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Travelers & Explorers in Special Collections

This guide offers brief descriptions of relevant travelers and explorers collections. Links are provided whenever online inventories exist.

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Teaching with Primary Source Materials

Our collections exist to be used. When students work directly with primary source materials, historic photographs, and documents that are old or unique, they discover an excitement and passion not generated by textbooks.

Primary source documents can inspire, but they also teach about learning to verify sources, tracking down connections, finding evidence from content and from physical clues.

Pioneer Women | SCUA Collections Documenting Women, Gender, and Sexuality

Special Collections and University Archives collects in the topical area Northwest History and Culture, including materials in all formats that describe or reflect Northwest history and culture.

Adair, Mary Ann Dickinson.

In Adair Family Papers. 1848-1852. 1 folder.
The Adair Family was an Oregon pioneer family, living in Astoria, Oregon from 1848 to 1860. The collection contains reminiscences by John Adair and his wife, Mary Ann (Dickinson) Adair, concerning life in Kentucky and Oregon and copies of letters written while en route from Kentucky to Astoria by sea in 1848, and from Astoria in 1849-1952.
(CB Ad11)

Aitken Family.

Papers. 1874-1969. 7 ft.
This collection includes diaries and letters of Carrie Aitken from California and the Arizona Territory mining camps form 1874 to 1884. It also includes letters and diaries of her daughters, Frances and Geraldine.
(Ax 754)

Ashmore Family.

In the William Ashmore Papers. 1850-1952. 7.5 ft.
The Ashmore Family papers comprise: Martha Sanderson Ashmore\'s sea journal, 1850-1851; Lida Scott Ashmore\'s letters, diaries, and papers, 1877-1928; and Edith Ashmore\'s diaries, 1895-1907. See also Edith Ashmore Hensolt Papers.
(Ax 564)

Baker, Della M.

Reminiscences. 1938. 39 pp.
These reminiscences of Della Baker are an account of a trip from Portland, Oregon, to Dawson in the Yukon Territory. They are written partly in verse.
(CB B172)

Bannard, Margaret.

Letters Received. 1903-1904. 1 folder.
These reminiscent letters, which were received by Margaret Bannard, describe the social life of Oregon pioneers. They include letters from George H. Himes, J.W. Miller, and Mrs. J.A. Newell.
(CB B226)

Burton Family.

Papers. 1872-1925. 0.25 cubic ft.
The collection includes letters, genealogical notations, photographs, and memorabilia of this Oregon pioneer family.
(Coll. 112)

Calbreath Family.

Papers. 1843-1930. 3 ft.
Irene Smith, daughter of Oregon pioneer Sidney Smith, was married to physician John Calbreath superintendent of the Oregon State Insane Asylum. The collection contains letters by members of the Smith and Calbreath families from 1864 to 1939; the diaries of Irene Smith and Evelyn Calbreath and manuscripts of prose and poetry by Irene Smith Calbreath.
(Ax 193)

Carter, Mary.

In William Alexander Carter papers. 1850-1912. 1 ft.
Mary Carter operated her husband\'s trading post at Fort Bridger, Wyoming, after his death in 1881. The papers include personal correspondence and invoices, receipts, contracts, and checks from the trading post.
(Ax 110)

Combs, Amelia R.

Report. 1906. 4 pages.
In this report Lane County, Oregon, pioneers answer questions about the location of Eugene Skinner\'s cabin, the history of Columbia College, and the first Eugene court. It was published in Eugene on July 8, 1906 and is addressed to "The President and Native Daughters."
(CA 1906 July 8)

Cooper, Arvazena Angeline Spillman. (1845-1929).

Reminiscences. 1901. 31 pages.
Arvazena Cooper and her husband, Daniel Jackson Cooper, were settlers at The Dalles, Oregon. The Reminiscences recall their journey from Missouri to Oregon in 1863.
(CB C784)

Crocker, Mollie Truax (b. 1862).

Reminiscences of the pioneer life of Mollie Truax Crocker. n.d. 6 pages, typewritten.
Mollie Truax Crocker was born in Oregon City, Oregon. Her father was a soldier who became a post trader at Fort Walla Walla and the Lapwai Indian Agency. The reminiscences include much about the Nez Perce Indian War.
(CB C 872)

D\'Arcy, Marianne Hunsaker (b. 1842).

