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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

Carleton E. Watkins photographs, 1861-1885

  • Org. Lot 93
  • Collection
  • 1861 - 1885

This collection contains stereographs, cartes de visite, cabinet and boudoir cards, photograph albums, mammoth plates, and other loose prints taken by landscape photographer Carleton E. Watkins, 1861-1885. Watkins photographs that were taken before he lost his Yosemite Art Gallery studio in 1876 to Isaiah W. Taber are known as his "Old Series." Watkins photographs taken after 1876 are referred to as his "New Series." The collection contains both Old Series and New Series images and includes some of Watkins' photographs printed under Taber's imprint..

The bulk of the stereographs and mammoth plate photographs in this collection were taken during Watkins' trips to Oregon to photograph Portland, the Willamette River, and the Columbia River in 1867 (Old Series), as well as in 1882, 1883, and the winter of 1884-1885 (New Series). There are also some stereographs that were taken by Watkins on his 1882 voyage to photograph Puget Sound in the Washington Territory and Victoria in British Columbia. Other mammoth plates, cartes de visite, and stereographs depict views of places in California, including Yosemite and Mariposa County, the Farallon Islands and other scenes of the California coast, San Francisco, Round Top, Mount Lola, and Mount Shasta, as well as views of Utah taken for the Union Pacific Railroad. There are also cabinet card portraits taken by Watkins of various people, including Oregon railroad financier Simeon Gannett Reed and members of the family of Cornelius C. Beekman (1828-1915), banker from Jacksonville, Or.

The collection also contains two photograph albums assembled by Watkins and originally owned by Charles H. Prescott (b. 1839), manager of the Oregon Railroad and Navigation Co. from 1881-1887. One album, "Sun Sketches of Columbia River Scenery," contains images taken by Watkins during his trips to the Columbia River Gorge circa 1882-1883, and the second album, ""Great Storm of the Winter of 1884-5. Columbia River, Or.," contains images that he took during a winter blizzard in December and January of 1884-1885 that snowed in an Oregon Railway and Navigation Co. train on its tracks along the Columbia River. The collection also contains one group of stereographs entitled "Watkins' Pacific Railroad" that were originally taken by Alfred A. Hart, official photographer for the Central Pacific Railroad, between 1862-1869 and reprinted by Watkins under his own imprint after 1870.

Watkins, Carleton E., 1829-1916

Cartes-de-Visite photographs

  • Org. Lot 500
  • Collection
  • 1855 - 1905

Cartes- de- visite are a form of card photograph popular from around 1860 to the early 1900s, typically used for portraiture. The common construction of these cards consists of a thin albumen print mounted on a thicker card backing measuring 2.5 x 4 inches. André Adolphe-Eugène Disdéri patented the process of creating these photo cards in Paris in 1854, streamlining the process of commercial portraiture. Cartes- de- visite were traded among friends and visitors and they were popularly displayed in albums. In the United States, cartes- de- visite were a staple of commercial photographers during the Civil War as a means of selling inexpensive portraits of soldiers and their loved ones. Photographs of celebrities, military, and political figures were also popular for collecting and trading. Cartes- de- visite were superseded by Cabinet cards, a similar, larger format of roughly 4.5 x 6.5 inches, in the 1870s, but they remained popular into the 20th century.

This artificial collection was accumulated from accessions containing cartes- de- visite photographs acquired prior to 2010 by the Oregon Historical Society Research Library. The cartes- de- visite were originally part of a topical photograph collection and were separated into their own collection to address preservation concerns. The numbering scheme for the collection reflects their original placement within the topical photograph collection. As a result, numbering in this collection is not sequential. The collection includes portraits taken from about 1855 through the early 1900s. Many of the portraits have attached biographical information. Portraits by many well-known Oregon photography studios are represented in this collection, including Joseph Buchtel, Andrew B. Paxton, Isaac G. Davidson, Peter Britt, and F. A. Smith. The collection also contains images of locomotives, ships, buildings, and landscapes in the Pacific Northwest.

