MG-56. John White Geary Collection, 1847-1873.
John White Geary (1819 -1873), a native of Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania, served as governor of Pennsylvania, 1867-1873, and held many other military and public service positions. Most of the thirty two letters were written to his brother, the Reverend Edward R. Geary, an eminent Presbyterian clergyman who served in the Oregon territory for much of his life. Two letters to Edward discuss African Americans.
A letter dated March 5, 1849, from New Grenada, Panama, discusses the town, Chagies: "In many respects the town and its houses resemble a large collection of half decayed hay-stacks. The inhabitants are all black, being negroes, and mestigoes, a mixture of negroes and indians." Another letter dated November 23, 1837, from France, speaks of the elections in Kansas and the "proslavery party" and "constitution with slavery vs. constitution without slavery." In this letter, John Geary expressed his concern about the influence of the southern states on Kansas politics and the subsequent impact on the political situation in Oregon.