Summer 2010

Issue 111:2

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In this Issue:

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 

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.

Connecting Oregon: The Slow Road to Rapid Communications 1843–2009

by Frank Dillow

Frank Dillow ambitiously sets out to discuss the effect of nineteenth century communications advances in Oregon by tracing the ways postal, telegraph, and telephone innovations brought our remote territory into greater contact with the power centers of the East, thereby shaping the region’s development.  Dillow focuses the discussion through examination of individual Oregon innovators and entrepreneurs, such as Forest Grove's Grant Hughes and Silverton's Matt Brown, to highlight the agency through which Oregonians have affected their own technological advance.

“Let Us Honor Those To Whom Honor Is Due”: The Discovery of the Final Link in the Southern Route to Oregon

by Stafford Hazelett

In 1846, fifteen men led by Jesse Applegate, Levi Scott, and David Goff explored in what is now northern Nevada, seeking to establish an emigrant trail from the south through the rough mountains and desert, linking California to the Willamette Valley.  They encountered much hardship in their search, which did lead to an established trail, and their precise route has since been lost to history.  Trail enthusiast Stafford Hazelett documents his attempt to map that exploration using multiple sources: a close reading the journals and accounts made by the men involved in the initial journey, a critical reading of earlier attempts to rediscover the route, and a traversal of the region himself that allowed for corroboration of physical clues with primary source.