Governor Stephen Fowler Chadwick portrait. Chadwick Collection. Willamette Heritage Center, 2011.060.0167.

This portrait of Oregon’s 5th governor is one of three photographs from the Willamette Heritage Center collection that was used for the Bush House Museum’s Becoming Oregon: Letters to Asahel Bush II, Oregon Statesman Editor, 1850-1863 website.  The Willamette Heritage Center was honored to partner with the Bush House Museum in their quest to get this extremely informative collection of early Oregon political history online and accessible.

Online Letter Initiative

The Becoming Oregon Project provides internet access to 500 original letters written by notable Oregon pioneers to Asahel Bush II (1824-1913). Bush was founding editor of the Oregon Statesman newspaper and later became one of early Oregon’s wealthiest men by co-founding the Ladd & Bush Bank in Salem. The Bush family’s farmstead was acquired by the City of Salem and is now Bush’s Pasture Park. Their 1878 Italianate home is open to the public as the Bush House Museum, a program of the Salem Art Association. The Becoming Oregon project has been funded through grants from the Oregon Heritage Commission and the Oregon Cultural Trust.

The letters can be found at Archives West . For information on the Becoming Oregon Project contact Ross Sutherland, Bush House Museum Director at or 503-363-4714. Over 2,220 historic Bush Family photographs are also available online at the Salem Public Library’s, Oregon Historic Photograph Collection website


Stephen Fowler Chadwick Letters

This collection features 11 letters written by Chadwick to Bush between the years 1852 and 1860, focusing on Chadwick’s letters focus on political campaigns, criticism of Jesse Applegate and the Whigs, political gossip and requesting a column to write his views about the Rogue River War.