Beeson was born in Nottinghamshire, England on September 18, 1803. He emigrated to the United States in 1830 settling in Ithaca, New York. In 1833 he moved to a farm in La Salle County Illinois, just southwest of the town of Ottawa. His farm was a station on the Underground Railroad. In 1853 he walked to southern Oregon with his wife and son, settling in Talent.
During the Rogue River Wars of 1855-1856, Beeson was an outspoken advocate for the Indians, and against the slaughter and atrocities committed by the settlers. The result was that he had to flee for his life on May 23, 1856. Beeson did not return to Oregon for nearly a decade.
During these years, he published "Plea" and traveled extensively throughout the eastern United States giving lectures advocating Indian rights.
- Beeson, John (1994). Webber, Bert, ed. John Beeson's plea for the Indians : his lone cry in the wilderness for Indian rights : Oregon's first civil-rights advocate (First ed.). Medford, Oregon: Webb Research Group. p. 80. ISBN 0-936738-80-4.
- Beeson, Welborn (1993). Webber, Bert, ed. The Oregon & Applegate Trail Diary of Welborn Beeson in 1853 (Second ed.). Medford, Oregon: Webb Research Group. p. 80. ISBN 0-936738-21-9.
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