Medorem Crawford papers, 1842-1891  PDF  XML

Overview of the Collection

Crawford, Medorem
Medorem Crawford papers
1842-1891 (inclusive)
1.5 linear feet, (3 containers)
Collection Number
Ax 129
Medorem Crawford helped lead emigrants overland to the Pacific Northwest in the early 1860s. From 1864 to 1869 he was Oregon collector of internal revenue, and from 1871 to 1875 he served as appraiser of customs. The collection is comprised of diaries, correspondence and account books. Some of the diaries describe overland journeys. The major part of the collection are the diaries for 1859-1861, 1863, 1864, 1869-1871, 1876-1877, 1885-1886.
University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives.
UO Libraries--SCUA
1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR
Telephone: 541-346-3068
Access Restrictions

Collection is open to the public.

Collection must be used in Special Collections & University Archives Reading Room.

Additional Reference Guides
See the Current Collection Guide for detailed description and requesting options.
Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Historical NoteReturn to Top

Medorem Crawford came to Oregon in 1842 from Havana, New York. He was a provisional government legislator, 1847-1849, a state legislator, 1860, and farmed near Dayton. In 1861, 1862, and 1863 he was in command of emigrant trains overland to the Pacific Northwest, the last two years as an Army captain. From 1864 to 1869 he was Oregon collector of internal revenue, and from 1871 to 1875 he served as appraiser of customs.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The Crawford papers include Medorem Crawford diaries for 1859-1861, 1863, 1864, 1869-1871, 1876-1877, 1885-1886. Also included are the diaries of Medorem Crawford, Jr., 1861, and Leroy Crawford, 1862. The diaries for 1861 and 1863 describe Crawford’s overland expeditions. The 1864 diary describes a trip by stage from Atchison, Kansas to Oregon, via Marysville, California.

A series of Medorem Crawford account books includes a Methodist Mission store account, 1843-1844, accounts of the O’Neil and Crawford ferry, 1844, a store ledger, 1845-1847, and a Clackamas Mill account, 1849-1850.

Expedition accounts consist of vouchers for the 1862 escort and a draft report of overland escort duty in 1864 by Leroy Crawford.

The correspondence includes 10 letters of Medorem Crawford, and 34 letters from his father, S. G. Crawford, from Havana, New York. Other correspondents are: John Crawford, Sidney moss, James W. Nesmith, Ronald Crawford, John L. Morrison, Jesse Applegate, J. Quinn Thornton, and David Carter. A letterpress book contains Medorem Crawford’s outgoing correspondence, 1866-1879.

Medorem Crawford’s 1842 overland journal has not been located. It was published, probably from the copy now in the Western Americana Collection at Yale University, as vol. 1, no. 1 of the Sources of the History of Oregon (Eugene, Oregon, 1897). The report of the 1862 expedition was published as Senate Exec. Doc. 17, 37th Congress, 3rd Sess. (1863).

The Western Americana Collection, Yale University, has a collection of Crawford papers, some of which appear to be official reports based on Crawford diaries. The Medorem Crawford papers were sold piece-meal by a book dealer, and it is probable that other diaries and letters were acquired by libraries and private collectors. A manuscript calendar of the letters is in the library.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Property rights reside with Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections & University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Archival may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws and other regulations.

Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g. a cause of action for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of Oregon assumes no responsibility.

If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Medorem Crawford Papers, Ax 129, Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, Oregon.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


The collection is organized into the following series:

Diaires of Medorem Crawford


Reports and Financial Papers

Other Family Diaries


Processing Note

Collection processed by staff.

This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

InventoryReturn to Top

Container(s): Box 1, Folder 1

Diaries of Medorem CrawfordReturn to Top

Container(s): Box 1

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
1 2
1859; 1860; 1861
1 3
1863 1864 1869-1870
1 4
1870-1871 1873-1879 1885-1886
1 4a
Journal and accounts, 1842 trip from Havana, New York to Willamette Falls, Oregon

CorrespondenceReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
1 5
1803, 1842-1849
2 1
2 2
2 3
Letterpress book

Reports and Financial DocumentsReturn to Top

Container(s) Description
Box Folder
3 1
Expedition reports and accounts
3 2
Bills, receipts, etc.
3 3
Account books and ledgers

Other Family DiariesReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
3 4
Diary of Medorem Crawford, Jr.
3 4
Diary of Leroy Crawford

MicrofilmReturn to Top

Container(s) Description
Box Folder
3 5
Reel 1: Records of the Office of Quartermaster General (Record Group 92, National Archives)
3 6
Reel 2: Five journals of Medorem Crawford (portions only); two letters (January 1885) to Elwood Evans

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Oregon National Historic Trail
  • Oregon--History--1859-
  • Oregon--History--to 1859
  • Overland journeys to the Pacific
  • Pioneers--West (U.S.)--Diaries
  • Wagon trains

Personal Names

  • Crawford, Leroy--Diaries
  • Crawford, Medorem, 1819-1891--Archives
  • Crawford, Medorem, 1819-1891--Diaries

Form or Genre Terms

  • Diaries
  • Journals (accounts)