Academic Historian

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.

The Black Laws of Oregon, 1844-1857

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

John Hiram Jackson (1912-1997)

John Hiram Jackson was born November 16, 1912 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Both his parents were Virginians, and his maternal grandfather, the Reverend Daniel Cave, was a founder of Lynchberg Seminary, an independent black Baptist college.  Reverend Cave was the first of a line of Baptist … Read MoreJohn Hiram Jackson (1912-1997)