Bushrod Washington Wilson (1824-1900) was born in Maine. In 1833 the Wilson family moved to New York, and in 1838 to Illinois. In 1843 Bushrod left home abruptly and signed on a whaler out of New Bedford for a voyage of three years. In 1849 he sailed on the William Gray, New York to San Francisco. In 1850 he travelled to Corvallis, Oregon, where he resided until his death. He married Priscilla Owsley Yantis in 1855, and they went on to have 13 children.
The collection consists entirely of Wilson's letters to his brother, Joseph. The letters are highly descriptive and lively, and comment on politics, business, and religion. There is one letter from Henry Clay Wilson, a cousin, to Joseph, written from Port Townsend, "Oregon Terr." in 1853, describing the prospects of the region.
The second folder consists of type-written transcriptions of the letters and a biographical sketch of Bushrod Wilson by R. C. Clark, head of the University of Oregon Department of History (1934).
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[Identification of item], Bushrod Washington Wilson letters to Joseph P. Wilson, A 135, Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, Oregon.