2010 Joel Palmer Award


Moralistic Direct Democracy: Political Insurgents, Religion, and the State in Twentieth-Century Oregon
Winter 2009

by Lawrence M. Lipin and William Lunch

Historian Lawrence M. 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.

Lawrence M. Lipin is a professor of history at Pacific University, where he teaches broadly in American history. He is a specialist in labor and environmental history and has published articles in the Journal of Social History, Labor History, and in this journal. His most recent book is Workers and the Wild: Conservation, Consumerism, and Labor in Oregon, 1910-1930, published by the University of Illinois Press.

William Lunch is known to listeners of Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) as Bill Lunch. He has been OPB's Political Analyst since 1988 and has won awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the National Press Club for his broadcasting. He is also Professor and Chair of the Political Science Department at Oregon State University. He has written for the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Oregonian as well as academic journals on elections, public policy (particularly health, environmental, and science policy), American national politics, and Northwest regional politics.

Honorable Mentions

'For Working Women in Oregon': Caroline Gleason/Sister Miriam Theresa and Oregon's Minimum Wage Law
Spring 2009

by Janice Dilg

During the great labor disputes of the early twentieth century's Progressive Era, Oregon became the seat for the first minimum wage law for women workers, due largely to the tireless championing of the cause by Caroline Glisan/Sister Miriam Theresa and organizations like the National Consumer League and the Catholic Women's League.  Historian Janice Dilg draws on Gleason's own papers (including the Social Survey of Oregon labor that Gleason administered) as well as scholarly secondary sources to discuss the theoretical debates behind women's protective legislation and the implications of that legislation as activists and courts pushed for and against equality between the sexes.

Janice Dilg is an independent scholar from Portland, Oregon. She holds an MA in history from Portland State University and has contributed to numerous regional public history projects. As the Oral History Liaison, she coordinates the oral history project between the Oregon Historical Society and the U.S. District Court of Oregon Historical Society. Since 2006, she has been an adjunct instructor at Portland State and is developing the Women City Builder's website, which highlights women's civic contributions to the city of Portland. She is currently working on the 2012 centennial of woman suffrage in Oregon.

'Standing out here in the surf': The Termination and Restoration of the Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians of Western Oregon in Historical Perspective
Spring 2009

by David R.M. Beck

In 1855, leaders of many coastal Native American tribes signed a treaty with the United States government, reserving some lands and maintaining for their peoples access to other lands and resources of the region. The treaty was never ratified by Congress, however, and a series of nineteenth- and twentieth-century federal policies left the Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians without federally recognized tribal status and in a prolonged litigation struggle with the government. Historian David R.M. Beck draws on federal archives and oral histories of many of the tribal leaders who have been major voices in the battle for restored status, concluding that persistence and stories of identity were the basis for the tribes' eventual winning of recognition in the mid 1980s.

David R.M. Beck, a professor in the Native American Studies Department at the University of Montana in Missoula, earned a Ph.D. in history from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is currently conducting research in twentieth century American Indian history and federal Indian policy. His books Siege and Survival: History of the Menominee Indians, 1634­–1856 (2002) and The Struggle for Self Determination: History of the Menominee Indians since 1854 (2005) both won the Wisconsin Historical Society book award.