Joel Palmer (1810-1881) began his political career in Indiana, where he served as a state legislator until he came to Oregon in 1847. Shortly after his arrival, Palmer became Superintendent of Indian Affairs, a post he held until 1857. He also served as an Oregon state representative and senator, and was a losing candidate in the 1870 governor's race. The Joel Palmer Papers comprise correspondence, official records of the Oregon Superintendency, U.S. Office of Indian Affairs, documents relating to the Siletz Indian Reservation, photographs, and miscellaneous papers. The collection includes a notebook documenting the 1847 publication of Palmer's Journal of Travels over the Rocky Mountains, his account of his 1845 journey to Oregon.