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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 Collection

  • Org. Lot 500
  • Collection
  • 1855 - 1897

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 and reducing costs with a method of taking eight separate negatives on a single plate. Initial commercial response to the cartes-de-visite was slow. They reportedly did not rise in popularity until Napoleon III had his portrait taken by Disdéri in 1859 after which enthusiasm for card photographs spread rapidly across the globe. 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, and also photographs of celebrities for collecting and trading. Cartes-de-visite were superseded by Cabinet cards, a similar format but larger - roughly 4.5 x 6.5 inches, in the 1870's but they remained popular into the twentieth century.

The Oregon Historical Society’s Cartes-de-Visite Collection was accumulated from various sources. The collection includes photographs taken throughout the United States, including by many well known Oregon photography studios, from about 1855 through the early 1900s. Cartes-de-visite can be found in many other photo albums and individual photo collections in OHS holdings.

Days With Chief Joseph

  • SR 1096
  • Collection
  • 1954-08-21

Erskine Wood discusses summer vacations spent in household of Chief Joseph.

Wood, Erskine

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-

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)

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.)

Portland State University Oral History Series

  • SR Portland State University Series
  • Collection
  • 1989

A collection of oral history interviews of Portland State University faculty, conducted by other Portland State University faculty.

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 Harold Pubols, by Louise Pubols

  • SR 823
  • Collection
  • 1988-01-10 - 1988-01-22

Pubols discusses his family background, parents, siblings, Russian heritage, immigration to United States, early life working on a farm in Eastern Oregon, educational history etc.

Pubols, Harold

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.

MacKenzie, Barbara

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

Oral history interview with Donald McInnis, by Mary Gorsline

  • SR 1087
  • Collection
  • 1992-08-25 - 1992-11-10

McInnis discusses growing up in the Portland Metropolitan Area in the early part of the 20th century, his parents life moving around the Washington and Oregon States, and homesteading near Reedville, Oregon.

McInnis, Donald

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

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