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Oregon City Drug Store Ledger

Identifier: MS-91

Scope and Contents

On the flyleaf of this volume an inscription provides the title, "Ledger of the Oregon City Drug Store, October 16th 1854." Covering the store's accounts from 1854-1863, the handwritten ledger provides lists of customer names, their purchases on credit, and their account balances. Purchases noted within the volume include such items as olive oil, lamp wicks, ink, pain killer, hops, lime juice, tincture of camphor, soap, eggs, kerosene, cough syrup and candy. Many of the individuals listed are doctors, though other individuals (including a few women) and businesses are also present.

A microfilm version of this ledger was produced from this, which is the original, in 1964 by the Oregon Historical Society, and can be found in several other libraries.


  • 1854-1863


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Pacific University owns the copyright to some, but not all, of the materials housed in its archives. Copyright for materials authored or otherwise produced as official business of Pacific University is retained by Pacific University and requires its permission for publication. Copyright status for other collection materials varies. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Historical Note

The Oregon City Drug Store sold pharmacy items alongside groceries and other sundries in the 1850s. In business between at least 1854-1863, it allowed individual people as well as businesses to open tabs and purchase items on credit. Some of its notable business customers included G. Abernethy & Co. (the business of the former governor of Oregon, George Abernethy), the Oregon Argus (a newspaper), and the Steamers "Onward", "Elk", "James Clinton", and "Relief". Many of the individuals who had credit accounts at the store were doctors. They included: Dr. Forbes Barclay (doctor at Fort Vancouver), Dr. Alden Hatch Steele (doctor and mayor of Oregon City) and Dr. William C. McKay (half Clatsop Indian and early settler). The name of the proprietor of the drug store is unknown.


0.25 Cubic Feet (1 volume in 1 box)

Language of Materials



The Oregon City Drug Store sold pharmacy items in the pioneer town at the end of the Oregon Trail from the 1850s-1860s. Covering the store's accounts from 1854-1863, this handwritten ledger provides customer names, lists of their purchases on credit, and their account balances. It shows what many prominent early Oregon doctors and businesses were buying at the time.


No accruals are expected.
Guide to the Oregon City Drug Store Ledger
In Progress
Eva Guggemos
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
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Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.
Sponsored by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission

Repository Details

Part of the Pacific University Archives Repository

2043 College Way
Forest Grove OR 97116 United States