Examining the general historiography of Baptists in the Northwest is beneficial before venturing into specific sources located at the Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives (SBHLA). This examination will be selective and not nearly exhaustive, but several sources should be mentioned.
Histories of Baptists in the Northwest
Two works on the early Baptist endeavors in the Northwest are: Baptist Annals of Oregon, 1844-1900 by C. H. Mattoon, and Baptists and the Oregon Frontier by Clifford P. Miller. Mattoon described the difficulty in being one of the first to write such a history: "Indulgence is asked, because this is the first effort to write a detailed history of Baptist work on this field and because much of the data, especially the earliest, has been exceedingly hard to find. Many records are lost, and, with solitary exceptions, brethren contemporary with the events, are far removed or dead." (1)
Miller, in his preface to this 1967 book, observed about the use of research material, "Whether one examines a dusty church record book, leafs through brittle pages of old associational minutes, peruses the crude diaries of unlettered preachers, or explores a forgotten, weed-choked cemetery, he will find variety and color, unexpected surprises, and fresh insight into human nature and conduct." (2) Another study of Oregon Baptists is Albert Wardin's exhaustive study published in 1969.…