Melinda Jette

Melinda Marie Jetté, a direct descendant of the French-Indian families who settled French Prairie, received a M.A. in history from Université Laval and a Ph.D from the University of British Columbia. Two French Canadian paternal ancestors, engagés with the Hudson's Bay Company, settled in French Prairie with their Native wives in the 1840s. Her great-great-grandfather, Adolphe (Théophile) Jetté reached French Prairie in the early 1850s. Her ancestors remained in French Prairie until the 1910s, when they moved to Portland. She is currently Professor of History at Franklin Pierce University in New Hampshire and studies French North Americans in U.S. History.

Author's Entries

  • Etienne Lucier (1793-1853)

    Etienne Lucier, one of the first French Canadians to settle in the mid-Willamette Valley with his family, was a prominent leader in the French-Indian community in French Prairie (1820s-1850s). Along with his countryman Joseph Gervais, Lucier was one of the small number of French Canadians who voted to support …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • French Prairie

    Located in Oregon's mid-Willamette Valley, French Prairie is bounded by the Willamette River to the north and west, the Pudding River to the east, and the remnants of Lake Labish (Lac labiche) to the south. In the 1800s, the five major towns of French Prairie were Butteville, Champoeg …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Joseph Gervais (1777-1861)

    Joseph Gervais was a prominent French Canadian settler in the Willamette Valley. He was one of the small number of French Canadians who voted for the American-led effort to organize a provisional government in Oregon in 1843. The town of Gervais is named for him, though the present site …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Kalapuya Treaty of 1855

    The treaty with the Confederated Bands of Kalapuya (1855) is the only ratified treaty with the Kalapuyan groups who are indigenous to the Willamette Valley. The treaty dispossessed the Kalapuyans and their descendants of their aboriginal lands and effectively transferred the vast wealth of the Willamette Valley to non-Indians. …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • St. Paul Cemetery

    The town of St. Paul, established in 1839, was the first Catholic mission in the Oregon Country south of the Columbia River. Rev. Francois Norbert Blanchet, the newly arrived French Canadian missionary, established the mission for the French Indian families then living in French Prairie area of …

    Oregon Encyclopedia