Reminiscences. 1846-1870. 168 pages.
Marianne D\'Arcy\'s reminiscences describe her early life in Illinois, family history, her overland journey to Oregon in 1846, housing, food, drink, and medicines, Oregon City in the 1840s and 1850s, social life, courting customs, the building of the first bridge over the Clackamas River in 1852, the founding of McMinnville College (Linfield College), and schools in early Oregon. The collection includes the original manuscript by Hunsaker and a copy edited by Daisy Sanford.
(CB D 244)

DeLashmutt, Maria Kelly.

In Clinton Kelly Papers. 1857-1881. 1 folder.
The Clinton Kelly Papers contain the reminiscences of Maria Kelly DeLashmutt, the daughter of Albert Kelly.
(A 66)

DeMoss Family.

Papers. 1877-1942. 2 cu. ft.
The DeMoss Lyric Bards traveled Oregon by covered wagon and later toured the United States, Canada, and Europe. each family member played instruments and composed songs for their concerts. The papers include journals and tour memorabilia, correspondence, photographs and manuscripts of music and drama.

Dodge, Alice (Walrod).

In the Orvil Dodge Letters. 1862-1863. 6 letters.
The Dodges traveled to California in 1860. The next year they settled in Oregon and divorced in 1863. The letters describe The Dalles, Oregon, and Orvil\'s life in the First Oregon Cavalry.
(A 261)

Duniway, Abigail Scott

See Social and Political Activists.

Eakin, Jane.

Diary. 1866. 9 pages.
Jane Eakin was a pioneer whose diary describes a trip across the plains from Illinois to Eugene, Oregon in 1866.
(A 30)

Evans, Mrs. S.D.

Reminiscences. n.d. 7 pages.
Mrs. Evans was a pioneer whose husband was killed by Indians in 1861. With her two children she traveled in a wagon from Nevada to a farm in Douglas County. The reminiscences are an account of that trip in 1863.
(CB Ev 16)

Fear Family.

In William H. Fear Papers. 1865-1931. 3 ft.
The William Fear family came to Oregon in 1889. The letters include correspondence with William Fear\'s fiancée, Lucia Drum, and their daughter, Lois Fear, a Portland, Oregon osteopath.
(Ax 34)

Goltra, Elizabeth Julia.

Journal. 1853. 21 pp.
Elizabeth Julia Goltra was a pioneer. Her journal describes her journey from Missouri to Oregon.
(A 34)

Gordon, Wyona Eliza Surfus.

Reminiscences. 1963. 103 pp.
Wyona Gordon\'s reminiscences describe her memories of an 1883 wagon trip from Topeka, Kansas to Oregon City, Oregon.
(CB G659)

Gragg Family.

Papers. 1859-1930. 1 ft.
The Joseph Gragg Family came overland to Oregon from Illinois in 1852. The collection contains major series of correspondence by Gragg\'s sister and his daughter.
(Ax 139)

Gray Family.

In James Taylor Gray Papers. 1854-1950. 8 ft.
The collection includes late 19th century letters from Mrs. James T. Gray to her mother, Mrs. O.O. Howard and letters of Mrs. William H. Gray.
(Ax 207)

Hadley, Emelia A (1825-1886).

Diary. 1851. 56 pages.
Emelia Hadley was a pioneer. The diary is an account of her trip from Illinois to Oregon City, Oregon in 1851.
(A 43)

Hill Family.

Papers. 1850-1938. 3 ft.
The Hill family were pioneers who lived in Independence, Oregon. The correspondence reflects the settlement and growth of the pioneer family of Henry Hill (1847-1905) in Independence. Letters of Stanford University student Nelle May Hill (1868-1900) are also included.
(Ax 47)

Jones-Day Family.

Letters. 1836-1871, 1909. 236 letters.
This collection contains correspondence by family and friends of the Jones family. 112 of the letters were received by Isabella Jones from 1836 to 1871, and 124 letters were written by her son in 1909.
(A 284)

Judy, Laura.

Biography. n.d. 7 pages.
The papers of Judy Laura consist of a typed biographical sketch of Oregon pioneer Caroline Therman Buffum from Amity, Oregon.
(CB B864)

McArthur, Harriet Nesmith (1851-1936).

Diary. 1885-1887. 1 volume
The diary by Harriet Nesmith McArthur contains descriptions of family and farm matters in Marion County, Oregon.
(A 73)

Mallery, Bell.

