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Oliver Cromwell Applegate papers

Identifier: Ax 005

Scope and Contents note

The Oliver Cromwell Applegate papers consist mainly of correspondence, with some miscellaneous bills, newspaper clippings, pension papers, documents and diaries.

The Correspondence is housed in Boxes 1–16. It is largely with various members of the ubiquitous Applegate clan, and is filled with local references, social and political. During the Modoc War Applegate carried on both official and unofficial correspondence. Major correspondents include: Lindsay Applegate, Elisha Applegate, Lucien B. Applegate, Robert S. Applegate, Sallie Applegate, Samuel E. May, Amos Rogers, Ivan D. Applegate, Samuel A. Clarke, Alfred B. Meacham, Jesse Applegate, Frances Fuller Victor, Seth R. Hammer, Binger Hermann, Eva Emery Dye, Will G. Steel, Davis Moses. A minor diary of Frank Applegate, 1868, is with the papers.

Bills and Receipts are stored in the Folder 1 of Box 17.

Miscellaneous Papers are filed in Box 17, Folders 2–7.

Diaries and Journals, including a diary of Frank Applegate, are housed in Folders 8 and 9 of Box 17, and Folders 1–4 of Box 18.

Newspaper Clippings relating to Oregon, the Applegate family and Applegate genealogy are stored in Folders 5–8 of Box 18.

The Pension Papers section includes correspondence and Senate bills as well as the cases of individual persons. It is housed in Boxes 19–23.

Subject Files, housed in Boxes 24–26, contain an assortment of documents relating to Cromwell’s activities, including the Commercial Club and the Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.), and papers relating to Indian matters (such as the Indian Census), the Klamath Agency and the Modoc War.

The photographs series contains a few images of portrais.


  • 1841-1938


Conditions Governing Access note

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.

Conditions Governing Use note

Property rights reside with Special Collections and 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 and University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Biographical/Historical note

Oliver Cromwell Applegate was born in Oregon in 1845 to Lindsay and Elizabeth Applegate. He began his career in 1865 by assisting his father, who was subagent of the Indian agency at Ft. Klamath. During the winter months young Applegate taught in Ashland. In 1867 the governor of Oregon asked Applegate, who had become a captain in the Oregon Volunteer Militia, to lead a new militia of Indians, the “Axe and Rifle Company,” to protect wagon trains and build a road to the Warm Springs Reservation. He became subagent at Yainax in 1871, where he remained until the outbreak of the Modoc War. During the Modoc War he served as a scout and an interpreter, and served on the Peace Commission that was proposed by his father.

After the Modoc War Applegate left the Indian Service and returned to ranching. In 1873, he became a U.S. Commissioner with local jurisdiction over crimes committed against federal law. In 1898 Applegate was appointed Klamath Indian Agent, and although he resigned in 1905, he continued to work with the federal government on Indian issues such as the Grande Ronde tribal status challenge. During this time he also established a real estate business. In his later years he was recognized as a pioneer figure, and was often consulted by historians and writers of western fiction. Applegate died in Oregon in 1938.


13 linear feet (27 containers)

Language of Materials



Oliver Cromwell Applegate (1845-1938), the son of Lindsay and Elizabeth Applegate (Applegate Trail pioneers), spent his career working with Oregon Indians. He was a subagent with the Indian Service at Yainax, and during the Modoc War he served as an interpreter and a scout. In 1873, he became a U.S. Commissioner, and in 1898 was appointed Klamath Indian Agent. After his resignation in 1905 he continued to work with the federal government on Indian issues such as the Grande Ronde tribal status challenge. The Oliver Cromwell Applegate papers consist mainly of Applegate family correspondence, with some miscellaneous bills, newspaper clippings, pension papers, documents, journals and the 1868 diary of Frank Applegate.

Arrangement note

Collection is organized into the following series: CorrespondenceBills and ReceiptsMiscellaneous PapersDiaries and JournalsNewspaper ClippingsPension PapersSubject FilesPhotographs

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Gift of Oliver Cromwell Applegate, Jr. in 1961.

Processing Information

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.

Guide to the Oliver Cromwell Applegate papers
Complete Description
Finding aid prepared by Rose M. Smith
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.
Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives Repository

1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR 97403-1299 USA