2022 Joel Palmer Award


Searching for Salem’s Early Chinese Community
by Kimberli Fitzgerald, Kirsten Straus, and Kylie Pine  (Winter 2021)

In this research article, Kimberli Fitzgerald, Kirsten Straus, and Kylie Pine document their three-year investigation to answer the question, “Did Salem, Oregon, have a Chinatown during the late 1800s?” Working with a local advisory committee, the authors learned that Salem had a thriving Chinatown for many years that included community leader George Lai Sun and several prominent families. An archaeological team also uncovered a funerary table in Salem’s Pioneer Cemetery, one of very few physical remnants of the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth-century community.

Honorable Mentions

Bona Fide Merchants”: Negotiating Life, Labor, and Transnational Mobility in the Time of Chinese Exclusion
by Chelsea Rose, Jacqueline Y. Cheung, and Eric Gleason (Winter 2021)

From 1875 until 1943, various policies increasingly circumscribed the free movement of Chinese immigrants into and within the United States. These efforts had a profound and lasting effect on the Chinese diaspora in the Pacific Northwest and divided the Chinese community into two distinct classes: laborers and a privileged class that included merchants. The authors of this research article argue that merchant businesses served a critical and multifaceted role in the formation, development, and decline of rural Chinatowns and in the lives of Chinese Oregonians who used the businesses to facilitate resistance and community persistence.  

The Rise and Fall of “No Special Rights”
by Will Schultz (Spring 2021)

In 1992, the Oregon Citizens Alliance (OCA) sponsored ballot Measure 9 in Oregon, which author William Schultz describes as “one of the most comprehensive — and harshest — antigay measures put to voters in American history.” OCA’s “No Special Rights” slogan implied that homosexuals sought “special” rights rather than protection against discrimination. In this article, Schultz examines Oregon’s anti–LGBTQ rights measures during the late 1980s and early 1990s and a similar campaign, Amendment 2, in Colorado.