Early Oregon census and tax records, 1842-1880  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Early Oregon census and tax records
1842-1880 (inclusive)
0.5 cubic feet, (1 document box and 2 oversize folders)
Collection Number
Mss 1
An artificial collection consisting of early census and tax records from the Oregon Provisional and Territorial Government and early Oregon statehood. Records date from 1842 to 1880.
Oregon Historical Society Research Library
1200 SW Park Avenue
Portland, OR
Telephone: 503-306-5240
Fax: 503-219-2040
Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

The Provisional Government of Oregon was formally established in 1843 to provide a legal system for settlers in the Oregon Country. The Provisional Government covered a region that includes parts of present-day Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. The Oregon Territory was created in 1848 following the signing of the Oregon Treaty by the U.S. and Britain in 1846, which established U.S. sovereignty over Oregon Country below the 49th parallel. The state of Oregon, which was formed out of the southwestern portion of Oregon Territory, joined the union on February 14, 1859.

Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Joseph Meek, Elijah White, and Charles Wells were among those who gathered census information prior to Oregon's statehood. Joseph Meek was a nineteenth-century fur trapper, politician, and law enforcement official in the Oregon Country and Oregon Territory of the United States. Elijah White was a doctor, missionary, and agent for the federal government in Oregon Country. Charles Wells was a surveyor and assessor in Benton County, Oregon Territory, in the 1850s.

Other Descriptive InformationReturn to Top

Collection was titled "Oregon census records" prior to 2020.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

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; an 1849 census of males over the age of 21; Jackson County census rolls, circa 1854-1855 and 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.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Alternative Forms Available

Selected records from 1854 to 1870 are viewable online in OHS Digital Collections.

Alternative Forms Available

Access copies of Mss 1 are also available on microfilm at the Oregon Historical Society Research Library.

Preferred Citation

Early Oregon census and tax records, Mss 1, Oregon Historical Society Research Library.

Restrictions on Use

The Oregon Historical Society owns the materials in the Research Library and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. The Society does not necessarily hold copyright to all materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from copyright owners.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
1 1 First census of Oregon as taken by Joseph L. Meek (Photostat) 1845
1 2 First census of Oregon as taken by Joseph L. Meek for Yamhill County (Typescript) 1845
1 3 Names of males over 21 years 1849
1 4 Elijah White's census of Oregon (photocopy) 1842
1 5 Elijah White's census of Oregon 1842
1 6 Enumeration of the inhabitants of Benton County Oregon Territory as taken by Charles Wells (typescript) 1854
1 7 Census report for Butte County, California (typescript) 1850
1 8 Census report for Butte County, California (typescript) 1850
1 9 Census report for Calavaras County, California (typescript) 1850
1 10 Schedule of free inhabitants in Coquille Precinct in the county of Coos in Oregon (typescript) 1860
1 11 Jackson County census roll circa 1854
1 12 Jackson County census roll 1855
1 13 Jackson County census roll 1858
1 14 Schedule of population, Eaton Precinct, Wasco County, Oregon (typescript) 1880
1 15 Washington County census roll 1856
OS B1 1 Washington County tax roll 1852
OS B1 2 Washington County census roll (photostat) 1850
OS B1 2 Agricultural census for Clackamas County 1870

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Geographical Names :
  • Benton County (Or.)--Census, 1854
  • Butte County (Calif.)--Census, 1850
  • Calaveras County (Calif.)--Census, 1850
  • Coos County (Or.)--Census, 1860
  • Jackson County (Or.)--Census
  • Oregon--Census
  • Wasco County (Or.)--Census, 1880
  • Washington County (Or.)--Census, 1856
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • census records
  • Other Creators :
    • Personal Names :
    • Meek, Joseph Lafayette, 1810-1875 (creator)
    • Wells, Charles (creator)
    • White, Elijah, 1806-1879 (creator)