Special Collections and University Archives collects materials in all formats in the topical area Northwest history and culture.
Reminiscences. Arranged by Laura P. Barker, 1931.
1 folder (photocopies)
General John Adair was appointed Collector of Customs at Astoria, Oregon, by President Polk in 1848. The Adair family traveled to Oregon from Kentucky by sea, via Panama, in 1848-1849. The reminiscences include an account of this trip written by Mrs. Adair (Mary Ann Dickinson Adair).
Journal, April 15 - October 15, 1852.
Akin traveled overland from Iowa to Oregon in 1853; this journal is an account of his trip. A copy of the journal was published in the Oklahoma University Bulletin, n.s. no. 172, 1919; a copy is included in the collection.
CA 1851 Jan. 19
Letter, January 19, 1851.
3 pp. (copy)
Letter from Allingham to William M. Allingham, Marysville, Oregon. Comments on the weather; names various persons who have returned from the west coast destitute; suggests return by land is easier and safer.
CA 1852 Mar. 28
Letter, March 28, 1852.
2 pp. (copy)
Letter from Allingham to William W. Allingham, Marysville, Oregon. Names various families getting ready to emigrate to Oregon, and ponders the possibility for himself.
Baker, Della M.
Reminiscences of a trip from Portland, Oregon, to Dawson, Yukon Territory, in 1898. Garden Home, Oregon, 1938.
Beeson was born in Illinois in 1836, and came overland to Oregon with his parents in 1853. They settled in Jackson County, where he became a farmer and was active in politics and the social life of the area. Includes diaries and account books. The 1853 diary contains a narrative of Beeson's overland journey.
The Diary of George Belshaw (Oregon Trail--1853). Eugene, Oregon: Lane County Pioneer-Historical Society, 1960. From a typed copy.
The diary was kept during Belshaw's trip from Indiana to Oregon in 1853.
Bogan, C. S.
CA 1852 Apr. 26
Letters, April 26, 1852; June 27, 1852.
Letters from Bogan to "Uncle and Aunt". They were written from Acapulco, Mexico, and San Francisco, California, and describe the difficulties of the voyage from Panama.
Bond, George, b. 1818
George Bond's Journal of the Family's Immigration to Oregon in 1853. 1938.
Bond was a Baptist minister who traveled overland with his family from Illinois to Oregon in 1853; he eventually settled in Oregon City, Oregon. This is a reprint of the portion of Bond's diary that narrates the overland journey.
Includes several brief accounts of journeys across the plains to Oregon.
Burbank, Augustus Ripley, 1817-1902
Diary, April 12, 1849 - May 7, 1898.
3 vol. (Vol. 1 is a typed copy; Vol. 2 and 3 are originals) in 1 box.
Burbank left Naples, Illinois, in April 1849 for Sacramento, California, where he started a mule-trading business. After selling out in 1851 he returned to Illinois. In 1853, Burbank and his family left Illinois for Oregon. They traveled by sea, via Panama and San Francisco. Vol. 1 of the diary (1849-1879) covers this trip; the original of vol. 1 is in the Huntington Library. They settled in Lafayette, and returned there in 1867 after living in Portland and Monticello, W. T. The entries for 1849 to 1851 are weekly; from 1851 to 1853 and 1856 to 1879 they are annual summaries. There are no entries for 1853 to 1856. From 1880 on the entries are daily or weekly. Burbank comments on his contemporaries, the growth and progress of Portland and Lafayette, and the building of railroads in the Willamette Valley.
The Burton family arrived in Oregon in 1844. Collection includes a description of a voyage from Portland to San Francisco in 1881, and by rail to Utah; letters; documents; and miscellaneous materials relating to the family.
Callison, John Joseph, 1830-1852
The Diary of John Joseph Callison: Oregon Trail-1852. Eugene, Oregon: Lane County Pioneer-Historical Society, 1959.
Diary kept by Callison during his overland journey, April 6 - June 25, 1852.
Cauthorn, James D.
Journal, March 30 - June 25, 1865.
Cauthorn traveled overland from Mexico, Missouri, to Fort Bridger in 1865.