Also included is the Photographer Study Collection, which contains sample work from several studios in Oregon, California, and Washington. The portraits in this series are unidentified with the exception of a small selection of portraits that were identified after the collection was assembled.

In addition to Oregon-related materials, the collection includes cartes- de- visite of notable military, political, and celebrity figures from the late 19th century. The most common subjects are American Civil War portraits, a series of illustrations of George and Martha Washington, European notables cards, and advertisements.

United States District Court Oral History Project

  • USDCHS
  • Collection
  • 1966-2008 (bulk 1984-2008)

Since 1984, the Oregon Historical Society has partnered with the United States District Court of Oregon Historical Society to interview judges, lawyers and other legal professionals affiliated with that Court.
With an appeal rate at around 10%, the decisions made by the District Court of Oregon have been deeply influential on the laws and peoples of the state. It has presided over decisions on public land disputes and fishing rights, as well as civil rights and law enforcement. The stories of the people that make up this judicial body provide a valuable tool for helping the public understand the pivotal role the court has had on Oregon’s history.

Gary Scott photographs collection

  • Org. Lot 1386
  • Collection
  • 1970-04-22

This collection contains black-and-white photoprints of images taken by Gary Scott on the occasion of Oregon Governor Tom McCall's visit with the students of Parkrose High School and Fremont Jr. High School, in Portland, on April 22, 1970. This marked the first celebration of Earth Day in Oregon. Those in attendance included personnel from both Parkrose High School and Fremont Junior High School.

Digital Collection consists of retouched high resolution scans created by Gary Scott from original prints.

Scott, Gary

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)

Oral History Interview with Flora Cushinway Thompson

  • SR 9586
  • Collection
  • 1971?

Flora Cushinway Thompson discusses her marriage to Chief Tommy Thompson of the Wyams, fishing, religion, and the fight against the building of the Dalles Dam.

Thompson, Flora Cushinway, 1893-1978

Oral History Interview with Art S. Bimrose Jr., by Jim Strassmaier

  • SR 1752
  • Collection
  • 1989-04-26

This is an interview done in conjunction with a 1989 OHS exhibit of Bimrose's work. In the interview, he discusses his childhood and education, his early art career during the Depression, the process of creating cartoons, the cartoonist's intellectual autonomy, politics and his feelings on war.

Bimrose, Art, 1912-

OHS Maps Collection

  • OHS Maps
  • Collection
  • 1500 - ?

The OHS Maps Collection contains over 25,000 maps that focus on Western exploration and the Oregon Territory. Available types of maps include those of the Oregon Territory, the state, cities and counties, and special subjects such as mining, forestry, railroads, coasts and rivers, soils, farmlands, land claims, Native Americans and explorations.

Oral history interview with Rudolph Luscher, by Susan Gaughan

  • SR 1038
  • Collection
  • 1984-08-16

Luscher discusses his family background and dairy farming in Clackamas County, Oregon, and the changes in milking technology and the dairy business over the 20th century. Bill Tegart was also present.

Luscher, Rudolph

Oral history interview with Barbara Mackenzie, by Jan Dilg and Katy Barber

  • SR 1936
  • Collection
  • 1999-09-27 – 2001-06-01

Barbara Mackenzie discusses her family history; childhood in eastern Oregon; growing up with brother, Ralph Tudor (later Secretary of the Interior); work at Celilo Falls during the 1950s relocation of Celilo Indians; work with the Red Cross; The Dalles Dam.

Barber, Katrine

Senator Mark O. Hatfield Oral History Project

  • SR Hatfield
  • Collection
  • 1987 - 1988

Restricted until very recently, this series of interviews was conducted with Senator Hatfield’s congressional aids, staff and advisors. Senator Hatfield had a long and distinguished career in public service. He began his career as an Oregon State Legislator. He was both Oregon’s youngest Secretary of State and Governor. Later, he was a United States Senator from Oregon for 30 years, the longest term of any senator from Oregon. He is perhaps best known for his early and consistent opposition to the Vietnam War.

