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Governors Records

About Governors Messages

Messages from the governor to the legislature have changed over the years. Earlier handwritten documents were later augmented with published versions made part of the "Messages and Documents" of the the state.

Messages from the governor to the legislature have changed over the years. Earlier handwritten documents were later augmented with published versions made part of the "Messages and Documents" of the the state.

Governor's messages are provided to give researchers information about issues facing state government over more than 150 years along with the governor's plans for dealing with those issues. They include transcriptions of inaugural addresses and biennial messages to the legislature by the governor dating from 1844 to 2001. The messages are available from each governor's page on the governor's list and are searchable.

Topics range from government finances, education, and public welfare to transportation, state buildings, and environmental issues. For example, an 1880 message from Governor Thayer includes an appeal for providing a "hatchery" house for salmon along the Columbia River. Some subjects, such as recurring debates over prison labor, started in the 1800s and continue today. Taxation, with all of its attendant forms and frustrations, also figures prominently in the messages over the decades.

The messages also include comments or observations on major national and regional events, such as the various Indian Wars, the Civil War and immigration reform, and economic conditions. They are particularly useful for researchers tracing the development of many state institutions and programs. Some of the biennial messages contain reports of work completed or accomplishments since the previous biennium.

Oregon Secretary of State • 136 State Capitol • Salem, OR 97310-0722
Phone: (503) 986-1523 • Fax: (503) 986-1616 • oregon.sos@state.or.us

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