Welcome to the Homepage of the Letitia Carson Historical Website!

Alison Saar 2000. Washtub Blues. Color woodcut 30 x 22 in. Copyright Alison Saar, courtesy of L.A. Louver, Venice, California. [Link to larger image is only proportional and not the same size as the original; also, it is only 200 dpi Internet-display quality and not intended for wall display or other unauthorized reproduction. This image is very symbolic of Letitia Carson's life and will be used on the cover of her planned biography.]

February 23, 2019 Update: Welcome! This site was launched in 2014 in conjunction with the planned release of Jane Kirkpatrick's historical novel about Letitia Carson, "A Light In The Wilderness," and creation of the ORWW Friends of Letitia Carson Facebook Page at that time: https://www.facebook.com/Why.is.this.Web.address.not.available

The principal purpose of this website is to serve as a digital archive for historical research and documentation that can be used for future educational purposes. The website's design intentionally mirrors the working outline of a biography of Letitia Carson's life that is being written by Bob Zybach and Janet Meranda. A significant number of the hundreds of historical maps, illustrations, documents, texts, photographs, etc., that will eventually complete this site remain in the process of being digitized, uploaded, and linked -- in the interim, there are scans and transcripts of more than 200 original documents from the 1850s and 1860s specific to Carson's life and dozens of articles, reports, and other references to provide context. Most webpages have not been fully developed at this juncture and primarily exist as indexed lists of links.

Acknowledgements. A long list or individuals made this project possible, including members of our own families. We will begin accumulating and posting a list in alphabetical order at some point prior to publication of Letitia Carson's biography.
Introduction: Letitia Carson, 1818 - 1888. https://www.facebook.com/Why.is.this.Web.address.not.available/info
Illustrations. Historical Paintings & Line Drawings; Photographs; Documentary Reproductions (including Maps & Survey Notes, Census Records, Legal Filings, etc.)
Chapter 1. The Kentucky - Missouri Slave Trade, 1775 – 1845.

Indian Slavery Law, 1775; African Country Origins, 1775; Code Noir, 1775; Cotton, Hemp & Tobacco, 1820; Patrols, 1820; Markings, 1820; Kentucky Slaveholdings & Markets, 1825; Living Arrangements & Conditions, 1825; Church, 1830; General Health of Slaves, 1830; Saturday Nights & Christmas Holidays, 1835; Platte County Slaveholdings & Markets, 1840; Platte City Politics, 1845.

Chapter 2. The Seven Carsons from Antrim County, 1775 – 1845.

American Revolution, 1775; French Revolution, 1788; The Rights of Man, 1791; Weather & Potatoes, 1795; Battle of Antrim, 1798; Flax, Sheep & Linen, 1815; The Seven Carsons Emigrate to America, 1818; North Carolina Citizenship, 1825; The Platte Purchase, 1836; The Mormon War, 1837; The Panic of 1838; David Carson, Platte County Patrol, 1839; Platte City, 1841; Carson vs. White, 1844; The Great Flood of 1844; The Oregon Question, 1844; US Citizenship & Letitia, 1845. See Documents: North Carolina.

Chapter 3. Oregon Trail Crossing, 1845.

The Oregon Question; Tetherow Wagon Train Politics; Fiddle Music & Marriages; Indians & Antelope; Mountain Men & US Dragoons; Buffalo & Prairie Storms; Martha is Born; Fort Laramie; The Meek Cut-off; Elijah White & Marcus Whitman; Wascopam Mission; The Barlow Cut-off; The Walk-up Indian Trail; Oregon City Arrival; Letitia & Martha; Champoeg, Tuality Plains & California Trail.

Chapter 4. Soap Creek Valley, 1845 – 1852.

Provisional Land Claims, 1845; Births & Marriages, 1846; The California Gold Rush, 1848; Territorial Law, 1849; Adam Carson is Born, 1849; Donation Land Claims, 1850; David “Jr.” & Andrew Carson Arrive, 1851; Uncle Tom’s Cabin is Published, 1852; Death of David Carson, 1852.

Chapter 5. David Carson Estate Sales, 1852 - 1859.

Greenberry Smith, Executor, 1852; Appraisals of Property, 1852; David Carson, "Jr.," 1853; Andrew Jackson Carson, 1853; Sales of Property & Character of Purchasers, 1853; Platte County Probate, 1853-1857; Oregon Land Surveys & Sales, 1855-1857; Final Determinations & Distributions, 1859. See Documents: Missouri; Oregon.

Chapter 6. Letitia Carson in Douglas County, 1853 – 1862.

