Levi Scott (Oregon politician)

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Levi Scott
Oregon Territory Council
In office
Constituency Umpqua, Douglas & Jackson counties
Delegate to the Oregon Constitutional Convention
In office
Constituency Umpqua County
Personal details
Born February 8, 1797
Monroe County, Illinois
Died April 21, 1890(1890-04-21) (aged 93)
Malheur County, Oregon
Political party Whig

Levi C. Scott (1797–1890) was a politician in the Oregon Territory of the United States in the 1850s. A native of Illinois, he was a captain during the Cayuse War, helped lay the Applegate Trail, served in the Oregon Territorial Legislature, and in 1857 was a member of the Oregon Constitutional Convention. Scott also founded Scottsburg, Oregon, and is the namesake for several natural features in Southern Oregon.

Early life[edit]

Levi Scott was born on February 8, 1797, in what would become the state of Illinois.[1] He was married and had two children, and by 1844, he had moved to Iowa and was living in Burlington.[1] In May 1844, Levi and his son John Scott (b. 1828) immigrated to what was then Oregon Country and settled near Dallas, Oregon.[1][2]

Political career[edit]

In 1846, Scott, along with his son, as well as Jesse Applegate, Lindsay Applegate and others, set off to create a southern route into the Willamette Valley.[2] The route authorized by the Provisional Government of Oregon[3] would travel southwest from Fort Hall and take the Rogue Valley and Umpqua Valley before turning north to the Willamette Valley settlements.[1] This Southern Route has become known as the Applegate Trail.[1]

During the Cayuse War Scott was made a captain and was responsible for sending dispatches for the Provisional Government south to California.[1] Following his involvement in the war, he settled in 1848 along Elm Creek in Douglas County, Oregon, with the valley named Scotts Valley in his honor.[1] In 1850, Scott founded Scottsburg along the Umpqua River.[1] Mount Scott in Crater Lake National Park in Southern Oregon is also named after Levi.[1]

Scott then entered the political field when he was elected to the Oregon Territorial Legislature in 1852.[4] He represented three southern counties, Umpqua, Douglas and Jackson as a Whig in the upper chamber Council.[5] Scott won re-election twice, serving through the 1854-55 session.[6] He returned to politics briefly in 1857 as a delegate to the Oregon Constitutional Convention.[7] Scott represented Umpqua County as an Anti-Democrat.[7]

Later life[edit]

He died in Malheur County, Oregon, in the Southeastern part of the state on April 21, 1890.[1] In addition to the town, valley, and mountain named after him, Scott Mountain in Douglas County is also named after Levi.[7]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Corning, Howard M. Dictionary of Oregon History. Binfords & Mort Publishing, 1956.
  2. ^ a b Flora, Stephenie. Emigrants to Oregon in 1844. Oregon Pioneers, accessed September 28, 2007.
  3. ^ Brown, J. Henry (1892). Brown's Political History of Oregon: Provisional Government. Wiley B. Allen. 
  4. ^ Oregon Legislative Assembly (4th Territorial) 1852 Regular Session. Oregon State Archives, accessed June 20, 2016.
  5. ^ Oregon Legislative Assembly (5th Territorial) 1853 Regular Session. Oregon State Archives, accessed June 20, 2016.
  6. ^ Oregon Legislative Assembly (6th Territorial) 1854 Regular Session. Oregon State Archives, accessed June 20, 2016..
  7. ^ a b c Biographical Sketch of Levi Scott. Crafting the Oregon Constitution. Oregon State Archives. Retrieved June 20, 2016.

Further reading[edit]

  • Wagons to the Willamette: Captain Levi Scott and the Southern Route to Oregon, 1844-1847 by Levi Scott and James Layton Collins, edited by Stafford J. Hazelett, 2015, Washington State University Press (memoir in modern edition)