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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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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-

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)

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.

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.

Palmer, Joel, 1810-1881

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

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.

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

Mss 114-3

Consists of general correspondence, primarily political and military in nature, legal papers, and a survey of an unidentified Indian reservation.

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.

Oregonian glass negatives

  • Org Lot 139
  • Collection
  • 1850-1930

This collection consists of glass negatives taken by photographers for the Portland, Oregon based newspaper, The Oregonian. Most of the photographs in this collection are undated but the bulk of the photographs are believed to be taken between 1890 and 1920.

Oregonian (Firm)

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

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

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.

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