and liked to play practical jokes. He studied law at some point. He headed trapping expeditions on the Snake River. In 1847, he negotiated the return of the white captives taken at the Whitman Massacre by the Cayuse. Because of their great respect for him, and their fear of the promised retaliation, the Cayuse agreed, though Ogden did pay them about $500 worth of goods. He was twice married, first to a Cree woman, then later to a Spokane woman, who lived with him for seven years at Ft. Vancouver. He was never legally married to her though, which deprived his wife and family rights to his estate. "Princess Julia," his second wife, was the daughter of a Flathead chief. He paid 50 ponies for her. He never became an American citizen. He died on September 17, 1854, leaving an estate of $50,000. He was buried at Mountain View Cemtery in Oregon City, Oregon. There are many place names commemorating his life including, Ogden, Utah, Peter Skene Ogden State Park, in central Oregon, and Ogden Street in Las Vegas, Nevada.

-Copyright 2000 by Beth Gibson