Adair family reminiscences, 1931  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Adair family
Adair family reminiscences
0.1 linear feet, (1 folder)
Collection Number
CB Ad11
Collection comprises photocopied typescripts of reminiscences by and about Mary Ann Dickinson Adair and John Adair. John Adair and his family traveled to Oregon via Panama and California after President Polk appointed him Collector of Customs in Astoria. The texts concern life in Kentucky and Oregon and include family information and transcriptions of archival records. Texts of letters written by Mrs. Adair during the journey are also included.
University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives.
UO Libraries--SPC, 1299
University of Oregon
Eugene OR
Telephone: 541-346-3068
Fax: 541-346-3485
Access Restrictions

Collection is open to the public.

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

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

Historical NoteReturn to Top

John Adair was born in White Hall, Kentucky in 1808, the youngest of eleven children of General John Adair (Senior) and Anna Palmer Adair. When the younger John Adair was a young boy, his father served as Governor of Kentucky. He married Ann C. Dickinson in 1834 and the couple would have thirteen children over the next twenty-two years. Later, John Adair decided to free all of his slaves and move his family to Indiana. They suffered the loss of three of their children while in Indiana and left the state in 1848. In that year President Polk appointed John to the post of Customs Collector in the Port of Astoria, Oregon. The family sailed from New Orleans in December of 1848 on a lengthy journey to Oregon that took them, via Panama, to San Francisco. From San Francisco they sailed to the mouth of the Columbia River. The family moved into a permanent home in 1849 and Adair retained his post through the administrations of Polk, Taylor, Pierce and Buchanan. He died in April of 1888. Mary Ann Adair died in May 1893. The information in this typescript was collected primarily through the efforts of Laura P. Barker, the twelfth child of John and Mary Ann Adair.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The typescript contains 180 pages and is divided into several sections dealing with particular aspects of the Adair family history. These include dictated reminiscences of John and Mary Ann Adair, biographical information and letters written by Mrs. Adair while en route to Astoria by sea in 1848, and from Astoria 1849-1852.

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.

Archival material may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws and other regulations.

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], Adair Family Reminiscences, CB Ad11, Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, Oregon.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Description Dates
Reminiscences September 23, 1931

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Customs administration--Officials and employees
  • Personal Names :
  • Adair, John--Archives
  • Adair, Mary Ann
  • Barker, Laura P.
  • Family Names :
  • Adair family
  • Geographical Names :
  • Astoria (OR)--History--19th Century
  • Kentucky--History--1792-1865
  • Oregon--History--To 1859
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Letters
  • Reminiscences