Seth Luen Pope papers, 1710-1979  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Pope, Seth Luen, 1837-1912
Title
Seth Luen Pope papers
Dates
1710-1979 (inclusive)
1855-1911 (bulk)
Quantity
4 cubic feet (8 document cases, 2 card file boxes, 3 customBoxes, 1 oversize folder)
Collection Number
Mss 701
Summary
Papers of Seth Luen Pope of St. Helens and Portland, Oregon, and of Pend Oreille, Idaho. Included are extensive and detailed diaries dating from the 1850s to the 1910s, which include photographs; ships' logs; Masonic papers; and genealogical records. Also included are a small quantity of papers of Pope's brother William Henwood Pope; and papers of Pope's ancestors in the area of Fairhaven, Massachusetts.
Repository
Oregon Historical Society, Davies Family Research Library
Davies Family Research Library
Oregon Historical Society
1200 SW Park Avenue
Portland, OR
97205
Telephone: 503-306-5240
Fax: 503-219-2040
libreference@ohs.org
Access Restrictions

The collection is open to the public.

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


Historical NoteReturn to Top

Seth Luen Pope was a descendant of early English settlers in Massachusetts. One ancestor, Thomas Pope (1608-1683), settled in 1670 in the area of Dartmouth (now Fairhaven), Mass., and there the family remained until the end of the 19th century. Other ancestors included Seth Pope (1648-1727), his son Lemuel Pope (1696-1771), and Lemuel's son Seth Pope (1719-1802). Seth's son Captain Seth Pope (1803-1886) commanded a number of merchant vessels and sailed throughout the world. His wife was Mary Henwood Pope (1811-1842), a native of East Cowes on the Isle of Wight in England. In 1850 Seth Pope sailed to California from New Bedford, Mass., on his ship Nonpareil. Settling eventually in St. Helens, Oregon, he served as postmaster, Treasurer of Columbia County, ran a general store, and continued in the shipping business until he retired to Portland in the 1870s. His two sons were William Henwood Pope (1839-1899) and Seth Luen Pope (1837-1912).

Seth Luen Pope was born in Fairhaven, Massachusetts in 1837, educated at Woodbury Cottage School, and came to Oregon by sea with his brother in 1854. He worked in his father's store in St. Helens, tried farming, then took up seafaring, serving on the bark Desdemona. After an accident in 1857, he worked at various occupations in St. Helens, then moved to The Dalles, Oregon, in 1862. In 1865 he went to Lake Pend Oreille, Idaho, where he was involved in running various steamboats on the lake. He came back to Oregon in 1870 and settled in Portland, and there he held positions with various firms, including Wells Fargo & Co.; the Masonic Building Association; the Portland Telephone, Telegraph & Light Company; the Portland Water Company; and the Transcontinental Street Railway Company. He was credited with installing the first telephone system in the city. During the year 1887 he visited mining camps in Okanogan and eastern Washington. From about 1874 to 1901 Pope lived in a house at the corner of SW Mill Street and Broadway in Portland -- a house he shared with Sarah Phelps Abrams, widow of his friend William Penn Abrams, a Portland pioneer. In 1901 they moved to a house at the corner of SW 17th Avenue and Taylor Street, where Pope died in 1912. Besides keeping extensive diaries, Pope was also an amateur photographer who documented the growth of Portland and surrounding areas.

Seth Luen Pope's brother, William Henwood Pope, left St. Helens for Olympia, Washington, in 1860. There he worked in the recorder's office and served as clerk and interpreter on the Tulalip Indian reservation. He later held many positions throughout the northwest in places such as Vancouver, Washington, The Dalles, Oregon, Walla Walla, Washington, and Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Starting in 1867 he worked for seven years at the First National Bank of Idaho, then moved to San Francisco and went into the real estate business for two years. After visiting Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and Colorado, he settled in Portland in 1892 and became Auditor of Multnomah County.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The bulk of the collection consists of the extensive and detailed diaries of Seth Luen Pope. These volumes record daily activities and include logs of vessels on which he served in his youth. Diaries for later years include photographs taken by Pope, which document the development of Portland as well as Pope's family and friends. Among the other materials in the collection are early documents from Pope's Massachusetts ancestors in the Fairhaven area; a small amount of correspondence; a list of taxpayers in Columbia County, Oregon, for 1858; a list of passengers on the brig Nonpareil who sailed with Pope's father for San Francisco in 1850; log book of Nonpareil (included with logs of other sailing ships commanded by Pope's father); log of the whaling ship Congress from New Bedford, Massachusettes, 1843-1846; information on Pend Oreille, Idaho; a small amount of papers from Pope's brother William; and a biography of Portland pioneer William Penn Abrams.

