Myron Eells Papers, 1850-1897

Overview of the Collection

Eells, Myron
Myron Eells Papers
1850-1897 (inclusive)
1.0 folder, (1 folder)
Collection Number
Myron Eells, born in Oregon in 1843, was a missionary at the Skokomish Reservation in Washington, and a trustee of both Pacific University and Whitman College. This collection includes 7 letters by Eells, mostly related to Pacific University, and 3 anti-slavery pamphlets that may have belonged to him.
Pacific University, Archives
Pacific University Archives
2043 College Way
Forest Grove, OR
Telephone: 5033521400
Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Sponsored by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

This collection includes 8 letters, mostly outgoing correspondence written by Myron Eells. The letters mainly concern his scholarly work, and his work as a member of the Pacific University Board of Trustees. Also included in this collection are three anti-slavery pamphlets that probably belonged to Myron Eells.

Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Myron Eells was born to pioneer missionaries Cushing and Myra Eells in 1843. He was born near what is now Spokane, Washington, but the family relocated to the Willamette Valley after the Whitman Massacre in 1849. In 1859, Cushing Eells and his family returned to eastern Washington Territory and founded what is now Whitman College, in honor of Marcus and Narcissa Whitman.

Myron Eells returned to Oregon to attend Pacific University, and graduated in 1866 with his A.M. He then went home to Walla Walla to work on his father’s farm, but after two years went to the Northeast to study for the ministry. He graduated from Hartford Theological Seminary in Connecticut in 1871. He returned to the Northwest upon graduation, and led the Congregational Church in Boise, Idaho for a few years. In 1874, Eells moved to the Skokomish Reservation on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington Territory, and he lived there the rest of his life, working as a missionary and documenting the cultures and languages of the tribes he worked with in Washington. He wrote many articles, books, and pamphlets on the subject, and obtained a large collection of Native American artifacts and books on Northwest history.

Eells served on the Board of Trustees for both Whitman College and his alma mater, Pacific University. At the end of his life, he donated most of his personal papers and his personal library to Whitman College, which provided vital support to the institution his father founded.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Pacific University owns the copyright to some, but not all, of the materials housed in its archives. Copyright for materials authored or otherwise produced as official business of Pacific University is retained by Pacific University and requires its permission for publication. Copyright status for other collection materials varies. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Preferred Citation

Myron Eells Papers, Pacific University Archives, Forest Grove, Oregon.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Location of Collection

Housed in MS File Box 2.

Future Additions

No accruals are expected.

Separated Materials

A collection of copies of letters from Catherine Sager Pringle were separated from these documents and papers. The letters document the correspondence which Catherine Pringle had with H. H. Spalding, Myron Eells and W. H. Gray as she worked to collect information about the Whitman family and the Whitman Massacre. Mrs. Pringle was one of the survivors of the massacre and later settled in Oregon.

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Description Dates
Eells, Cushing and Myron Eells. Letter to Elnathan Davis 15 Nov 1858
Eells, Myron. Letter to George Atkinson
Letter from Myron Eells to George Atkinson, wherein Eells accepts a position on the Tualatin Academy and Pacific University Board of Trustees.
11 Jun 1878
Eells, Myron. Letter to Joseph W. Marsh
Letter from Myron Eells to Joseph W. Marsh, the Pacific University Librarian. Eells writes to request that a book from the Pacific University Library be sent to him, and returns another book that he borrowed.
23 Oct 1879
Eells, Myron. Letter to Joseph W. Marsh
Letter from Myron Eells to Joseph W. Marsh, the Pacific University Librarian. In the letter Myron speaks of his study of various Indian languages. In the letter he specifically mentions several dialects, including the Twana/Skokomish, Clallam, Chewaukum [Chiwaukum], Niskwalli [Nisqually], Chehalis, and Puyallup dialects.
28 Sep 1880
Eells, Myron. Letter to George Atkinson
Letter from Myron Eells to Dr. George H. Atkinson. He writes to Atkinson about the sickness that is going around on the Skokomish Reservation, where Eells lived and worked for many years.
6 Dec 1881
Eells, Myron. Letter to Joseph W. Marsh
Letter from Myron Eells to Joseph W. Marsh, the Pacific University Librarian. Eells writes to Marsh about the budget crisis at the school, and the various solutions that were presented to the Board of Trustees. He also discusses the Pacific University Library collection.
Eells, Myron. Note to unidentified recipient Undated
Ellis, Mary. Letter to Myron Eells
Letter from Mary Ellis, the widow of Pacific University President Jacob Ellis, to Myron Eells. She writes to send him a photo of her husband, which he had requested in an earlier letter to her. Mrs. Ellis also makes note of the death of Mary Richardson Walker in the letter; Mrs. Walker died in Forest Grove on December, 5, 1897.
17 Dec 1897
"The God of the Bible Against Slavery"
Small pamphlet entitled "The God of the Bible Against Slavery," written by Reverend Charles Beecher for the American Anti-Slavery Society in 1855. This item may have belonged to Myron Eells.
"Speech of the Hon. Thaddeus Stevens, of Pennsylvania, on the Abolition of Slavery"
This pamphlet may have belonged to Myron Eells.
"Speech on the Slavery Resolutions, delivered in the General Assembly with met in Detriot in May last, by Joseph C. Stiles."
This item belonged to a member of the Eells family.

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Pacific University
  • Slavery--United States--Controversial literature
  • Universities and colleges--Oregon

Form or Genre Terms

  • Correspondence