Osborne Russell

Osborne Russell (1814 August 2, 1892) was a mountain man and politician who helped form the government of the U.S. state of Oregon. He was born in Maine.[1]

Osborne Russell
2nd Supreme Judge of the Provisional Government of Oregon
In office
October 2, 1843  May 14, 1844
Preceded byIra Babcock
Succeeded byIra Babcock
Member of the Second Executive Committee
In office
Preceded byFirst Executive Committee
Succeeded byGeorge Abernethy
ConstituencyOregon Country
Personal details
DiedAugust 2, 1892(1892-08-02) (aged 77–78)

Early life

Russell first came to the Oregon Country in 1834 as a member of Nathaniel J. Wyeth's second expedition. He returned to the country in 1842 with the Elijah White party. He participated in the May 2, 1843 Champoeg Meeting, voting in favor of forming a government.[1] In October of that year he was selected by the First Executive Committee to serve as the Supreme Judge for the Provisional Government of Oregon and served until May 14, 1844.[2] In 1844, he was elected to the second Executive Committee of the Provisional Government of Oregon. He was allied with the group that planned to create an independent Republic of the Pacific and thus was unsuccessful in his run for governor of the Provisional Government in 1845, losing to George Abernethy. Russell eventually went to California.[1]

Although not published until well after the establishment of Yellowstone National Park, Osborne's Journal of a Trapper contains an early description of the Lamar Valley or Osborne's Secluded Valley in Yellowstone.[3][4]


  • Russell, Osborne and Aubrey L. Haines. Journal of a Trapper: In the Rocky Mountains Between 1834 and 1843; Comprising a General Description of the Country, Climate, Rivers, Lakes ISBN 978-1542843317 ISBN 1-58976-052-2


  1. Cogswell, Jr., Philip (1977). Capitol Names: Individuals Woven Into Oregon's History. Portland, Oregon: Oregon Historical Society. p. 61.
  2. "Earliest Authorities in Oregon: Oregon Supreme Court Justices Under Provisional Government" (PDF). Oregon Blue Book. Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved 2007-03-14.
  3. Haines, Aubrey L. (1996). Yellowstone Place Names-Mirrors of History. Niwot, Colorado: University Press of Colorado. pp. 106–107. ISBN 0-87081-382-X.
  4. Russell, Osborne (1921). Journal of a Trapper: Nine Years in the Rocky Mountains (1834-1843). Boise, Idaho: Symes-York Company. p. 31.
Preceded by
First Executive Committee

with Alanson Beers
David Hill
Joseph Gale
Second Executive Committee
Provisional Government of Oregon

with William J. Bailey
Peter G. Stewart
Succeeded by
Governor of Provisional Government
George Abernethy
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