Senator Lewis F. Linn of Missouri
delivered a provocative speech before U.S. Senate about 1839 concerning the
Linn himself fueled the hostility
by an impassioned speech to the Senate. Calling Oregon "Our Soil," he
accused the Hudson's Bay Company of unfair trading practices, of comitting
"murder, oppression and every species of unfair trading practices," and of
training on their savage dependents to way lay our wanderers, to burn our
settlements, exterminate the Settler."
The immigrants themselves may
have brought the copy of the speech that fell into McLouglin's hands [at Fort
Vancouver]. However it arrived, he was incensed, stormed that "This
is a foul calumny," and said no American could call the area "our soil" when
both countries had "the same right" to be there.