Diary, May 5 - September 17, 1854.
Condit traveled overland from Council Bluffs, Iowa, to the Willamette Valley in 1854. Diary includes list of expenses.
Diary, May 5 - September 16, 1854.
Condit traveled from Council Bluffs, Iowa, to the Willamette Valley in 1854. Diary includes list of expenses.
Cooper, Arvazena Angeline (Spillman), 1845-1929
Our Journey Across the Plains From Missouri to Oregon, in 1863. The Dalles, Oregon, 1901.
Arvazena Cooper and her husband, Daniel Jackson Cooper, and children left Missouri for Oregon in 1863 due to conditions there during the Civil War.
Diary, May 4 - October 5, 1852.
Cornell traveled overland from St. Joseph, Missouri, to The Dalles, Oregon, in 1852.
Cranfill, Isom, 1807-1877
Cranfill was a minister in the Regular Predestinarian Baptist Church. He was born in North Carolina, moved to Tennessee and Illinois, and in 1847 came overland to Oregon. He lived in many different Oregon towns, and worked as a cabinetmaker, farmer, itinerant preacher, justice of the peace, and storekeeper. Collection includes diaries, correspondence, and other miscellaneous papers. His 1847 diary is an account of his overland trip to Oregon.
Crawford, Medorem, 1819-1891
Crawford came to Oregon in 1842 from Havana, NY. He was a provisional government legislator, 1847-1849, a state legislator, 1860, and farmed near Dayton. In 1861, 1862, and 1863 he was in command of emigrant trains which traveled overland to the Pacific Northwest, the last two years as an Army captain. From 1864-1869 he was an Oregon collector of internal revenue, and from 1871-1875 appraiser of customs. The collection contains diaries, including an 1842 diary with Crawford's account of his journey to Oregon; account books; correspondence; and miscellaneous papers.
Crawford, Myrtle Dodd
Reminiscences of her childhood in Iowa and of a trip to Oregon by train (1880s?). Includes memories of the early 1900s in Eugene and Springfield, and school teaching experiences in Lane County.
D'Arcy, Marianne (Hunsaker), b. 1842
Reminiscences of Marianne Hunsaker D'Arcy, 1846-1870. Edited by Daisy Sanford (her daughter).
2 folders. Original and typed copies.
Includes recollection of an overland journey from Illinois to Oregon in 1846.
Diary, June 9 - September 8, 1847.
Darst traveled overland from Fort Laramie to Oregon City, Oregon in 1847. Also includes expense account for a trip to California in 1866.
Letters of Orvil and Alice Dodge to David P. Walrad, 1862-1863.
Orvil Dodge came to Oregon from California in 1861. At the time of these letters he was in The Dalles in the 1st Oregon Cavalry. Walrad was his father-in-law. Letters describe The Dalles and comment on life in the militia.
Douglas, James, 1803-1877
Douglas traveled by sea from Fort Vancouver to California in 1840. The original journal is in the Provincial archives, Victoria, B. C.
Duniway, Abigail Scott
14 boxes, 1 folio, 2 volumes.
Collection includes 1852 journal kept by pioneer and suffragist Abigail Scott (Duniway) during her family's trip to Oregon. Original of 1852 journal and photocopy of 1853 revision. Collection also includes photocopies of John Tucker Scott letters from the Oregon Trail, 1852.
Dyson was born in England and came to the US about 1845. In 1861 he went to California, via Panama, and worked in California and Nevada as a tinsmith and a gold miner. He returned to the Midwest but came west again in 1874, to Brownsville, Oregon, where he established the town's first newspaper, the Brownsville Advertiser, in 1878, mined in central Idaho in the 1880s, and moved to Eugene, Oregon, in 1899, where he resumed his trade as a tinsmith. Papers include diaries, correspondence, business records, and manuscript periodicals.
Eakin traveled overland from Illinois to Eugene, Oregon, in 1866.
Eakin, S. B.
Eakin traveled overland from Illinois to Eugene, Oregon, in 1866.
