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The marker has the following inscription: "Sacred to the memory of the Rev. Jason Lee, an itinerant minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church Member of the New England Conference, and the first Missionary to the Indians beyond the Rocky Mountains. He was born in Stansted, L. C. (Canada), June 27th, 1803. Converted in 1826 under the labors of Wesleyan Missionaries Mr. Pope and Mr. Turner, and commenced his ministry in 1832 among the Weslayan Methodists, preaching in Stansted (Canada) and adjoining towns till 1833, when he was called to engage in the Oregon Mission. To this Godlike Enterprise, he devoted all his talents; in labors abundant, he laid on the missionary altar, counting not his life dear that the Red-men might be saved. In this work he crossed the Rocky Mountains first in 1834 and again in 1838. July 16, 1837, he married Anna Maria Pittman of New York, who died in Oregon, June 26, 1838. His second wife, Lucy Thompson of Barre, Vermont, died in Oregon, March 1842. He sustained these painful bereavements with great Christian fortitude and submission. In May, 1844, he returned to the United States and in August, impaired health compelled him to desist from his labors and find an asylum among kind relatives in his native town where he died in peace March 12, 1845, aged 41 years, 3 months, and 18 days. Job XIV, 14 'If a man die, shall he live again? All the days of my appointed time will I wait till my change come.' Job XIX, 25 'I know that my redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand in the latter day upon the earth.'"

Lee's body was moved to Salem in 1906. This tombstone that was erected at the head of Lee's grave is the same that marked his grave in Canada. It is a marble slab about six feet tall and 2 1/2 feet wide. His grave is located towards the back of the Lee Mission Cemetery on D Street N.E. 

Ben Maxwell collection, Salem Public Library Historic Photograph Collections <>


Jason Lee's gravestone
Jason Lee's gravestone. This photograph was taken April 26, 1940.
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