George Washington Bush

This passage is about an African American pioneer who helped settle the state of Washington.

Lexile Level: 800L

Categories: History People & Places

George Washington Bush was an African American pioneer who helped settle the state of Washington. He was born in Pennsylvania around 1790 and died in 1863. After serving in the U.S. Army during the War of 1812, he moved to Missouri and became a cattle farmer. Bush married, raised many sons, and had plenty of money. But because he was black, Bush could not buy property in Missouri. So in 1843, he moved west. His family and some friends traveled in a wagon train along the Oregon Trail. Many died of hunger or disease during the long, hard trip. When the group got to Oregon Territory, a new law had been passed to keep "people of color" from owning land there, too. So they all went north to what is now Washington. Bush planted grain and vegetables and grew fruit trees from seeds that he brought with him. When hungry pioneers arrived, he gave them food and seeds to start their own farms. Many people would not have survived without the Bush family's help.

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