Joel Palmer Papers

Joel Palmer (1810–1881) began his political career in Indiana, where he served as a state legislator before moving to Oregon in 1847. Shortly after his arrival, Palmer became Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the Oregon Territory, a post he held until 1857. He also served as an Oregon state representative and senator, and was a losing candidate in the 1870 governor’s race. The Joel Palmer papers digital collection combines items from the University of Oregon Special Collections and University Archives’ Joel Palmer Papers (1851–1879) and the Oregon Historical Society’s Joel Palmer Papers (1783–1982). The collection includes correspondence; official records of the Oregon Superintendency and U.S. Office of Indian Affairs, including documents relating to the Siletz Indian Reservation; photographs; typescript copies of diaries, including travel diaries for trips throughout the northwestern United States; letters sent to Palmer’s wife, Sarah Ann Derbyshire Palmer; and letters from Palmer’s descendants. The collection also includes the 1847 publication of Palmer’s Journal of Travels over the Rocky Mountains, an account of his 1845 journey to Oregon.