George Bush, Tumwater Pioneer
George and Isabella Bush joined others in a wagon train from Missouri to Oregon in 1844. George was half-African American . He hoped to find the freedom to homestead and farm his own land here in the West. Unfortunately, prior to the Bush’s arrival, Oregon banned free black men from settling there. So, the party came north to Tumwater in 1845. He was an expert farmer and his generosity especially to new settlers is legendary.
Bush brought several trees with him from Missouri; one of which is the Butternut Tree that still stands on the property today—165 years later.
The United States took possession of what is now Oregon and Washington. George witnessed the growth and prosperity of the area; however, he was unable to claim title to his land because he was black. Finally, in 1855, in one of its first acts of business, the Washington Territorial Legislature passed a resolution requesting that the United States Congress grant George and Isabella the land they had settled and farmed. The resolution passed giving them title to a total of 668 acres.
Please check out the links on this page to read more about George and his son Owen—both of whom contributed significantly to Washington State history.
Documents and links to Bush Family and Farm History
George Washington Bush - Washington State Pioneer http://start-wa.com/
Early Pioneer's Faith Finally Rewarded http://www.ci.tumwater.wa.us/research%20early%20pioneers.htm
George Bush of Tumwater: Founder of the First American Colony in Puget Sound http://columbia.washingtonhistory.org/anthology/settlers/georgeBush.aspx
George Washington Bush and the Human Spirit of Westward, U.S. National Park Service, 1999. http://www.nps.gov/jeff/historyculture/upload/george_washington_bush.pdf
State Owes Much to George W. Bush - a Black Pioneer. Seattle Post Intelligencer, 2002. http://www.seattlepi.com/lifestyle/56993_blackhistory05_2.shtml