Lorenzo Lorain photographs

Camp Day, 1860 Camp Day, 1860 Soldiers at Camp Day, 1860 Soldiers at Camp Day, 1860 Members of the Klamath and Modoc Tribes at Camp Day Oregon City, 1857 Portland, 1857 The Dalles, 1856-1857 View in Klamath Lake, Oregon Detail view in Klamath Lake, Oregon Hospital and Laundress Quarters at Fort Umpqua, Oregon Quarters, Fort Umpqua, Oregon Fort Umpqua, Oregon Soldiers at Camp Day, 1860 Portland, circa 1857 Falls of the Willamette River at Oregon City, circa 1857 Fort Crook, Shasta County, California Lorenzo Lorain photograph album Lt. Lorenzo Lorain Portraits of Native American men Block House at Fort Umpqua Portraits of Fort Umpqua residents Portraits and scenes near Fort Umpqua Scenes near Fort Umpqua Portrait of John B. Scott Portraits of unidentified men Portraits and scenes near Fort Umpqua Scenes near Fort Umpqua
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Org. Lot 1416

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Lorenzo Lorain photographs


  • 1857-1860 (Creation)


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Scope and content

Collection consists of salt paper photographic prints attributed to Lorenzo Lorain. The photographs depict scenes around Fort Umpqua and Camp Day during the forced removal of Native peoples from the western region of the Oregon Territory onto the Coast Reservation between 1857 and 1861. The photographs of Fort Umpqua, in Douglas County, Oregon, include the block house, barracks, and support buildings as well as portraits of soldiers and their families. Also included are exterior photographs of plank houses and portraits of unidentified Native American people who were likely members of the Coos, Lower Umpqua, Siuslaw, or Siletz peoples housed near Fort Umpqua on the southern portion of the Coast Reservation. The collection also includes photographs taken by Lorain at Camp Day, a temporary military encampment established in the Klamath Basin in Southern Oregon during the summer and fall of 1860. These photographs depict the camp site, the troops stationed at the camp, and a group photograph of unidentified members of the Klamath and Modoc people at or near the camp. The collection also includes photographs of Portland, Oregon City, and The Dalles, Oregon, which are believed to have been taken by Lorain during his travel from Fort Walla Walla to Fort Umpqua in 1857.

Also included in the collection are two salt paper prints depicting Fort Crook in Shasta County, California, which are attributed to Dr. Edward Perry Vollum. Vollum was stationed at Fort Umpqua during a portion of Lorain’s assignment at the fort.

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General note

Lorenzo Lorain was born in Phillipsburg, Pennsylvania on August 5, 1831. After graduating from West Point Military Academy in 1856, Lorain was commissioned as a second lieutenant with Company L, Third Artillery, based at Fort Walla Walla, Washington Territory. His company was reassigned to Fort Umpqua, in Douglas County, Oregon Territory, in August 1857. While at Fort Umpqua, Lorain and the other members of his unit were charged with overseeing and enforcing the forced removal of Native peoples from their homelands onto the Coast Reservation. Lorain was also one of the earliest photographers to work in Oregon and his photographs are the earliest known images of the region’s tribal communities. Lorain was transferred to Virginia in March 1861, at the start of the Civil War. After being wounded during the battle of Blackburn’s Ford in July 1861, Lorain transitioned into a series of teaching positions at West Point Academy, Lehigh University, and in the Department of Engineering at the U.S. Artillery School in Fort Monroe, Virginia. Lorain died on March 6, 1882 in Baltimore, Maryland.

Specialized notes

  • Citation: Lorenzo Lorain photographs, Org. Lot 1416, Oregon Historical Society Research Library.

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