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The Bo's'n's Whistle

  • BW-OSC
  • Collection
  • 1941 - 1946

The Bo's'n's Whistle was a publication distributed to the employees of the Kaiser Shipyards in Oregon and Washington between 1941 and 1946. The first publication was released on July 18, 1941 under the editorial direction of Chick Johnson, and was given its distinctive name by Edgar Kaiser the General Manager of the shipyard. Subsequent issues released bi-weekly, along with a special issue on September 27, 1941 commemorating the launch of the "Star of Oregon". Distribution expanded to the Vancouver and Swan Island Shipyards in April 1942, with Hal Babbit, director of public relations for Kaiser Company serving as editorial supervisor.

The format of the Bo's'n's Whistle changed from a magazine to a weekly newspaper beginning March 10, 1944, with separate editions for each of the three shipyards - Oregon Shipyard, Swan Island, and Vancouver. On September 7, 1945 The Bo's'n's Whistle was again consolidated into one edition for all three shipyards, and on January 1, 1946 it was moved to a twice-monthly publication schedule. The final issue of The Bo's'n's Whistle was published on May 24, 1946. At its peak, The Bo's'n's Whistle was circulated to 90,000 employees, with over 4,000,000 copies distributed over its lifespan.

Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation

Vancouver Avenue First Baptist Church collection, 1940-2015

  • Coll 189
  • Collection
  • 1940 - 2015

The collection covers various aspects of the history of the church and of its leader, Rev. O.B. Williams, and his wife Willa Jackson Williams. It includes a variety of photographs, with a large percentage of the images relating to the various church groups, including choirs, youth groups, and ushers. A large collection of members’ memorial cards, the pastoral anniversaries of Rev. Williams, some bibles and hymnals (many annotated by Rev. Williams, including two dated 1867 and 1890), church financial records and meeting minutes, and a collection of materials from Dr. Martin Luther King’s 1961 visit are included. A small collection of the Williams’ personal photographs and ephemera can also be found in collection.

Vancouver Avenue First Baptist Church (Portland, Or.)

Delazon Smith family papers

  • Coll 26
  • Collection
  • 1848-2004

Papers of Delazon Smith, an early Oregon journalist and political figure in Linn County, Or., who served briefly as one of the first U.S. Senators from the state. Includes letters from Delazon Smith to his wife Mary, some of which detail Smith's journey to the east coast in 1858 and admission of Oregon to the Union in 1859. Also included are letters from Smith family members, including Delavan Smith, a soldier in the Civil War; legal documents and speeches; and transcripts of Delazon's Smith's letters to the Oregon Weekly Times describing conditions in the state and providing advice to overland travelers.

Smith, Delazon

Theodore Roosevelt letter to George Himes, 1900 Feb 21

  • Coll 301
  • Collection
  • 1900

Typed note, signed, from Theodore Roosevelt when governor of New York, to George H. Himes, assistant secretary of the Oregon Historical Society, complimenting Himes and the Society on their work. This letter was a response to Himes' letter of February 13th, 1900, a transcript of which is included.

Roosevelt, Theodore, 1858-1919

Herman Bohlman lecture notes, circa 1900-1920

  • Coll 542
  • Collection
  • 1900 - 1920

The collection consists of notes for lectures given by the nature photographer Herman T. Bohlman. Lectures include talks on birds in the Crater Lake region, on the California Condor, and wintertime birds. The collection additionally contains a handwritten schedule of talks, loose notes, the envelopes in which the notes were originally stored, and a photograph by Bohlman of a black chickadee family which was found with the notes.

Bohlman, Herman

Robertson, Burns, and Failing families papers

  • Coll 784
  • Collection
  • 1786-1988

Many of Portland's early settling families created long-lasting ties with one another through marriage and business relationships. Often leaving areas such as New England and San Francisco, the first generation of transplants found Portland to be a small town of new opportunities for trade and business from 1840-1855. Family relationships, such as those seen between the Robertson, Corbett, and Failing families beginning in the 1850s, often lasted for generations. Starting with the joint venture between Henry Winslow Corbett and brother-in-law Thomas Robertson (1817-1900), multiple other partnerships were later formed, including Robertson Heavy Hardware, Corbett, Failing and Company, Foster and Robertson and Corbett, Failing, and Robertson.

