Small Steps on the Long Journey to Equality: A Timeline of Post-Legislation Civil Rights Struggles in Portland
by Leanne Serbulo
Fall 2018, 119:3
Leanne Serbulo presented a timeline of civil rights struggles in Portland, Oregon, at a public history roundtable at the Oregon Historical Society commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the 1968 Fair Housing Act. In this record of her presentation, Serbulo documents milestones in dismantling racial discrimination between 1949 and 1990. For this timeline, Serbulo researched Metropolitan Human Relations Commission (MHRC) records held at the Portland City Archives and traces how the commission navigated the process of improving race relations in the city and Multnomah County. As Serbulo argues, “civil rights legislation was simply the first step in a long and unfinished journey toward equality.” As the timeline shows, dismantling racial discrimination occurred primarily in public agencies during that time period, as “MHRC and other civil rights organizations had little influence over the myriad of diffuse transactions in the housing market, and the public agencies that were empowered to regulate those markets were reluctant to aggressively police the private housing industry.”
BY MARTIN WHITE
Spring 2018, 119:1
In this research article, Martin White documents Black students' attempt to implement a Black Studies program at Reed College in Portland, Oregon — a struggle that ultimately "failed to take root." In 1968, Black students at the college, many of whom had been actively recruited through a scholarship program, formed a Black Student Union (BSU) that advocated for expanding Reed's curriculum beyond its Eurocentric focus. During the next two years, Black students demanded, and ultimately established, a Black Studies Center on campus; however, lack of funding and institutional commitment undermined the program. In 2018, "the echoes of past conflicts are again being heard on the Reed campus," as students are renewing that debate. As White points out, "racial justice remains a central issue in American life," and "Reed College will decide the role it will play."
BY LAURA CRAY
Spring 2018, 119:1
William Lovell Finley spent his career advocating for the protection of birds and wildlife and was a leading figure in the early-twentieth-century conservation movement. While Finley was prominent during that time, his work has fallen into obscurity due to the scattered nature of his archival materials. In this heavily illustrated Research Files essay, Laura Cray — digital services librarian at the Oregon Historical Society — documents Finley's career and the year-long digitization to make available online nearly all of his archival materials held at the Oregon Historical Society and Oregon State University. Included in the project are nearly 7,000 images and over 8,000 pages of manuscript materials that are available at digitalcollections.ohs.org and oregondigital.org/sets/finley-bohlman.
BY LYNN STEPHEN
Winter 2017, 118:4
In this research article, Lynn Stephen documents Mam Indigenous people immigrating to Oregon from Guatemala seeking refuge from violence and harsh economic and social inequities. "For many Guatemalans...who fled violence in their home communities, seeking asylum in the United States is one of the only routes to safety." Since the 1980s, Mam have brought to Oregon a diversity of languages and cultures, relying on transborder social connections to create new lives and communities. As Stephen argues, "like Germans, Swedish, Irish, English, and other immigrants who have settled in Oregon, Guatemalan immigrants are adapting to the state and integrating their families into local communities, bringing with them unique skills and knowledge."
by Carol Silverman
Winter 2017, 118:4
Roma have resided in Oregon since the early twentieth century, however, many Oregonians know little about the community beyond “gypsy” stereotypes. Although Romani people arrived in the state from Europe, most Oregonians treated them as non-White outsiders. In this research article, Carol Silverman describes the history of Roma in Oregon — immigrants that are often ignored by scholars — and “highlight[s] the tension between continuous discrimination and the challenge of keeping Romani language and culture vibrant.” Through strong family and community ties and selective integration, Romani remain resilient.
BY RUSS KAROW AND GLORIA LUTZ
Fall 2017, 118:3
In this Local History Spotlight, Russ Karow and Gloria Lutz document a collaborative project to gather historical information about the crops produced in Yamhill County, Oregon. They compiled data from historical agricultural and farm records at Oregon State University and the Oregon Historical Society that resulted in a set of spreadsheets documenting the earliest pioneer-introduced crops through 2012. The spreadsheets were then circulated among community members to fill in the historical gaps based on family records and oral histories. Their documentation also included “first plants” used by Native Americans in the region based on research by Native scholars.
The Earliest American Map of the Northwest Coast: John Hoskins’s A Chart of the Northwest Coast of America Sketched on board the Ship Columbia Rediviva . . . 1791 & 1792
by James V. Walker and William L. Lang
Summer 2017, 118:2
Between 1790 and 1793, John Hoskins created a map of the Northwest Coast of North America that included ninety-one place names documenting Native communities. The map is the earliest example of such detailed documentation by an American and was rediscovered in 1852 at the Cartographic Archives Division of the National Archives and Records Administration. In this research article, James Walker and William Lang provide a historical context for the map, including comparative charts that break down the Native names that Hoskins documented into seven cultural groups. According to Walker and Lang, the map “opens a window to what American traders knew, what they perceived about the region, and what they may have understood about the Native landscape.”
Women’s ‘Positive Patriotic Duty’ to Participate: The Practice of Female Citizenship in Oregon and the Expanding Surveillance State during the First World War
by Kimberly Jensen
Summer 2017, 118:2
Kimberly Jensen explores the practice of visible female citizenship in America during and after the First World War. During that time, thousands of women in Oregon participated in “visible civic pageantry” associated with national Liberty Loan drives and “an emerging surveillance state that included new strategies for scrutiny.” Jensen documents local and national forces “on women to conform to wartime norms,” and highlights ways in which women resisted wartime surveillance that challenged their civil liberties.