Among the ancestral documents are: an account ledger from a store, 1749 to 1753, in Old Tennor, Massachusetts, kept by the owners, Mr. and Mrs. Pierce (apparently the Popes were regular customers of the store); a quit claim to Lemuel Pope, February 19, 1731; and a 1772 copy of a lot survey of 1710 for property on Sconticut Neck and Palmer Island, from Benjamin Cram, surveyor, Dartmouth, Massachusetts. Also included among the papers of Mary Henwood Pope (Seth Luen Pope's mother), is the diary of her voyage from London, England, to Boston in 1836; and a diary with brief daily entries from 1837.

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 before any publication use. The Society does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright owners.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Series A:  General papers of Seth Luen Pope, 1842-1979Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
1/1
Original inventory of Seth Luen Pope bequest to the Oregon Historical Society
1952
1/2
Bank book, wills and receipts
1870-1907
Oversize folder
Certificates
12 items, including masonic certificates and Oregon Historical Society membership
1868-1908
1/3
"Chalacha Pioneer" (hand written newspaper by Seth L. Pope)
1855 July 1
1/4
Columbia County, Oregon, tax list
1858
12/1
Columbia County, Oregon, treasurer's record book (old vol. 1)
1854 December 18-1856 July 7
1/5
Correspondence, nautical notations, precious metals list, memoranda for cash receipts, receipts, accounts
1870-1878
1/6
Dalles, Oregon--Program for prayer service
1866 December or 1867 January
1/7
First Presbyterian Church, Portland--History
1903
1/8
First Presbyterian Church, Portland--List of first members
Full list in oversize folder.
circa 1904
1/9
Genealogical records
1874-1909; undated
1/10
Letters received by Pope
1853-1899
1/11
Life at Pend Oreille, Idaho
Includes drawings, correspondence, notebook
1866-1890
Life of William Penn Abrams, by Seth L. Pope
Box/Folder
1/12
Original typescript and related items
1869-1910
1/13
Photocopy of typescript and biographical materials
1910-1979
1/14
Original cover
circa 1910
Box/Folder
13/1
Log of the ship Congress (old vol. 2)
Log of the ship Congress on a whaling voyage from New Bedford, Massachusetts, around the world; Weeks, master, from December 18, 1843 to February 22, 1846. "Presented to Seth L. Pope of Portland, Oregon, by...Pardon L. Thomson, New Bedford, Mass., July 30, 1910."
1843-1846
Oversize folder
Masonic ledger pages, with names of lodge members and dates of election
circa 1870-1905
1/15
Masonic papers, with obituary of Seth L. Pope
1872-1912
1/16
Newspaper clippings, including 1842 history of England
1842-1910
1/17
Newspaper clippings on the opening of the Northern Pacific Railroad to Portland
1883
oversize:folder
Nobles of the Mystic Shrine--Certificate
1891 Octover 28
Box/Folder
1/18
Water color sketches of flowers
1865-1873
1/19
Woodbury Cottage School records
1845-1852