The Robertson family represented a crossroads of Portland familial relationships. Beginning with the arrival of Thomas Robertson and his wife Mary Freeland (Corbett) Robertson, from New York, multiple generations of the Robertson family went on to marry into different branches of other old Portland families, such Couch, Lewis, and Reed. Through these relationships, they also gained ties with several family lineages from the East Coast. Individuals in these families later attended elite schools, traveled widely and participated in family businesses to great success. They also contributed to Portland's civic life, becoming city or state officials, and serving as early supporters for institutions such as the Portland Art Museum and Reed College.

Robertson family

James F. Failing family papers

  • Coll 799
  • Collection
  • 1850-2009

James Frederick Failing was born in New York on March 24, 1842 to Josiah Failing and Henrietta Legge Ellison. His father and older brothers, Henry and John William, arrived in Portland in 1851, followed two years later in 1853 by James, their mother, and sister, Elizabeth. James completed his education at Portland Academy, then joined J. Failing and Co. as a clerk. The company was a wholesale hardware business started by Josiah and Henry Failing at the corner of first and Oak Streets. James later became a partner at Corbett, Failing and Company. The company operated under this name for 22 years, before later becoming Failing-McCalman Company, operated in part by James's three sons.

In 1877, James Failing became a director of the First National Bank in Portland, remaining a senior director until his death in 1920. He married Jane Johnson Conner in 1880. She was born in Albany, Oregon on February 14, 1855 to merchant John Conner (1820-1902) and his first wife, Martha Mariea Bancroft Whittlesey (1827-1861). Later, John Conner married James's sister, Elizabeth Ann Failing in 1863. Jane Conner and James F. Failing had five children: Edward Josiah (1881-1936), Kate Whittlesey (1883-1971), John Conner (1886-1951), Frederick Ellison (1892-1929), and Henrietta Chase, 1895-1989). Kate and Henrietta participated regularly in Portland civic life, volunteering with numerous organizations.

James Failing and his family were members of the First Baptist Church of Portland. He was involved in the development and construction of the church's Taylor Street building between 1892 and 1893, and was both a trustee and a deacon. His daughter Kate created scrapbooks documenting the history of the church. He was also a director of the Young Men's Christian Association and a trustee for McMinnville College (later known as Linfield College), and an active member of the Oregon Pioneer Society and the Auld Lang Syne Society. Both his father, Josiah, and brother Henry served as mayors of Portland. While James never held public office, he was regarded as a prominent individual in the Portland business and civic communities.

Failing, James F. (James Frederick), 1842-1920

Coronation of Womanhood posters

  • Coll 839
  • Collection
  • 1884-1885

The collection consists of two copies of a poster entitled “Coronation of Womanhood” and a single copy of an identification key to the people depicted in the poster. The posters are printed from a photo crayon lithograph engraving. At the front center of the image, the goddess of Liberty is crowning a kneeling female figure representing womanhood. Below them is a banner reading, “Coronation of Womanhood.” Arranged in a half-circle above Liberty and Womanhood at the top of the poster are the portraits of Edward Dickinson Baker, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and James A. Garfield. Flanking either side of the image is a dais draped in bunting featuring the state crests of New York, California, Oregon, Nebraska, Wyoming, and the District of Columbia. Seated at the dais are 17 women of the suffrage movement: Martha C. Wright, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucy Stone, Frances Wright, Lucretia Coffin Mott, Elizabeth Boynton Harbert, Susan B. Anthony, Abigail Scott Duniway, Dr. Clemence S. Lozier, Helen M. Gouger, Sarah L. Knox Goodrich, Mary Ashton Rice Livermore, Mary J. Collins, Julia Ward Howe, Lillie Devereux Black, Matilda Jocelyn Gage, and Ernestine L. Rose. Below the dais, there is an audience of 275 additional men recognized as supporters of women’s enfranchisement. The men depicted in the scene include Matthew Deady, Stephen F. Chadwick, Rockey Preston Earhart, Joseph N. Dolph, Melvin Clark George, Samuel Royal Thurston, and William S. Ladd. A full listing of the depicted individuals is accessible via the identification key. The inscription at the bottom of the poster reads, “Respectfully dedicated to the loyal subjects of liberty who paved the way to woman’s enfranchisement in the Pacific Northwest, United States of America, anno domini one thousand eight hundred eighty three.”