The Murder of Elijah Hedding, 1844; The Whitman Massacre, 1847; The Murder & Mutilation of Peopeomoxmox, 1852; Upper Cow Creek Donation Land Claims, 1853; Auntie Tish, Midwife & Housekeeper, 1853; Rogue River Indian War, 1853; Starveout Creek Goldmining, 1854; Battle of Hungry Hill, 1855; Hardy Elliff Home and Fort, 1855; The New Wagon Road, 1858; Upper Cow Creek Valley, 1860. See Documents.

Chapter 7. Letitia Carson vs. Greenberry Smith, 1853 - 1857.

Carson Estate Sales, 1853; Tampico Post Office, 1853; Judge & Attorneys, 1854; Jurors & Neighbors, 1854; First Trial: Back Wages, 1855; Second Trial: Theft of Cattle, 1856; Oregon Constitutional Convention, 1857; Oregon Constitution, 1857; Oregon Statehood, 1859; Civil War, 1860. See Documents.

Chapter 8. South Myrtle Creek Homestead, 1862 - 1888.

The Homestead Act of 1862; The Emancipation Proclamation of 1863; Homestead Claim #108, 1863; South Myrtle Creek Community, 1863; Mary Alice is Born, 1864; US Homestead Patent #39, 1868; Martha Gets Married, 1868; Letitia & Lisette, 1869; Grandkids, Nieces & Nephews; Jack Gets into Trouble, 1877; Martha Moves to Umatilla, 1887; Jack is Given the Land, 1887; Letitia is Buried in Stephens Cemetery, 1888. See Documents.

Chapter 9. Umatilla Reservation Allotments, 1885 – 1922.

Lavadour Claim Allotments on Umatilla Reservation, 1887; Jack Sells Family Farm, 1891; Miners Strike Gold on Carson Property, 1892; Martha is Buried in Umatilla County, 1911; Jack is Buried in Stephens Cemetery Next to His Mother, 1922.

Chapter 10. Physical Locations & Living Descendents, 2015

Antrim County; Ashe County; Platte City; The Oregon Trail; Soap Creek Valley; Upper Cow Creek Valley; South Myrtle Creek; Umatilla Reservation; Cemeteries.


Appendix A. Letitia Carson Chronology, 1845 - 1888. https://www.facebook.com/Why.is.this.Web.address.not.available/info
Appendix B. David Carson Genealogy, 1775 – 1922. David Carson and six of his siblings ("the seven Carsons") came to the United States from northern Ireland around 1818. They lived in a time of widespread Irish cottage industries being replaced by machinery, civil unrest, grinding poverty and unemployment, and well developed international shipping trade routes -- and particularly those connecting the linens of Antrim County with American markets by way of the docks at Belfast. At this time we believe the Carsons were likely Presbyterians, probably literate, and probably political, too.
Appendix C. Lavadour & Wallawalla Genealogy, 1775 – 1922. It is believed, but not documented, that Lisette Wallawalla was a daughter of the famous Walla Walla leader, Peopeomoxmox. If that is true, it would have provided her with powerful social and political ties with neighboring tribes, including the Cayuse, Umatilla, Klickitat, Chinook and Nez Perce. Joseph Laverdure was a Red River Metis, who fished and trapped for the North West Company and the Hudsons Bay Co. for many years. Their son, Narcisse, married Martha Carson, only daughter of David and Letitia. Another son, also named Joseph, married Martha's daughter by a previous relationship, Mary Alice Bigham. All three Lavadour families moved to the Umatilla Reservation from their Douglas County South Umpqua roots.
Appendix D. Carson Estate Sale Transcriptions, 1852 - 1859. Jan and John Meranda have scanned and transcribed virtually every file available related to the Estate Sale and Probate conducted by Greenberry Smith, as Executor of David Carson's estate, following his death in September 20-22, 1852. Lila Hyder provided a signficiant amount of scanned documentation regarding the handling of Carson's estate in Missouri -- his old farm in Platte County -- which the Merandas have also transcribed. At this time the link leads only to a large selection of the original files, but we are in the process of adding the remaining files and the complete transcriptions in the near future.

Appendix E. Carson vs. Smith Transcriptions, 1853 - 1857.

Jan has also scanned and transcribed virtually every file available from the State Archives regarding the two successful civil suits filed by Letitia Carson against Greenberry Smith. The link currently goes to a selsect listing of primary source document scans related to these trials, but we are adding the remaining 90 documents in the near future, along with complete transcriptions of the entire set.
Appendix F. Letitia Carson Homestead Documentation, 1868 – 1892. This file is largely comprised of maps, typed documents, newspaper articles, and other forms of documentation requiring little transcription. The focus is on the last 20 years of Letitia's life on her own land, including its disposition a few years after her death. Also includes birth and marriage records of Martha and her grandchildren.


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