Messenger 1.7.14 lores - page 7

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OSU P
uthor R. Gregory Nokes
visited The Valley Library
on October 15, 2013, for
a presentation on Oregon’s history
of slavery, the subject of his new
Breaking Chains: Slavery on
Trial in the Oregon Territory
Nokes captivated the crowd
with the story of Robin and Polly
Holmes’ quest to free their chil-
dren, who were held as slaves in
what is now Polk County in the
1840s and 1850s. Brought to
Oregon over the Oregon Trail in
1844 by their owner, the Holmes
expected to soon be freed in a
region closed to slavery. But slave-
holder Nathaniel Ford, who eventually became an influential
Oregon legislator, ignored the law and kept them in bond-
age—and he wasn’t the only slaveholder to do so. Holmes
Hot Off the Press
Meander Scars
Reflections on Healing the
Willamette River
Abby Phillips Metzger
2013. ISBN 978-0-87071-726-0.
Paperback, $18.95.
This elegant collection of personal stories
explores the nature of healing in the con-
text of themighty Willamette River’s past
and future. Author Abby Phillips Metzger,
an OSU graduate, works as a research
communicator for OSU’s Department of
Here on the Edge
How a Small Group of World
War II Conscientious Objectors
Took Art and Peace from the
Margins to the Mainstream
Steve McQuiddy
2013. ISBN 978-0-87071-625-6.
Paperback, $24.95.
Author Steve McQuiddy spent 20 years
researching this definitive history of civil-
ian Public Service Camp #56, located just
south of Waldport. During the day paci-
fists and political objectors planted trees,
crushed rock, built roads, and fought
forest fires. At night they published
books, produced plays, and made art
and music. They would go on to heavily
influence the Beat Generation.
Visit the author’s webpages at
to learn more
about this extraordinary group.
R. Gregory Nokes speaking in the rotunda of The Valley Library
on October 15, 2013.
Slavery on Trial in the Oregon Territory
by Micki Reaman, OSU Press Marketing Manager
and his wife finally gained their
freedom in 1850, but Ford
refused to release their three
children. Despite the odds
stacked against him, Holmes
initiated a court battle that
lasted for 15 months. The third
judge to hear the case ruled in
Holmes’ favor.
Holmes v. Ford
decided in 1853, is the only
slavery case ever brought before
Oregon courts.
A lively question and answer
session followed his talk.
Earlier in the day, Nokes
spoke to students in the
Sundown Towns in Oregon
course, co-taught by Professor Jean Moule and Oregon
Multicultural Librarian, Natalia Fernández, about Oregon’s
history of slavery and his research process.
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