Wilkinson letter on expenses and bringing new children back to the Indian School


Wilkinson letter on expenses and bringing new children back to the Indian School


Letter dated May 18, 1880 from Capt. M. C. Wilkinson to Joseph W. Marsh. Marsh was a professor at Pacific University and was functioning as its interim president. At the time of writing this letter, Wilkinson was serving as the first superintendent of the Forest Grove Indian Training School, while concurrently serving as a professor of military science at Pacific University. The Indian School had opened just a few months before this letter and Wilkinson was apparently working on accounting for all the related expenses. Wilkinson warmly addresses Marsh as 'Brother' due to their common religious beliefs. He notes that he hopes to return soon with more children for the school. The school's roster shows that he did indeed return to Forest Grove on May 28 with six more children from the Puyallup Agency. The letterhead on which this note is written is printed with the addresses of both Pacific University and the Indian Education Department of the Department of the Interior because Wilkinson was working for both of them at the time.


Wilkinson, Melville C.


Off-reservation boarding schools
Native American Studies
Chemawa Indian School


Forest Grove, Oregon




Forest Grove Indian School Collection, Pacific University Archives

Other Media

Portland, Oregon, May 18th 1880
Prof. Jos. W. Marsh
Forest Grove, Or.
Mr dear Sir & Brother:
Have been simply overtaken with very much of detail to do in my Indian work. If I had expensed $25,000 my paper would have been no more intricate or hard to make. Have been busy during the day & often until after midnight in making papers. The mail closes very soon, but I felt that I could not let it go without saying this much to you, not but what you knew I was at work for the school & so for the master whom we love & would serve, but I just wanted to say it!
Hope to be back with some children the last of this or first of next week.
Very truly yours,
M.C. Wilkinson
P.S. You will pardon this hasty note. M.C.W.