Series B:  Papers of other family members, 1710-1907Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
1/20
Fish, Lucy Pope, "Mothers of Boston to the rescue"
undated
Oversize folder
Indenture (mortgage deed) for property in Leicester, England
Hand written document on parchment
1710 September 30
1/21
Pope, Ephraim--Will and estate account
1822-1832
1/22
Pope, Ephraim--Will and bank notes
1852-1870
1/23
Pope, Josua--Lemuel Akin letter
1853
1/24
Pope, Lemuel--Papers
Includes school expenses, letter to Mr. Morton, inventory of Captain Pope's estate, transcript of Lemuel Pope's will, originals and transcript of codicil.
1750-1772
1/25
Pope, Luen--Receipts
1790-1793
1/26
Pope, Mary Henwood--Papers
Includes diary of voyage from London to Boston, 1836, and diary of 1837.
1831-1842
Oversize folder
Pope, Mary Henwood--Letter from her mother
1836
1/27
Pope, Nathaniel--Plat of land
Original in oversize folder.
1803
1/28
Pope, Sarah--Will
1881-1890
1/29
Pope, Seth (1648-1727)--Papers
Includes will, inventory of estate, land survey, quitclaim deed.
1710-1731
1/30
Pope, Seth (1720-1802)
Designation of executor, 1802 Pope, Seth (1803-1886, father of Seth Luen Pope)
12/2
Account book, general merchandise store, St. Helens, Oregon (old vol. 5)
circa 1855-1859
12/3
Log books, kept as captain, mate, or passenger of various ships (old vol. 6)
  • 1) Brig Troy, New Bedford, Mass. To New Orleans and Boston, Nov. 9, 1828 -- Mar. 14, 1829.
  • 2) Brig Cora, New York, Mobile, Liverpool, Boston, Jan. 4 -- July 12, 1833.
  • 3) Ship Zephyr, New Bedford, Antwerp, New York, Nov. 2, 1833 -- April 16, 1834.
  • 4) Brig Sarah Maria, New Bedford, Mobile, Boston, St. Michael, Etc., Oct. 20, 1834 -- Jan. 31, 1836
  • 5) Short trips of Sea Lark & Brothers, 1836.
  • 6) Schooner, Mary Jane, East Coastal trade and then to New Orleans & return, June 14, 1836 -- July 13, 1837.
  • 7) Brig Nopareil, East coastal trade; then New Bedford to San Francisco, Jan. 10 to September 5, 1850 (with a brief entry on voyage to St. Helens, Oregon, through October 24th, 1850)
1828-1850
13/2
Log of the brig Nonpareil
Seth Pope, commander and owner. Log includes voyage from New Bedford to San Francisco, 1850, and trips between California and Oregon.
1850 January 11-1853 May 13
1/31
Papers
1836-1883
1/32
"Narrative of Captain Seth Pope, 1820-1886" (hand written autobiography)
circa 1886
1/33
Pope, William H.--Copies of deeds
1798; 1832
1/34
Pope, William Henwood (1839-1899)--Papers
Includes hand written dictionary of the Klickitat language
1845-1905
Oversize folder
Pope, William Henwood--Certificates (2 items)
1867; 1891
1/35
Misc. family members' papers
1797-1907
1/36
Survey notations for property at Palmer's Island, and legal agreement between Seth and Ephraim Pope
1804; 1828
Box
11
Pierce family account book, Fairhaven, Massachusetts
1745-1751

