Portland, Oregon: Beattie and Co., 1948. First edition. With five plates of women in the American west, one for each of the five chapters: “The Ancients of These Lands,” “Strangers Came by Land,” “They Came by Sea,” “To Make Their Homes,” “And Build a Great Tradition.” Also with a roster of the board of the Portland Federation of Women’s Organizations. Small contemporary bookplate (Teresa Rickett) to front pastedown. Some toning to endpapers and light marginal toning. A very good, tight copy signed by the editor, illustrator, and twenty-eight other contributors. Publisher’s beige cloth titled in green. Octavo. [x], 243, [5 index] pp. Item #17029
A collection of accounts by and about women of the western United States: Native women, Oregon Trail migrants, homesteaders, travelers who sailed around Cape Horn to reach the west, and other women who populated the landscape of western expansion in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Some of the accounts, like that of Chloe Clarke Willson (pp. 76-77), were provided by family members of these women; others, like that of Lola G. Baldwin, were written and signed by the women themselves (pp. 231-234). Other notable contributions include journalist Fred Lockley’s account of Bethenia Owens-Adair (1840 – 1926), who traveled to Oregon on the Jesse Applegate wagon train and became the first practicing woman physician in the Pacific Northwest. This book is the result of interest on the part of many men and women who have ‘digged and delved’ for fresh material on an old subject…We have endeavored to present a cross-section of pioneer women’s experiences and emotions emphasizing neither the rugged nor the sentimental…” (Helen Krebs Smith in the introduction).
The Portland Federation of Women’s Organizations was founded in 1899 from thirteen women’s clubs in the area with the initial goal of establishing public libraries in Oregon. They went on to successfully campaign for the passage of Oregon’s first labor law, provide syphilis testing for prospective mothers, and erect a statue of Sacajawea in Portland’s Washington Park. Over the next few decades, the group funded scholarships for women in music, medicine, art, and more. The organization continues to operate as the Oregon Federation of Women’s Clubs.