François X. Matthieu

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François X. Matthieu
Matthieu in his later years
Member of the Oregon House of Representatives
In office
Constituency Marion County
Member of the Oregon House of Representatives
In office
Constituency Marion County
Personal details
Born April 2, 1818
United Kingdom Quebec Terrebonne, Quebec, British Empire
Died February 4, 1914(1914-02-04) (aged 95)
United States Oregon Butteville, Oregon, United States of America
Political party Democrat
Spouse(s) Rosalie Aussant
Occupation merchant, politician

François X. Matthieu (April 2, 1818 – February 4, 1914) was a French Canadian settler of the Oregon Country who was one of the people involved in forming the provisional government of what would become the U.S. state of Oregon. Later he served in the Oregon House of Representatives and was the last surviving participant of the Champoeg Meetings.

Early life[edit]

Matthieu was born on April 2, 1818 in Terrebonne, Quebec, Canada, to François and Louise Matthieu (née Daufin).[1] In Canada he was educated under a tutor named Velade and later participated in Papineau’s Rebellion against Great Britain.[1] This rebellion was unsuccessful and Matthieu moved to the United States using a forged passport.[1]


Matthieu came to the Oregon Country with the Elijah White party in 1842, spending his first winter with fellow pioneer Étienne Lucier and discussing politics and government.[2] In May 1843, a meeting of the settlers in the region was held on French Prairie at Champoeg, and a decision was to be made as to whether the pioneers would form a government to rule over themselves.[1] Having been part of the unsuccessful rebellion against the British in Canada, when the vote was called, Matthieu was one of two non-Americans, along with Lucier, to vote yes to forming a government, as he did not want British rule in Oregon.[2]

Matthieu settled on French Prairie and owned a general merchandising business in Butteville.[2] Butteville post office was established in 1850 with name of Champoeg, and with Matthieu as the first postmaster.[3]

In 1874, he was elected as a Democrat to the Oregon House of Representatives to represent Marion County.[4] Matthieu returned to the legislature in 1878, again representing Marion County.[5] On April 12, 1844, he married Rosalie Aussant, and the couple would have 15 children.[1] François X. Matthieu died on February 4, 1914, in Butteville.[1] He was the longest-surviving member of the Champoeg Meetings.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Corning, Howard M. Dictionary of Oregon History. Binfords & Mort Publishing, 1956.
  2. ^ a b c d Cogswell, Philip Jr. (1977). Capitol Names: Individuals Woven Into Oregon's History. Portland, Oregon: Oregon Historical Society. p. 57. 
  3. ^ McArthur, Lewis A.; Lewis L. McArthur (2003) [1928]. Oregon Geographic Names (Seventh Edition ed.). Portland, Oregon: Oregon Historical Society Press. ISBN 0-87595-277-1. 
  4. ^ Oregon Legislative Assembly (8th) 1874 Regular Session. Oregon State Archives, accessed September 30, 2007.
  5. ^ Oregon Legislative Assembly (10th) 1878 Regular Session. Oregon State Archives, accessed September 30, 2007.

External links[edit]