Henry Thomas Cowley Papers, 1871-1917

Overview of the Collection

Cowley, Henry Thomas
Henry Thomas Cowley Papers
1871-1917 (inclusive)
1 container., (.5 linear feet of shelf space.), (115 items.)
Collection Number
Cage 28
Correspondence with the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions and the United States Office of Indian Affairs, reminiscences, legal documents, clippings, and other papers concerning missionary and educational work among the Nez Perce and Spokane Indians, conflicts with the Lapwai Indian Agency, the purchase (1883) and sale (1887) of the Spokane Chronicle, and a successful land suit against the Northern Pacific Railroad Company.
Washington State University Libraries' Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections (MASC)
Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections
Terrell Library Suite 12
Pullman, WA
Telephone: 509-335-6691
Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

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

Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Approximately two-thirds of the collection consists of photocopies of material by and related to Cowley which Clifford M. Drury had collected for his biography of Cowley and had turned over to the Cowley family.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Preferred Citation

[Item Description]. Cage 28, Henry Thomas Cowley Papers. Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries, Pullman, WA.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Location of Originals

The photocopies in this collection are from the files of the Office of Indian Affairs in the National Archives; from the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions on deposit at the Presbyterian Historical Society; as well as some material from other sources.

Acquisition Information

The papers of Henry Thomas Cowley, Indian missionary, were given to the Washington State University Library in 1949 by Mrs. Agnes Cowley Paine, daughter of H.T. Cowley.


This collection of the papers of Henry Thomas Cowley was used by Clifford M. Drury in preparation of his A tepee in his front yard: H.T. Cowley and the founding of Spokane (Portland, Oregon, Binfords & Mort, 1949). The original manuscript material in this collection is cited by Drury as the Paine Collection.

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Series 1: Papers of Henry Thomas CowleyReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Indian Service Correspondence. Correspondents: Guy Haines, H. Clay Wood, John B. Allen, Charles D. Warner, H. Price, G.H. Atkinson, Charles E. Monteith.
9 items.
NPRR Land Suit Papers. Correspondence, circular, summons, affidavits, title abstracts and other legal papers. Correspondents: Henry Villard, William Tecumseh Sherman, C.B. Wright.
11 items.
Spokane Chronicle Papers. Bills of sale and inventories of equipment and supplies.
6 items.
["Concise review of town, 1874 to 1887."] 9 p. typescript, with envelope. Published, with some changes, by N. W. Durham in History of the City of Spokane and Spokane country, Washington, from its earliest settlement to the present time. (Spokane, The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1912. pp. 369-379)
1 item.
ca. 1911
Clippings. Herbert Gaston. "The Back Trail, #6: Interview with Mrs. J. L. Paine," Spokane Chronicle, June 17, 1914. Henry Thomas Cowley. ["Reminiscences," in nine parts, lacking 2, 6, 7] Spokane Chronicle, November-December, 1916.
8 items.
H.T. Cowley, pioneer, dies, Spokane Chronicle.
6 items.

Series 2: Photocopies and transcriptionsReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Records of the Office of Indian Affairs, National Archives. Correspondents: John B. Monteith, Charles E. Monteith, Charles D. Warner, H. T. Cowley.
13 items.
Records of the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions, Presbyterian Historical Society. Correspondents: John C. Lowrie, H.T. Cowley, Edward R. Geary, H.W. Corbett, H.H. Spalding, William J. Monteith, John B. Monteith, George Ainslie.
48 items.
Clippings and other material. Includes the missing parts of Cowley's published reminiscences; clipping of an earlier reminiscence as well as a typescript reminiscence; the Elmer E. Alexander and A. J. Williamson reminiscences, and other papers.
14 items.
Cowley letters to H. H. Spalding
Typed transcriptions; bound volume.

Series 3: Donor FileReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Donor file. Includes preliminary list of the collection.
5 items.

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Indians of North America--Missions--History--Sources

Personal Names

  • Cowley, H. T. (Henry Thomas), 1837-1917 --Archives (creator)
  • Drury, Clifford Merrill, 1897-
  • Paine, Agnes Cowley. waps (donor)

Corporate Names

  • Nez PercĂ© Indians--Missions--History -- Sources
  • Northern Pacific Railroad Company
  • Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. Board of Foreign Missions
  • Spokane Falls chronicle
  • Spokane Indians--Missions--History -- Sources
  • Spokane evening chronicle
  • United States. Bureau of Indian Affairs Lapwai Agency
  • Spokane Falls evening chronicle


  • Missionaries -- Washington (State)--Correspondence