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Oral history interview with John F. Kilkenny [Transcript]

Transcript. This oral history interview with John F. Kilkenny was conducted by Rick Harmon in Portland, Oregon, from June 12 to October 3, 1984. The original audio of the recording is incomplete due to irretrievable damage to Tape 14, Side 2. Tape 17 is a re-enactment of that audio. The re-enactment was created by Rick Harmon and Terence O'Donnell after the damage to the original tape was discovered. It was based upon a transcript created before the damage occurred, which no longer exists. The accuracy of the re-enactment cannot be verified. In this interview, Kilkenny discusses his family background and early life on a sheep farm in Heppner, Oregon, and his education at Columbia Preparatory, a boarding school in Portland. He also briefly discusses his memories of World War I. He then talks about attending Notre Dame University in Indiana, including playing football under Knute Rockne; his social life; and preparing for the Oregon Bar by taking prep courses at Northwestern College of Law. He discusses his early law career in Pendleton and notable cases he worked on, including bankruptcy and Prohibition cases; his political views and Republican affiliation; and the effects of the Depression. He talks about serving as city attorney for Pendleton from 1930 to 1952. He talks briefly about how World War II affected his law practice, in the number and type of cases the firm handled. Also discussed is his involvement with the Oregon State Bar. Kilkenny discusses his 1959 appointment to the U.S. District Court of Oregon. He briefly describes judges he worked with, including Hall Lusk and Gus Solomon. He discusses cases involving admiralty law, the first amendment, labor unions, and criminal law. He then discusses his 1969 appointment to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. He discusses cases involving the draft, procedures of the court, and efforts to split the Ninth Circuit. He then discusses how his sentencing style has changed over time, new precedents set by recent courts, and his thoughts on the Vietnam War and the Watergate scandal. He discusses his involvement in the preservation of the Pioneer Courthouse in Portland. He closes the interview by talking about his recent activities and family life.

Kilkenny, John F.

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

Old Fort Astoria, Astoria, Oregon

A photograph of a drawing depicting old Fort Astoria in 1845. An American flag flies over the fort. The back identified the artist as Henry J. Barre, but the correct name is likely Henry J. Warre. Handwritten note on back of print reads, "Old Fort Astoria 1845 by Captain Henry J. Barre, British Army." Photograph of drawing taken by Arthur M. Prentiss.

Warre, H. (Henry), 1819-1898

Jason Lee papers

  • Mss 1212
  • Collection
  • 1834-1845

Collection consists of the personal and professional papers of Reverend Jason Lee. The papers date from 1834 to 1845. Included are Lee’s diary of his overland journey to Oregon and the construction of his mission with entries dating from 1834 to 1838; an 1844 report Lee made to the Methodist Missionary Board; miscellaneous papers related to the illness and death of Lee in 1845; and fragments of an undated biography of Jason Lee likely written by Harvey Kimball Hines. The collection also contains a folder of Anna Maria Pittman Lee's correspondence dated from 1834 to 1835.

Jason Lee was born on June 28, 1803, in Stanstead, Quebec. After his ordination in 1834, Lee and his nephew, Daniel Lee, journeyed overland to Oregon with the intention to establish a mission to minister to the Flathead Indians. He instead established his mission in the Willamette Valley near present-Day Salem, Oregon, in territory that was home to bands of the Kalapuyan people. Lee returned east in 1838 to justify his decision and recruit reinforcements for the Willamette mission, as well as missions at The Dalles and Clatsop plains. In 1840, The Great Reinforcement, a group of 51 men, women, and children, arrived in Oregon on the ship Lausanne in response to Lee’s promotion in the East. In 1843, Jason Lee participated in the founding of Oregon's provisional government and Willamette University. Lee was relieved of his missionary post in 1844. Lee married Anna Maria Pittman, who died in 1838, and then Lucy Lee who died in 1842. Jason Lee died on March 12, 1845.

Lee, Jason, 1803-1845

Mouth of Columbia River, 1851

A nautical map of the “Mouth of Columbia River / from a preliminary survey under the direction of A.D. Bache, Superintendent of the Survey of the Coast of the United States by the hydrographic party under the command of W.P. McArthur Lt. U.S.N. and Asst. U.S. Coast Survey, W.A. Bartlett Lt. U.S.N. Assistant ; reduction for engraving by A. Boschke, draughtsman ; engraved by W. Smith and E.F. Woodward.” Includes inset: View of the Entrance of Columbia River, Cape Hancock or Disappointment E. by N. (compass) 12 statute miles. Relief shown by hachures. Depths shown by soundings and isolines. Includes text on "sailing directions" and "tides." Handwritten note of graphic scale by George Davidson is erroneous.Scale 1:40,000. Item has also been identified as bb017545.

United States Coast Survey

Columbia Rediviva collection

  • Mss 957
  • Collection
  • 1785-1852

The collection consists of correspondence, journals, ship logs, administrative records, and ink sketches relating to the ship Columbia Rediviva. A mix of original materials and reproductions are present. Among the originals are: the journal of John Hoskins, written during the Columbia's journey around the world in 1791-1792; the journal of George Barrell, 1806, written on board the brig Venus from Boston to Malaga, and on the schooner Louisiana from Malaga to New York; Barrell's account of stores on board the Columbia, 1792-1793; letters of Joseph Barrell to Samuel Webb, 1785-1801, and to John Hoskins, 1790; letters from Colburn Barrell and Robert Haswell, 1801; owner's accounts, 1787-1793; accounts of the Columbia and Lady Washington, 1787-1790; receipts; and four ink sketches by George Davidson depicting incidents in the voyages of the Columbia.

The reproductions held in this collection include the journals of Robert Haswell and Owen Smith, 1787-1789; and a file of receipts and other papers concerning outfitting of the Columbia, 1790 (on microfilm). Also included are publications of Robert Gray's wife Martha's petition to congress for a pension and memorial, 1848-1852.

Crosby, Mary (Lincoln)

Labeled as being Clara (Smith) Crosby, but she was the wife of Alfred Crosby. The matching card to this one is of Nathaniel Crosby, Jr. His wife was Mary (Lincoln) Crosby.

Monteith family photograph collection, 1847-1854

  • Org. Lot 1388
  • Collection
  • 1847 - 1854

This collection is comprised of two (2) daguerreotypes showing portraits of brothers Thomas and Walter Monteith, who founded the town of Albany, Oregon, circa 1849. They traveled to Oregon from New York in 1847 and settled adjacent land claims, sharing a house which straddled the two claims.

Millar, Reverend James P.

Reverend James P. Millar/Miller, a minister of the United Presbyterian church. He was killed at Canemah, Oregon Territory, on April 8, 1854, by the explosion of the steamer Gazelle. His wife, Amanda, suffered two broken ribs from the incident. They had been living in Albany at the time.

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