Oral history interview with Erskine Wood

Oral history interview with Erskine Wood [Transcript] Oral history interview with Erskine Wood [Sound Recording 01]

Identity elements

Reference code

SR 1096

Name and location of repository

Level of description



Oral history interview with Erskine Wood


  • 1954-08-21 (Creation)


0.1 cubic feet; 1 audiocassette (24 min., 20 sec.) + transcript (8 pages)

Name of creator


Biographical history

Erskine B. Wood was born in the Vancouver Barracks in Vancouver, Washington, in 1879. He was the son of Portland, Oregon, lawyer Charles Erskine Scott Wood, whose biography he authored. In 1901, he earned a law degree from Harvard University. In 1903, he and Rebecca Baird Biddle were married; they later had four children. He joined his father's law firm in Portland and specialized in admiralty law. He also served as admiralty counsel to the United States Shipping Board in 1920. Rebecca Baird Biddle died in 1951. In 1953, Wood and Louise Pippel Cunningham were married. He retired from his law practice in 1982, and died in 1983 at the age of 104.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

This oral history interview with Erskine Wood was conducted by William Renwick at Wood's home in Vancouver, Washington, on August 21, 1954. In this interview, Wood discusses his experiences as an adolescent living with Chief Joseph and the Nimiipuu people (Nez Perce) in the Wallowa Valley, Oregon. He briefly talks about Chief Joseph's life story. He speaks about his daily life, including caring for horses, hunting, and taking sweat baths. He closes the interview by describing Nimiipuu recreational activities, including dancing, singing, and games. In the interview, Wood uses terms for Native people that were common in that historical period but that are now considered pejorative.

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use elements

Conditions governing access

Copyright for this interview is held by the estate of Erskine Wood. Use is allowed according to the following statement: In Copyright, http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/.

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Conditions governing reproduction

Languages of the material

  • English

Scripts of the material

  • Latin

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Finding aids

Acquisition and appraisal elements

Custodial history

Immediate source of acquisition

Gift of Pat Sutherland, July 1993 (Lib. Acc. 21364).

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Related materials elements

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Related archival materials

The Erskine Wood papers, Mss 2445, and additional oral history interviews with Erskine Wood, SR 441 and SR 9512, are also held at the Oregon Historical Society Research Library.

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Notes element

General note

Preferred citation: Oral history interview with Erskine Wood, by William Renwick, SR 1096, Oregon Historical Society Research Library.

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Alternative identifier(s)

Description control element

Rules or conventions

Finding aid based on DACS (Describing Archives: A Content Standard), 2nd Edition.

Sources used

Archivist's note

Collection was titled "Days with Chief Joseph" prior to 2021.

Archivist's note

Sarah Stroman

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