Ellmaker traveled overland from Iowa to Oregon in 1853. Includes a narrative of the trip, a sketch of the Ellmaker family, and letters from Reuben Ellmaker to Enos Ellmaker.
Evans, Mrs. S.D.
Account of a trip from Washoe, Nevada, to Douglas County, Oregon, in 1863.
1 folder. Typed copy.
Mrs. Evans's husband was killed by Indians in 1861. She and her two children traveled from Nevada to their farm near Roseburg, Oregon, in 1863.
5 boxes; about 1,500 letters.
Frazer, Thomas, b. 1813
Reminiscences of Thomas Frazer, to 1853, Including the History of the Frazer Family in America.
1 folder. Original and typed copies.
Describes Frazer's childhood in Massachusetts, early life at sea, a trading voyage to California and Oregon (via Panama), 1850-1851, and experiences as a trader in the southern Oregon mines, 1852-1853.
Frush, William H.
Diary, May 15, 1850 - September 25, 1850.
Frush traveled overland from Knox County, Missouri, to Portland, Oregon, in 1850. The original diary is in the Coe Collection, Yale University Library.
Gaylord, Orange, b. 1823
Diary, March 13, 1850 - September 9, 1851; March 7 - October 13, 1853.
Includes accounts of Gaylord's overland trip from Illinois to California in 1850, voyage to Oregon from San Francisco, return to Illinois via Panama and New York in 1851, and an overland return to Oregon in 1853.
Geary, Edward R., 1811-1886
CA 1851 Apr. 17
Letter, April 17, 1851.
12 pp. (typed copy)
Letter from Geary to John McLellan, Fredericksburg, OH. Describes a voyage to the Pacific Coast via Panama, and first impressions of Oregon. The text was copied from the Wooster Democrat, Wooster, Ohio, June 19, 1851.
Giles, Daniel, b. 1836
Autobiography of Daniel Giles.
1 folder (typed copy).
Includes story of his overland journey from Iowa to Oregon in 1852, and his experiences in gold mining and Indian fighting in southern Oregon, 1853-1855.
Goltra, Elizabeth J.
Journal, April 29 - September 29, 1853.
Goltra traveled overland from Missouri to Oregon in 1853.
Gordon, Wyona Eliza Surfus
Reminiscences. Colton, Oregon, 1963.
Describes an 1883 overland journey from Topeka, Kansas, to Oregon City, Oregon. She attended Philomath College and later taught school in Portland.
Letters and misc. papers, 1859-1930.
Joseph Gragg came overland to Oregon from Illinois in 1852 and settled on a farm near Monroe. Collection provides commentary on family relationships, farm life, church affairs, schools and teaching, and social life in general. Includes information on the history of Philomath College.
Helman, Abel D., 1824-1910
Includes a diary and expense account of a voyage to California in 1850, and to Oregon in 1851, an expense account for a trip from Oregon to Ohio and return in 1853, and a diary for October 7, 1858 - April 11, 1859, and February 1, 1883 - July 30, 1892. Also includes a table of weather data for February 1, 1883 - July 31, 1892, and a journal of the "Mountain Rangers,\" Oregon Militia, 1st Regiment, 1st brigade, Company A, 1863-1866.
Hockett, W. A.
Experiences of W. A. Hockett on the Oregon Trail, 1847. Eugene, Oregon, 1914.
1 folder. Typed copy
The Hockett family was in the Lewelling party, and crossed the plains to Portland, Oregon, from Salem, Iowa. Hockett was nine at the time of the trip; his parents died on the trail.
Hoffman, William, b. 1801
Hoffman traveled overland from Covington, Indiana, to Jacksonville, Oregon, in 1853. Includes autobiographical notes.
Holt, Julia A.
Letters, October 29, 1865 - September 12, 1875.
Letters from Julia A. Holt and her sister Adella Holt to their aunt and uncle in Georgia, giving an account of the Holt family's journey from Lexington, Georgia, via Panama, to Oregon in 1866, and describing their life in Oregon.
Johnson was a Methodist preacher. This journal was kept during a voyage to Oregon during the 1860s.
