Deep and Gritty History Come Alive at N. Oregon Coast Events
Published 01/08/2016 at 5:33 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff
(Astoria, Oregon) – Two particularly interesting angles about Oregon and Oregon coast history come to light this month, with one presentation at the Lewis & Clark replica at Warrenton and another in Astoria.
Lewis and Clark National Historical Park's Fort Clatsop is hosting its next In Their Footsteps series event on January 17. This program is called "The Towns that Became Today’s Warrenton," given by historian Susan Glen.
The sleepy north Oregon coast town of Warrenton, Oregon was incorporated in February 1899, and is a city comprised of many earlier towns and villages. These include Skipanon, Flavel, Hammond, and Fort Stevens, as well as Lexington which was the first county seat for Clatsop County until 1879 when it moved to Astoria. This illustrated talk shares some history of each of these towns as they grew and became the present city of Warrenton.
The program will be held in the Netul River Room of Fort Clatsop’s visitor center and there is no cost to attend. 92343 Fort Clatsop Rd. Astoria, Oregon. (503) 861-2471. www.nps.gov/lewi/index.htm
Oregon journalist and history expert R. Gregory Nokes gets gritty with Oregon's not-so-pleasant past: that of slavery. He discusses "Slavery at the End of the Oregon Trail" at Astoria Public Library, on Friday January 15.
The library is located at 450 10th Street, Astoria. Admission is free.
Nokes' presentation is based on his recent book, Breaking Chains: Slavery on Trial in the Oregon Territory, which tells the surprising history of slavery and racism in early Oregon. The book, a finalist for the 2014 Oregon Book Award for non-fiction, focuses on Holmes v. Ford, the only slavery case adjudicated in Oregon's pre-Civil War courts. When they were brought to Oregon in 1844, Missouri slaves Robin and Polly Holmes and their children were promised freedom in exchange for helping develop their owner's Willamette Valley farm.
However, Nathaniel Ford, an influential settler and legislator, kept them in bondage until 1850, even then refusing to free their children. Holmes took his former master to court and, in the face of enormous odds, won the case in 1853.
A native of Oregon, Nokes spent a 40-year career in journalism with the Medford Mail Tribune, The Associated Press and The Oregonian. He was a foreign correspondent for The AP in Latin America, with postings in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Buenos Aires, Argentina. He also covered the State Department for The AP during the Reagan Administration. During his career, he traveled to more than 50 countries on reporting assignments. After retiring from journalism in 2003, Greg began a second career as an author and lecturer on Northwest history.
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