This Black Man Helped Pioneered The Oregon Trail And Settle Washington State

george washington bush
Alyssa Guznik
March 5, 2023

George W. Bush wanted to share wealth with his community. Bush was born free, but it’s what he did with his fortune that set him apart.

He used his fortune to build a successful farm that employed and fed dozens of Black families in Missouri. Keeping that spirit, Bush financed five families, including his own, to make the arduous trek on the famed Oregon trail with a wagon filled with gold.

His generosity of spirit and wealth sustained their families for the four-month journey. But he didn’t stop helping others once they arrived.

Bush and company settled north of the Columbia river in a town called Tumwater which would later, Washington. Here, Bush established the first sawmill and gristmill and financed the first logging company. Years later, his son helped to establish Washington State University.

White historians say Washington was founded by one of the white men who traveled with Bush, but that’s not the truth. Credit to Black founders and pioneers is hidden because anti-Blackness seeks to control our narratives for their advantage. They may try to erase our contributions, but when we tell our stories, we live on.

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