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 planned biography of Letitia Carson's life. A significant number of the hundreds of historical maps, illustrations, documents, texts, and photographs contained on this site are scans and transcripts of more than 200 original documents from the 1850s and 1860s specific to Carson's life -- with dozens of linked articles, reports, and other references to provide context. This website, as with most ORWW educational websites, is intended to be organic and improved over time with relevant research, editing, and student contributions.

Acknowledgements. A long list of 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 Military Wagon Road, 1858; Upper Cow Creek Valley, 1860. See Documents.

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

Carson Estate Auction, 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.

US Indian Land Allotment Act & Umatilla Reservation, 1885; Lavadour Walla Walla Allotment Claims, 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 & six siblings ("the seven Carsons") came to the US from northern Ireland ca. 1818. They emigrated from widespread Irish cottage industries being replaced by machinery, civil unrest, grinding poverty & unemployment by well developed international shipping trade routes -- particularly those connecting linens of Antrim County with US markets by way of the docks at Belfast. The Carsons were likely Presbyterians & probably literate & political.
Appendix C. Lavadour & Wallawalla Genealogy, 1775 – 1922. It is possible, not documented, that Lisette Wallawalla was a daughter of Peopeomoxmox. If true, this would have provided powerful social & political ties with neighboring Cayuse, Umatilla, Klickitat, Chinook & Nez Perce. Joseph Laverdure was a Red River Metis who fished & trapped for the North West Company & Hudsons Bay Co. Their son Narcisse married Martha Carson, daughter of David & Letitia; a younger son, also named Joseph, married Martha's daughter & Letitia's granddaughter, Mary Alice Bigham. All three Lavadour families moved from Douglas County to Umatilla Allotments ca. 1887.
Appendix D. Carson Estate Sale Transcriptions, 1852 - 1859. Jan & John Meranda have scanned & transcribed almost all documentary files related to the Carson Estate Sale by Greenberry Smith, following David's death, September 20-22, 1852. Lila Hyder provided scanned documentation regarding Carson's estate in Missouri, which the Merandas have also transcribed.

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

Jan & John Meranda have also scanned & transcribed virtually all files currently (ca. 2014) available from the State Archives regarding the two  successful lawsuits filed by Letitia Carson vs. Greenberry Smith.
Appendix F. Letitia Carson Homestead Documentation, 1868 – 1892. This file is comprised of maps, typed documents, newspaper articles &  other documentation requiring little transcription. Focus is on Letitia's life on her own land, 1863-1888 & final disposition after her death. Also includes birth & marriage records of Martha & grandchildren.


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