John Webster Perit Huntington papers, 1855-1869  PDF  XML

Overview of the Collection

Huntington, John Webster Perit, 1831-1869
John Webster Perit Huntington papers
1855-1869 (inclusive)
.45 cubic feet (1 document case)
Collection Number
Mss 759
Papers of a Superintendent of Indian Affairs in Oregon in the mid-19th century. Includes correspondence and financial records relating to the Indian Affairs post. Subjects include the drowning of William Logan, the Dick Johnson Indian murder, Oregon Republican politics, and Republican convention news.
Oregon Historical Society Research Library
1200 SW Park Avenue
Portland, OR
Telephone: 503-306-5240
Fax: 503-219-2040
Access Restrictions

The collection is open to the public.

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

Historical NoteReturn to Top

John Webster Perit Huntington, publisher, lawyer, teacher, farmer and Superintendent of Indian Affairs in Oregon, was born on July 5, 1831 in Norwich, Connecticut. A versatile and well educated young man, he joined a group of men who bought a ship, loaded it with mining equipment and sailed around Cape Horn to San Francisco in 1850. Once in California they sold the ship and mining equipment and dispersed. Huntington traveled to Yoncalla, Umpqua County (now Douglas County), Oregon, where he took a land claim in Hayhurst Valley in 1852.

In 1857 Huntington met and married Mary Applegate, daughter of Charles Applegate. Through the Applegate connection, Huntington became associated with the Republican Party and served as an Oregon state legislator in 1860. Because of his work in the Republican Party in Oregon, he was brought to the attention of President Abraham Lincoln and appointed as the Superintendent of Indian Affairs in Oregon.

Under Huntington's tenure as Superintendent, treaties were signed with various Indian tribes including the Snake and Warm Springs tribes. Due to his efficiency and duty to the Union, President Andrew Johnson appointed him to a second term in 1867. This last term ended in the Spring of 1869 and on June 3, he unexpectedly died at the age of 37.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The John Webster Perit Huntington papers (1855-1869), consist mainly of correspondence and financial records created during Huntington's term as Superintendent of Indian Affairs in Oregon. The correspondents include: Benjamin Alvord, Jesse Applegate, William Barnhart, B. F. Dowell, George S. Hinsdale, B. N. Huntington, William C. Johnson, William Kelly, John Kelsay, James W. Nesmith, Simeon G. Reed, and Benjamin Simpson, among others.

Subjects of interest include: the drowning of William Logan and the disappearance of $25,000 in Indian Department money, the Dick Johnson Indian murder, Oregon Republican politics and convention news. Other subjects include Huntington's "Unionist" printing and newspaper publishing business, and a political scrapbook with captions by Huntington. There are also various financial records of the Indian Affairs Department and of his several business interests.

This collection will be of use to the historian interested in the Indian Affairs Department, the Warm Springs Indian Treaty and Republican State Politics.

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.

Preferred Citation

John Webster Perit Huntington papers, Mss 759, Oregon Historical Society Research Library.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


The collection is arrange in one series.

Acquisition Information

The origin of the collection is unknown.

