Guide to the Elkanah and Mary Richardson Walker Papers 1830-1938
Cage 57

Summary Information

Repository
Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries
Creator
Walker, Elkanah and Mary Richardson
Title
Elkanah and Mary Richardson Walker Papers
ID
Cage 57
Date [inclusive]
1830-1938
Extent
1100.0 items.
General Physical Description note
4 linear feet of shelf space.
Language
English
Abstract
Correspondence, diaries, photographs and other papers related to country life in New England, overland journey to Oregon in 1838, missionary work among the Spokan Indians at Tshimakain Mission, 1839-1848, and educational and religious activities in the Willamette Valley. Correspondence includes letters to and from family members, the ABCFM Mission Board, and other missionaries and settlers in Oregon.

Preferred Citation note

[Item Description]. Cage 57, Elkanah and Mary Richardson Walker Papers . Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries, Pullman, WA.

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Biographical/Historical note

When Elkanah Walker (1805-1877) was a senior at the Bangor (Maine) Theological Seminary in 1836, he was planning a mission career among the Maritime Zoolaks of South Africa. He was told that it would perhaps be better for him to be married before undertaking such a mission. At the same time Mary Richardson (1811-1897) of Baldwin, Maine, was told that she too must be married to become a missionary. The result was a whirlwind courtship and marriage which did not go to South Africa but the equally distant and primitive Oregon Mission. Eventually settling at Tshimakain on Walker's Prairie near Spokane they ministered to the Spokane Indians and their fellow missionaries: Marcus Whitman, Cushing Eells, Henry H. Spalding and William H. Gray and their wives. After the Whitman Mission killings in 1847, the Walkers moved to Fort Colville for nearly three months and then spent the remainder of their days in the Willamette Valley in Oregon. Here they helped establish the Congregational Association of Oregon City and Tualatin Academy (now Pacific University) at Forest Grove.

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Scope and Contents note

The papers of the Walkers can be divided into three groups: the manuscripts, correspondence, photographs, documents and other papers of the Walkers and their family; photocopies of Walker papers from the files of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions and from the Huntington Library, as well as from the papers at Washington State University; and typescript transcripts of the documents and photocopies.

The original papers of Elkanah and Mary Walker consist of their correspondence, diaries, autograph albums, essays and photographs. In addition there is some correspondence and reminiscences of their children. The extensive correspondence file, while mostly incoming, is very complete for the earlier school days, their courtship and marriage, and their missionary experiences. There is very little regarding their life in the Willamette Valley. Perhaps the largest body of material is family letters from relatives in New England.

In addition there is an extensive run of the diaries of Mary Richardson Walker from 1833-1878, except for the two volumes which are now in the Huntington Library. There is also a volume of Elkanah Walker's diary, 1854-1857, which is primarily a register of ministerial services.

Both of the Walkers maintained autograph albums which were also used in the manner of a guest book while at Tshimakain. Other papers include Elkanah's theological notes made as a student, Mary's essay on the Discouragements & Consolations of missionaries written in 1837, constitutions of Maternal Associations, Elkanah's translation of the Book of Matthew into the Flathead or Spokane language, and Mary's drawings and paintings of botanical subjects.

Sons Joseph and Samuel wrote accounts of their parents which are in the collection, as is a portion of son Levi's scrapbook of clippings. The photographs are mostly portraits of the Walkers and their family.

Rounding out the gaps in the collection are photocopies of the material from the Huntington Library, San Marino, California, and the archives of the American Board of Commissioners of Foreign Missions, now in the Houghton Library, Harvard University. These include additional diaries and correspondence. A large part of the photocopies are of original material in the Washington State University Library.

Additional material considered part of the collection is John Mix Stanley's portrait in oil of Abigail B. Walker, C.A. Geyer's sketch of Tshimakain, a pencil sketch of Mary Walker, and a photograph portrait of Samuel T. Walker, in the oversize cases.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries © 1941

http://www.wsulibs.wsu.edu/masc
Terrell Library
P.O. Box 645610
Pullman, WA, 99164-5610
509-335-6691
mascref@wsu.edu

Conditions Governing Access note

This collection is open for research use.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

The papers of Elkanah and Mary Richardson Walker were acquired by gift and purchase from members of the Family: S.T. Walker, Ruth Karr McKee, Eunice V. Karr, Elda R. Walker, Leva B. Walker, Josephine Claghorn Walker, Herbert J. Gilkey and Nellie M. Walker; and from Dr. C.M. Drury. Much of the Collection was acquired through the efforts of Dr. Drury in researching the lives of the missionaries. These materials were acquired by Washington State University Library between 1935 and 1966.