Johnson, John Lawrence, b. 1830
Diary, April 1 - August 27, 1851.
Johnson traveled overland from Iowa to Oregon in 1851.
Caroline Thurman, biographical sketch of an Amity, Oregon, pioneer, n. d.
Typed copy, 7 pp.
Lee, Anna, b. 1807
Autobiography of Anna Lee. July 1, 1898
Lee was born in Seneca County, New York, and traveled overland with her family to Oregon in 1847.
Lloyd, William W., 1866-1957
Lloyd was born in Adair County, Missouri, in 1866, and traveled overland with his family to Idaho and Oregon in 1876. He became a farmer, stock-raiser, and the first mayor of Halfway, Oregon. The reminiscences tell of his trip to Idaho in 1876, and of his life in Pine Valley, Oregon.
Longsworth, Basil Nelson
Diary of Basil Nelson Longsworth, March 15, 1853 to January 22, 1854, Covering the Period of His Migration From Ohio to Oregon. Eugene, Oregon: Reproduced by the Lane County Pioneer-Historical Society, 1959.
Account of Longsworth's overland journey from Washington Township, Guernsey County, Ohio, to Oregon in the summer of 1853.
CA 1843 Oct. 27
Letter, October 27, 1843.
3 l. (Typed copy)
Letter from Looney to John C. Bond, Waiilaptu, O. T., advising him on preparations for a trip across the plains.
Diary, March 23, 1850 - April 26, 1853.
Lyman, Esther and Joseph
Esther and Joseph Lyman Letters About 1853 Lost Wagon Train. Eugene, Oregon: Lane County Pioneer-Historical Society, .
The letters discuss the lost wagon train of 1853.
McClure, Andrew S., 1829-1898
Journal, May 7 - October 13, 1853.
McClure traveled overland from Kansas to the Willamette Valley in 1853.
McClure, John Hamilton, d. 1916
How We Came to Oregon.
1 folder. Typed copy; published version.
A reminiscence, in verse, of an overland journey from Knox County, Indiana, to Eugene, Oregon, in 1853. A version of this reminiscence was published by the Lane County Pioneer-Historical Society in 1967.
McComas, Evans S., 1839-1911
1 box; 1.5 lin. ft.
McComas was born in Ohio. In 1862 (May 14 - September 19) he traveled overland from Iowa City, Iowa, to Auburn, Oregon. He was a newspaper editor and owner in eastern Oregon. He also promoted mines, patent medicine, and real estate. Collection includes a diary and scrapbooks. The diary is from 1862 to 1867, and includes an account of his trip to Oregon.
Minto, John, 1822-1915
CA 1892 Jan. 15
Letter, January 15, 1892.
Letter from Minto to William P. Lord, Salem, Oregon. Recalls experiences with the Applegate party in the Siskiyou mountains, 1847-1848.
Diary, March 21 - October 4, 1853
Myer traveled from Iowa to the Rogue River Valley in 1853. The original diary is in the Spencer Collection.
Neall, James and Hannah
Reminiscence, 1888, and copy book, n. d.
James Neall's reminiscences describe the period from 1845 through 1850 when he traveled to the west coast twice, first to settle in Oregon, then to set up a trading post in San Francisco. Hannah Lloyd Neall was a suffragist and was active in literary circles of San Francisco.
Newby, William T., 1820-1884
Diary and account books, 1843, 1861-1864.
Includes narrative of an overland journey from Westport, Missouri, to Oregon City, Oregon, May 13 - November 5, 1843. He settled on a donation land claim in Yamhill County, Oregon, and founded the town of McMinnville.
Newell, Robert, 1807-1869
Memorandum of Robert Newell's travels in the territory of Missouri, 1829-1842.
Nicklin, John H.
CA 1851 Feb. 25
Letter, February 25, 1851
8 pp. (typed copy)
Letter from Nicklin to Israel T. Nicklin, Salt Creek, Polk Co., Oregon. Describes an overland journey from Fort Laramie to Oregon, and conditions in Oregon.
Nighswander, Francis Marion, b. 1844
Journal and misc. papers, 1862-1870.
