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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

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.

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

Tsuboi Family home movies

  • MI Tsuboi
  • Collection
  • 1925 - 1960

The collection contains home movies filmed by members of the Tsuboi Family circa 1925-1960. The films depict Japanese American family scenes and feature locations around Oregon, Washington, California, and British Columbia, including the Columbia River Gorge, Mt. Hood, downtown Portland, Pendleton Round-Up, the Oregon Coast, Seattle, Yosemite National Park, and Los Angeles. Also included in the collection is footage taken in Northeast China, Japan, and on voyages across the Pacific Ocean.

Tsuboi Family

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.)

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).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.)

Mount Tabor Villa broadside

  • Coll 101
  • Collection
  • 1889

Advertising broadside for the Mount Tabor Villa subdivision of Portland, Oregon, sold by the Hart-Royal Company, including a colored plat map. Mount Tabor Villa is today part of the Montavilla neighborhood.

A. Anderson & Co. Lithography (Portland, Or.)

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

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