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Eleanor Wilson papers

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: Ax 611

Scope and Contents note

The collection consists almost entirely of outgoing correspondence, the vast majority of them written to "Dear Folks." There is a several year period during which Wilson wrote these letters very consistently, almost one per week. These letters contain many details about her work, along with many personal anecdotes of her daily experiences. There is also one folder of outgoing letters to Wilson's brother, Theodore Wilson. Miscellaneous material in the collection includes church bulletins and newsletters.


  • 1925-1951


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

Eleanor Wilson was born in Norwalk, Connecticut, and educated at Simmons College and the New York Biblical Seminary (Columbia). In 1925 she went to Japan as a missionary teacher for the Congregational Church, and was stationed at the Kobe Theological Seminary for Women. From 1933-1935 she worked in the office of the American Board of Foreign Missions, Boston. In 1935 she went to the Mission Training School in Kusaie, Caroline Islands, as teacher, later principal, remaining until 1941. During World War II she was in the United States, lecturing for the mission board. In 1945 she went to Hawaii, where she was ordained a Christian Church minister, and in 1946 resumed missionary work in the Pacific area, particularly in the Marshall and Caroline Islands.

In 1950 Wilson became the captain of the Morning Star VI, one of a sequence of mission ships in the Pacific. She retired in 1961.

Wilson's career is the subject of a book by Maribelle Cormack, The Lady Was a Skipper (N.Y., 1956), and in the Maribelle Cormack Papers (Ax 418) at the University of Oregon are notes about, and letters from, Eleanor Wilson.

Eleanor Wilson died in 1969 in a Claremont, California retirement center. She was 80 years old.


0.5 linear feet (1 container)

Language of Materials



Eleanor Wilson (1891-1972) was a Christian missionary who worked in Japan, Hawaii, and the Pacific in general, particularly the Marshall and Caroline Islands. In 1950 she became captain of the Morning Star VI, a mission ship in the Pacific. The collection consists mostly of correspondence describing her missionary work from 1925-1951; there are also a few miscellaneous items and photographs.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Gift of Eleanor Wilson in 1969.

Existence and Location of Copies note

Available in microfilm as part of: Women's lives. Series 3, American women missionaries and pioneers collection (MICROFILM BV3703 .W66 2006, reel 58); Primary Source Microfilm, 12 Lunar Dr., Woodbridge, Conn. 06525.

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 Eleanor Wilson Papers
Complete Description
Finding aid prepared by David Young, Manuscripts processor
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is 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