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Gibbs family papers, 1763-1918

Gibbs family

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  • Papers of the Gibbs family of Rhode Island and Connecticut, consisting of chronological family and business correspondence for several members of the family, including George Gibbs (II, III, IV, V), Laura Wolcott Gibbs, Oliver Wolcott (her father), and Oliver Wolcott Gibbs. For George Gibbs III there is correspondence and business papers concerning his trip to China in 1796, a collection of minerals sold to Yale University, and family affairs. For George IV, ethnologist and geologist, there is correspondence on scientific concerns, social and economic conditions of Oregon and Washington Territory at the time of the gold rush; political letters discussing important men and events of the day and the Mexican and Civil wars, photographs and drawings, and various reports to George B. McClellan on the geological and ethnographic character of Washington Territory. From scientist Oliver Wolcott Gibbs there are letters to his family and friend William H. Channing concerning European scientists of the period and the political unrest which led to the Revolution of 1848. For George Gibbs V there is a 1918 diary concerning his work in Russia with the Railroad Commission.


  • Correspondence of George Gibbs IV of the 1850s has been edited by Vernon Carstensen and published under the title "Pacific Northwest Letters of George Gibbs" in the Oregon Historical Quarterly, 54:190-239 (September, 1953). Two geological reports done in 1854, while Gibbs was a member of the Northern Pacific Railroad expedition, were published in 33 Congress, 1 session, House Executive Document 129, pages 483-512 (serial 736). Portions of a report on the Indian tribes written in 1856 were published in United States Geographic and Geological Survey of the Rocky Mountain Region, Contributions to North American Ethnology, Vol. 1, Part 2, pages 157-240 (Washington, D.C., 1877), and other sections were edited by Ella E. Clark and published under the title "George Gibbs' Account of Indian Mythology in Oregon and Washington Territories" in the Oregon Historical Quarterly, 56:293-327 (December, 1955), and 57:125-167 (June, 1956). The journal of George V's 1918 trip to the Soviet Union was printed in the Wisconsin Magazine of History, Spring 1979 issue.
  • This collection is also available on microfilm.
  • Placed on deposit by Mrs. J. J. McGrath, 1948; gifted in 1978.
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