Biographical Sketch of Stephen McCormick

Stephen McCormick


Stephen J. McCormick
Born 1828
Died 1891
Multnomah County delegate

Stephen J. McCormick was born in Ireland. He came to Portland in 1851 with his wife and her sister. He was active in local politics in Portland serving as mayor from 1859-1860, and served as a county commissioner and member of the school board as well.

McCormick was elected to represent Multnomah County at the constitutional convention where he served as chairman of the Committee on Expenses of the Convention and was a member of the Committee on the Bill of Rights. As one of two foreign born delegates, he opposed an amendment limiting suffrage to naturalized citizens, “to think that foreigners were a set of the most ignorant, degraded set of beings under the sun.”

A prominent printer and merchant in Portland, his name is associated with a number of firsts in the publishing history of the region. He published Abigail Scott Duniway’s book Captain Gray’s Company, which was the first commercially printed novel. McCormick began publishing a city directory for Portland in 1863 and published a business directory for the Pacific Coast shortly thereafter. He also printed what many historians have credited to be the first dictionary of Chinook Jargon. McCormick moved to San Francisco and died in California in 1891.

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