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John Lawrence Johnson Diary

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: MS-5

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of the original diary, and three transcript copies, kept by Johnson when he crossed the plains from Missouri to Oregon, April 1 - October 1, 1851. Two pages are missing from the diary - April 5 and 6 - otherwise there are entries for almost every day. The entries through July 17 are written in ink and are fairly extensive. At the rear of the diary are additional, brief entries, written in pencil, extending to October 1 and also a list of expenditures.


  • 1851


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. The original diary is in fragile condition; researchers will initially be referred to the transcripts.

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.

Biographical Note

John Lawrence Johnson (1830-1916) was born in Tazewell, Illinois and died in Marion County, Oregon. He crossed the plains to Oregon in 1851, keeping a daily diary throughout much of the trip. After his arrival in Oregon, he married Viletta Kenady and they lived variously in Grande Ronde Valley, Marion County, Coos County, and Idaho, before settling in Marion County. Johnson was a member of the Washington Territory Mounted Volunteers during the Yakima War.

For additional information, see: Gaston, Joseph. The Centennial History of Oregon, 1811-1912. Chicago: S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1912, pp. 614, 617.


0.25 Cubic Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials



Collection consists of the diary, and transcript copies, of John Lawrence Johnson, kept while crossing the plains from Missouri to Oregon in 1851.


No accruals are expected.
Guide to the John Lawrence Johnson Diary
Linda Morton-Keithley
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
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