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William Hoffman journal of travel from Covington, Ind. to Jacksonville, Ore.

Identifier: A 052

Scope and Contents note

Collection comprises a single manuscript, the journal of William Hoffman as he journeyed across the Oregon Trail in 1853. The journal is typewritten and is seventy-one pages long. The original is in private hands. The manuscript also contains biographical materials.


  • Creation: 1853


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

William Hoffman was born on September 7, 1801 in Baltimore, Maryland. Around the age of eleven or twelve, William Hoffman attended a Lancastrian school kept by Mr. John Creery. There he gained the majority of his education. William Hoffman also attended a German school, as his parents were of German descent. In 1816, Mr. Hoffman went to live with his brother Jacob Hoffman in Middletown, Maryland. There he engaged in drinking and gambling. Soon after, he reformed his life and became a religions man. In 1820, Mr. Hoffman joined his sister and brother-in-law in going to Ohio. There he worked at the business of his brother-in-law's brother in Urbana. In 1824, Hoffman returned to Baltimore where he was an active member of the German Reformed Church and where he worked for D. &. J Ruddach as a clerk, then partner. In 1836, William Hoffman was married, wife's name is not mentioned. In 1840, William Hoffman was elected as County Recorder. He held that position until 1853. The Hoffman family moved to Covington in 1841. There he was the superintendent of the Sunday School, and a Ruling Elder of the New School Presbyterian Church. On April 13, 1853, William Hoffman and his family began their journey across the American West from Covington, Indiana. They arrived in the Rogue River Valley in October 1853.

Once in Oregon, William Hoffman attempted to farm, but failed. In 1855, he was nominated for the office of County Auditor under the Territorial Government. He held this position until Oregon was organized as a state. After, he was elected as county clerk until 1866. In 1866, William Hoffman was given the appointment of Notary Public, an office held until 1879. William Hoffman also held the position of U.S. Commissioner and a U.S. Circuit Judge. In 1868, William Hoffman became business a partner of Mr. Henry Agent, who was based in Jacksonville, Oregon.

William Hoffman with his wife had six daughters. He had twenty-three grandchildren.


0.1 linear feet (1 folders)

Language of Materials



The collection consists of the manuscript journal of William Hoffman, which chronicles Hoffman's journey across the Oregon Trail from Covington, Indiana to Jacksonville, Oregon in 1853.

Arrangement note

The collection is contained in a single folder.

Location note

Collection is located with other small manuscript collections.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

The journal was a gift of David Linn, grandson, in June 1940.

General Physical Description note

1 folder

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 William Hoffman journal of travel from Covington, Ind. to Jacksonville, Ore.
Complete Description
Finding aid prepared by Jenny Palm
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