The journal, which is illustrated with pencil drawings, covers Nighswander's trip from Ohio to California, via Panama, in 1862, and his move to Lane County, Oregon, in 1864. The papers include letters by Nighswander written from Idaho and British Columbia gold fields, 1862-1865.
Owen, Benjamin Franklin
1 folder, 60 typewritten leaves.
My Trip Across the Plains, March 31, 1853-October 28, 1853.
Parker, Mrs. Inez Eugenia (Adams), 1845-1933
Early Recollections of Oregon Pioneer Life. ca.1924
Parker crossed the plains from Illinois to Oregon in 1848, and spent her childhood in Yamhill, Oregon. The Recollections tell of her life in Illinois and Oregon.
Pengra, Charlotte Emily Stearns, b. 1827
Diary of Mrs. Bynon J. Pengra, Maiden Name Charlotte Emily Stearns . . . Eugene, Oregon: Lane County Pioneer-Historical Society, .
The diary was kept on Mrs. Pengra's overland journey from Illinois to Oregon in 1853.
Perkins, Norris H.
Slow Settles the Dust in Oregon, 1991.
A chronicle of four or five generations of several Oregon pioneer families.
Journal of an overland trip from Arkansas to California, via Denver, Camp Floyd, Utah, and the Carson River, from April 19 to October 10, 1860.
Personal, social, and business records relating to the J. A. Powell family and the J. B. V. Butler family of Linn and Polk counties in Oregon. Includes a manuscript overland guide, Fort Hall to John Day River, 1851.
Purse, Grace Guile
Genealogical papers, 1844-1942.
1 box; 1.5 lin. ft.
In 1920, Grace Purse, a physician in Washington, D.C., began researching her family's history due to her desire to join the Daughters of the American Revolution. The collection contains family correspondence, documents, ledges, and the diary of Molly Guile which describes her family's overland journey from Missouri to Montana in 1869.
Robbins, Kate L.
Kate (Pratt) Robbins was born in Cohasset, Massachusetts. She came west in 1859 with husband Abner Robbins, first to California, then to Oregon. Letters describe 1859 sea journey and life in Indian Creek, California, as well as living conditions in and near Ochoco and Prineville, Oregon.
George Roberts and the Hoffman Family, Oregon Pioneers. Sacramento, California: G. and D. Roberts, 1990.
Royal, James Henry Bascom
Includes journal of an overland trip from Illinois to Oregon, June 5 - October 27, 1853; diaries, June 17, 1849 - February 24, 1853 and December 19, 1853 - July 4, 1855; and two letters from James H. Wilbur.
Rudd, Mrs. Lydia A.
Journal, May 6 - October 27, 1852.
Mrs. Rudd traveled overland from Missouri to Oregon in 1852.
Scott traveled overland from Fremont, Iowa, to Walla Walla, Washington, in 1862.
Journal, March 11 - April 2, 1868.
Shaver sailed on the Henry Chauncey from New York to Aspinwall, crossed the Isthmus of Panama, and sailed on the Sacramento to San Francisco.
Sperry, James B., 1833-1922
History of the Sperry Family. 1920.
1 folder. Typed copy.
Tells of Sperry's journey from Ohio to the Willamette Valley in 1851.
Springer, Viola, b. 1865
Journal, May 18, 1885 - February 22, 1886.
1 vol., 1 typescript in 2 folders.
Springer traveled overland from Princeton, Missouri, to Harney Valley, Oregon, in 1885.
"Crossing the Plains\" (scrapbook), 1854.
Scrapbook contains narrative as printed in a newspaper.
Letter, February 20, 1853.
Taylor emigrated from Indiana to Oregon in the 1850s. This letter is to Samuel Cook (the brother of Taylor's wife, Elizabeth) in Rockford, Illinois, describing their overland journey to Oregon.
Includes journal of an overland trip from Rockford, Illinois, to Oregon in 1853, by Rachel Taylor; a diary of D. H. Taylor on military service against Indians, January-May 1862; and a genealogy of the Taylor family and related families.