Jim Rock Historic Can Collection: Southern Oregon University’s Digital Collection Celebrating Jim Rock’s Contributions to Tin Can Archaeology
BY SHANA SANDOR AND CHELSEA ROSE
Spring 2017, 118:1
Archaeologist Jim Rock pioneered the study of tin cans in the United States, traveling around the country with a suitcase containing his collections wrapped in wool socks. His collection is now housed at Southern Oregon University (SOU), and a digital exhibit of Rock’s publications and collection is available online at the Southern Oregon University Digital Archives (SODA). Shana Sandor and Chelsea Rose discuss a brief history of the tin can, Rock’s contributions to archaeological research, and document the extensive digitization process required to present the tin can collection online. As Sandor and Rose emphasize, “at first glance, the digital collection is an archive of many examples of historic tin cans,” but “on closer inspection… researchers see beyond the rust to a deeper meaning,” that “tells a stunningly complex story of the American experience.”
BY CHELSEA ROSE AND MARK AXEL TVESKOV
Spring 2017, 118:1
In the spring of 1872, members of the Carolina Company migrated from North Carolina to Oregon and formed the town of Powers, which is one of the most isolated areas in western Oregon. According to Chelsea Rose and Mark Tveskov,” the homesteaders, like the Native Americans, made a life along the South Fork [Coquille River] that considered the region on its own terms,” and “they chose the place for its inherent qualities.” In 2010, the Coquille Indian Tribe and archaeologists from the Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology conducted work at sites associated with the Carolina Company – the Hayes family home site, and Mill Creek site that was home to the Rural post office. The archaeological work revealed remnants of the nineteenth-century settlement, which provides valuable information on Euro-American life along the South Fork.
BY MARK AXEL TVESKOV
Spring 2017, 118:1
The Battle of Hungry Hill, fought on October 31 and November 1, 1855, ended in a “humiliating defeat for a fragile coalition of U.S. Army dragoons and several companies of citizen volunteers” against the Takelma. In this research article, Mark Tveskov describes how Euro-American accounts of the battle “overlooked the American defeat,” “veterans of the battle minimized the defeat and desertion in their memoirs, sometimes mythologizing the battle to the point of turning it into a victory,” and “the battle was lost to the larger historical narrative of the American West.” In September 2012, a team of archaeologists and scholars discovered the battle site, and their research points to a history that is sometimes at odds with long-standing portrayals of the Battle of Hungry Hill.
By Jennifer Strayer
Winter 2016, 117:4
Jennifer Strayer interviewed the Oregon Historical Society’s former Library Director Geoff Wexler about his work to “provide greater visibility for archival collections, not only through the traditional venues of library reading rooms but also through innovative exhibits that ease the tension between art and duration, history and imagination.” In this Oregon Voices piece, Wexler discusses the Oregon Historical Society’s photograph collection, which “is estimated to be around six to seven million images” in collections ranging from studio portraits to landscape photography to newer acquisitions of two large African American collections. OHS is currently working on a new digital infrastructure that will greatly expand online access to its archival images, a collection that has been built by “many years of labor of previous staff members,” and “without their work, OHS would not hold one of the premier photography collections in the United States.”
The Unwanted Sailor: Exclusions of Black Sailors in the Pacific Northwest and the Atlantic Southeast
BY JACKI HEDLUND TYLER
Winter 2016, 117:4
Jacki Hedlund Tyler, a recipient of the 2014 Donald J. Sterling, Jr., Graduate Research Fellowship in Pacific Northwest History, documents little-known Pacific Northwest sailor laws and their role in racial oppression in Oregon. Tyler compares Oregon’s early black sailor laws, beginning prior to the Civil War and continuing past statehood in 1859, with Negro Seaman Acts of slave-holding states in the Atlantic Southeast. On both coasts the laws helped “legitimize claims of authority and ownership made by white inhabitants over non-white populations” and were “linked to debates over the institution of slavery; the desire to regulate maritime trade; and efforts to prohibit the spread of ‘contagion’ in the form of racial hostilities.” This research article is an important addition to the history of black American sailors during the nineteenth century.
The Making of Seaside’s “Indian Place”: Contested and Enduring Native Spaces on the Nineteenth Century Oregon Coast
BY DOUGLAS DEUR
WINTER 2016, 117:4
During the mid nineteenth century, non-Native settlement and activities disrupted and changed historic Chinook and Clatsop communities at the mouth of the Columbia River. Indian Place in what would be Seaside, Oregon, became home to a number of displaced peoples and an enclave where “the living gathered with the remains of the dead,” for “modest protection from the apocalyptic changes that so radically disrupted tribal lands, lives, and worldviews.” Douglas Deur documents tribal migration to the Indian Place during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and calls attention to many of its significant early residents. Transitional communities such as Indian Place, Deur attests, “defined the nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century Native experience in northwestern Oregon and beyond.” While the Indian Place no longer exists, it remains an “important [conduit] for tribal cultural knowledge, values, and practices that endure today.”
BY WILLIAM G. ROBBINS
WINTER 2016, 117:4
In this essay, William G. Robbins reflects on the 2016 armed occupation of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in Harney County through the lens of land ownership history in Oregon. The occupiers, Robbins argues, “raised timeworn historical issues regarding the federal estate in the American West: access to and use of land, the legal boundaries between public and private ownership, and the constitutional questions involved.” Oregon is one of twelve public-land states, with 52.9 percent of its land is under federal jurisdiction, and “many residents feel excluded from decision-making.” Robbins asserts, however, that “states have been intimately associated with federal initiatives from the beginning,” and the Malheur occupiers’ motivations for privatization of public land in Oregon based on a “misconstrued history.”
The National Historic Preservation Act at Fifty: How a Wide-Ranging Federal-State Partnership Made its Mark on Oregon
BY ELISABETH WALTON POTTER
Fall 2016, 117:3
Since the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) was signed into law in 1966, its “benefit to the nation has been far-reaching.” In this introductory essay to a special section celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the NHPA, Elisabeth Potter explores how historic preservation incentives were adopted and advanced in Oregon. The NHPA established a nationwide framework for cultural resource management that is used by individual states to set preservation priorities. Oregon, for example, is notable for Goal 5 of Senate Bill 100, an early land-use law requiring comprehensive planning to include provisions for protecting historic resources. That law greatly expanded state inventories of historic resources until it was amended in 1995. Although Oregon’s early historic preservation programs under the NHPA were productive, Potter suggests that “some of the most apparent challenges ahead for Oregon preservationists boil down to counteracting erosion of protective measures… and expanding state and local incentives for investment.”
