Abigail Scott Duniway papers, 1852-1915

Overview of the Collection

Duniway, Abigail Scott, 1834-1915
Abigail Scott Duniway papers
1852-1915 (inclusive)
1880-1915 (bulk)
1.35 cubic feet (3 document cases, 1 reel microfilm)
Collection Number
Mss 432
A small collection of papers of Abigail Scott Duniway, who was an emigrant to Oregon, an editor, and an advocate of women's suffrage. Includes records of the Oregon State Equal Suffrage Association, records of the Duniway Publishing Company, and copy of a typescript transcription of Duniway's overland diary, 1852.
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.

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

Historical NoteReturn to Top

Abigail Scott was born in Groveland, Illinois, in 1834. One of her brothers, Harvey Scott, would become the editor of the Oregonian newspaper. The Scott family traveled overland to Oregon in 1852, a trip on which Abigail Scott's mother and youngest brother died. The family came first to Oregon City, then settled in Lafayette. Abigail Scott taught school at Eola, and in 1853 she married Benjamin C. Duniway, with whom she had four children. After Benjamin Duniway was incapacitated in an 1862 accident, Abigail Scott Duniway supported her family through teaching and a millinery business in Albany, Oregon. After moving to Portland in 1871, she published and edited The New Northwest and became Oregon's leading advocate of women's suffrage. She moved to Idaho in 1887 and helped to achieve women's voting rights there in 1896. After returning to Oregon, she was instrumental in the passage of Oregon's own women's suffrage bill in 1912. Her writings include the autobiography Path Breaking (1914) and the novel Captain Gray's Company. Duniway died in Portland in 1915.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The collection consists primarily of records of the Duniway Publishing Company and the Oregon State Equal Suffrage Association. The Duniway Publishing records include cash books, mailing books, and advertising ledgers (1880-1886) of the publication The New Northwest. The Oregon State Equal Suffrage Association records include a minute book, membership and account books, constitutions, a small amount of correspondence, and a copy of a letter from Susan B. Anthony regarding the woman's suffrage movement. Also of note in the collection is a copy of a typed transcript of the journal Abigail Scott Duniway kept from April 2, 1852, to September 28, 1852, during her family's overland trek from Illinois to Oregon City, Oregon. The transcript contains an introduction by Leslie M. Scott. A subscription list from the Oregon State Secular Union from 1891 is also included in the collection.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Alternative Forms Available

Selected suffrage-related documents in the Duniway papers are viewable online in OHS Digital Collections.

Alternative Forms Available

Overland diary available in microfilm and a print copy from the microfilm.

Preferred Citation

Abigail Scott Duniway papers, Mss 432, 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


The collection is arranged in the following series: Series A, Duniway Publishing Company records, 1881-1886; Series B, Oregon State Equal Suffrage Association Records, 1872-1915; Series C, General materials and overland journal, 1852-1914.

Acquisition Information

Probably the gift of Clyde Duniway, Library Accession 409.

Related Materials

Additional papers of Abigail Scott Duniway are held at the University of Oregon Special Collections and University Archives, Coll 232B, Eugene, Oregon.


Corning, Howard McKinley, Dictionary of Oregon history (Portland : Binfords and Mort, [c. 1956]), p. 77.

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Series A:  Duniway Publishing Company records, 1881-1886Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
1 1
Advertising book and ledger
1 2
Advertising book and ledger
1 3
Advertising book and ledger
1 4
Advertising book and ledger
1 5
Cash book
1 6
Cash book (cover only)
1 7
Cash book
2 1
Cash book
2 2
Mailing book
2 3
Mailing book
2 4
Mailing book (covers only)
2 5
Mailing book
circa 1883-1886
2 6
Mailing book
2 7
Subscription book
3 1
Subscription book--donated subscriptions for campaign

Series B:  Oregon State Equal Suffrage Association Records, 1872-1915Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
3 2
Record book
3 3
Membership ledger
3 4
Membership book
3 5
Correspondence and general records

Series C:  General materials and overland journal, 1852-1914Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
3 6
Woman's Club--Record book
3 7
Personal accounts and diary
1882; 1887; undated
3 8-9
Overland journal (photocopy from microfilm)
Two additional copies available on microfilm.
3 10
General publications and brochure
3 11
Clippings regarding poems David and Anna Matson
3 12
Oregon State Secular Union subscribers

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Overland journeys to the Pacific
  • Pioneers--Oregon--Diaries
  • Publishers and Publishing--Oregon--Portland--History
  • Suffragists--Oregon
  • Women pioneers--Oregon--Diaries
  • Women--Suffrage--Oregon

Personal Names

  • Anthony, Susan B. (Susan Brownell), 1820-1906
  • Duniway, Abigail Scott, 1834-1915

Corporate Names

  • Duniway Publishing Company
  • Oregon State Equal Suffrage Association
  • Oregon State Secular Union

Geographical Names

  • Oregon National Historic Trail
  • Oregon--Politics and government--1859-1950
  • West (U.S.)--Description and travel
  • West (U.S.)--History--1848-1860

Form or Genre Terms

  • accounts
  • diaries
  • financial records
  • ledgers (account books)
  • minutes (administrative records)

Other Creators

  • Personal Names
    • Scott, Leslie M., 1878-1968 (creator)