Processing Information note

The preliminary processing of the collection in the early 1940s was done by Lucille M. Luttropp, and included the preparation of typescripts of nearly all the manuscript and photocopy material in the collection. Much of this was bound and includes the diaries, the correspondence between the Walker's and the ABCFM, and the correspondence between Elkanah and Mary. Other transcripts, now in chronological order, were also made. In 1972, additional processing was done by Terry Abraham.

Existence and Location of Originals note

Rounding out some gaps in the collection are photocopies of the material from the Huntington Library, San Marino, California, and the archives of the American Board of Commissioners of Foreign Missions, now in the Houghton Library, Harvard University. These include additional diaries and correspondence. A large part of the photocopies in the collection are of original material in the Washington State University Library.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Materials note

In addition to manuscripts the Washington State University Library has received a large collection of books owned and used by the Walkers. These books are now cataloged and a web site devoted to the library may be found on the WSU MASC web site.

Additional materials on the Walkers may be found at the Whitman National Monument Collections, Walla Walla (NUCMC 61-1597); at the University of Oregon Library (Schmitt); Yale University Library (Washington); the Oregon Historical Society Manuscript Collections; at the Henry E. Huntington Library, San Marino, California (NUCMC 61-2207); and in the papers of C.M. Drury at the Eastern Washington State Historical Society, Spokane (NUCMC 61-1109). The archives of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions are now in the Houghton Library, Harvard University (NUCMC 61-1964).

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions
  • Historical Map Collection. waps --Archives
  • Spokane Indians--Missions

Geographic Name(s)

  • New England--Social life and customs

Occupation(s)

  • Missionaries--Oregon --Correspondence

Personal Name(s)

  • Walker, Elkanah, 1805-1877 --Archives
  • Walker, Mary Richardson, 1811-1897

Subject(s)

  • Indians of North America--Northwest, Pacific--Missions
  • Missionaries
  • Missions -- Oregon--History--Sources
  • Overland Journeys to the Northwestern United States
  • Overland journeys to the Pacific
  • Photographs
  • Pioneers
  • Washington (State)

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Bibliography

These papers were extensively used by Dr. Clifford M. Drury in the preparation of his book Elkanah and Mary Walker; pioneers among the Spokanes. (Caldwell, Caxton, 1945. 283 p. illus.) Portions were also edited and used by Ruth Karr McKee, a grand-daughter of the Walkers, in Mary Richardson Walker: her book. (Caldwell, Caxton, 1945. 357 p. illus.)Dr. Drury described this collection in the Oregon Historical Quarterly 42 (September, 1941) 269-271.

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Collection Inventory

Series 1: Manuscripts and papers 1830-1966   750 items.

Subseries 1.1: Correspondence 1830-1934   650.0 items.

Box-folder

 undated   11.0 items.

1 / 1

 1830-1831   21.0 items.

1 / 2

 1832   22.0 items.

1 / 3

 1833   27.0 items.

1 / 4

 1834   33.0 items.

1 / 5

 1835   47.0 items.

1 / 6

 1836   47.0 items.

1 / 7

 Jan-Jun, 1837   42.0 items.

1 / 8

 Jul-Dec, 1837   33.0 items.

1 / 9

 1838   36.0 items.

1 / 10

 1839   25.0 items.

2 / 11

 1840-1845   37.0 items.

2 / 12

 1846-1848   28.0 items.

2 / 13

 1849-1851   37.0 items.

2 / 14

 1852-1854   32.0 items.

2 / 15

 1855-1859   27.0 items.

2 / 16

 1860-1869   32.0 items.

2 / 17

 1870-1879   37.0 items.

2 / 18

 1880-1934   10.0 items.

2 / 19

Subseries 1.2: Diaries of Mary Walker: 1833-1878   14.0 items.

Box-folder

 January 1, 1833-May 6, 1837   1.0 volume.