BY KELLY CANNON-MILLER
Fall 2016, 117:3
Kelly Cannon-Miller, Executive Director of the Deschutes County Historical Society, examines the fate of “Big Red,” or the Brooks-Scanlon Crane Shed building (demolished in 2004), and historic preservation in Bend, Oregon. Constructed in 1937, the crane shed stood prominently in Bend’s mill district, representing the city’s origins as a lumber town. Beginning in 1993, a confluence of events jeopardized Big Red’s existence — the mill closed, Bend became a popular destination for retirement and outdoor enthusiasts, and the district was rezoned and purchased for redevelopment. Even though the crane shed was a significant remnant of Bend’s past, denying a demolition permit was seen by some as a government intrusion on private property rights. As Cannon-Miller describes, “the story of how the community debated the shed’s value reveals the complexities and pitfalls that exist in balancing the goals of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) with owners’ rights and with local and state land-use regulations.”
BY CHRISTINE CURRAN
Fall 2016, 117:3
In this review essay, Oregon’s Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer Christine Curran describes the importance of Space, Style and Structure: Building in Northwest America, a bicentennial commemorative study published by the Oregon Historical Society. Containing over one thousand images of the built environment in the Pacific Northwest, the two-volume book of essays is extensive in scope, providing analysis of both past and then-contemporary projects — some of which had yet to be constructed. While “Style, Space and Structure was conceived as a dispassionate planning tool, it is unapologetic about its preservation bias....without resorting to self-indulgent nostalgia.” Curran credits the book with providing contexts for conserving the region’s built environment, including resources of the recent past, while helping us all “understand that the past is a moving target.”
COMPILED BY ELISABETH POTTER
Fall 2016, 117:3
In this extensive timeline, Elisabeth Potter documents significant historic preservation events in Oregon, which range from the founding of the Oregon Historical Society in 1898 through recent historic preservation court rulings in 2016. Potter was an original staff member of the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) and served the program until she retired in 1998. Her breadth of knowledge and experience is reflected in this detailed account of national, state, and local historic preservation initiatives and provisions that have impacted Oregon’s landscape.
The Persistence and Characteristics of Chinook Salmon Migrations to the Upper Klamath River Prior to Exclusion by Dams
By John B. Hamilton, Dennis W. Rondorf, William R. Tinniswood, Ryan J. Leary, Tim Mayer, Charleen Gavette, and Lynne A. Casal
Fall 2016, 117:3
In this research article, John Hamilton and his co-authors present extensive new research and information gathered since a 2005 publication on the historical evidence of anadromomous fish distribution in the Upper Klamath River watershed. Using historical accounts from early explorers and ethnographers to early-twentieth-century photographs, newspaper accounts, and government reports, the authors provide a more complete record of past salmon migrations. The updated record “substantiate[s] the historical persistence of salmon, their migration characteristics, and the broad population baseline that will be key to future commercial, recreational, and Tribal fisheries in the Klamath River and beyond.” During a time when salmon restoration plans are being considered in the region, the historical record can serve as guidance to once again establish diverse and thriving populations.
by Christin Hancock
Summer 2016, 117:2
Klamath women's health and experiences of pregnancy and childbirth have been dramatically transformed by shifting federal Indian policies that have structured their lives form the nineteenth-century institution of the reservation through the mid-twentieth-century period of termination. Federal policies that may initially appear disconnected from health and health care have devastated the Klamath people’s overall “well-being” in two ways. Federal policies, beginning with the reservation system but also including the later policy of termination, disrupted traditional Klamath birth practices, replacing them with the western medical model of care. After disrupting those traditions, the federal government repeatedly failed to provide both funding for and access to any adequate level of western health care. These continuous failures reflect the ongoing nature of settler colonialism and its impact on Klamath women's birthing experiences.
WRITTEN BY KHRIS SODEN AND MICHAEL HELQUIST
DRAWN BY KHRIS SODEN
Summer 2016, 117:2
This graphic short story uses visual narrative to depict events that occurred during the 1916 visit to Portland, Oregon by birth control advocate Margaret Sanger. It relies on evidence and imagination to portray the lectures, arrests, and rally supporting Sanger. Graphic nonfiction can enhance historical events and engage readers with visual information that is more evocative and nuanced than narrative text alone.
BY MICHAEL HELQUIST
Summer 2016, 117:2
Margaret Sanger's birth control pamphlet Family Limitation significantly shaped American thought, values, and behavior. In the early decades of the twentieth century, the content and distribution of Family Limitation roiled communities throughout the United States. Public officials of Portland, Oregon, first engaged in the controversy when Margaret Sanger visited the city in June 1916. Other accounts have detailed Sanger's troubles in Portland — the only city on her tour to place her behind bars. But the 1916 local edition of Family Limitation (revised by Marie Equi) has not previously been analyzed or compared with editions that preceded or followed it. The Portland version was distinctive for a strong marketing appeal to union members that reflected the intersection of labor organizing and advocacy for reproductive rights. The pamphlet also directed specific advice to men, deleted specific mention of abortion, and criticized local authorities and the medical profession.
