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Henry Harmon Spalding Notebook

 Collection — Folder: MS File Box 2
Identifier: MS-77

Scope and Contents

Henry Spalding's notebook, compiled during the 1850s-1860s, contains writings relating to his daily life, his readings and his activities as a missionary, a farmer and an Indian agent. The notes are written in pencil, mostly in his hand, but with a few notes written in by other people. It is bound in a form that could easily be carried while travelling, with a leather cover that could be strapped closed. Spalding probably carried the book with him during the 1850s-1860s, writing notes in it when necessary.

The notes cover many topics, including:

  • Household accounts, cattle and agricultural purchases
  • Record of purchasing a land claim near Walla Walla in the Washington Territory, 1860
  • Notes relating to books/articles he was reading; some might relate to manuscripts he was preparing for publication. Topics include: facts about missionaries; arguments against slavery; notes from scripture; Oregon history; notes about the Catholic Church; stories about Native Americans; notes about the Whitman massacre.
  • Brief notes related to the treaty signed at Port Orford in 1851
  • Glossary of Native American terms in the Tututni language (labelled "Port Orford"); and a short glossary of words in Nez Perce
  • Record of "Work on the Church at Lapwai Sept 1864," with a list of Native American names
  • Distances to travel from locations such as Boise
  • A clipping about "Romanism in the United States," laid in
  • Dates

    • 1850-1870


    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.

    Biographical Note

    Henry H. Spalding was a Presbyterian missionary who arrived in the Oregon Territory in 1836 and was involved in work with Native Americans until his death in 1872. He is best known for his role as a missionary to the the Nez Perce at Lapwai, Idaho. A chronology of some significant events in his life follows:

    1803 - Born in Steuben Co., NY 1833 - Graduates from Western Reserve College in Hudson, Ohio 1833 - Marries Eliza Hart 1835 - Graduates from Lane Theological Seminary in Walnut Hills, Ohio; ordained a minister of the Presbyterian Church 1836 - Leaves with Eliza and the Whitman Party to become missionaries in the Oregon Territory. The Spaldings establish a mission at Lapwai, near the present-day Nez Perce Reservation 1847 - Following the massacre of the Whitmans, the Spaldings leave Lapwai for the Willamette Valley of Oregon. 1848 - Spaldings set up a farm near present-day Brownsville; Henry becomes minister of the local church and county school commissioner 1850 - Appointed Indian Agent; negotiates several treaties with native tribes in Oregon during the early 1850s 1851 - Eliza dies 1853 - Marries Rachel Griffin, sister of fellow missionary John Smith Griffin 1859 - Stakes a land claim with his daughter, also named Eliza, near present-day Prescott, WA 1861 - Returns to Lapwai and is appointed teacher 1866 - Leaves Lapwai after disputes over his actions on the Nez Perce reservation; returns to Brownsville 1871 - Secures appointment as Superintendent of Instruction at Lapwai 1872 - Dismissed from appointment at Lapwai after further disputes. Goes to work with the Spokane tribe. 1874 - Dies in Lapwai 1880 - Rachel dies in Hillsboro, Oregon


    1 folders (1 folder)

    Language of Materials



    Henry H. Spalding was a Presbyterian missionary who arrived in the Oregon Territory in 1836. This notebook, which he compiled during the 1850s-1860s, contains writings relating to his daily life as a missionary, farmer and Indian agent.


    Housed in MS File Box 2.
    Guide to the Henry H. Spalding Notebook
    Eva Guggemos
    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