Source: The Idaho Semi-Weekly World. February 20, 1885.

Duniway, Abigail Scott, 1834-1915

Japanese American Oral History Project

  • Japanese American Oral History Project
  • Collection
  • 1992-1998

A series of oral history interviews conducted between 1992 and 1998 with Japanese Americans in Oregon. Loen Dozono of the Japanese American Citizen's League (JACL) collaborated with OHS on this project. The interviews were conducted by JACL and OHS staff and volunteers. They aimed to interview Issei (first generation Japanese Americans), and ultimately also interviewed several Nisei (second generation Japanese Americans).

KATU news video

  • KATU
  • Collection
  • 1980-03-20 - 1980-06-20

News footage from the KATU Television station in Portland, Oregon.

KATU (Television station : Portland, Or.)

William L. Finley Papers, 1899-1946

  • MSS Finley
  • Collection
  • 1899 - 1946

William L. Finley's papers primarily document his work as a wildlife conservationist, author, lecturer, photographer, and filmmaker from about 1900 to 1940. The collection also documents the work his wife Irene Finley and photography partner Herman Bohlman. The collection consists of published and unpublished manuscripts, lecture and field notes, reports, correspondence, photographs and motion picture films.

An addition to the collection (Accession 2014:062) is made up of correspondence and newspaper clippings documenting the wildlife conservation work of William and Irene Finley. Among the topics addressed in the correspondence include: song bird protection laws in Oregon, requests to Finley for use of his photographs, the forming of an Oregon Fish and Game Commission, biological surveys conducted by Finley, legislation in California repealing meadowlark protection, and letters by Finley to various organizations regarding the presentation of one of his lectures. A highlight among the correspondence is a thank you letter from Finley to President Theodore Roosevelt for his establishment of wild bird reservations. The clippings are newspaper articles written by Irene and William Finley about encounters with wildlife, nocturnal bird sounds, and their filming of wildlife at Paulina Lake. The four articles all appeared in editions of the "Oregon Sunday Journal."

Finley, William L. (William Lovell), 1876-1953

Early Oregon census and tax records, 1842-1880

  • Mss 1
  • Collection
  • 1842-1880

This collection consists of early census and tax records from the Oregon provisional and territorial governments and early Oregon statehood. The materials in this collection were gathered from early, mostly pre-1958, Oregon Historical Society Research Library accessions of census and tax related records. The early census and tax records document demographic and economic data for what are now portions of Oregon and California. Original census records include Elijah White's 1842 census; a census (1849) of males over the age of 21; Jackson County census rolls (ca. 1854-1855, 1858); a Washington County census (1856); a Washington County tax roll (1852); and an agricultural census for Clackamas County (1870). Typescript and photostat reproductions of census records include Joseph Meek's Census of Oregon (1845); Charles Wells’ Benton County census (1854); the United States Census roll for Coos County (1860); and a partial typescript of the 1880 United States Census for Wasco County. The collection also includes reports of the 1850 census for Butte and Calaveras counties in California.

Joel Palmer Papers, 1783-1982

  • Mss 114
  • Collection
  • 1783-1982

The papers consist of four groups of materials acquired by the Oregon Historical Society at various times. The first group, designated Mss 114, consists of correspondence (1848-1869) concerning the conduct of Indian affairs in Oregon, enlistment of a state militia, and efforts to establish a Union League Council. Correspondents include Benjamin Alvord, Jesse Applegate, Benjamin Bonneville, Samuel Culver, Addison C. Gibbs, and Joseph Lane. Also included is a diary (1857) kept by Palmer while on a voyage from Oregon City to Washington, D.C. via Panama; typescript copies of diaries (1854, 1856, 1860-1861) recording his travels throughout the Pacific Northwest; hand written copy of an agreement (1854) between the United States, represented by superintendent of Indian Affairs, Joel Palmer, and the Calipooia Indian tribe; and articles of incorporation (1862) of the Columbia River Railroad Company.