BY CRAIG CLINTON
Spring 2016, 117:1
In this heavily illustrated research article, Craig Clinton documents Fred A. Routledge's career as a commercial artist through a series of pictorial maps from the 1890s through 1930s. Although "personal details relating to Routledge's life and career are quite scarce," Clinton examines a range of illustrations to tell a story of his career from early street-level illustrations for the West Shore magazine to later birds-eye views of the Pacific Northwest. Routledge's maps not only documented existing landscapes, but also his "enduring engagement with the natural world and his belief in the transformative potential of humankind." The "quality of his pictorial map," explains Clinton, "was to become a significant feature of commercial travel cartography in the 1930s and beyond."
by Greta Smith
Winter 2015, 116:4
The contents of an old steamer trunk found in the basement of a Portland home were on display in a summer 2015 exhibit at the Old Portland Hardware (OPH). “What, at first glance appeared to be a ‘random collection of vintage ephemera from the 20s and 30s’,” told the story of James L. Wasson’s life in Portland’s Albina area from the 1920s through 1980. Wasson was a soldier during the Mexican Revolution and World War I and worked as a mechanic and automobile electrician. His passion for photography is well documented throughout the trunk’s collection, including self-portraits, negatives of portraits of Portland’s African American community members, a receipt for professional photography equipment, and numerous photographs of his wife Marcelita. OPH donated the collection to Portland State University Library Special Collections, where it is open to the public for research.
BY NATE PEDERSEN AND JEFFREY JOHNSON
Winter 2015, 116:4
In 1924, Frank T. Johns was nominated as the Socialist Labor Party's (SLP) candidate for president of the United States. Known as "Comrade Johns" by fellow SLP party members, Johns became interested in socialist industrial unionism as a young mail carrier and became an outspoken proponent of SLP principles. During his 1924 presidential run, Johns won only 0.1 percent of the national popular vote, but the SLP was thrilled by his sincere "dedication to his party's principles." Johns became the party's candidate for president again in 1928, but died during a campaign speech while attempting to rescue a drowning boy from the Descutes River. "Socialism in the century's first two decades was viable political philosophy," the authors explain, and Johns's short political career "offers documentation of the brief but important SLP moment both nationally and in Oregon."
BY CARL ABBOTT
WINTER 2015, 116:4
Between 1981 and 1985, the intentional community of Rajneeshpuram near Antelope, Oregon, hosted up to 15,000 followers of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, a spiritual leader from Pune, India. In this essay, Carl Abbott examines the rise and fall of Rajneeshpuram within the context of western history, which "centers on the processes of migration, settlement, displacement, and rearrangement." Drawing parallels to earlier religious closed communities, such nineteenth century Mormon settlements, Abbott describes how Rajneeshees fit into the "overarching storylines of frontier utopias and the…narrative of settler colonialism." Unlike Mormon communities, however, Abbott concludes that Rajneeshpuram ultimately failed because its leaders were not willing to compromise community goals when faced with larger state regulatory systems.
by Luke Sprunger
Fall 2015, 116:3
by Luke Sprunger During the mid 1960s, Latino families seeking better working conditions and financial prospects began settling in Washington County, Oregon. Many early Tejano (Texas ethnic Mexicans) families abandoned seasonal migrant work to settle permanently in the area and established a strong network of community support systems that helped new arrivals seek healthcare, combat discrimination, and retain cultural identity. Luke Sprunger documents those early community-building efforts through excerpted interviews with five narrators who moved to Washington County during the 1960s. "Their stories give voice to various phases of community growth, activism, and intra-ethnic relations that developed among county Latinos," and "their efforts and initiatives have aided newly arriving Latinos to Washington County and encouraged respect for and among the county's Latino residents."
BY BY MICHAEL HELQUIST
SPRING 2015, 116:1
Winner of the 2016 Joel Palmer Award. Although Oregon adopted its first anti-abortion law in 1854, Portland's first prosecution of a "criminal operation" (abortion) did not occur for nearly twenty years. The Oregonian coverage of abortion trials from 1870 to 1920 reveals many obstacles prosecutors faced during that time, including lack of sufficient evidence and ambiguities in the state's anti- abortion law. Through case studies and data collected from Oregonian articles during that time period, Michael Helquist explores Portland's early abortion trials that highlight "the nuanced and disparate reactions of physicians who found themselves on the front lines of abortion services, policies, and enforcement." Helquist argues that "an understanding of the conflicts over reproductive policy [is] as important to women's and the nation's history as the struggle to achieve woman suffrage and other rights of citizenship."
by Rachel McLean Sailor
Spring 2015, 116:1
Rachel McLean Sailor explores the history of photography and its role in place-making in the West, while engaging examples of contemporary photography that "can respond anew to a singular moment, and a singular place, while simultaneously encompassing the deep history of its subject matter . . . medium, and the cultural history of all who have attempted such representations in the past." Readers are guided through a number of photographs from the past as well as contemporary examples from the Oregon Historical Society's exhibit, Place: Framing the Oregon Landscape. This exhibit essay touches "on the many ways that the artists in this exhibit are responding not only to place, but also to the histories of landscape . . . and how photographic styles and conceptual approaches have rapidly transformed in America from the 1840s to today."
Planning for a Productive Paradise: Tom McCall and the Conservationist Tale of Oregon Land-Use Policy
by Laura Jane Gifford
Winter 2014, 115:4
Governor Thomas Lawson McCall is remembered by many as a larger-than-life figure who made a mark on the Oregon landscape with his strong land-use planning legislation. Laura Jane Gifford explores that legacy from a new angle through an argument that McCall's vision was tied "to the Republican Party politics of the Progressive Era…. emphasiz[ing] wise use and careful planning to generate progress in place of mere growth." Gifford documents how McCall successfully implement land-use policies in Oregon that ultimately failed nationally.
By Judith Hassen
Winter 2014, 115:4
Since 1935, the building that now houses the Klamath County Museum (formerly the Klamath County Armory and Auditorium) has served as a gathering space in Klamath Falls, Oregon. Originally constructed with Public Works Administration (PWA) as a drill and storage space for Oregon National Guard's Battery D of the 249th Coast Artillery, the Klamath County Armory and Auditorium also provided a large space for public gatherings, such as sporting events, circuses, auto shows, and concerts. In 2011, the building was listed in the National Register of Historic Places, recognizing it as Klamath Museum's "biggest and most important artifact."
