California Native History Contexts

In recent months I have been delving into records of the California Superintendency. I have studied several California tribes in the past, namely the Tolowa and Shasta tribes, and my master’s paper was about the Tolowa Fish Camp at Indian beach. I have not taken the time previously for much more reading about California Natives because I know its a big state with a complex history. I have had my hand full with the 60 tribes of western Oregon. But going through federal microfilm for the California Superintendency, from the beginnings of United States Indian affairs is quite instructive. The … Continue reading California Native History Contexts

Oregon Tribal Newspapers in the Public Sphere

The last eight years have seen huge growth in the availability of Oregon’s Newspapers in a digital format. The Project Historic Oregon Newspapers offers now dozens of papers from throughout Oregon. Many of the newspapers are not offered in their full run, and the available issues may be patchy, but for historians, these media records from the 19th and early 20th centuries are invaluable. The Historic Oregon Newspaper site was created by and is operated by the University of Oregon Library’s Oregon Digital Newspaper Program, and offers a fully searchable database. I have used the site on many of my research … Continue reading Oregon Tribal Newspapers in the Public Sphere

Beel Fern Letter of 1882: From The SWORP Collection

This is a letter from Beel Fern, son of Chief Halo, who was of the Yoncalla Kalapuyans, a tribe of the Umpqua Valley. He may have as well been of the upper Umpqua tribe due to intermarriage between tribes that was common in Oregon. It was common on the reservation to simplify tribal ancestry to the river valley where they originated from.  (Interestingly, if he stated his name as “Beel”, would the scribe compose B.L.,  or did he write the letter and write the abbreviation of his name as B.L.?) Beel and his family lived for decades on the Applegate … Continue reading Beel Fern Letter of 1882: From The SWORP Collection

Digital Collections at University of Wisconsin

An visitor suggested that I check out the digital collections at the University of Wisconsin. There, I found the full range of Indian Affairs reports all fully downloadable. As I had some spaces in my collection, I began downloading those most relevant. The 1852 and 1855 Indian Affairs reports were first. I then began working on the 1879 and later reports. Interesting that the data is much more detailed for these later years. The above Oregon population reports show the church missions assigned to each reservation, tribes assigned, acreage of the reservations and the federal acts and treaties associated. … Continue reading Digital Collections at University of Wisconsin

20 Years of the Southwest Oregon Research Project

  Southwest Oregon Research Projects & The Archival Collection In 1995, I attended an event that would impact me for many years. The event was a potlatch held by the Coquille tribe and the University of Oregon. There was given away copies of some 50,000 pages of information collected from the Smithsonian Institution to the Tribes of Oregon. It was amazing to see all of these national figures in anthropology and the university and local tribes attend and receive their gifts. I did not known much about the project then, nor did I view the collection. It wasn’t until 1997 … Continue reading 20 Years of the Southwest Oregon Research Project