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Medorem Crawford papers

Identifier: Ax 129

Scope and Contents

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.


  • 1842-1891


Conditions Governing Access

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

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

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.


1.5 linear feet (3 containers)

Language of Materials



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.


The collection is organized into the following series:

Diaires of Medorem Crawford


Reports and Financial Papers

Other Family Diaries


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 Medorem Crawford papers
Complete Description
Finding aid prepared by Vida Germano
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