Applegate, Jesse, 1811–88, American pioneer in Oregon, b. Kentucky. With his family he moved (1821) to Missouri, and there in 1843 he joined the "great emigration" of more than 900 people over the Oregon Trail—a trek pictured in his Day with the Cow Column in 1843 (ed. by Joseph Schafer, 1934, pub. with Recollections of My Boyhood by Applegate's nephew). A leader on the westward journey, he was elected (1845) a member of the legislative committee of the provisional government that ruled Oregon until it became (1849) a U.S. territory. Later he helped organize the new government and, as surveyor general, did much exploring and opened a wagon route to California.
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