Interviewees include: Douglas Coe, associate director of The Fellowship, who has had close relationships with many American politicians; Martin Gold, a member of the United States Commission for the Preservation of America's Heritage Abroad, appointed by George H.W. Bush, he was counsel to Bill First, Howard Baker and Mark Hatfield; Loren Hicks, counsel to Hatfield and later held many judgeships in Oregon, including circuit judge for Marion County; and Sam Mallicoat, a veteran of WWII and the Korean War, and Chief of Staff for Senator Hatfield during his first senate term.

Oral history interview with Amo DeBernardis, by Corbett Gottfried

  • SR 2079
  • Collection
  • 1993-04-09 - 1993-11-05

De Bernardis discusses his family background and early life as the son of Italian immigrants in Northeast Portland, his education and teachers that influenced him, changes in higher education after World War II, the creation of Portland Community College and his time as president.

De Bernardis, Amo

Portland General Electric Centennial Oral History Series

  • SR PGE
  • Collection
  • 1987

A series of interviews conducted by Judy Hartman and Craig Wollner with employees of Portland General Electric for use in creating a history of the company for its centennial in 1988.

Hartman, Judy

Oral history interview with Jean Black, by Karen Wingo

  • SR 9096
  • Collection
  • 1980-052-07

Black discusses his early life and education, studying in Rome, working in various research and academic libraries across the country, teaching library science, coming to Vanport, Oregon in 1946 to be a librarian at Vanport College, dealing with the aftermath of the 1948 flood, and the early history of the Portland State University library.

Black, Jean P.

Oral history interview with Sister John Mary Lane, by Roberta Watts

  • SR 9012
  • Collection
  • 1978-04-17 - 1978-06-06

Sister John Mary Lane discusses her family background and early life, getting involved with the Sisters of the Holy Names, women in the Catholic church and feminism, teaching, life in a convent, and teaching at Marylhurst College.

Lane, John Mary, Sister

Oral history interview with Reub Long, by Ron Shay

  • SR 9117
  • Collection
  • 1971-10-06

Long discusses range and wildlife management issues in the Oregon High Desert. He describes his personal observations of the natural environment of the Oregon High Desert and how it has changed through time.

Long, R. A. (Reub A.)

Pittock Mansion remembered

  • SR 9319
  • Collection
  • 1983-08-15 - 1984-03-26

A series of interviews conducted by Linda Brody regarding Pittock Mansions.

Tape 1: Marjorie Wright discusses her time living in the gatehouse of Pittock Mansion with her parents from 1920 to 1945, including the work her father did as head gardener.

Tape 2: Betty L. Meier discusses her childhood as a granddaughter of Henry L. Pittock and her memories of visiting Pittock Mansion.

Tape 3 and 4: Louise Barry discusses her relationship to the Pittock family and her memories of Pittock Mansion.

Tape 5: Robert "Peter" Gantenbein discusses the Pittock family and living in the Pittock Mansion. Eric Ladd is also present.

Tape 6: Allyn Staley discusses the restoration of the Pittock Mansion in the 1960s.

Tape 7: Alexander Bolton Pierce discusses the political process involved in the purchase of the Pittock Mansion by the City of Portland and its restoration in the 1960s.

Wright, Marjorie, 1920-2012

Oral history interview with Louis Bunce, by Charles Digregorio

  • SR 9323
  • Collection
  • 1978-06-01 - 1978-07-19

Bunce discusses education in art at the Museum Art School in Portland, Oregon , his influences, including Cezanne and Picasso, his involvement with the WPA during the Depression, working in the shipyards during World War II, his artistic style, and his career as an artist. He also discusses some of his exhibitions and a commission he was currently working on for the Claremont Hotel in Berkeley, California.

Bunce, Louis, 1907-1983

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.

