Summer 2006

Issue 107:2

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In this Issue:

“Cast Aside the Automobile Enthusiast:” Class Conflict, Tax Policy, and the Preservation of Nature in Progressive-Era Portland

by Lawrence M. Lipin 

Lawrence Lipin examines the role that socio-economic considerations and progressive politics played in early twentieth-century debates over land use, taxation, and the construction of the Columbia River Highway. In his analysis of the Oregon single-tax movement, Lipin details the concerted efforts of political radicals and labor activists, such as William S. U’ren, Otto Hartwig, and George Henry, to encourage the productive development of land and to challenge the privileged status of corporate landholdings. The author also examines the ways in which producerist and progressive groups reorganized in the wake of several unsuccessful single-tax initiatives to oppose the construction of the scenic Columbia River Highway.

Respite From War: Buffalo Soldiers at Vancouver Barracks

by Gregory Paynter Shine

Historian Gregory Paynter Shine tells the story of the African American soldiers of Company B of the Twenty-fourth United States Infantry Regiment assigned to Fort Vancouver at the turn of the nineteenth century. The history of Company B—the first African American regiment to be stationed at Fort Vancouver—figures significantly into the broader history of the Pacific Northwest and of African American participation in the armed forces. Shine describes in detail the organization of the company and the individual backgrounds of many of its soldiers. He also analyzes the ways in which Company B’s experience at Vancouver Barracks reflected the changing roles of African Americans in American society and the broader context of American imperialism at the turn of the century.

Charity and the ‘Tramp:’ Itinerancy, Unemployment, and Municipal Government from Coxey to the Unemployed League

by D’mitri Palmateer

D’mitri Palmateer considers the relationships that existed between charitable organizations, municipal government, and itinerant workers in Portland in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, focusing primarily on the economic slowdowns of 1893 and 1914. From the organized activism of Coxey’s industrial army to the creation of the Unemployed League, Palmateer examines the different ways in which itinerant workers, charitable organizations, and municipal authorities perceived and addressed the problems of unemployment.

Pioneering Water Pollution Control in Oregon

by Glen Carter

In 1956, Glen Carter went to work for the Oregon State Sanitary Authority (OSSA), as the agency’s first aquatic biologist. In his thirty-two-year career with the OSSA and its successor agency, the Department of Environmental Quality, Carter was deeply involved in analyzing and addressing issues of great importance for the well-being of Oregon’s waterways and wildlife. Drawing on his extensive personal and professional experiences, Carter provides an engaging account of organized attempts to regulate pollution and restore the health of Oregon’s natural resources in the last half-century.

Art About Agriculture: A Retrospective

By Shelley Curtis

Shelley Curtis discusses the subtle complexities and artistic nuances of This Bountiful Place, a retrospective exhibition of Oregon State University’s Art About Agriculture permanent collection. From its beginnings in 1982 to the present day, Oregon State University has collected more than 200 works of art relating to agriculture and the natural resources of the Pacific Northwest—including drawings, paintings, photographs, prints, quilts, sculptures, and watercolors—from 156 different artists. In outlining the catalog of the retrospective exhibit, Curtis treats the various pieces of art both as individual compositions and as representations of the larger collection.

The American Presidency: An Exhibit on the Public Presidency in Oregon

by Robert M. Eisinger

Robert M. Eisinger presents an informative introduction to the traveling Smithsonian Institution exhibit, The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden, which is at the Oregon Historical Society until September 17, 2006. Through his description of The American Presidency exhibit, Eisinger revisits the tenures of American presidents from George Washington to George W. Bush and examines the ways in which the presidency and the nature of presidential power have changed throughout American history..

The Jefferson Peace Medal: Provenance in the Collections of the Oregon Historical Society

by Richard Engeman

In “The Jefferson Peace Medal,” Richard Engeman recounts the history of one of the Oregon Historical Society’s most illustrious artifacts. He describes the significance attached to the honorary medals distributed by Lewis and Clark and the differing accounts of how and where the lone medal was discovered and subsequently donated to the Historical Society by prominent Portland businessman, Winslow B. Ayers.