Gordon Greenleaf Mcnab papers, 1841-1974  PDF  XML

Overview of the Collection

McNab, Gordon Greenleaf.
Gordon Greenleaf Mcnab papers
1841-1974 (inclusive)
.45 cubic feet (1 document case)
Collection Number
Papers of a newspaper reporter and employee of the Associated Press in Portland, Oregon. Contains materials regarding John F. Kennedy's presidential campaign, 1959-1960; wire service printouts regarding the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, 1941; Margaret Raz Graf's reminiscences of her childhood in Hillsdale, Oregon; and typed transcriptions of the diary and letters of Oregon pioneer Clark W. Thompson, 1841-1853.
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

Born in 1906, Gordon Greenleaf Mcnab started in the newspaper business as an apprentice printer in 1919. He graduated from the University of Iowa in 1927, and after stints in Iowa, Minnesota and Alaska, he came to Oregon, where he joined the Oregon Journal staff in Portland in 1937. In 1941 he moved to the Portland office of the Associated Press, and after service in the U.S. Army Air Corps in Aleutian Islands, he continued with the AP until his retirement in 1971. His wife was Molly Thompson, who had been the society editor of the Journal when Mcnab was a reporter on the paper.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The collection includes research notes, reports to the Associated Press, and dispatches concerning John F. Kennedy's presidential campaign, 1959-1960. Also included are wire service printouts of December 8, 1941, pertaining to the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor; Margaret Raz Graf's reminiscences of Hillsdale, Oregon, 1974 titled "Hillsdale : an area of Hills and Dales"; and typed transcriptions of a diary and letters of pioneer Clark W. Thompson.

Thompson's diary (1841-1842) chronicles his school days in Illinois. His letters describe his overland trek from Rockford, Illinois (April 1, 1850) to Nevada City, California (August 19, 1850), as well as gold mining and other employment in California. The letters were written daily and mailed in sections during his trip. Transcriptions were made from microfilm of original records in the Library of Congress and presented to Molly Thompson Mcnab by her brother, Clark W. Thompson.

The collection includes materials formerly designated Mss2095-1.

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

Gordon Greenleaf Mcnab papers, Mss2095, Oregon Historical Society Research Library

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


The collection is arranged in one series.

Custodial History

The transcribed diary and letters of Clark W. Thompson were a gift to Mrs. Molly Thompson Mcnab, wife of Gordon Mcnab, by her brother, Clark Thompson.

Acquisition Information

Gifts of Gordon Greenleaf Mcnab, 1974 and 1992.

Processing Note

Includes materials formerly designated Mss2095.


Oregon Journal (Portland, Or.), March 1, 1971, p. 11.

Location of Originals

Originals of Clark W. Thompson's letters are in the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
1-3 John F. Kennedy election materials 1959
4 John F. Kennedy's visit to Portland 1960
5 Primary election materials 1960
6 Margaret Raz Graf, "Hillsdale : an area of hills and dales" 1974
7 World War II ephemera 1944-1948
8 Wire service printouts on Pearl Harbor attack 1941
9 Diary and letters of Clark W. Thompson (bound photocopy of typescript) 1841-1853

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Elections--Oregon--History.
  • Frontier and pioneer life--California.
  • Gold mines and mining--California.
  • Gold miners--California--Correspondence.
  • Overland journeys to the Pacific.
  • Students--Illinois--Diaries.
  • World War, 1939-1945.

Personal Names

  • Graf, Margaret Raz. (creator)
  • Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963.
  • Mcnab, Gordon Greenleaf. (creator)
  • Thompson, Clark W.--Correspondence. (creator)
  • Thompson, Clark W.--Diaries. (creator)

Corporate Names

  • Associated Press.

Geographical Names

  • California National Historic Trail.
  • California--Gold discoveries.
  • Hillsdale (Or.)--History.
  • West (U.S.)--Description and travel.
  • West (U.S.)--History--1848-1860.

Form or Genre Terms

  • Diaries.
  • Letters (correspondence).