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The New York Times, July 9, 1853, p. 6:

Portland in Oregon.

From the Portland Commercial.
    Glancing back but two short years, and we find that not a house had been erected on the spot where Portland now stands. Presently, a location was made, a few houses erected, and even then, in order to bring the place into notoriety, it was necessary to notify the public that it was situated "twelve miles below Oregon City." But at length the local advantages became apparent—saw and flouring mills were erected—stores were built—improvements were contemplated and carried out energetically—and at length the citizens at "the point twelve miles below the city" began to look around them, and felt the necessity of embodying their mutual interest in one laudable effort; and thus the present city emerged from obscurity, until she now stands forth the acknowledged emporium of Oregon.

    Portland is situated on the right bank of the Willamette River, about thirteen miles from its junction with the Columbia, and about one hundred and ten miles from the Pacific Ocean. The Williamette River flows nearly due north, is navigable to the distance of twenty-six miles for large vessels, and is studded with several islands, all of which are thickly settled. Oak, pine, cedar, and various other kinds of timber grow in great abundance along its banks; and so fertile is the soil, and so desirable the locations, that scarcely an acre of ground is unoccupied on either bank. Speaking of the Williamette Valley, Lieut. Wilkes, who conducted the Exploring Expedition, says:

    "To conclude, a few portions of the globe, in my opinion, are so rich in soil, so diversified in surface, or so capable of being rendered the happy home of an industrious and civilized community. For beauty of scenery and salubrity of climate, it cannot be surpassed. It is peculiarly adapted for an agricultural and pastoral people, and no portion of the world, beyond the tropics, can be found that will yield so readily, with moderate labor, to the wants of man."

    Located in this fertile region, possessing all the advantages necessary to form an agricultural as well as manufacturing country, Portland could not well otherwise fail than to progress. Portland possesses all the requisites for shipping, having sufficient depth of water for trading vessels of almost any size to anchor opposite the city. Three wharves have been erected, all of which are continually in requisition, having vessels either unloading merchandise for our traders, or taking in cargoes of lumber, hogs, chickens and agricultural produce for San Francisco or some foreign market.

    Four saw mills, employing on an average thirty hands to each, are in perpetual motion, preparing lumber, spiles, spars, and shingles for export; and so great is the demand for these articles that ships are often detained in the river for several days before they can procure cargoes.

    Five river steamers, beside the Pacific Mail Company's steamers from San Francisco, now ply between Portland and various other points on the Columbia nad Willamette rivers—these steamers procuring full freights upon departing from our wharves, and returning laden with produce destined for shipment or home consumption.