Diary. 1866-1868. 3 volumes.
In 1866 and 1867 Bell Mallery lived in Sharon, Pa., and Wellesville, N.Y., where she attended school. In March 1867, she earned a teaching certificate and taught school in Wellesville. On January 21, 1868, she left New York and came to Oregon by boat, via Panama, arriving in Salem on February 19. She taught school in Salem, and in December went to Union, Oregon to teach. She later married W.T. Wright of Union. The diary describes her experiences in school and her first years of teaching.
(A 77)

Moore, Eathel Abbey (1890-1960)

Manuscript. n.d. 20 pages.
This manuscript, written by Eathel Abbey Moore is the story of Solomon and Celiast Smith who were pioneers in Clatsop County, Oregon. Celiast Smith was a Native American.
(F923 Sm 66)

Moses, Mathilde R (b. 1887).

Letters. 1916-1949. 141 letters.
Mathilde R. Moses was a missionary teacher in India from 1916 to the 1930s. The letters, most descriptive form 1916 to 1923 and for 1935, discuss life in India and internal mission affairs.
(Ax 490)

Parker, Inez Eugenia (Adams) (1845-1933)

Reminiscences. n.d. 49 pages.
Inez Eugenia Parker was a pioneer who crossed the plains in 1848 and spent her childhood in Yamhill County, Oregon. See also Adams Family.
(CB P225)

Rudd, Lydia A.

Diary. 1852. 31 pages.
Lydia Rudd was a pioneer. The diary is an account of an overland trip from Missouri to Oregon from may 6 to October 27, 1852.
(A 107)

Springer, Viola.

Diary. 1885-1886. 1 volume.
Viola Springer was an Oregon pioneer whose diary describes her trip from Missouri to Oregon, May 1885 to February, 1886.
(A 116)

Stearns, Ella S.

See Stoughton, A. Ella

Stevens, Margaret Hazard.

In Hazard Stevens Papers. 1676-1918. 14 ft.
The Hazard Stevens Papers include reminiscences by Margaret Stevens, the wife of the first governor of Washington Territory, Isaac Stevens; correspondence, 1838 to 1867; and papers about the family\'s fight for a pension from the War Department after Governor Stevens\'s death.
(Ax 42)

Stewart, Agnes and Helen.

See Warner Family.

Stoughton, A. Ella (1857-1944).

Diaries. 1881-1886. 3 volumes.
Ella A. Stoughton was the daughter of a Washington pioneer and a world traveler. The last entries in the diaries describe her position as the Washington Territorial Legislature\'s House enrolling clerk and her courtship with Doran H. Stearns, founder of the Portland Bee.
(A 119)

Sutton, Sarah.

Scrapbook. 1854. 1 volume.
The scrapbook contains Sarah Sutton\'s narrative of crossing the plains that was published in an unidentified newspaper.
(CA Su 87)

Thomas, Julia (b. 1822)

Reminiscence. 1907. 12 pages.
In this letter, dated July 28, 1907, to Thurston P. Hackleman of Albany, Oregon, Julia Thomas describes a plains crossing in 1852.
(CB T364)

Warner Family.

In the Mason Young Warner Papers. 1853, 1880-1944. 4 ft.
This collection contains the letters of an Oregon pioneer family, two overland-journey diaries, 1853, by Agnes Stewart (Warner) and Helen Stewart (Love), sisters who traveled from St. Louis to Oregon; and 298 letters, 1918-1943, by Claire Warner Churchill, a school teacher and writer with the Oregon Writers Project.
(Ax 44)

Woolverton Family.

Papers. 1864-1941. 5 items.
The Woolverton Family papers include a typed copy of an 1864 journal of the overland trip from Iowa to Oregon taken by Mrs. W.A. Loughary.
(A 149)

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Preferred Citation Format for SCUA Materials

[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.

Mission | Special Collections & University Archives

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.

Historical Collection Strengths

  • Oregon history, politics, culture
  • Authors and illustrators of children’s books
  • The conservative and libertarian movement in the last half of the twentieth century
  • Popular literature, with an emphasis on Western fiction
  • Missionaries to foreign countries, especially in the Far East
  • Labor History
  • Journalism and Communications
  • Photographs of the Northwest, including the Major Lee Moorhouse and Angelus Studio collections
  • Environmental history
  • Northwest literature, including fiction by Ken Kesey, Damon Knight, Kate Wilhelm, Ursula K. Le Guin, Molly Gloss, and William Stafford
  • Doris Ulmann photograph archives of Appalachia
  • Utopian and intentional communities
  • Northwest architecture
  • Northwest economic history
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