Stealing from the Dead: Scientists, Settlers, and Indian Burial Sites in Early-Nineteenth-Century Oregon
by Wendi A. Lindquist
Fall 2014, 115:3
In 1835, Hudson’s Bay Company physician Meredith Gairdner sent his most valued specimen to physician and naturalist John Richardson — Chinook leader Chief Comcomly’s skull. As the early nineteenth century practice of phrenology emerged, scientists sought skulls to measure and examine for common traits that might lead to an eventual cultural hierarchy. Many were intrigued by Native head shaping practices and were emboldened to rob gravesites in the name of science and research. Lindquist concludes that, “among other things… [their] research demonstrated that Natives lacked the innate ability to assimilate into American society, providing many nineteenth-century whites with the justification they needed to mistreat Indians.” Euro-Americans eventually saw Native burial sites as places to experience remnants of what they considered a dying race.
Death and Oregon’s Settler Generation: Connecting Parricide, Agricultural Decline, and Dying Pioneers at the Turn of the Twentieth Century
by Peter Boag
Fall 2014, 115:3
Loyd Montgomery murdered his parents and a visiting neighbor in 1895 during a rural depression that greatly impacted Linn County’s local economy and marked a shift from agrarian ways of life. The Montgomerys belonged to a branch of the region’s most notable pioneers, and their death coincided with the reality that a generation of early Oregon pioneers that was quickly passing. Memorializing pioneers became increasingly popular in the late nineteenth century, with statewide and local organizations hosting annual reunions that focused on celebrating hardship overcome by perseverance. In this article, Boag “connects parricide, depression, and celebration,” with the common theme of death “in a triangulation of cause, effect, and remembrance that provided meaning to how a large number of Oregonians experienced the complicated transition to the twentieth century.”
by Brian J. Carter with Amy E. Platt
Summer 2014, 115:2
The Oregon Historical Society's exhibit 2 Years, 1 Month: Lincoln's Legacy brings together rare documents and artifacts that utilize the allure of Abraham Lincoln while situating the national figure within a rich regional history. Museum Director Brian J. Carter explains that the exhibit creates "a space for exploration of stories surfaced by Lincoln's wake" and provides "an interpretive path that allows exhibit viewers to move from the evidence of history . . . through the monumental dilemmas of the era — war, slavery, families, and communities who coexisted with Lincoln." The exhibit essay includes images of OHS-owned artifacts and manuscript material displayed in the exhibit as well as contextual notes prepared by Amy Platt, Project Manager for the Oregon Encyclopedia and Oregon History Project,, all of which can also be accessed through the Civil War in Oregon page of the Oregon Encyclopedia (www.oregonencyclopedia.org).
by Stacey L. Smith
Summer 2014, 115:2
When working with the Oregon Historical Society to create the exhibit 2 Years, 1 Month: Lincoln's Legacy, project historian Stacey Smith sought to answer a number of questions about Oregon's place in the Civil War. Drawing on themes from the exhibit and new scholarship on the Civil War in the American West, Smith reveals the Pacific Northwest's critical role in shaping Reconstruction policy and challenges "the myth that Civil War Oregonians were disengaged from the national struggle over slavery and civil rights." Smith describes Oregon as a multiracial society led exclusively by white men, noting that Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation forced the state's leaders to consider citizenship rights beyond just the black-white politics emphasized in most histories of the Civil War. Drawing the story into the 1870s, Smith shows how congressional representatives from Oregon played a prominent role in ensuring that African American enfranchisement did not extend to others, particularly Chinese-born immigrants.
BY MARCELA MENDOZA
Winter 2013, 114:4
Marcela Mendoza, Executive Director of Centro Latino Americano in Eugene, weaves an intriguing narrative exploring the legal, cultural and emotional aspects of the meaning of citizenship for immigrants in Oregon today. Through her talk, she explores the sense of belonging and how feeling personally integrated into a nation and a culture is much deeper and substantial than the fact of holding legal citizenship. Yet, the mixed assemblage of rights and responsibilities included in attaining citizenship has significant meaning for every person who chooses to obtain a new nationality.
by Christin Hancock
Summer 2013, 114:2
After becoming a Registered Nurse (RN) in 1968, Trudy Rice joined the ranks of thousands of professional African American women whose jobs required not only knowledge and technical skill in their chosen areas but also the ability to effectively respond to racism and prejudice in the workplace. In an interview conducted and introduced by historian Christin Hancock, Rice tells the story of her family coming to Oregon during World War II; studying at Portland Community College and becoming an RN; working in schools, hospitals, and as an inspector for the State of Oregon; and being faced with racism and responding to it with education. Hancock’s introduction places the story in the context of national and state history, arguing for its significance in a variety of fields.
“well and favorably known”: Deciphering Chinese Merchant Status in the Immigration Office of Astoria, Oregon, 1900–1924
BY AARON COE
SUMMER 2013, 114:2
Chinese were restricted from coming to, working in, and traveling to and from the United States by a series of federal exclusion laws that began in 1862 and peaked in 1924. Historian Aaron Coe examines how federal officials enforced those laws in Astoria, Oregon, from 1900 to 1924 through careful review of the immigration files. He finds that the reputations of individual Chinese people and firms significantly affected how their applications to travel and return, or to bring family members, would be received by agents. Coe concludes that immigration agents implicitly categorized Chinese as in good, poor, or ambiguous standing, concluding that exploring the individual reputations of Chinese and their relationships with immigration officers is crucial to understanding the history of Chinese exclusion laws in the United States.
by Leanne C. Serbulo & Karen J. Gibson
Spring 2013, 114:1
As in many cities across America, the relationship between African Americans in Portland, Oregon, and the city police force was fraught with tension through the late twentieth century. Scholars Leanne Serbulo and Karen Gibson argue that Portland’s African Americans, who collectively made up less than ten percent of Portland residents and were segregated into neighborhoods including the Albina district, experienced police as figures of colonial oppression. The authors chronicle how, over two decades bordered by African Americans’ deaths at the hands of police, neighborhood activists attempted to reform the police department and met resistance. The authors conclude that transformation of the relationship between police and the black community could have been accomplished only through strong action by elected officials.