Teal, Joseph Nathan, 1858-1929
Stories from Sage Brush Land. Portland, Oregon, 1921.
1 folder. Typed copy.
Stories Teal wrote for his children, telling about his life. Includes a description of Teal's parents' journey from Illinois to Oregon City in 1853, and another move the Teal family made in 1862.
Tetherow, Solomon, 1800-1879
The Organizational Journal of an Emigrant Train of 1845, Captained by Solomon Tetherow by Solomon Tetherow and An Account of the Wagon Train Mastered by Solomon Tetherow by Fidelia March Bowers. Eugene, Oregon: Lane County Pioneer-Historical Society, 1960.
1 folder. Typed copy; published version.
Thomson, Jeremiah Barnett, 1835-1923
Early Days in Oregon; A History of My Boyhood Days, My Trip Across the Plains [in 1853], Service in the Indians Wars, Experiences in the Mines, and the Many Hardships Endured in a Long and Eventful Life. Roseburg, Oregon, 1922.
Thomson crossed the plains from Arkansas to Oregon, via the Arkansas River and the current site of Denver.
Warner, Mason Young, 1868-1957
8 boxes; 4 lin. ft.
Young was a member of a Pleasant Hill, Oregon, pioneer family, and a resident of Eugene. The collection consists mainly of family letters. Also included are two overland journey diaries-of Agnes Stewart (Warner) and Helen Stewart (Love). The sisters were part of the "Warner " train which traveled from St. Louis to Oregon in 1853. The Agnes Stewart diary was published (as edited by Claire Warner Churchill) in the Oregon Historical Quarterly, March 1928, under the title "Journey to Oregon-A Pioneer Girl's Diary.\"
West, George Miller, 1831-1912
Autobiography. Red Oak, Louisiana, n. d.
1 folder. Typed copy.
Relates incidents of crossing the plains in the summer of 1853 with the Peter Butler train of Monmouth, Illinois.
Widmer, Margaret Mary
Biographical sketch of Margaret Mary Widmer, daughter of Oregon pioneer Conrad Widmer.
Williams, V. A.
Journal, April 1 - September 20, 1853.
Williams traveled overland from Iowa to southern Oregon in 1853.
Letters to Joseph Patten Wilson, 1846-1875.
Wilson was born in Maine in 1824 and moved with his family to New York and then Illinois. In 1843 he left home and signed on to a whaling voyage out of New Bedford for three years. In 1849 he sailed from New York to San Francisco and arrived in the gold fields in 1850. After a short stay he moved to Oregon and settled in Corvallis, where he became a carpenter. He was county clerk of Benton County for several years. Letters comment on politics, business, and religion. A letter from cousin Henry Clay Wilson describes prospects of Port Townsend, "Oregon Terr." region.
Wood, Joseph Warren, 1826-1914
Journal, April 9, 1849 - April 14, 1853.
Journal covers Wood's overland trip from Wisconsin to California and return.
1 folder; 5 items.
Includes typed copy of 1864 overland journal, Iowa to Oregon, by Mrs. W. A. Loughary.
Wright, Dunham, 1832-1942
Reminiscences of an Overland Journey From Iowa to Colorado in 1860, and Adventures in the Salmon River Mines of Idaho, 1862. 1936, 1937.
Typed copy; 16 pp.
[Diary and letters] 1850
1 folder incl. 1 v., 4 letters
Diary covers period March 28-June 6, 1850, from Peoria, IL, to South Pass.
[Identification of item], Date (if known), Collection Title, Collection Number, Box and Folder number [or photo ID number], Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, Oregon.
Special Collections and University Archives is the primary repository for the University of Oregon’s archives, rare books, historic photographs, and one of the largest historical manuscripts collections in the Pacific Northwest. Our mission is to acquire, preserve, and make available a clearly defined set of primary sources and rare books, reflecting the written, visual, and audio history and culture of Oregon, the Pacific Northwest, and selected aspects of American and world history. Our diverse collections support all types of research, from K–12 education to international scholarship. We strive to play an active and creative role in the teaching, research, and service missions of the University.
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