3 / 20

 December 20, 1848-September 9, 1849   14 leaves

3 / 21

 May 16, 1851-February 23, 1852   13 leaves

3 / 22

 March 2, 1852-April 9, 1854   24 leaves

3 / 23

 April 10, 1854-October 24, 1855   16 leaves

3 / 24

 February 15, 1859-August 1, 1861   12 leaves

3 / 25

 1871-1874   4.0 volumes.

3 / 26

 1876-1878   3.0 volumes.

3 / 27

Diary and accounts of Elkanah Walker November, 1854-November, 1857   1.0 volume.

3 / 28

Subseries 1.3: Autograph albums 1832-1892   2.0 volumes.

Box-folder

Autograph album of Elkanah Walker 1837-1853   1.0 volume.

3 / 29

Autograph album of Mary R. Walker 1832-1892   1.0 volume.

3 / 30

Subseries 1.4: Essays and notes 1836-1846   19.0 items.

Box-folder

E. Walker. Theological studies and notes 1836-1838   26

3 / 31

M.R. Walker. The discouragements & consolations of missionaries; or the bitter and the sweet (an address) October, 1837   4 leaves

3 / 32

Constitution of the Willamette Falls Maternal Association undated   2 leaves

3 / 33

Constitution of the Lynn and Oregon City Maternal Association undated   2 leaves

3 / 33

Bible. New Testament. Matthew. Flathead. Translated by E. Walker 1846   2 leaves manuscript

3 / 34

M Walker. Drawings and paintings Some dated 1832   14.0 items.

3 / 35

Subseries 1.5: Miscellaneous items, reminiscences, letters, photographs, clippings, etc. 1840-1966   200.0 items.

Box-folder

Joseph Elkanah Walker. A sketch of the lives of Rev. Elkanah Walker and Mary Richardson Walker undated   19 leaves manuscript; 21 leaves manuscript

4 / 36

Joseph Elkanah Walker. Pedigrees, Walker, Richardson, Thompson, Hay, Boutwell, Kendall with foreword and additional notes by Herbert J, Gilkey 1910 1968   32 leaves manuscript notebook

4 / 37

Photographs 

Box-folder

Elkanah Walker. 1855   1 copy negative (2 images): 12 x 18 cm.; 1 copy photoprint: 11 x 8.5 cm.

4 / 38.1

Mary Richardson Walker (photo by Bowers, Lynn, Mass.) Sept 27, 1871   1 copy negative (2 images): 12 x 18 cm.; 1 copy photoprint: 11 x 8.5 cm.

4 / 38.2

Mary and Elkanah Walker. 1855   1 copy negative (2 images): 12 x 18 cm.; 1 copy photoprint: 11 x 8.5 cm.

4 / 38.3

Marcus W. Walker and Samuel T. Walker by D.G. Hendee, Milwaukee, Oregon 1855   1 copy negative (2 images): 12 x 18 cm.; 1 copy photoprint: 11 x 8.5 cm.

4 / 38.4

Joseph Richardson. 1840   1 copy negative (2 images): 12 x 18 cm.; 1 copy photoprint: 11 x 8.5 cm.

4 / 38.5

Samuel, Levi, Joseph and Cyrus Walker, Forest Grove. 1907 September 7   1 photoprint, mounted: 14 x 23 cm.; 1 copy negative: 10 x 12.5 cm.; 1 copy photoprint: 12 x 17.5 cm.; 1 copy negative: 12.5 x 17.5 cm.

4 / 38.6

James A. Karr. 1913 September 14   1 photolithograph: 24.5 x 17 cm.; 1 copy negative: 10 x 12.5 cm.

4 / 38.7

Abigail B. Karr. 1913 September 14   1 photolithograph: 24.5 x 17 cm.; 1 copy negative: 10 x 12.5 cm.

4 / 38.8

Jannetta M. Walker, Foochow, China. October, 1873   1 photoprint: 10 x 6 cm.

4 / 38.9

Geyer drawing of Tshimakain Mission. 1843   1 negative: 10 x 12.5 cm; 2 photoprints: 12 x 18 cm., 10 x 12.5 cm.

4 / 38.10

Samuel T. Walker. 1939   1 photoprint (mounted): 17 x 12 cm.

4 / 38.11

Walker Family: Mary, Cyrus, Abigail, Marcus, Joseph, John, Levi, and Samuel on lawn in front of first frame house in Forest Grove. 1896   1 photoprint (mounted): 16 x 23.5 cm.; 1 copy photoprint: 10 x 12.5 cm.

