Spring 2009

Issue 110:1

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In this Issue:

“Standing Out Here in the Surf”: the Termination and Restoration of the Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians of Western Oregon, 1954–1984

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.

The Politics of Oregon History: An Introduction to OHQ’s Statehood Sesquicentennial Series

by Robert D. Johnston

Historian Robert D. Johnston introduces the Oregon Historical Quarterly’s statehood sesquicentennial series, which will run throughout volume 110.  Johnston takes stock in recent changes in the historical profession, noting a newer, more inclusive history, and introduces readers to some of the broad topics and historical figures that will be covered in the series.  Asking readers to recognize “history’s contemporary public relevance,” Johnston draws out political themes in the series’ first installment.

Town and Country: A Conflicted Legacy

by William G. Robbins

Historian William G. Robbins traces the transition of Oregon’s landscape from a rural “school of humility” for farmers and small community dwellers into the massive metropolises and related hinterlands of modern day Oregon.  His discussion of this dichotomy — a product of the dramatic transformation of the American West by modern capitalism — sheds light on much of the politics and policies of land use in Oregon’s history, particularly in reference to the birth of Oregon’s distinct initiative system of direct democracy and its modern implications in land-use planning.

From Urban Frontier to Metropolitan Region: Oregon Cities from 1870 to 2008

by Carl Abbott

Urban historian Carl Abbott draws on census data and letters from the Reserve Bank Organizing Committee to trace the nineteenth century ascendency of Portland from a city with many regional rivals to the undisputed “primate city” of Oregon.  This study of urban geography notes the political and economic forces that colluded to give the region its particular geographic makeup.  Abbott also discusses in detail the factors that allowed many Oregon cities to make brief runs at primate status, only to have their cycles of boom and bust place them back in the ranks behind Portland.

“For Working Women in Oregon”: Caroline Gleason/Sister Miriam Theresa and Oregon’s Minimum Wage Law

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) and 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 among the sexes.