Eastern roots in western soil : gender, class and interior space on officer's row, a material culture analysis of the commanding officer's house at Fort Hoskins, Oregon, 1856-1865 Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/j96023959

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  • The 158-year-old Commanding Officer's House at Fort Hoskins is one of only two such structures in Oregon representing the pre-Civil War era on the Western Frontier. From 1856-1861, it embodies a link in history between the prevailing ideology of western expansion and replication of Eastern cultural values into the frontier landscape during the first half of the nineteenth century. The study focuses on the domestic household of Captain Christopher C. Augur, a West Point elite officer who later became a Major General during the Civil War and a confidant of President Abraham Lincoln, and his wife, Jane Elizabeth Arnold, whose lineage permits her membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution. The social history of the Eastern roots of high status officers is constructed through use of archaeological findings from previous years of excavation at the fort site. These artifacts form the basis of a material culture analysis that offers interpretation of the interior space from socio-cultural, design, and historical archaeology perspectives. The structure of the Commander's house, built under the direction of 2nd Lieut. Philip H. Sheridan is examined with a lens toward gendered space, class distinction, and material culture. Nineteenth century domestic interior spatial differentiation is explored in this study. Information gathered from extant materials, archival documents, archaeological data, and museum collections offer a view of the interior and a portrait of the elite military family who occupied it from 1856-1861. Oral family tradition is acquired through interviews with Captain Augur's great-grandson and other direct descendants. Recommendations for further study of this and other historic houses, with focus on the interior material culture, historic house restoration, and nineteenth century domestic space, are given. Dimensions of American social history in the 19th century and Western history in particular are included.
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