Oral history interview with Norma Paulus

  • SR 3972
  • Collection
  • 1999-02-10 - 2000-11-02

This oral history interview with Norma Paulus was conducted by Clark Hansen at Paulus's home in Salem, Oregon, in Lincoln City, Oregon, and in Portland, Oregon; and at the Oregon Historical Society in Portland, Oregon, from February 10, 1999, to November 2, 2000, and from February 10 to 27, 2010. In the interview, Paulus discusses her family background and early life in Burns, Oregon, including life during World War II and contracting polio at the age of 19. She also discusses working as a secretary for the Harney County district attorney, Leland Beckham; moving to Salem to work for a law firm; working for Judge Earl Latourette; and going to law school. Paulus describes meeting Bill Paulus while attending law school; his family background; and their marriage. Paulus discusses her involvement with the Republican Party; working as an appellate lawyer for the Oregon Supreme Court; working on Wally Carson's campaign for the Oregon Legislature in 1965; and getting her first political appointment, to the Marion County Boundary Commission, where she focused on land-use and city planning issues. She focuses on managing a career in law and politics while raising two young children and building a house.

She then discusses her time in the Oregon House of Representatives, from 1970 to 1976, including environmental issues such as the Bottle Bill of 1971 and recycling; education; the criminal code; taxes; attempts to make Cape Kiwanda a state park; and the Rajneeshees. Paulus goes into detail about the women's caucus and the bills they focused on for women's rights, as well as efforts to pass the Equal Rights Amendment. She describes working with Bob Smith, Paul Hanneman, Betty Roberts, Stafford Hansell, Jack Anunsen, Wally Priestly, Dick Eymann, Lynn Newbry, Glenn Jackson, Jason Boe, and Gretchen Kafoury. She also talks about being co-chair for Clay Myers' 1974 race for Oregon governor.

Paulus goes on to speak about her time as Oregon's first woman secretary of state from 1977 to 1985, including her first campaign in 1976 against Blaine Whipple; her efforts to increase voter turnout; and conducting audits, particularly of the Forestry Department. She also discusses the secretary of state's role as state archivist and the conflict between the Oregon State Archives and the Oregon Historical Society over which records belong with which institution. She also discusses working with Governor Vic Atiyeh. Paulus discusses running for governor against Neil Goldschmidt in 1986 and the challenges her campaign faced. She discusses her position on the Northwest Power Planning Council from 1987 to 1990, including working with Ted Hallock and Bob Duncan. She also discusses her position as Oregon superintendent of public instruction from 1990 to 1999, including her efforts to fund K-12 education. Paulus also relates a story about sharing an airplane with Moshe Dayan.

Paulus, Norma

Oral history interview with Charles E. Wright

  • SR611
  • Collection
  • 1991-07-03

This oral history interview with Charles E. Wright was conducted by Elizabeth Buehler on July 12, 1991. In the interview, Wright discusses his education at Yale Law School, particularly studying corporate law with Professor William O. Douglas, who was later a U.S. Supreme Court justice. He briefly discusses returning to Oregon in 1932 and working as a lawyer in Portland; working for the regional office of the Federal Securities and Exchange Commission in Seattle, Washington; and returning to private practice in Portland. He then returns to the topic of William O. Douglas.

Wright, Charles E. (Charles Edward Pares), 1906-1999

Interview with Thomas H. Mercer

  • SR 3974
  • Collection
  • 1976

This interview with Thomas Mercer was conducted circa 1976. In the interview, Mercer, who was running against Al Ullman, discusses his current campaign for a seat in the Oregon House of Representatives. He also discusses his heart issues and how they have affected his career; gun control; and health care. In addition to the interview, there is a recording of a question-and-answer session with Mercer and voters during his campaign. In the session, Mercer addresses questions regarding abortion and taxation.

Also on the audiocassettes with the Mercer interview is a speech delivered by an unidentified man circa 1977, regarding his experience in the Oregon Legislature, and a discussion held in Salem, Oregon, also circa 1977. The speakers in the discussion include Robert Marx, Anthony Meeker, Margaret Dereli, Mae Yih, Bill Rutherford, Wally Carson, Ken Jernstedt, Tony Van Vliet, and other unidentified legislators. Topics include municipal-, county-, and state-level taxation; revenue sharing; correctional institutions; SB 100 and land use planning; and energy conservation. It is unknown what, if any, relationship these recordings have to the Mercer interview.

Mercer, Thomas H.

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