Adair family reminiscences , 1931

Overview of the Collection

Adair family
Adair family reminiscences
0.1 linear feet, (1 container)  :  1 folder
Collection Number
CB Ad11
Collection comprises photocopied typescripts of reminiscences by and about Mary Ann Dickinson Adair and John Adair. John Adair and his family traveled to Oregon via Panama and California after President Polk appointed him Collector of Customs in Astoria. The texts concern life in Kentucky and Oregon and include family information and transcriptions of archival records. Texts of letters written by Mrs. Adair during the journey are also included.
University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives
UO Libraries--SCUA
1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR
Telephone: 5413463068
Access Restrictions

Collection is open to the public. Collection must be used in Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room. Collection or parts of collection may be stored offsite. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives in advance of your visit to allow for transportation time.

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

Historical NoteReturn to Top

John Adair was born in White Hall, Kentucky in 1808, the youngest of eleven children of General John Adair (Senior) and Anna Palmer Adair. When the younger John Adair was a young boy, his father served as Governor of Kentucky. He married Ann C. Dickinson in 1834 and the couple would have thirteen children over the next twenty-two years. Later, John Adair decided to free all of his slaves and move his family to Indiana. They suffered the loss of three of their children while in Indiana and left the state in 1848. In that year President Polk appointed John to the post of Customs Collector in the Port of Astoria, Oregon. The family sailed from New Orleans in December of 1848 on a lengthy journey to Oregon that took them, via Panama, to San Francisco. From San Francisco they sailed to the mouth of the Columbia River. The family moved into a permanent home in 1849 and Adair retained his post through the administrations of Polk, Taylor, Pierce and Buchanan. He died in April of 1888. Mary Ann Adair died in May 1893. The information in this typescript was collected primarily through the efforts of Laura P. Barker, the twelfth child of John and Mary Ann Adair.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The typescript contains 180 pages and is divided into several sections dealing with particular aspects of the Adair family history. These include dictated reminiscences of John and Mary Ann Adair, biographical information and letters written by Mrs. Adair while en route to Astoria by sea in 1848, and from Astoria 1849-1852.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Customs administration--Officials and employees

Personal Names

  • Adair, John, 1808-1888
  • Adair, Mary Ann
  • Barker, Laura P.

Geographical Names

  • Astoria (Or.)--History--19th century
  • Kentucky--History--1792-1865
  • Oregon Territory--History

Form or Genre Terms

  • Letters
  • Reminiscences