by Henry Zenk
Winter 2012, 113:4
Drawing on the proficiency of native speakers of Chinuk Wawa, educators, and regional linguists, the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde published a Chinuk Wawa dictionary that both preserves the language and provides insight into the generational significance of its endurance. Linguist Henry Zenk relates his experience contributing to The New Chinuk Wawa Dictionary and describes the important familial relationships within the Grand Ronde community — past and present — that made the project possible.
by Janice Dilg
Fall 2012, 113:3
In this detailed description of the U.S. District Court of Oregon Historical Society Oral History Collection, Janice Dilg offers a glimpse into the remarkable professional achievements in law by Oregon women. By outlining the decades of legal inequities directed toward women — and the organized activism they employed to dismantle those inequities — Dilg places women’s personal stories preserved in the collection within their historical context. Excerpts from interviews with women such as Norma Paulus, Mercedes Deiz, Helen Frye, and Kristine Olson not only provide insight into the particular obstacles women have faced in the male-dominated legal profession but also reveal the value of the oral history collection to further our understanding of the effect women have had on Oregon’s legal and legislative landscape.
by Johanna Ogden
Summer 2012, 113:2
Historian Johanna Ogden explores the often overlooked but critical role of Punjabi laborers of Oregon in forming the radical Indian nationalist Ghadar Party in 1913. She addresses the international, national, and local forces behind the Punjabis’ migration to the state and the particular conditions they encountered once there. Framed by a series of post-9/11 concerns about the targeting of Arabs, Muslims, and South Asians, this article explores not only historical and social constructions of “us” and “them,” citizen and non-citizen, but the experience of Punjabi migrant laborers in remote Astoria, Oregon, where hardened racial and national lines were seemingly loosened.
By Gwendolyn Trice
SUMMER 2012, 113:2
The town of Maxville was once a logging town in Wallowa County, Oregon. Many African American families came from the South and Midwest to work in the Bowman-Hicks logging industry in Maxville in the 1920s. When the logging operation collapsed in the 1930s, the town was dismantled and the town disappeared. In 2008, Gwendolyn Trice—the daughter of an African American Maxville logger, Lucky Trice—founded the Maxville Heritage Interpretive Center (MHIC) in Wallowa, Oregon, to recover the history of the logging community in Maxville. Today the MHIC is highly active in community life. The center hosts the Annual Maxville Gathering, maintains partnerships with regional universities, is developing a musical play about Maxville with Marv Ross, and continues to invigorate the tourism industry in Wallowa County.
BY PETER A. KOPP
Winter 2011, 112:4
In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, hops — a central ingredient in beer-making — were the most important specialty crop in the Willamette Valley. Farmers began planting the crop just after the Civil War, and success resulted from ideal environmental conditions, an established agricultural infrastructure that dated to the 1820s, new technologies including railroads, and unending cultural desires for beer. Oregon hops offered small farmers cash income and brewers near and far the spice of their beer. Historian Peter A. Kopp examines the environmental and cultural origins of the Willamette Valley hop industry, arguing that the specialty crop offered economic diversity and a strong sense of community for the region’s residents while at the same time connecting local agriculture to urban beer production as well as people and materials across the world.
by Michael Orr and Morgen Young
Summer 2011, 112:2
In the spring of 1975, fourteen British soccer players moved to Oregon and joined the Portland Timbers in the North American Soccer League. Among them was Chris Dangerfield, a nineteen-year-old forward from the Birmingham area. During his two seasons with the Timbers, Dangerfield was an important players on the field and a wide-eyed observer of American and Oregonian life off it. In September 2010, he spoke with FC Media about his experiences at the infancy of professional soccer in Portland and the impact of those two years on his career and life.
by Sheri Bartlett Browne
SPRING 2011, 112:1
Frances Fuller Victor (1826–1902) was a significant historian of Oregon and the Far West in the late nineteenth century. She already was a successful author before making her home in Oregon in 1864. Examining Victor’s poetry, essays, and travel accounts written as a young woman, historian Sheri Bartlett Browne makes two compelling claims: Victor’s life and writing must be placed within a larger cultural and historical context of American women’s literary contributions; and Victor’s early works form an important intellectual bridge to her later perceptive analyses of Oregon and the West.
by Karl Vercouteren
Spring 2011, 112:1
History-minded citizens of The Dalles rescued the 1859 Original Wasco County Courthouse in the mid 1970s. Karl Vercouteren tells how the courthouse preservation group saved a building that played a major role in Eastern Oregon’s history and how they generate and preserve history through an annual forum that features local and regional historians. The collection of recordings of those speakers over a thirty-year period constitutes a treasury of resources that the Original Courthouse is making available to the public.
“We’re going to defend ourselves” The Portland Chapter of the Black Panther Party and the Local Media Response
by Jules Boykoff and Martha Gies
Fall 2010, 111:3
The Portland chapter of the Black Panthers began in 1969, shortly after the organization was founded in Oakland, California, and proceeded to utilize the methods and tenants of the growing Black Panther movement to facilitate the advancement and protection of Portland’s African-American community. Martha Gies and Jules Boykoff analyze how the Portland chapter and its leaders were portrayed by the major local newspapers, the Oregonian and the Oregon Journal. They draw on detailed emerging media theory, primary media sources from the era (1969–1979), and interviews with prominent members of the Portland chapter (Kent Ford and Percy Hampton) to document and examine the Portland chapter’s community survival programs, confrontations between officials and activists, and the media response to both.
