Joseph Henry Brown papers, 1842-1924  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Brown, J. Henry (Joseph Henry), 1837-1898.
Joseph Henry Brown papers
1842-1924 (inclusive)
3 cubic feet, (2 document cases, 4 custom boxes)
Collection Number
Mss 1002
Papers of a pioneer and historian of Salem, Oregon, including account of his overland journey to Oregon in 1847, correspondence, notes, scrapbooks, account books, minutes of the Farmers' Club of Oregon, and notes and drafts for his book Political history of Oregon (1892).
Oregon Historical Society, Davies Family Research Library
Davies Family Research Library
Oregon Historical Society
1200 SW Park Avenue
Portland, OR
Telephone: 503-306-5240
Fax: 503-219-2040
Access Restrictions

The collection is open to the public.

Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Joseph Henry Brown, pioneer and historian of Salem, Oregon, was born near Wilmington, Will County, Illinois, in 1837, and came overland to Oregon with his parents in 1847. He served as an apprentice with the Oregon Statesman in Salem in the late 1850s, went to California in 1858, and after various enterprises in The Dalles and elsewhere returned to the printing trade in Salem. He joined the First Oregon Cavalry in 1861 and saw service fighting Indians in eastern Oregon. He served as a clerk in the state legislature and the Salem correspondent for the Oregonian. In 1869 he married Margaret R. Graves, with whom he had four children, and around 1880 they moved to Portland. The first volume of Brown's book Political history of Oregon was published in 1892, but subsequent volumes remained unpublished due to Brown's ill health.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The collection includes: autobiogrpaphy detailing Brown's overland journey and military service; correspondence, including letters from William C. McKay and Jesse Applegate; notes, drafts, and research materials used in the writing of Brown's Political history of Oregon; scrapbooks; and clippings. Also included is a transcription of the journal of Medorem Crawford regarding his journey from Havanna [sic], New York, to the Willamette Valley in Oregon, 1842; Lawrence Kipp's report of the Walla Walla Indian Council of 1855; minutes of the Farmers' Club of Oregon; and materials relating to Oregon City history and to the Oregon Milling Company.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

The Oregon Historical Society is the owner of the materials in the Research Library and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from the Research Library prior to any use of reproductions. The Society does not necessarily hold copyright to all the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use of reproductions may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright holders.

Preferred Citation

Joseph Henry Brown papers, Mss 1002, Oregon Historical Society Research Library

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Series A:  General Files, 1842-1924Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Joseph Henry Brown autobiography (typescript, 2 versions)
Indian Council of the Walla Walla Valley--Account of Lieutenant Lawrence Kipp, 4th Artillery, U.S.A. (hand written copy)
Letters from Jesse Applegate, William C. McKay, and others (5 items)
1887-1892; undated
Medorem Crawford journal of trip from Havanna [sic], New York to the Willamette Valley, Oregon (typescript transcription)
Minutes of the Farmers' Club of Oregon
Notes, general
Notes, general
Includes history of Oregon City, history of the Oregon Milling Company, and "Rules for making a horoscope."
Scrapbook (old designation: "Part II #1.")
May have been started by Joseph H. Brown and later continued by a relative. Includes letterhead for Joseph Henry Brown.
circa 1866-1923
School history papers
School compositions on early Oregon history, many on the town of Elkton. The connection between these papers and the present collection is unclear.

Series B:  Notes, data, and drafts for Political history of Oregon, 1892-1896Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Volume 1--Pages of original draft, mostly unused in original volume
circa 1892-1896
Unpublished volumes--Drafts notes and documents
circa 1892-1898
Oregon political data--Scrapbooks and ledgers
Contains notes, some narrative, documents, copies of letters, reports and and assorted records relating to Oregon politics,1844-1855. Much from 1844-1848 appears in volume 1 of Brown's history.
Contains notes, some narrative, documents, copies of letters, reports and and assorted records relating to Oregon politics,1878-1882.
Contains political and other data, including vote tallies from the Oregon legislature, documents, clippings, copies of letters and documents, apparently for use in unpublished volume of Brown's history.
Scrapbook (old designation: "Part I #5." Spine title: "Political scraps.")
Scrapbook (old designation: "Part I #6." Spine title "Political scraps.")

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Cayuse Indians--Wars
  • Overland journeys to the Pacific--Personal narratives
  • Walla Walla Indians--History.
  • Personal Names :
  • Brown, J. Henry (Joseph Henry), 1837-1898--Archives
  • Kipp, Lawrence
  • Corporate Names :
  • Oregon Milling Company
  • Farmers' Club of Oregon
  • Geographical Names :
  • Oregon City (Or.)--History.
  • Oregon--Politics and government
  • Salem (Or.)--History.
  • Walla Walla Valley (Or. and Wash.)--History.
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Ledgers (accounts)
  • Reminiscences
  • Scrapbooks
  • Titles within the Collection :
  • Political history of Oregon : provisional government, treaties, conventions, and diplomatic correspondence on the boundary question; historical introduction of the explorations on the Pacific coast; history of the provisional government from year to year, with election returns and official reports; history of the Cayuse war : with original documents.
  • Other Creators :
    • Personal Names :
    • Crawford, Medorem, 1819-1891 (creator)