4 / 38.12

Four Generations: Mary, Abigail, Olive and Wilna. 1891   1 photoprint: 23 x 17.5 cm.; 1 copy negative: 10 x 12.5 cm.; 1 copy photoprint: 19 x 23.5 cm.; 1 copy negative: 25 x 20 cm.

4 / 38.13

Mary Walker's trunk. 1936   1 photoprint: 25.5 x 31 cm.

4 / 38.14

Mary Walker's trunk and briefcase. 1936   1 photoprint: 25.5 x 27.5 cm.; 1 photoprint (mounted): 19 x 24 cm.

4 / 38.15

Clippings, reminiscences, and miscellaneous items 

Box-folder

Clippings re: Tshimakain Centennial Celebration 1938 September 18   5.0 items

4 / 39

Levi C. Walker scrapbook: clippings and other papers re: missionary work in Oregon and China 1887-1908   20.0 items

4 / 40

Samuel T. Walker. (Reminiscences) 1935   11 leaf manuscript

4 / 41

First Congregational Church of Christ in Baldwin and the "Emerson Meeting-House." 1936   5 p. typescript (carbon)

4 / 42

Donor File and container list 1935-1966   150.0 items

4 / 43

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Series 2: Photocopies   225 items.

Subseries 2.1: Huntington Library   8.0 items.

Box-folder

Elkanah Walker. Journal to the Rocky Mountains (Huntington Library) 1838   18 leaves photocopy

4 / 44

Elkanah Walker. Diary (Huntington Library) June 3-October 13, 1848   13 leaves photocopy

4 / 45

Mary Richardson Walker Diary (Huntington Library) May 9, 1837-March 5, 1838   4 leaves photocopy

4 / 46

Mary Richardson Walker. Diary (Huntington Library) September 30-November 11, 1848   4 leaves photocopy

4 / 47

Letters to Elkanah Walker, from P.C. Pambrun, A.B. Smith and David Greene (Huntington Library) 1840-1843   3.0 items, photocopy.

4 / 48

Subseries 2.2: American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions   17.0 items.

Box-folder

American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions Correspondence received. Letters from E. Walker, M.R. Walker and others in favor of their going on the mission to Oregon; and the authorization by the Oregon Mission for Whitman to return to the U.S. 1836-1842   17.0 items, photocopy.

5 / 49

Subseries 2.3: Indian Office   1.0 item

Box-folder

E. Walker and C. Eells Letter, Cimakain, to Elijah White, sub-agent, Indian Office re: Spokane Indians. Also White's explanatory note and statement: "This is a true copy. E. White" January 9, 1843   3 leaves photocopy.

5 / 50

Subseries 2.4: Washington State University Library   200.0 items.

Box-folder

Photocopies of Walker Mission material in the Washington State University Library   200.0 items.

5 / 51-55

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Series 3: Typescript transcripts   120 items.

Box-folder

Journal of Mary Richardson Walker January 1, 1833-May 6, 1837   78 p. bound, typescript.

6 / 56

Journal of Mary Richardson Walker March 5, 1838-October 1, 1848   293 p. bound, plus 4 p. index, typescript

6 / 57

Journal of Mary Richardson Walker September 30, 1848-January 1, 1879   308 p., 6 p. index, bound, typescript.

6 / 58

Letters concerning Elkanah and Mary Richardson Walker and American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, 1836-1859. State College of Washington 1941   200 p. bound transcript.

6 / 59

Letters between Elkanah Walker and Mary Richardson Walker, 1837-1873. State College of Washington 1940   216 p. bound typescript.

7 / 60

Walker family correspondence, obituaries and geneology 1917-1921.   34 leaves, bound typescript.

7 / 61

Diary of Mary Richardson Walker, 1838-1848. Transcription by C.M. Drury 1960   331 p. typescript.

7 / 62-63

Subseries 3.1: Letters, diaries, essays, notebooks and other papers connected with the Walker Mission 1821-1885 

Box-folder

1821-1838   64.0 items, typescript.

7 / 64

1839-1885   42.0 items, typescript.

7 / 65

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Series 4: Oversized Items 

Box

John Mix Stanley's portrait in oil of Abigail B. Walker, C.A. Geyer's sketch of Tshimakain, a pencil sketch of Mary Walker, and a photograph portrait of Samuel T. Walker. 

8

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