Summer 2011

Issue 112:2

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In this Issue:

“Hardly a Family is Free From the Disease”: Tuberculosis, Health Care, and Assimilation Policy on the Nez Perce Reservation, 1908–1942

by Elizabeth James

Tuberculosis emerged as an epidemic disease on American Indian reservations in the late nineteenth century, when government agents and officials often understood the disease in terms of race or societal evolution. Constrained by such cultural assumptions, several individuals nonetheless devoted themselves to fighting tuberculosis within Indians populations. On the Nez Perce Reservation, Agent Oscar Lipps and John N. Alley, M.D., equated assimilation with good health and opened an experimental sanitarium boarding school to combat tuberculosis. Historian Elizabeth James examines how the assimilation policies they concurrently sought to enforce may have contributed to tuberculosis rates through social disorder and instability. Tuberculosis remained a serious problem until the development of drug therapy in the middle of the twentieth century, which coincided with the displacement of assimilation as official federal policy.

On the Road with Rutherford B. Hayes: Oregon’s First Presidential Visit, 1880

by Kristine Deacon

In this city-by-city retracing of Hayes’s visit, from Ashland to Astoria, author Kristine Deacon examines the symbolic power and prestige of the presidency, which Hayes used as a tool for restoring national harmony to a country still shattered after the end of the Civil War. Deacon describes Hayes’s redirection of the federal government’s Indian policy, examines the metamorphosis of presidential travel, and details how Hayes, who was accompanied by Commander of the Army General William T. Sherman, used the trip as a basis for reorganizing the U.S. Army and for advocating for greater federal involvement in stabilizing the Columbia River bar.

Oregon Voices The Sicuro File: A Personal Perspective on the Struggle over Portland State University’s Most Controversial President

by David A. Horowitz

Although the Portland State University (PSU) community looked to the inauguration of President Natale Sicuro in 1986 as a turning point for a struggling institution, the administration faced a set of unsettling controversies. These included the president’s support of a student government leader facing personal misconduct allegations, an effort to elevate a deficit-plagued intercollegiate football program to Division I status, heavy-handed attempts to limit the autonomy of the student newspaper, costly renovations to the presidential mansion, and deficits and questionable expenses in the president’s account at the Portland State Foundation. Historian and PSU faculty member David A. Horowitz recounts how a broad university coalition played a part in the State Board of Higher Education’s decision to solicit a presidential resignation in the fall of 1988. Sicuro’s tenure reflected the growing clash between the values and practices of the corporate market and the principles associated with an autonomous academy.

Oregon Voices Where they Came From: Voices of Reed College 1920–1940

by John Sheehy

Portland’s Reed College was launched in 1911 with an idiosyncratic educational model and the bold ambition of becoming the most intellectually demanding college in the country. By the 1920s and 1930s, it was sending the highest percentage of graduates on to earn advanced degrees and turning out the highest percentage of Rhodes Scholars in America. During those decades, roughly 80 percent of Reed’s students were drawn from the Pacific Northwest, many of them first-generation college students from small towns and farms. John Sheehy draws from personal accounts collected in the Reed College Oral History Project, a twelve-year undertaking that interviewed more than fourteen hundred people, to showcase the backgrounds of some of those early graduates and to explore the qualities of Reed that attracted young freethinkers from around the region.

Oregon Voices Soccer in the Seventies: Chris Dangerfield and the Original Portland Timbers

by Michael Orr and Morgen Young

In the spring of 1975, fourteen British soccer players moved to Oregon and joined the Portland Timbers in the North American Soccer League. Among them was Chris Dangerfield, a nineteen-year-old forward from the Birmingham area. During his two seasons with the Timbers, Dangerfield was an important players on the field and a wide-eyed observer of American and Oregonian life off it. In September 2010, he spoke with FC Media about his experiences at the infancy of professional soccer in Portland and the impact of those two years on his career and life.

Local History Spotlight Madras Railroad Day Centennial Celebration 1911–2011

by Jarold Ramsey

On February 19, 2011, history lovers in Jefferson County gathered to celebrate the centennial of the 1911 arrival of James J. Hill’s Oregon Trunk railroad in Willow Creek canyon overlooking Madras. After a morning program at the site (in wind and snow), with re-enactments of speeches and a replica of the original Welcome Arch, the celebration moved to the historic Oregon Trunk Depot in Metolius, for a barbecue, railroad music, an exhibit of railroad photos, and a skit featuring Jim Hill in his nightshirt.