The second group of materials, designated Mss 114-1, consists of letters sent to Sarah Ann Palmer from various relatives, and receipts and other ephemera of Joel Palmer. Among these are hand written copies of poems dated 1783, possibly from one of Palmer's ancestors.

The third group within the collection, designated Mss 114-2, contains mostly biographical information about Palmer, along with letters written by his descendants and letters relating to the dedication of a statue of Palmer in 1971.

A fourth group of papers, designated Mss 114-3, consists of general correspondence, primarily political and military in nature, legal papers, and a survey of an unidentified Indian reservation.

The final group of materials, designated Mss 114-4, includes a manuscript poem, Bristol, England, 1784; letters from Palmer to General Joseph Lane and others; manuscript copy of report to the U.S. Secretary of War or the Commissioner of Indian Affairs from General Joseph Lane, ca. 1849; a letter from W. B. Bonney to Joel Palmer, 1850 Jan. 17; letter to Joel Palmer from Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin Bonneville, 1855 Mar. 27; printed copy of the treaty between the United States and the Rogue River Indians, 1855; manuscript extracts from "Articles of treatry made at Port Orford," 1857 Sept. 20; hand drawn map of the Columbia River and its tributaries, undated; and a pamphlet titled "History of the Grand Ronde Military Block House," 1911.

Palmer, Joel, 1810-1881

Oregon Constitutional Convention records, 1857-1859

  • Mss 1227
  • Collection
  • 1857 - 1859

Documents created during the Oregon Constitutional Convention of 1857. Includes: committee reports, drafts of articles and schedules, general notes, corrections, and other materials. Sections of the constitution represented include: preamble and bill of rights; suffrage and elections; distribution of powers; Legislative Department; Executive Department; education and school lands; finance; militia; corporations and internal improvements; seat of government; general provisions; boundaries; schedules, and related papers. Also includes printed speech of James Hughes of Indiana, on the admission of Oregon, delivered in the House of Representatives, 1859 February 10.

Oregon. Constitutional Convention (1857)

Oregon elections collection, 1846-1888

  • Mss 1231
  • Collection
  • 1846 - 1888

Collection assembled by the Oregon Historical Society regarding elections in Oregon. Included are Poll Books for Sauvie Island (1859), Astoria Precinct (1857), Elkton Precinct (1856), Santiam Precinct (1860), and Butte Creek (1872); contributors to the 1873 election fund; certified documents of electors, president and vice-president, U.S. (1876, 1880, 1888); and newspaper clippings and list of contributors to the 1888 election. Additional materials include oversize ballots and tally sheets (in 2 flat boxes), and 1860-1862 election materials (1 reel of microfilm).

Oregon. Constitutional Convention (1857)

Correspondence Collection

  • Mss 1500
  • Collection
  • 1800 - ?

Collection of materials assembled by the Oregon Historical Society comprised of various letters written from or to individuals in Oregon, ca. 1820-1973.

Women collection, circa 1899-1950

  • Mss 1534
  • Collection
  • 1899-1950

Collection of materials assembled by the Oregon Historical Society relating to women in Oregon, ca. 1899-1950. Included in the collection are postcards with anti and pro-suffrage images, the correspondence and diary of Mrs. Sylvia Thompson, the correspondence of M.H. Wicoxon, scrapbook of the League of Women Voters, papers of various women's political groups (including anti-suffrage groups) and newspaper clippings regarding women's rights, legal status and prominent women.

Stella Maris House collection, 1940-1973; bulk : 1960-1972

  • Mss 1585
  • Collection
  • 1940 - 1973

Ranging in date from 1940 to 1973, the Stella Maris House Collection consists of printed material, correspondence, and administrative, financial, and legal records created and collected by the Portland, Oregon-based social justice group during the course of their work. The collection demonstrates the local evolution of social issues key to the history of the United States during the 1960s. Over a third of the archive's content is dedicated to Oregon's migrant labor rights movement, and it also features records documenting the area's civil rights movement, urban renewal projects, interstate highway infrastructure, and social welfare programs initiated by the Economic Opportunity Act.