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
1/1 Indian Affairs: Sub-Vouchers, bills, checks 1863-1870
1/2 Indian Affairs: Correspondence 1863-1868
1/3 Letters to Huntington, A-Kelley
  • Alvord, Benjamin, April 5, 1864, November 8, 1864
  • Applegate, E. L., July 22, 1868
  • Applegate, Jesse, June 20, 1863, July 4, 1863
  • Applegate, O. C., June 6, no year
  • Backenstos, E. D., December 28, 1865
  • Barnhart, William, March 3, 1863, November 12, 1864, February 27, 1867, May 21, 1868, June 5, 1868
  • Carter, C. M., February 8, 1866
  • Chenoweth, F. S., July 29, 1863
  • Cole, James,, January 3, 1864
  • Corey, Isaac H., November 22, 1865,
  • December 15, 1865
  • Dole, William P., January 28, 1863
  • Dowell, B. F., May 1864
  • Earhart, Rockey P., September 4, 1864
  • Fisher, L. P., July 20, 1867
  • Hill, William Lair, September 3, 1864
  • Hinsdale, George S., April 14, 1864, May 11, 1864
  • Huntington, B. N., February 22, 1863
  • Johnson, William C., April 5, 1864, May 24, 1864, June 3, 1864
  • Kelly, John, November 19, 1863, July 8, 1864
  • Kelly, William, November 1, 1864
1/4 Letters to Huntington, Kelsay-W
  • Kelsay, John, June 19, 1868
  • Ladd and Tilton, May 13, 1865, May 16, 1865, December 19, 1865
  • Logan, William, December 18, 1863, April 12, 1864
  • Luse, H. H., July 25, 1864
  • McBride, John R., May 20, 1864
  • Nesmith, James W., June 20, 1865, March 25, 1866, December 6, 1866, January 27, 1867
  • Reed, Simeon G., March 31, 1868
  • Simpson, B., December 8, 1863, January 3, 1864, January 11, 1864, January 13, 1864, January 21, 1867, February 8, 1869
  • Smith, John, February, 1868, May 13, 1868
  • Taylor, A. G., October 31, 1868
  • Underwood, D. C., January 20, 1867
  • Van Riper, G. B., April 1, 1864
  • Whitson, B. F., April 4, 1864
  • Wygant, Theodore, May 8, 1869
1/5 Depositions on the Logan Affair 1865-1868
1/6 The Richard Evans Land Claim Affair 1866, 1869
1/7 Unionist Printing Co. 1864-1870
1/8 Deed, Last Will and Testament 1860-1866
1/9 Superintendent of Indian Affairs Papers 1863-1870
1/10 Superintendent of Indian Affairs: Financial Records, Bills, Receipts 1864-1874
1/11 Superintendent of Indian Affairs: Checks 1863-1869
1/12 Indian Affairs: Sub-Vouchers 1863-1868
1/13 General Land Claims; includes Dick Johnson land claim paper 1866, undated
1/14 Treaty with the Snake-Shoshone Tribe (original manuscript) December 10, 1868
1/15 Photostatic copy of Warm Springs Indian Treaty 1865-1867
1/16 "Political" Scrapbook
Titled "Life and times of eminent Oregon politicians, beautifully illustrated," these unbound leaves contain pasted in clippings of newspaper illustrations with satirical captions regarding Oregon political figures, including Asahel Bush. Dates probably from 1850s.
1/17 Ephemera
Includes certificate of Appointment of Huntington as Superintendent of Indian Affairs, 1863.

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Indian agents--Oregon--Correspondence
  • Indians of North America--Oregon--Government relations
  • Indians of North America--Oregon--Treaties
  • Indians, treatment of--Oregon
  • Oregon--History--Civil War, 1861-1865
  • Oregon--History--To 1859
  • Oregon--Politics and government--1859-1950
  • Oregon--Politics and government--To 1859

Personal Names

  • Alvord, Benjamin, 1813-1869--Correspondence
  • Applegate, Jesse A., 1811-1888--Correspondence
  • Barnhart, William, ca. 1827-1909--Correspondence
  • Dowell, B. F. (Benjamin Franklin)--Correspondence
  • Hinsdale, George S.--Correspondence
  • Huntington, B. N.--Correspondence
  • Huntington, John Webster Perit, 1831-1869--Correspondence (creator)
  • Johnson, Dick, d. 1858
  • Johnson, William Carey, 1833-1912--Correspondence
  • Kelly, William, 1829-1871--Correspondence
  • Kelsay, John, 1819-1897--Correspondence
  • Nelsmith, James Willis, 1820-1885--Correspondence
  • Reed, Simeon Gannett, 1830-1895--Correspondence
  • Simpson, Benjamin, 1816-1910--Correspondence

Corporate Names

  • Republican Party (Or.)
  • United States. Office of Indian Affairs. Oregon Superintendency--Archives

Form or Genre Terms

  • Checks
  • Depositions
  • Records
  • Scrapbooks