Jesse A. Applegate letter, October 31, 1964  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Applegate, Jesse A., 1811-1888
Jesse A. Applegate letter
October 31, 1964
0.1 linear feet, (1 folder)
Collection Number
SFM 014
Jesse Applegate was an Oregon pioneer, politician, and helped establish the Applegate Trail. Collection includes 1 letter from Jesse Applegate to unidentified recipient Charley [his brother?] discussing his reasons for disinheriting his daughter, and mentioning the coming national election.
University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives.
UO Libraries--SCUA
1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR
Telephone: 541-346-3068
Access Restrictions

Collection is open to the public.

Collection must be used in Special Collections & University Archives Reading Room.


Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Collection includes one, copied letter from Jesse Applegate to unidentified recipient Charley [his brother?] discussing his reasons for disinheriting his daughter, and mentioning the coming national election.

Historical NoteReturn to Top

Jesse Applegate was born in Kentucky and attended the Rock Creek Seminary in Illinois. He later worked as a school teacher and a clerk before serving as deputy surveyor to the Missouri surveyor general. In 1832 he married Cynthia Ann Parker who became mother to their 13 children. Applegate's brothers, Charles and Lindsay, and their families joined Jesse and his family on the Oregon Trail in what was known as the "Great Migration" of 1843. Jesse led a company of immigrants across the plains and mountains to The Dalles on the Columbia River in Oregon. The next year he started a farm in what is now western Polk County. He also built a mill and worked as a surveyor, including the 1844 survey of the Oregon City townsite.

Applegate played a key part in opening the South Road to Oregon that is also known as the Applegate Trail (Scott-Applegate Trail). The route started at Fort Hall in present day Idaho and followed the Humboldt River before crossing the Klamath Basin. Advocates saw it as a way to encourage settlement in southern Oregon and the upper Willamette Valley. The route had fewer obstacles for wagons than the northern route to the Willamette Valley but offered its own set of problems.

Oregon politics attracted Applegate's attention beginning in 1845 with his service in the provisional government where he helped in the complete revision of the government that increased its influence in the Oregon Country. He later helped shape the development of the Oregon Territory as part of the United States and worked to elect Abraham Lincoln president.

Applegate settled on a land claim in the Umpqua Valley in 1849 in a place he called Yoncalla after the local Indian tribe. There he farmed and raised cattle. A student and writer, Applegate maintained a large library in his house. He continued his influence over public issues and gained the title "Sage of Yoncalla" from his friends.

Source: Oregon Blue Book

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Property rights reside with Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections & University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

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Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g. a cause of action for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of Oregon assumes no responsibility.

If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Jesse A. Applegate letter, SFM 014, Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, Oregon.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Personal Names :
  • Applegate, Jesse A., 1811-1888--Correspondence
  • Geographical Names :
  • Oregon--History