Series C:  Diaries and journals, 1853-1912Return to Top

Unless otherwise noted, all items are from Seth Luen Pope.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
2/1
Log of the Eagle Wing
1853-1854
2/2
Log of the Desdemona from Oak Point on the Columbia River to San Francisco
1855-1856
2/3
Orderly sergeant's book, Lewis River, Washington Territory
1955-1856
9/1
Diary (old vol. 7)
1855
9/2
Diary (old vol. 8)
1856
9/3
Diary (old vol. 9)
1857
9/4
Diary (old vol. 10), "Daily life on father's claim at St. Helens, Oregon, building a log cabin"
1859
2/4
Diary (old vol. 12)
1861
2/5
Diary (old vol. 13), part 1
1862
2/6
Diary (old vol. 14), part 2
1862
2/7
Diary (old vol. 15), part 3
1862
2/8
Diary (old vol. 16)
1862-1863; 1866
9/5
Diary/notebook--Jury trials and log of voyage from The Dalles to Rock Creek
1865
9/6
Journal of voyage on the French Jo [?]
1865 August 8-15
2/9
Log (old vol. 17), Oregon and Montana transportation on steamer Mary Moody, Lake Pend Oreille
1866
9/7
Memo book, Pend Oreille (old vol. 60)
1866
2/10
Diary (old vol. 18)
1867-1869
9/8
Diary, "To Pend d'Oreille"
1869 February 21
9/9
Diary (old vol. 19)
1869
9/10
Diary, "The Dalles" (old vol. 20)
1870
9/11
Diary (old vol. 21)
1871
9/12
Letter found in above volume
1871
9/13
Diary of trip to the mountains and to Gale Creek
1873
3/1
Diary (old vol. 22)
1873
9/14
Diary, including Masonic temple notations (old vol. 23)
1875
9/15
Diary (old vol. 24)
1876
9/16
Diary (old vol. 25)
1878
9/17
Diary, Portland to Lewiston, Idaho
1878 June 28-July 4
9/18
Diary (old vol. 26)
1879
9/19
Diary, Astoria, Pend Oreille, Salem
1879; 1881; 1903
9/20
Diary (old vol. 27)
Contains diary of trip from Portland to Victoria, B.C., 1882; voyage from Portland to San Francisco, 1880; accounts; notes.
1880-1882
9/21
Diary (old vol. 11)
1880
9/22
Diary (old vol. 28)
1882
9/23
Diary (old vol. 29)
1883
9/24
Diary (old vol. 30)
1884
10/1
Diary (old vol. 31)
1885
10/2
Diary (old vol. 52)
1886
10/3
Diary (old vol. 33)
1887
10/4
Diary, "To the Oknagon,"
1886 October 1; 1887 June 7-26
10/5
Diary, "Trip to Swauk mines, Kittitas Co. Wash Territory" (old vol. 63)
1887 August
3/2
Diary (old vol. 65), trip to Cascade Tunnel
1887
10/6
Diary (old vol. 34)
1888
10/7
Diary (old vol. 35)
1889
10/8
Diary (old vol. 36)
1890
10/9
Diary (old vol. 37)
1891
10/10
Diary (old vol. 38)
1892
10/11
Diary (old vol. 39)
1894
3/3
Daily journal
1895
10/12
Diary, Lewis River (old vol. 66)
1896
3/4
Diary (old vol. 41)
1896
10/13
Diary (old vol. 42)
1897
10/14
Diary, Portland to Seattle, Astoria, and Ocean Park (old vol. 67)
1897 July-1898 September
3/5
Diary (old vol. 43)
1898
3/6
Diary (old vol. 44)
1899
4/1
Daily journal with lists of "old folks" (old vol. 45)
1900
4/2
Diary (old vol. 46)
1901
4/3
Diary (old vol. 47)
1902
10/15
Diary of trip, notes on family members (old vol. 48)
1902
5/1
Diary (old vol. 45)
1903
5/2
Papers found in above volume
1903
5/3
Diary (old vol. 50)
1904
5/4
Diary (old vol. 51)
1905
6/1
Diary (old vol. 52)
1906
6/2
Diary (old vol. 53)
1907
7/1
Diary (old vol. 54)
1908
7/2
Transcript from page of above diary, "Directions to be followed in case of my death"
circa 1908
7/3
Diary (old vol. 55)
1909
7/4
Diary (old vol. 56)
1910
10/16
Diary of visit to New England (old vol. 57)
1910
8/1
Diary
1911
8/2
Diary (old vol. 59)
1912
8/3
Papers found in above volume--Inventory of estate of William H. Pope
1912
10/17
Diary of William H. Pope
1856
10/18
Diary of William H. Pope (old vol. 69)
1857
10/19
Diary, unidentified author, camping trip to southern Washington
circa 1871

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Photography--Oregon--Portland--History.
  • Steamboats--Northwest, Pacific--History.
  • Voyages and travels.
  • Voyages to the Pacific coast.
  • Personal Names :
  • Abrams, Sarah Phelps.
  • Abrams, William Penn.
  • Pope, Lemuel, 1696-1771.
  • Pope, Seth Luen, 1837-1912 (creator)
  • Pope, Seth, 1719-1802.
  • Pope, Seth, 1803-1886. (creator)
  • Pope, William Henwood. (creator)
  • Corporate Names :
  • Congress (Ship : 1831-1865)
  • Nonpareil (brig)
  • Family Names :
  • Pope family.
  • Geographical Names :
  • Columbia County (Or.)--History.
  • Dalles (Or.)--History.
  • Fairhaven (Mass.)--History.
  • Pend Oreille, Lake (Idaho)--History.
  • Portland (Or.)--History.
  • St. Helens (Or.)--History.
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Accounts.
  • Diaries.
  • Ledgers.
  • Logs (records)
  • Photographs.