Beeson, John, 1803-1889

John Beeson was born September 15, 1803 in Leichestshire, England to John and Ann Beecroft Beeson. During his lifetime, he lived in England, New York, Illinois and Oregon. He was a baker, a farmer and entertainer, and also dabbled in phrenology, publishing and hydrotheraphy. He is best known as a worker for rights for Native Americans. Beeson immigrated to the United States in 1830 to a home in Illinois which was a stop on the Underground Railway. Beeson came to Oregon in 1853 but had to leave the state in 1856 when he was threatened because of his desire to make peace with the Indians during the period known as the Rogue Indian Wars, which resulted in removal of Native Americans from southern Oregon to a reservation on the Oregon Coast. Beeson's wife, Ann Welborn Beeson (12/09/1828) and son Welborn (born July 22, 1836,) stayed in Oregon. Son Francis had died as an infant. In 1857, John Beeson authored a book, A Plea for the Indians. He began the "The Calument," an Indian rights journal; however, only one issue was published. He was a member of the board of directors for the American Indian Aid Association and worked with the Indian Rights Association, the Women's National Indian Association and the Universal Peace Union. In 1885, Beeson participated in a petition to Congress for funds to aid Indian education. He also aided tribe representatives on lecture tours. In 1861, Beeson met with President Abraham Lincoln to discuss the Indians. Beeson returned to Oregon in 1866 but left again in 1867. He returned permanently in 1887. Ann Beeson died in 1866 while her husband was in the east. He died March 21, 1889.SOURCES: SOHS Vertical file newspaper clippings




Leichestshire, England


England, New York, Illinois, Oregon




Ann Welborn (12/09/1828)


Francis - infant death; Welborn (07/22/1836)


Great Britain


Baker, farmer, worked for rights for American Indians