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Jesse A. Applegate Collection, 1861-1934

By Finding aid prepared by Trevor Sandgathe

Collection Overview

Title: Jesse A. Applegate Collection, 1861-1934

ID: MSS Applegate

Primary Creator: Applegate, Jesse A. (Jesse Applegate), 1835-1919

Extent: 0.02 cubic feet. More info below.

Languages of Materials: English [eng]


The Jesse A. Applegate Collection is comprised of materials created by and relating to Jesse A. Applegate, a young pioneer who travelled from Missouri to Oregon in 1843 with Lindsay Applegate (his father), Jesse Applegate (his uncle), and other members of the Applegate family. Included is a letter from Jesse A. Applegate to his cousin, John Miller (1861); a letter from Jesse A.'s brother, Oliver C. Applegate, to John Thomas Lee (1934); a photograph of Jesse A. Applegate (circa 1880); and a paperback edition of Jesse A. Applegate's memoir, Recollections of My Boyhood (1914).

Scope and Content Notes

The Jesse A. Applegate Collection is comprised of materials relating to the life of Oregon pioneer Jesse A. Applegate. The collection includes an 1861 letter from Applegate to his cousin, John Miller, in which Applegate discusses an illness he has contracted and requests news of his family home, noting that "there are so many family associations connected with [the home] that anything would be interesting to me"; a letter from Oliver C. Applegate (Jesse A.'s brother) to John Thomas Lee regarding Oliver's loan of a copy of Jesse A.'s memoir, Recollections of My Boyhood; a mounted portrait photograph (circa 1900) with the caption "Jesse A. Applegate in old age"; and a 1914 edition of Jesse A.'s memoir Recollections of My Boyhood.

Biographical / Historical Notes

Jesse Applegate Applegate (often referred to as "Jesse A." to differentiate him from his famous pioneer uncle), was born in 1836 in St. Clair County, Missouri. In 1843, his father, Lindsay Applegate, and his uncles, Jesse and Charles Applegate, migrated with their families to the Oregon Country. During the journey, three members of the Applegate family, including Jesse's brother, Warren, drowned on the Columbia River. This tragedy was the catalyst for the founding of the Applegate Trail, a route from Idaho to southern Oregon through Nevada and northeastern California, bypassing the dangerous Columbia River.

After reaching Oregon, the Applegates settled temporarily in the Willamette Valley before relocating to the Umpqua Valley in southern Oregon. In 1853, the settlement was attacked by Rogue River Indians and Jesse joined a volunteer regiment led by his father to protect the white settlers in the area. Jesse went on to marry Virginia Watson and fathered two children, Warren and Arthur. Jesse died in Jacksonville, Oregon in 1919.

Administrative Information

More Extent Information: 1 photograph; 1 box

Statement on Access: The collection is open for research.

Acquisition Note: The Jesse A. Applegate Collection was donated to the OSU Libraries Special Collections by Fred O. McMillan as part of the Fred O. McMillan Rare Book Collection. The collection now resides in the Special Collections & Archives Research Center.

Related Materials: Publications by and about Jesse Applegate, including Views of Oregon History, Etc., Yoncalla, 1878 (1939) and This was a Man: Something about the Life and Times of Jesse Applegate (1971) can be found in the History of the Pacific Northwest Rare Book Collection and the Fred O. McMillan Collection of Northwest History. The George Edmonston, Jr. Collection (MSS Edmonston) includes materials on the history of the Applegate Trail. Other materials relating to early settlement in Oregon are located in the Oregon Pioneers Oral History Collection (OH 01) and the Francis T. Howard Diary (MSS Howard). Other materials relating to Jesse A. Applegate include the Jesse A. Applegate Letter and the Oliver Cromwell Applegate Papers at the University of Oregon the George Abernethy Papers, the Samuel A. and Harriet T. Clark Papers, and the Matthew Paul Deady Papers at the Oregon Historical Society.

Preferred Citation: Jesse A. Applegate Collection (MSS Applegate), Oregon State University Libraries Special Collections and Archives Research Center, Corvallis, Oregon.


Applegate, Jesse A. (Jesse Applegate), 1835-1919
Applegate, Oliver C. (Oliver Clark)

People, Places, and Topics

Applegate, Jesse A. (Jesse Applegate), 1835-1919
Frontier and pioneer life--Oregon.

Forms of Material

Photographic prints.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.