Balboa becomes the first European to “discover” the Pacific Ocean.
Sebastian Vizcaino maps the Pacific Coast as far as 42 degrees north and discovers Monterey Bay.
Pierre Esprit Radisson and Jean Baptiste Grosseillers become the first white men to travel into the northwestern territories beyond the Great Lakes region.
Radisson and Groseillers establish the first fort and fur post between the Missouri River and the North Pole.
Radisson and Groseillers form the Hudson’s Bay Company under the approval of a royal charter.
Pierre Gaultier De La Verendryes explores the Dakotas and Upper Missouri River for the Hudson’s Bay Company.
Samuel Hearne begins his search for the fabled “5Northwest Passage” and rich copper mines of the Arctic under orders from the Hudson’s Bay Company.
Spaniard Juan Perez sails north along the Pacific coastline to 55 degrees north latitude claiming 8possessions for Spain.
Bruno Heceta becomes the first European to land on the Pacific Northwest coast (Washington).
American Declaration of Independence and the beginning of the American Revolution.
James Cook sails the Pacific Northwest searching for Juan de Fuca Strait and the Puget Sound.
Captain Jonathan Carver publishes his “Book of Travels.”
Independent fur traders begin combining efforts and resources.
End of the American Revolution. Formation of the North West Fur Company.
Robert Gray discovers mouth of the Columbia River on his second voyage.
George Vancouver creates detailed map of the Northwest coast.
Lieutenant Broughton sails and explores 100 miles upstream on the Columbia River.
Alexander Mackenzie crosses the continental divide.
Meriwether Lewis and William Clark begin their “Voyage of Discovery.”President Jefferson purchases the Louisiana Territory from France.
John Colter, by leaving the Lewis and Clark expedition to guide trappers into the west, becomes one of the first mountain men.
David Thompson begins exploration in the Northwest.
Simon Fraser reaches the mouth of the Fraser River.John Jacob Astor establishes the Pacific Fur Company.
David Thompson establishes Kullyspell House.
Peter Skene Ogden joins the North West Fur Company and begins a career of extensive exploration of the west.
Fort Astoria is built on the banks of the Columbia River by Wilson Price Hunt and Robert Stuart to serve as a base for the Pacific Fur Company.

David Thompson arrives at the mouth of the Columbia River.
War begins between United States and England.
Robert Stuart discovers South Pass as he leads the first Euro-American party west to east over what would become the Oregon Trail.
Astor’s Pacific Fur Company is taken over by the North West Company.
Fort Astoria renamed Fort George.
Major Stephen H. Long begins expeditions to chart and map the upper Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, delineating a 600 mile wide swath of territory from Texas to Canada and as far west as the Rocky Mountains.
Peter Skene Ogden reaches Astoria.
Treaty of Joint Occupation for the Oregon Country between Great Britain and the United States.
Hall Jackson Kelley begins attempts to colonize the Oregon Country.
Hudson’s Bay Company and the North West Company are forced to merge.
General William Ashley launches the first expedition of independent fur trappers up the Missouri River. These are the men who will become famous as the American Mountain Men. Jim Bridger becomes the first to give an eyewitness account of the Great Salt Lake. Jim Badger was among the best mountain men trappers, scouts, and guide who explored and trapped the western united states . Jim had a strong constitution that allowed him to survive the extreme conditions he came across while walking the rockys. Jim was all about the nature life.
Ex-slave Jim Beckwourth helps discover the primary route through the Sierra Nevada Range.
Fort Vancouver is built by Hudson’s Bay Company, Dr. John McLaughlin named Chief Factor.

Jedediah Smith rediscovers South Pass.

Peter Skene Ogden takes over leadership of the Snake River Brigades.
David Douglas arrives at the mouth of the Columbia River.

First rendezvous held to facilitate trade between Mountain Men, Indians, and the American fur companies.
Captain Benjamin Bonneville’s first expedition.
Nathaniel Wyeth establishes his fur trading venture on the lower Columbia River.
Jason Lee is the first Methodist missionary in the Northwest.

Fort Hall is constructed by Nathaniel Wyeth.

Old Fort Boise is built by the HBC.
Samuel Parker and Marcus Whitman journey to the west.
Narcissa Whitman and Eliza Spalding are the first white women to cross over the Rocky Mountains.

Whitmans establish a mission at Waiilatpu.

Spaldings establish a mission at Lapwai.
First Catholic missions are established in the Northwest.
Last mountain rendezvous is held.

The Jesuit priest, Pierre-Jean de Smet travels to Oregon Country to establish a mission.
John Charles Fremont’s first expedition explores and surveys the Oregon

Trail as far west as South Pass. Kit Carson is hired by Fremont as a guide.
John Charles Fremont’s second expedition completes the survey of the Oregon Trail, exploring central Oregon and the Great Basin.

First large wagon train of emigrants embark on the Oregon Trail.

Joe Meek guides wagon train to Oregon, then serves as sheriff for the territory.

Establishment of the Oregon Provisional Government.
Mexican-American War leads to Spanish cession of territory.

William Emory produces the first accurate maps of the Southwest.

Treaty between U.S. and Great Britain establishes the northern boundary

between the two countries at the 49th parallel.
Cayuse Indians massacre the Whitmans at Waiilatpu following a devastating measles outbreak.
Oregon gains U.S. territorial status.
The Gadsden Purchase completes the formation of the Continental United States, the “Lower 48.”