C.E.S. Wood and the Wood Archive at Lewis & Clark

What can we learn about Charles Erskine Wood from primary source documents?

Project Abstract

The C.E.S. Wood Archive at Lewis and Clark is composed of around two thousand items, including Wood family photographs, photographs from Chief Joseph's Nez Percé camp, Erskine Wood's journals from Chief Joseph's camp and other travels, original artwork by Charles Erskine Scott Wood and Olin Warner, correspondence between Charles Erskine Scott Wood and his immediate family (1870-1933), as well as correspondence between Erskine Wood and his immediate family (1890-1982). Through these documentary pieces, it’s possible to build a life story – one that can help define this pioneer in American letters, and literature.

Wood attended Columbia University, obtained his law degree, and built a successful legal practice in Portland. While residing here, Wood maintained a deep friendship with Chief Joseph—and his son Erskine lived with Joseph for two separate autumn seasons. Along with Sara Bard Field (1882-1974), whom he later married, Wood was an active supporter of a variety of causes—and became the center of a significant artistic and literary circle in the San Francisco area, once the couple relocated there, after their marriage. Students worked with materials from the archive, building genealogies, sorting through materials, digitizing materials—working with archival documents to help construct his life narrative.

They also worked on their own fiction projects—historical fiction stories, written from a point-of-view informed by the archive.

More about this project

This is a unique website which will require a more modern browser to work! Please upgrade today!