Richard Etulain

Richard W. Etulain received his Ph.D. from the University of Oregon in 1966 with a dissertation--and now a published book--on the Oregon historical novelist Ernest Haycox. More recently, he has researched and written about several Oregon figures, particularly literary, cultural, and political men and women. Of his more than sixty authored or edited books, most focus on western or northwestern subjects, especially cultural, religious, and political history. He has also authored books on Abraham Lincoln and the West and edited books dealing with the Basques of the Pacific Northwest. A coauthored book with Glenda Riley, Presidents Who Shaped the American West, appeared in 2018. His two books on Billy the Kid--Thunder In The West: The Life and Legends of Billy the Kid and Billy The Kid: A Reader's Guide--were published in 2020.  Also in 2020, his book entitled William S. U'Ren: Oregon Father of the Initiate, Referendum, and Recall appeared.  His fourth book published in 2020 is Abraham Lincoln: A Western Heritage.  He has just completed a brief political biography of Mark Hatfield, Oregon governor.

Author's Entries

  • Basques

    The first Basques to Oregon arrived in the late 1880s. These Euskaldunak, or newcomers, usually migrated north and east from Nevada and California, often as sheepherders, and settled in the southeast corner of the state. The number of Basques continued to expand in eastern Oregon into the 1920s and 1930s, …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Earl S. Pomeroy (1915–2005)

    Western historian Earl Pomeroy was a longtime professor at the University of Oregon and a major figure in historical writing. In the mid-1950s, he advanced a revisionary thesis that, if followed, would have changed the way scholars wrote about the American West. In writings of his own, he followed his …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Edward Baker (1811-1861)

    Edward "Ned" D. Baker, who was born in London, England, on February 24, 1811, immigrated with his family to the United States at age five. When he was a teenager, his parents moved to Illinois, where Ned Baker later read law. At twenty, he married twenty-two-year-old Mary Ann Lee, a …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Election of 1860

    The presidential election of 1860 was a turning point in Oregon political history. Oregon had become a state in 1859, and it was the first national election in which Oregonians participated. The election also increased the visibility of the Republican Party in the state and introduced far-western residents to Abraham …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Ella Rhoads Higginson (1862?–1940)

    Ella Higginson’s writings, especially her prose, were provocative examples of women's experiences in the Pacific Northwest during the second half of the nineteenth century. She was the first woman author with an Oregon background to have national attention. By the end of her career, she had published two collections of …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Ernest Haycox (1899-1950)

    Ernest Haycox was an important figure in the development of the popular Western. Diligent, prolific, and ambitious, he wrote twenty-four novels, nearly three hundred short stories and serial installments, and dozens of essays. In the 1930s and 1940s, he may have been Oregon's most widely acclaimed author of magazine fiction. …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Joaquin (Cincinnatus Hiner) Miller (1837–1913)

    Joaquin Miller's early career as a writer illustrates a Biblical truth: “A prophet is not without honor, save in his own country.” Before American audiences paid much attention to him or his work, Miller had to win the buoying salutes of the British literati. Once he was headlined in English …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Oregon Literature (1814-1920)

    The first literature of Oregon followed patterns typical of most other regions of the United States. From the earliest Indian stories to the romantic novels and narratives at the end of the nineteenth century, Oregon writers mimicked the literary output of earlier American subregions. Much of this literature spoke of …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Oregon Literature (1920-2010)

    The joint appearance in 1927 of the controversial pamphlet Status Rerum by writers H.L. Davis and James Stevens and the new regional magazine Frontier edited by H.G. Merriam signaled a notable transition in the literary history of Oregon. These two publications pointed to—even denounced—the inadequacy of Oregon and Pacific Northwest …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Sheba Mae Childs Hargreaves (1882–1960)

    Sheba Hargreaves reached the apex of her career with a trio of historical novels—The Cabin at Trail's End (1928), Ward of the Redskins (1929), and Heroine of the Prairies (1930). She was an anomaly in the field, as popular Westerns were generally the bailiwick of men.   Sheba Mae Childs …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Stewart Holbrook (1893–1964)

    From Oregonian Stewart Holbrook's first book through his three dozen later volumes, he made clear that he was not writing academic history. His aim was to be a storyteller, with emphases on stirring narrative, lively pen portraits, popular artworks, and dramatic events. He was writing, he said, “lowbrow” or “non-stuffed …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • William S. U'Ren (1859–1949)

    William S. U’Ren wielded enormous influence on American politics and played a major role in the formation of governmental policies in Oregon. A quiet and determined behind-the-scenes political leader and reformer, he introduced and won over Oregon voters to a trio of important political measures late in the nineteenth and …

    Oregon Encyclopedia