|Second Executive Committee|
|Preceded by||First Executive Committee|
|Succeeded by||George Abernethy|
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. 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. 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.
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.
Osborne Russell in his 1921 Journal of a Trapper described the Lamar as follows:
Chapter-VI-In the Yellowstone Country-A Garden of Eden Inhabited By a Small Party of Snake Indians - On the 28th [July 1834] we crossed the mountain in a westerly direction through the thick pines and fallen timber, about twelve miles, and encamped in a small prairie about a mile in circumference. Through this valley ran a small stream in a northerly direction, which all agreed in believing to be a branch of the Yellowstone. 29th-We descended the stream about fifteen miles through the dense forest and at length came to a beautiful valley about eight miles long and three or four wide, surrounded by dark and lofty mountains. The stream, after running through the center in a northwesterly direction, rushed down a tremendous canyon of basaltic rock apparently just wide enough to admit its waters. The banks of the stream in the valley were low and skirted in many places with beautiful cottonwood groves. Here we found a few Snake Indians comprising six men, seven women and eight or ten children, who were the only inhabitants of the lonely and secluded spot.
- 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 1-58976-052-2
- Cogswell, Philip Jr. (1977). Capitol Names: Individuals Woven Into Oregon's History. Portland, Oregon: Oregon Historical Society. p. 61.
- "Oregon Supreme Court Justices". Oregon Blue Book. Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved 2007-03-14.
- Haines, Aubrey L. (1996). Yellowstone Place Names-Mirrors of History. Niwot, Colorado: University Press of Colorado. pp. 106–107. ISBN 0-87081-382-X.
- Russell, Osborne (1921). Journal of a Trapper-Nine Years in the Rocky Mountains (1834-1843). Boise, Idaho: Symes-York Company. p. 31.
First Executive Committee
with Alanson Beers
|Second Executive Committee
Provisional Government of Oregon
with William J. Bailey
Peter G. Stewart
Governor of Provisional Government
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