Elizabeth McLagan is a free-lance writer and retired instructor at Portland Community College. In addition to her book on African Americans in Oregon, A Peculiar Paradise: A History of Blacks in Oregon, 1788-1940 (Portland: The Georgian Press, 1980), she has written Notes Toward a Biography: The Papers of John Hiram Jackson (Portland: Portland Community College, 1998), and contributed an historical overview of women and minorities for the Oregon Regional Disparity Study (1996). She has also contributed to Jun Xing and Erlinda Gonazles-Berry, eds., Seeing Color: Indigenous Peoples and Racialized Ethnic Minorities in Oregon (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 2007). An updated second edition of A Peculiar Paradise is just out from Oregon State University Press, 2022.
Beginning with the Exclusion Law of 1844 enacted by the provisional government of the region, Oregon passed a series of measures designed to ban African American settlement in the territory. Historian Elizabeth McLagan describes those laws in the article below. Oregon passed exclusion laws against … Read MoreThe Black Laws of Oregon, 1844-1857