Betwixt and Between the Official Story: Tracing the History and Memory of a Family of French-Indian Ancestry in the Pacific Northwest
by Melinda Marie Jetté
Summer 2010, 111:2
Historian Melinda Marie Jette utilizes multiple approaches — genealogical research, oral history, and investigation of archival collections — to discuss the assimilation of her French-Indian ancestry into the larger American experience. She reveals a pioneering Oregon family whose narrative overlaps with the more widely known public narratives of emigrant arrival, the inter-cultural fur trade, and the eventual non-Native dominance of society in the Pacific Northwest. Jette's discussion offers insights into the ways family histories may provide counter narratives that can broaden our understanding of the historical Oregon experience and its continuing impact today and makes suggestions about the interrelationship among history, memory, and identity.
by Ethan Johnson and Felicia Williams
Spring 2010, 111:1
Ethan Johnson and Felicia Williams trace the history of desegregation in Portland Public Schools from William Brown’s 1867 attempt to enroll his African-American children into elementary school to the Portland school closings and mandatory busing programs of the late twentieth century. They tell a complex story that often mirrors and is influenced by the trends of desegregation and multiculturalism in American society at large but also illustrates Oregon’s unique and complex history in regard to race relations. Johnson and William rely on exhaustive research at the archives of the Oregon Historical Society, Portland Public Schools, and the City of Portland as well as contemporary newspaper accounts to unearth an important history told only sporadically before.
BY TARA WATSON AND MELODY ROSE
Spring 2010, 111:1
Tara Watson and Melody Rose analyze the significant outpouring of feminist legislation passed by the 1973 Oregon Legislature, arguing that the work of talented and motivated female legislatures who spearheaded much of the legislation is only part of the explanation for their unique success. Utilizing many secondary sources on political history and theory and drawing on oral histories collected from members of the 1973 session, the authors re-evaluate this “second wave” of Oregon feminism. They conclude that preconceived notions of 1970s identity politics do not allow for a proper understanding of the complex way this particular group of women realized their objectives.
Moralistic Direct Democracy: Political Insurgents, Religion, and the State in Twentieth-Century Oregon
by Lawrence M. Lipin and William Lunch
Winter 2009, 110:4
Historian Lawrence Lipin and political scientist William Lunch discuss Oregon’s use of the initiative and referendum process, noting that direct democracy was used most often in Oregon in two distinct periods — at the beginning of the twentieth century and in the century’s final decades. The authors argue that the two periods were host to similar political grass-roots movements, characterized by a “populist moralism” in which Oregonians reacted against the perceived hegemony of an elite and moved to re-establish traditional values. Lipin and Lunch further note the ways populist political movements in both periods reignited long-standing political disagreements over the role of morality in Oregon public life.
Novel Views of the Aurora Colony: The Literary Interpretations of Cobie de Lespinasse and Jane Kirkpatrick
by James J. Kopp
Summer 2009, 110:2
Historian James J. Kopp discusses major works of historical fiction of Jane Kirkptrick and Cobie de Lespinasse, books that take place in the Aurora Colony in Oregon. He particularly notes the detailed research done by these authors, challenging a view that historical fiction cannot supplement the historical record. Kopp retraces the trail of the authors’ research through the archives of the Aurora Colony Historical Society and outlines the nuanced characterizations expressed by the authors of day to day life in the utopian community, noting the tendency of both to address areas of discourse not yet analyzed by historians, particularly having to do with women’s experience, thereby challenging readers and researchers to consider new understandings about life in the Aurora colony.
BY ERIN MCCULLUGH PENEVA
Fall 2008, 109:3
A mainstay of Oregon history since 1928, Oregon Geographic Names now documents the stories behind over six thousand of the state’s place-names. Lewis A. “Tam” McArthur published the book’s first edition, and his son, Lewis L. McArthur, told stories in a 2006 interview about how his father researched, talked, and wrote letters to determine where the names originated. Historian Erin McCullugh Peneva introduces the narrative she created from that interview and gives context about why place-names are important embodiments of a community’s shared memory.
by Deborah M. Olsen
Summer 2008, 109:2
In the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, women used the platform of world’s fairs to bring publicity to their work and to advance their interests. Women had traditionally worked separately from the men who organized and ran the fairs, but the 1904 St. Louis Exposition marked a shift toward integration. Men who led Portland’s 1905 world’s fair claimed they had embraced the new, integrationist model, but Deborah M. Olsen’s close study of newspaper articles, correspondence, and fair records reveals that Oregon’s women actually embraced the separatist model to achieve success on two projects — the annual convention of the National American Woman Suffrage Association and the commissioning and prominent display of a statue of Sacajawea. Olsen’s research also highlights the contributions of Sarah Evans, a journalist whose work on the two projects helped lay the foundation for the successful 1912 Oregon woman suffrage campaign.
“Neither Head nor Tail to the Campaign” Esther Pohl Lovejoy and the Oregon Woman Suffrage Victory of 1912
by Kimberly Jensen
Fall 2007, 108:3
In February 1913, Oregon suffragist, physician, and public health activist Esther Clayson Pohl Lovejoy summed up Oregon’s 1912 woman suffrage victory for the Woman’s Progressive Weekly: “It was pre-eminently a campaign of young women, impatient of leadership, and they worked just about as they liked — and that is how they will vote. There was certainly neither head nor tail to the campaign.”
Summer 2007, 108:2
From the Summer 2007 issue, this special section includes four articles: Tectonic History and Cultural Memory Catastrophe and Restoration on the Oregon Coast by R. Scott Byram, Tsunamis and Floods in Coos Bay Mythology by Patricia Whereat Phillips, Weaving Long Ropes: Oral Tradition and Understanding the Great Tide by Jason T. Younker, and Native American Vulnerability and Resiliency to Great Cascadia Earthquakes by Robert J. Losey
By VALERIE BROWN
Summer 2007, 108:2
From the sidewalk, it looks like nothing — just a door with a little sign above it. You go down some stairs and pay somebody fifty cents to let you into a low-ceilinged, murky room filled with about a dozen wooden wire-spool tables slathered with varathane. A homemade ceramic ashtray sits on each table. You go to the counter and get a bottomless cup of coffee for fifteen cents, then commandeer a table six feet away from the ten-bytwelve- foot stage. The room fills up with people and cigarette smoke blended with an occasional whiff of marijuana, incense, and burnt cheese. You hear the first notes on the guitar, the first unpolished, good-natured singing and the sweet harmonies, and you forget the funkiness of your surroundings. The music is playing, and you are right up close.
