Guide to the William Conklin Cusick Papers

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Overview of the Collection

Creator: Cusick, William Conklin
Title: William Conklin Cusick Papers
Dates: 1906-1924 ( inclusive )
Quantity: 1 container. (.5 linear feet of shelf space.) (24 items.)
Collection Number: Cage 316
Summary: Drafts of botanical surveys, ca. 1900-1910; field books and catalogs of botanical collections in the Wallowa and Blue Mountains area of Oregon; correspondence with C.V. Piper; and a biographical sketch of Cusick by W.W. Eggleston.
Repository: Washington State University Libraries, Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections.
Contact Information: Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections
Terrell Library 5610
Pullman WA
Telephone: 509-335-6691
Languages: Collection materials are in English 
Sponsor: Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Biographical Note

William C. Cusick was born in Illinois in 1842 and emigrated to Oregon while a youth. He had a modest "collegiate" education and worked as a teacher for a time. Most of his adult life he spent as a rancher in the area of the Wallowa Mountains. He began botanical collecting and distribution sometime in the 1870s, encouraged by Harvard’s Asa Gray. Most of his plants came from the area of the Wallowa and Blue Mountains and were arranged in two successive herbariums, one of which he transferred to the University of Oregon, while the second went to Washington State University.

Encouraged by C. V. Piper, Cusick’s second herbarium project included extensive and exhaustive botanical surveys of the area in the two mountain ranges. Unlike his earlier efforts, this second phase did not include large distributions of plants. Cusick died in 1922.

Content Description

Cusick’s extant papers consist primarily of his field books, which doubled as the catalog for the second herbarium, and the draft list of the floral surveys he conducted about 1910. A few surviving items of correspondence are included.

Use of the Collection

Restrictions on Access :  

This collection is open for research use.

Preferred Citation :  

[Item Description]. Cage 316, William Conklin Cusick Papers. Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries, Pullman, WA.

Administrative Information

Arrangement :

The Cusick papers are arranged to content, with the meager extant correspondence segregated. The field books follow Cusick’s numbering system.

Custodial History :  

The papers of William C. Cusick, 1842-1922, of Union County, Oregon, were acquired by the Washington State University Herbarium about 1921, along with Cusick’s Second Herbarium

Acquisition Information :  

The materials in this collection of botanical documents were transferred to the Washington State University Library in 1975 from the university’s Ownbey Herbarium.

Bibliography :  

    Cusick’s life and botanical experiences are discussed in Irwin F. Lange, Pioneer Botanists of the Pacific Northwest, Oregon Historical Quarterly, 57 (1956) 115-118 and Harold St. John, William Conklin Cusick, Rhodora, 25 (1923) 101-105.

Related Materials :  

Additional Botanical manuscripts in MASC may be found in the following collections:

Cage 318 Beattie, Rolla Kent Papers, 1899-1956

Cage 53 Botanical papers, 1881-1973

Cage 317 Piper, Charles Vancouver Papers, 1888-1926

Cage 319 St. John, Harold Papers, 1912-1957

Cage 315 Suksdorf, Wilhelm Nicolaus Papers, 1867-1935

Detailed Description of the Collection

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Correspondence, letters from C. V. Piper, 1914-1921
3 items.

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Biographical Sketch of Cusick by Willard W. Eggleston, 1924
1 item.

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A Catalogue of Grasses of Eastern Oregon, 1908
1 item.

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A List, From Memory, of the Plants to be Seen Near at Hand in Crossing the Canyon of the Immaha Near its Source, 1911
3 items.

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An Annotated List of the Flowering Plants and Ferns of Northeastern Oregon: Wallawa, Union, Baker and Umatilla Counties, 1909
2 items.

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Distribution of Characteristic Alpine and Hudsonian Plants of the Wallowa Mountains, undated
2 items.

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Distribution of Characteristic Alpine and Hudsonian Plants of the Wallowa Mountains, undated
2 items.

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Field Books/Catalogs, 1906-1916
7 Specimen Number 2739-2783
8 Specimen Number 3060-3145
9 Specimen Number 3150-3339
10 Specimen Number 3340-3420
11 Specimen Number 1(3509) - 51 (3560)
12 Specimen Number 3422-3709
13 Specimen Number 3710-4038
14 Specimen Number 4039-4241
15 Specimen Number 4242-4435
16 Specimen Number 4436-4522
17 Specimen Number 4546-4783
18 Specimen Number 4604-4883
19 Specimen Number 4884-4935

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This 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.

  • Personal Names :
  • Cusick, William Conklin, 1842-1924 --Archives  ( creator)
  • Eggleston, W. W. (Willard Webster), b. 1863
  • Piper, Charles V. (Charles Vancouver), 1867-1926
  • Subject Terms :
  • Botany -- Research--Oregon
    • Occupations :
    • Botanists--Oregon -- Correspondence

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