Cleveland Rockwell was born in 1837 in Youngstown, Ohio, the son of a lawyer who was involved with the Cleveland and Pittsburgh Railroad. After the death of Rockwell's mother the family moved to Cleveland. He attended secondary school in Troy, New York, and later became a student at New York University. In 1856 he was appointed to the U.S. Coast Survey and carried out a survey of the islands in New York harbor. He later surveyed areas in South Carolina and the Georgia coast. During the Civil War he surveyed areas around Port Royal and the Savannah River, and then areas on the coasts of Virginia and Maine. He was commissioned a Captain of Engineers in 1863 and surveyed the area of Knoxville, Tenn. After the war he worked with other U.S. engineers in Colombia and later conducted surveys in Georgia.
In 1867 Rockwell was promoted to the post of Assistant in the Coast Survey and transferred to San Francisco. He surveyed the area around San Francisco and then went north to survey the entrance to the Columbia River from 1868 to 1870. He then worked in California. In 1873 he married Cornelia Flemming Russell, who came of a prominent Tennessee family. He continued work on the Columbia River surveys but returned for projects in California from time to time. He moved from San Francisco to Albina, Oregon (later part of Portland) in the late 1870s. He worked in various parts of Oregon, surveyed the Willamette River, and traveled to Alaska and British Columbia. In 1887-1889 he conducted a survey of the Oregon coast, and after additional work in southern California he retired to Portland in 1892. Also in that year he traveled to Alaska. Toward the end of his life he worked as a civil engineer, was active in local banking and in Republic party politics, and contributed articles to the Pacific Monthly and the West Shore. His drawings were used in the decoration of the battleship Oregon's silver punch set in 1897. He died in Portland in 1907.
The collection consists of pencil and water color sketches of scenes throughout the western U.S, southwestern Canada, and Alaska. Included are drawings of flowers and other plants, as well as a number of portraits, probably of family members. Most of the drawings are included in bound sketchbooks, although there are a number of loose sheets. Of particular note is a panorama of Lassen's Butte from Big Meadows at Prattville (folder 3), and the sketches of British Columbia and California (in vol. 7).
Restrictions on Access :
The collection is open to the public.Restrictions on Use :
The Oregon Historical Society is the owner of the materials in the Research Library and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from the Research Library before any publication use. The Society does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright owners.Preferred Citation :
Cleveland Rockwell papers, Mss2163, Oregon Historical Society Research Library
The collection is arranged in two series:
Acquisition Information :
Portions of the collection were a gift of Mrs. Lloyd O. Graves, 1974-1977, including Library Accession 13248 and 14004; and Thomas Vaughan, 2000, Library Accession 24247.Bibliography :
Paintings and other works by Cleveland Rockwell are housed in the Artifact Collection, Oregon Historical Society.
Detailed Description of the Collection
The collection is indexed under the following headings in the online catalog. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings: