Pierre Chrysologue Pambrun

December 17, 1792 - May 15, 1841

Pambrun, Pierre Chrysologue, fur trader (Dec. 17, 1792-May 15, 1841). Born in Quebec province, he received a good education and was commissioned during the War of 1812 on the British side. He became a clerk with the Hudson's Bay Company in 1815 (and chief trader by 1839). In a defense of the Red River settlement during a dispute with North West Company agents he was one of nine men who escaped, went to England in consequence of court investigations into the feud and returned to Canada in 1819. In 1825 he was assigned to the Columbia River District, reaching Fort Vancouver the following year, remaining to become a "mainstay" on its staff, stationed at Walla Walla. He befriended the Protestant missionaries led by Marcus Whitman, though himself a faithful Roman Catholic. Pambrun is credited with leading the expedition that discovered Nisqually Pass, south of Mt. Rainer. He died following a fall from his horse, his body being removed to the Catholic cemetery at Fort Vancouver.


Clifford M. Drury, Marcus and Narcissa Whitman and the Opening of Old Oregon. Glendale, Calif., Arthur H. Clark Co., 1973.