George and Isabella Bush, Tumwater Pioneers
George and Isabella Bush joined others in a wagon train from Missouri to Oregon in 1844. George was a mulatto who came West to find the freedom to homestead and farm his own land. Unfortunately, prior to the Bush’s arrival, Oregon banned people of color from settling there. So, the party came north to Tumwater in 1845. George and Isabella were expert farmers and their generosity especially with new settlers is legendary.
Soon after the Bush's settled in Tumwater, the United States took possession of what is now Oregon and Washington. While George and Isabella contributed to the growth and prosperity of the area, they were unable to claim title to their land because of George's color.
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 the Bush's the land they settled and farmed. The resolution passed giving them title to a total of 640 acres which in part is now the Olympia Airport.
Please note: Recent research indicates that George's middle name WAS NOT Washington--he should be known as 'George Bush'. Many of the older documents/links will not reflect his correct name, but still provide important information about the Bush's.
Additionally, recent research indicates that George did not have his picture taken; therefore we have removed the picture that continues to float around in historical documents.
Please check out the links on this page to read more about George, Isabella, and their son Owen—all 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/
Nobody Actually Knows What George Bush Looked Like - Washington State Archives Newsletter
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
George and Isabella Bush: Washington's First Family
The Bush Homestead Archeology Project. The Evergreen State College.http://blogs.evergreen.edu/ulrikek/the-bush-homestead-project/