The bulk of the collection consists of printed material created by a number of local and national organizations between 1960 and 1972, then collected by the Stella Maris House. This portion of the archive includes programs, reports, studies, surveys, correspondence, brochures, and flyers generated by civil rights, migrant rights, and peace movement groups. Items of note include the Albina Neighborhood Improvement Project's plans for urban redevelopment (Series B), an African-American employment survey conducted by the Metropolitan Interfaith Commission on Race (Series E), and records documenting the Housing Authority of Portland (Series I). The collection also features printed material created by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (Series E), the Valley Migrant League (Series J), and the United Farm Workers (Series J). Newspaper clippings that document events important to social justice movements constitute a substantial part of the collection.

A small but significant portion of the collection was created by the staff members of the Stella Maris House; it includes notes by the staff documenting the meetings of local groups. These meeting notes often provide remarkably candid insights into the workings of area groups. Additionally, Stella Maris House staff members also contributed group and program histories to the collection.

Stella Maris House (Portland, Or.)

Lee Owen Stone papers, 1903-1977

  • Mss 2423
  • Collection
  • 1930 - 1977

Collection includes: Correspondence, sermons, awards and certificates, files from his activity in the Urban League of Portland and other civil and philanthropic associations, Minutes of meetings for Men's Club of St. Philip's Church, missionaries' quarterly reports, etc.

Stone, Lee Owen, 1903-1977

Brown, Clawson, and Parvin Family Papers

  • Mss 2506
  • Collection
  • 1739-1978

The collection includes correspondence, clippings, documents, and ephemera, most of which relate to Zimiri Parvin, James Nassau Brown, Mamie Parvin Brown, Vivian Z. Brown, and Verne Clawson Brown. There are also some materials on the Sutton, Taylor, and Price families, all related by marriage to the Parvins and Browns. Included are: musical compositions by Zimiri Parvin, letters from James Nassau Brown to his wife Mamie, a biographical article by Doris Huffman (1976), diplomas and certificates, high school yearbooks, a pocket diary of Josephine Taylor Sutton containing recipes, a program for a banquet honoring Susan B. Anthony in Salem in 1900, a Taylor family history document from the late 18th century, a group of baggage tags from hotels, and a collection of bank notes from the early 19th century. Among James Nassau Brown's letters is one of 1903 from Salem describing a typhoid epidemic.

Portland Neighborhood History Project

  • Mss 2577-SR
  • Collection
  • 1976-1979

The Portland Neighborhood History Project was one of the first extensive oral history projects in Oregon. In the late 1970s, the Parks Department recruited volunteers to interview elders in their own neighborhoods in order to gather first hand accounts of the history and development of the various neighborhoods in Portland. The interviews were later donated to the Oregon Historical Society.

William L. Finley letters and scrapbook, 1946-1962

  • Mss 2654
  • Collection
  • 1946 - 1962

Collection includes: Scrapbook and letters, 1 vol. and 1 folder, 1946-1962, regarding personal matters, the Izaak Walton League, conservation, etc.

Finley, William L. (William Lovell), 1876-1953

Oregon Black History Project records

  • Mss 2854
  • Collection
  • 1844-1981

The Oregon Black History Project was a grant-funded project that conducted research on the history of African-Americans in Oregon up to the beginning of World War II. The project was directed by Elizabeth McLagan and culminated in her book "A Peculiar Paradise: A History of Blacks in Oregon, 1788-1940," which was published by the Georgian Press of Portland, Oregon, in 1980.

The collection consists of administrative records, research files, and photographs gathered or created by the Oregon Black History Project. Most of the research files consist of notes and quotes, photocopies, or excerpts from primary and secondary resources concerning the history of African-Americans in Oregon from the late 18th century to the mid-20th century. Most of these source excerpts were assembled between 1976 and 1979. Topics include early African-American emigrants to Oregon; the slavery debate in Oregon; exclusion laws and other forms of discrimination or violence against African-Americans; African-American business, social, and activist organizations; and early 20th-century African-American newspapers such as The Advocate, the New Age, and the Portland Times.

