Scope and Contents
Cummins shared his interests and prejudices with friends in Eugene, Salem, and Portland. His correspondence is filled with discussions of the merits or demerits of whatever branch of learning excited him at the moment. The letters also contain much gossip, self-searching, and youthful indignation. They include references to Joaquin Miller. Includes 217 letters.
Most of Cummins' own letters are to young women; he was apparently able to retrieve the letters when affections cooled.
Major correspondents include his brother, John, a lawyer in Lafayette, Oregon, Charles Partridge, James M. Gale, Charles Lafollett, J. L. Luckey, C. M. Sawtelle, Theodore Burmester, Charles H. DeWolfe, Bynon J. Pengra, Cornelia Coon, J. S. Miller, Sidney H. Marsh, C. Hoel, and Emily Crandall.
There are six letters by friends from the Salmon River mines, Idaho, 1862.
Also included in the collection are two memory books filled with inscriptions and good wishes from many of Cummins' friends and acquaintances. One of these books contains a small photograph of Cummins with negative.
- Cummins, Henry, 1840-1901 (Person)
- Sawtelle, C. M. (Person)
- Pengra, Bynon J., 1823-1903 (Person)
- Marsh, Sidney H. (Sidney Harper), 1825-1879 (Person)
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
Henry Cummins (1840-1901) was a resident of Eugene, Oregon, a refugee from his father's farm. His father, William M. Cummins, had come to Oregon in 1853 and settled in Lane County.
Henry attended school for a time, worked in a bookstore, set type and did job printing in the office of the People's Press and later for the State Republican, worked on a survey expedition under Dr. A. W. Patterson up the Deschutes River in 1861, was appointed assistant clerk in the state Legislature (House) in 1862, and studied law.
He left Oregon in 1863, went to Washington, D.C., and is said to have been involved with some of Hinton Helper's schemes. He was attracted to spiritualism, phrenology, phonography, handwriting schools, atheism, water cures, vegetarianism, and geology. He founded a Pantheon of Science in Eugene and was a member of the Infidel Association of America. He read widely and indiscriminately.
0.5 linear feet (1 container) : 1 clamshell box
Language of Materials
Henry Cummins (1840-1901) was a well-read and enthusiastic student of topics various and sundry with a partiality for pseudo-science. The collection (1858-1863) consists of Cummins' personal correspondence as well as a memory book and miscellaneous papers.
Material within this collection is minimally arranged. Any arrangement is either derived from the records' creators or custodians or from staff at the time of initial processing. It may be necessary to look in multiple places for the same types of materials.
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.
This collection received a basic level of processing including minimal to no organization and rehousing.
Description information is drawn in part from information supplied with the collection and initial surveys of the contents.
- Correspondence Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Cummins, Henry, 1840-1901
- Cummins, Henry, 1840-1901
- Frontier and pioneer life -- Oregon -- Eugene Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Gold mines and mining -- Idaho Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Miller, Joaquin, 1837-1913
- Mines and mineral resources -- Idaho -- Salmon River Watershed Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Oregon Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Oregon -- Politics and government -- 1859-1950 Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Oregon -- Social life and customs -- 19th century Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Oregon Territory -- History Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Pengra, Bynon J., 1823-1903
- Pioneers -- Oregon -- Correspondence Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Pioneers -- Oregon -- Eugene Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Pseudoscience Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Sawtelle, C. M.
- Scrapbooks Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Guide to the Henry Cummins Papers
- Complete Description
- Austin Munsell
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.
- Funding for production of this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).