By Dale Skovgaard
Spring 2007, 108:1
On Memorial Day, May 30, 1948, Vanport — a city of 18,000 people — was destroyed in the matter of a few hours by floodwaters from Smith Lake and the Columbia River, which broke through the SP&S north-south railroad line landfill. As I began to write this article, the memories and images of that day came back to me so clearly that it seemed like it happened only yesterday.
BY R. GREGORY NOKES
Fall 2006, 107:3
R. Gregory Nokes tells the story of the murder of as many as thirty-four Chinese miners by a gang of seven horse thieves at a place in Hells Canyon, which has been designated “Chinese Massacre Cove” by the Oregon Geographic Names Board. Drawing on recently uncovered primary material, Nokes patches together the tale of the crime and the acquittal of three gang members who were arrested and charged with murder and places the events in the global context of relationships between American and Chinese citizens and governments.
BY LEWIS L. MCARTHUR
FALL 2006, 107:3
In 1938, Lewis L. McArthur, a recent graduate of the University of California, went to work as a salesman for the Columbia Steel Company, a subsidiary of the United States Steel Corporation in Portland. His memories of the three years he spent working there depict the buildings, systems, and people that were involved with selling steel for some of the largest construction projects in the Pacific Northwest.
by Rebecca J. Dobkins
Fall 2006, 107:3
Drawing from conversations with the artist about his life and work, Rebecca J. Dobkins gives readers insight into the foundations and purposes of Rick Bartow’s stunning drawing and sculpture. “Accepting his invitation to see more carefully and to feel connections more deeply,” she writes, “brings us a greater understanding of this place we now call Oregon.”
“Cast Aside the Automobile Enthusiast” Class Conflict, Tax Policy, and the Preservation of Nature in Progressive-Era Oregon
by Lawrence M. Lipin
Summer 2006, 107:2
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.
Completing Lewis and Clark’s Westward March: Exhibiting a History of Empire at the 1905 Portland World’s Fair
by Lisa Blee
Summer 2005, 106:2
Lisa Blee explicates the complexities and conundrums of American culture and the legacy of American expansionism set in motion with Lewis and Clark’s expeditionary westward march. The Lewis and Clark Exposition — Portland’s 1905 World’s Fair — functioned both as a celebration of America’s historical progress and as tacit justification for further colonial and economic ambitions. The subject matter and peoples on display at the fair, reflective of the romantic historicism of Frederick Jackson Turner, provided tangible links to an acceptable past and emotional testaments to the supremacy of the American way of life in the face of an ever-expanding world marketplace.
by Ives Goddard and Thomas Love
Summer 2004, 105:2
Linguist Ives Goddard and anthropologist Thomas Love combined efforts in the latest attempt to determine the meaning of the name Oregon. They argue that “The evidence we have uncovered for the origin of Oregon in the Algonquian languages of New England supplies the missing link between [Robert] Rogers and a plausible linguistic source.” Using seventeenth- and eighteenth-century maps, Rogers’s journals, and detailed study of Algonquian languages, the scholars make an argument for the Northeastern origins of the name of this far western state.
Does Portland Need a Homophile Society? Gay Culture and Activism in the Rose City between World War II and Stonewall
by Peter Boag
Spring 2004, 105:1
Gays and lesbians in Portland lagged behind their counterparts in other areas of the United States in efforts to organize politically around civil rights issues. Historian Peter Boag considers why this was the case, comparing gay activism in Portland with activities in Seattle and, to a lesser extent, Tacoma, Denver, and San Francisco. Concentrating on the period between World War II and 1969, Boag addresses the influx of young people into cities such as Portland and into the military during World War II, bar culture, political and media concerns about gays and lesbians as “sexual deviants,” and the establishment of homophile organizations such as the Mattachine Society and the Daughters of Bilitis.
by Joseph E. Taylor III
Spring 2004, 105:1
Herbert Hoover is too often portrayed simplistically as an exemplar of Republican policies during the 1920s. Examining Hoover's management of the western fisheries during his tenure as secretary of the Department of Commerce during the 1920s, Joseph Taylor argues that Hoover's actions and his legacy are more complex than they are often presented. Taylor presents four examples of Hoover's management style: his reorganization of the industry and the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries, the reorientation of scientific studies undertaken by the bureau, the management of salmon fisheries in Alaska, and the negotiation of fishery treaties.
By Michael McKenzie
Winter 2003, 104:4
Artifacts have the potential to inform historians about the past in ways that written records cannot. Recently, the Oregon Historical Society acquired a basalt rock inscribed with the date 1811 and a cross, originally found near the headwaters of the Middle Fork of the John Day River. Michael McKenzie uses historical data, primary documents, and technological techniques to hypothesize that members of the expedition sponsored by John Jacob Astor and led by Wilson Price Hunt in 1811-1812 may have inscribed the rock. Through his detailed explanation of the process by which artifacts are interpreted, McKenzie makes an argument for the contribution of artifact study to historians’ understanding of a sense of place.
York of the Corps of Discovery: Interpretations of York’s Character and His Role in the Lewis and Clark Expedition
by Darrell M. Millner
Fall 2003, 104:3
The celebration of the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial has stimulated much academic and public discussion about the Corps of Discovery and its exploration of the West. During the past two hundred years, much has been written about expedition members’ scientific observations, the political implications of their explorations, and the cultural consequences of contact between the Corps members and the indigenous populations they encountered. Considerably less attention has been paid to the sole black member of the Corp—York, the slave of William Clark. Professor Darrell Millner adds to the sparse literature on York by documenting his contributions to the expedition, examining the “racial realities and dynamics of American life” at the time, and scrutinizing “how York is portrayed in the scholarly and popular writing that has been published in the two hundred years since 1805–1806.” Millner incorporates recent documentation that challenges long-standing ideas regarding the status of York as a slave and his relationship with Clark in the post-expedition period.