In this Issue
“Providence will take care of me…I will wear a crown”: Frontier Circuit Rider, James O. Rayner, and the Land Laws of Early Oregon
by James V. Walker
James O. Rayner served as an itinerant minister for the Methodist Episcopal Church (MEC) in the Oregon Territory from 1848 to 1859, where he worked circuits from Astoria to Jacksonville to reach a quickly expanding population of white residents. Through primary documents, including Rayner’s unpublished papers, James V. Walker examines the personal struggles of a mid nineteenth-century circuit rider and how they reveal “not only the idealized goals of missionary work but also the realities of frontier life and the forces that promoted America’s settler colonial expansion in the Pacific Northwest.” Rayner’s diary and family letters provide readers a “narrow view” into how one minister “understood the contemporaneous historical events and forces that affected his life in Oregon,” including the 1850 Oregon Donation Land Act, inception of the Cayuse War, forced removal of Indians from the Umpqua Valley, and the Rogue Indian War in Southern Oregon.
by Craig Owen Jones
Author Craig Owen Jones writes “the failure of American Cricket to flourish in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries is the Rorschach inkblot test for sports historians — each sees in the failure whatever they wish to see.” In this research article, explores the history of cricket in Oregon, and especially the Portland Cricket Club, “with an emphasis on cricket clubs’ sociological and demographic makeup.” The earliest reference of cricket in Oregon are in newspaper reports on cricket games being played in Portland in 1873. By the late 1870s, cricket had expanded beyond Portland to areas as far apart as Albany, Astoria, and Corvallis. Jones ultimately concludes that cricket’s failure to establish in Oregon was due to major cricket clubs taking on an exclusionary membership of mainly upper-class players, and failed to establish a broader appeal. Although cricket never took off in Oregon, Jones emphasizes that “it nonetheless played a persistent, if small, role in sporting life for almost three quarters of a century.”
An Oral History of the All American Toy Company: An Oregon Original
by Martha A. Solomon
In this Oregon Voices article, Martha A. Solomon documents the history of the All American Toy Company, founded in 1947 in Salem, Oregon, which has captivated generations of children and adults. During its peak years, the company sold a wide range of toy trucks, all modeled after full-scale vehicles used in various industries in Oregon, to major retailers across the country. Solomon writes that “even decades later, former All American Toy Company truck owners can recall when they and their friends received the toys as gifts.” That sentiment is reflected in excerpts of oral history interviews with former employees who each shared “recollections and personal history of [their] time with the All American Toy Company, many memories dating back to 1947.” An exhibit about the All American Toy Company will be on view at the Oregon Historical Society between September 13, 2019, and January 26, 2020.
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