Photographs include portraits of African-American Oregonians; African-American social groups and activities; residences; and businesses operated by African-Americans in Portland, Oregon. Some of the photographs are copies of images originally published in newspapers such as Portland Times and The Advocate.

McLagan, Elizabeth, 1947-

Gay and Lesbian Archives of the Pacific Northwest Oral Histories

  • Mss 2988-SR
  • Collection
  • 2000 - 2013

The Gay and Lesbian Archives of the Pacific Northwest (GLAPN) was established in Portland, Oregon, by Tom Cook in the early 1990s. Since then the organization has collected archival materials and oral histories from organizations and individuals active in lesbian and gay issues in the Portland area and throughout the Pacific Northwest. Many of these oral histories were gathered by Portland State University students, from the late 90s to present.

Abraham Lincoln letters

  • Mss 324
  • Collection
  • 1858-1861

One autograph letter, A.L.S., from Abraham Lincoln in Springfield, Ill. to Simeon Francis in Oregon, 1860 Aug. 4, discussing the upcoming presidential election and prospects for the winning of various states. Collection also includes photostatic copies of three additional letters: Lincoln to James Thornton, 1858 Dec. 2; Simeon Francis to Lincoln, 1859 Dec. 26; and David Logan to Lincoln, 1861 Sept. 5.

Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865

Abigail Scott Duniway papers

  • Mss 432
  • Collection
  • 1852-1915

Writer, pioneer, editor, and champion of women's suffrage, Abigail Scott Duniway was born in Groveland, Illinois, in 1834. One of her brothers, Harvey Scott, would become the editor of the Oregonian. The Scott family traveled overland to Oregon in 1852, a trip on which Abigail's mother and youngest brother died. The family came first to Oregon City, then settled in Lafayette. Abigail taught school at Eola, and in 1853 she married Benjamin C. Duniway, with whom she had four children. After her husband was incapacitated in an 1862 accident, Duniway supported her family through teaching and a millinery business in Albany, Oregon. After moving to Portland in 1871 she published and edited The new northwest and became Oregon's leading advocate of women's suffrage. She moved to Idaho in 1887 and helped to achieve women's voting rights there in 1896. After returning to Oregon she was instrumental in the passage of Oregon's own women's suffrage bill in 1912. Her writings include the autobiography Path Breaking (1914) and the novel Captain Gray's Company.

The collection, which represents only a small portion of Duniway's papers, includes: the records of the Oregon State Equal Suffrage Association, including minute book, membership and account books, constitutions, a small amount of correspondence, and a copy of a letter from Susan B. Anthony regarding the woman's suffrage movement; and records of the Duniway Publishing Company, consisting of cash, mailing and advertising ledgers (1880-1886) of the publication The new northwest. Also included in the collection is a copy of a typed transcript of Duniway's journal kept during her family's overland trek from Illinois (1852 April 2) to Oregon City, Oregon (1852 September 28), on which her mother and younger brother died. The transcript contains an introduction by Leslie M. Scott. A subscription list from the Oregon State Secular Union from 1891 can also be found in the collection.

Duniway, Abigail Scott, 1834-1915

Watercolor sketch of the ship Lausanne, 1839

  • Mss 5285
  • Collection
  • 1838

Watercolor sketch of the ship Lausanne painted by missionary Hamilton Campbell during his journey by ship from New York to Oregon in 1839. The collection also includes a typescript document signed by Ben Campbell Holladay explaining the provenance of the painting.

Campbell, Hamilton, 1812-1863

J.H. Horner Papers, 1889-1985

  • Mss 6031
  • Collection
  • 1889 - 1985

The collection consists principally of the typescript (with corrections in hand) of Horner's work, Wallowa River and Valley, dealing with regional history, as well as the Nez Percé Indians. Other papers include correspondence (ca. 1889-1985); legal documents (1898-1931); patents for window construction (1921-1922); and manuscript materials (undated). Horner's main correspondent is Otis Halfmoon, a Catholic Nez Percé who assisted with the author's manuscript. The collection also includes a list of other contributors that assisted Horner in his research

Horner, J. H., 1870-1953

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