Strangers to Us All Lawyers and Poetry

Charles Erskine Scott Wood

Oregon & California

C.E.S. Wood was a writer, poet, soldier, corporate lawyer, and a lover of books. He was a founder of Portland's Public Library and the Portland Art Museum. A self-proclaimed anarchist, he was a regular contributor to radical journals of the day.

Notable Oregonians: Charles Erskine Scott Wood—Soldier/Attorney/Writer
Oregon Blue Book

C.E.S. Wood (1852-1944)
The Oregon Encyclopedia

Charles Erskine Scott Wood

The Pursuit and Capture of Chief Joseph
PBS: New Perspectives on the West

Portland Radical History Tour
The Political Economy Program
Lewis and Clark College


["Sunrise"] ["The Poet in the Desert"]


Charles Erskine Scott Wood, A Masque of Love (Chicago: Walter M. Hill, 1904) [online text]

______________________, The Beggar at the Gate (Portland, Oregon: F.W. Baltes & Co., 1913)

______________________, How Christ Spent His Christmas: A Poem with a Prologue (Portland, Oregon, 1914)

______________________, The Poet in the Desert (Portland, Oregon, 1915)(Portland, Oregon: Press of F. W. Baltes and Company, new ed., 1918)(New York: Vanguard Press, 1929) [online text]

______________________, Maia. A Sonnet Sequence (Portland, Oregon: Charles Wood, 1915)(Portland, Oregon: Printed for the author, F.W. Baltes and Company, 1918)

______________________, Sonnets Throughout Aye Many Years Begot of Introspective Sense and Love for Kith and Kin (Portland, Maine: privately printed, 1918)

______________________, Poems From the Range (San Francisco: Lantern Press, Gelber-Lilienthal, Inc., 1929)

______________________, Selected Poems (San Francisco: Priv. print. at Grabhorn Press, 1937 (with Sara Bard Field)

______________________, Sonnets to Sappho (San Francisco: Printed by E. and R. Grabhorn, 1939)

______________________, Collected Poems (New York: Vanguard Press, 1949)(foreword by Sara Bard Field; introd. by William Rose Benét)

______________________, Debs Has Visitors in Jail (Berkeley Heights, New Jersey: Oriole Press, 1964)

Poetry Anthologies

Charles Erskine Scott Wood, "Eden," "Give All," and "Goats," in William Stanley Braithwaite (ed.), Anthology of Magazine Verse for 1926 and Yearbook of American Poetry 485-487 (Boston: B.J. Brimmer Company, 1926)


C. E. S. Wood, Private Journal, 1878, 70 Oregon Historical Quarterly 5-38 (1969)

____________, Private Journal, 1879, 70 Oregon Historical Quarterly 139-170 (1969)


Charles Erskine Scott Wood, Imperialism vs. Democracy (New York: Evening Post Job Print, 1899)("address delivered at the Jefferson birthday dinner at Portland, Ore., April 13, 1899")

______________________, A Book of Tales, Being Some Myths of the North American Indians (Portland, Oregon: McArthur & Wood/Attic Press, 1901)(New York: Vanguard Press, 1929)

______________________, The Legend of King Luke of Brittany (Portland, Oregon, CES Wood, 1912)

______________________, Circe: A Drama with a Prologue (Portland, Oregon, the author, 1919)

______________________, The Woodchild: A Christmas Tale Written for Nancy Honeyman, by her grandfather Charles Erskine Scott Wood (San Francisco: J. H. Nash, 1919)

______________________, The Last Testament of Charles Erskine Scott Wood (Privately published, 1921) [online text]

______________________, Heavenly Discourse (New York: Vanguard, 1927)(New York: Vanguard Press, 1937)(New York: Penguin Books, 1946)

______________________, The Beautiful Wedding (San Francisco: Edwin & Robert Grabhorn, 1929)

______________________, Too Much Government (New York: Vanguard Press, 1931)

______________________, Earthly Discourse (New York: Vanguard Press, 1937)


Robert Hamburger, Two Rooms: The Life of Charles Erskine Scott Wood (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1998)


Edwin Bingham & Tim Barnes (eds.), Wood Works: The Life and Writings of Charles Erskine Scott Wood (Corvallis: Oregon Sate University Press, 1997)

Edwin R. Bingham, et. al, (eds.), Charles Erskine Scott Wood (Boise, Idaho: Boise State University, 1990)

Erskine Wood, Life of Charles Erskine Scott Wood: A Renaissance Man (Vancouver, Washington: Rose Wind Press, 1991)(Erskine Wood is Wood's son)

___________, Life of Charles Erskine Scott Wood (privately printed, 1978)

Helena Kaye, "Charles Erskine Scott Wood: His Life and Works," Masters thesis, University of Texas, 1937.

Bibliography: Articles

Edwin R. Bingham, Oregon's Romantic Rebels: John Reed and Charles Erskine Scott Wood, 50 Pacific Northwest Quarterly 77-90 (1959)

______________, Experiment in Launching a Biography: Three Vignettes of Charles Erskine Scott Wood, 35 (3) Huntington Library Quarterly 221-239 (1972)

George Venn, Soldier to Advocate; C.E.S. Wood's 1877 Diary of Alaska and the Nez Perce Conflict, 106 (1) Oregon Historical Quarterly (2005) [online text]

Research Resources

Charles Erskine Scott Wood Papers
Bancroft Library
University of California
Berkeley, California

Sara Bard Field
Oral History
Bancroft Library
University of California

Nan Wood Honeyman
Charles Erskine Scott Wood's Daughter

Dorothy Gordon Papers
Harry Ransom Research Center
University of Texas
Austin, Texas

History of the Bench and Bar of Oregon
(Historical Publishing Co., 1910)