Scope and Contents
The Walker Family Papers (WA MSS 501) consist of drafts or copies of
letters written by Elkanah Walker during the years 1839-54. Many of the
letters are unsigned and unfinished. The collection also includes letters
written to Elkanah and Mary Richardson Walker and a number of family papers.
Among the papers is a typewritten copy of a diary of Mary Richardson Walker,
covering the period June 10-December 31, 1838, as well as material concerning
the Columbia Maternal Association. The latter consists of the Association's
Constitution and minutes for the period September 3, 1838-June, 1842. The
Constitution is written in a careful, copperplate hand, possibly Mary
Richardson Walker's, and is evidently the Constitution as drawn up at the
first meeting, when Mrs. Spalding was elected president, Mrs. Walker
vice-president, and Mrs. Gray recording secretary. It is followed by the
minutes of the first meeting, September 3, 1838, in Mrs. Walker's hand, and
the records of the meetings she attended through August 26, 1840, and an
account of the general meeting of June, 1842.
The manuscripts cover the foundation and history of the Oregon Mission; the relations with other religious denominations; the overland emigrations; the administration of Indian affairs and work among the Indians; Marcus Whitman and the purpose of his journey of 1843—1844; the Whitman Massacre, 1847; the establishment of the Lapwai Press; and the final settlement of the Territory.
In all, there are 576 pages in the Walker Family Papers.
- 1839 - 1854
Conditions Governing Access
The materials are open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
The Walker Family papers collection is the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.
Language of Materials
Elkanah Walker, 1805-1877
The Rev. Elkanah Walker and Cushing Eells, with their wives, were sent to Oregon in 1838 by the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions to reinforce the Mission established in 1836 by Dr. Marcus Whitman, the Rev. H. H. Spalding and their wives, and W. H. Gray. They were joined in New York by the Rev. and Mrs. Asa Bowen Smith, and in Cincinnati by Cornelius Rogers, and reached Waiilatpu August 29.
Collections are processed to a variety of levels, depending on the work necessary to make them usable, their perceived research value, the availability of staff, competing priorities, and whether or not further accruals are expected. The library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections [as they are acquired], and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.
This finding aid, created before the advent of computer-generated files, has been converted into a ASCII data file by means of scanning and Optical Character Recognition software. While attempts have been made to retain the complete information from the original document a number of format changes have been made to present the structure of this archive in accordance with current practice.
This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.
- American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions
- Greene, David
- Hudson's Bay Company
- Missionaries -- Oregon
- Missions -- Oregon
- Nez Percé Indians -- Missions
- Nez Percé language -- Dictionaries
- Oregon -- History
- Salish Indians -- Missions
- Salish language -- Glossaries, vocabularies, etc.
- Walker, Elkanah, 1805-1877
- Walker, Mary Richardson, 1811-1897
- Guide to the Walker Family Papers
- In Progress
- by Beinecke staff
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.
Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository
P. O. Box 208330
New Haven CT 06520-8330 US
121 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511
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