May 3, 2017: Oswego Heritage Council lecture at Lakewood
Oswego Heritage Council presents Philip Margolin and R. Gregory Nokes in a free lecture at Lakewood on the Headlee Mainstage. 6:30 pm reception, 7:00 pm lecture
OSWEGO HERITAGE COUNCIL
FIRST WEDNESDAY LECTURE SERIES PRESENTS:
PHILLIP MARGOLIN & R. GREGORY NOKES
HOLMES V. FORD, 1852
WEDNESDAY, MAY 3, 2017
LAKEWOOD CENTER FOR THE ARTS
Headlee Mainstage - 368 South State Street
Lake Oswego, OR 97034
Doors open at 6:30 with refreshments
Presentation begins at 7:00 pm
Free and open to the public
Phillip Margolin world renown author of Worthy Brown's Daughter will discuss writing his historical fiction book about slavery in Oregon, and R. Gregory Nokes who researched the lawsuit Holmes v. Ford (1852) will discuss this important lawsuit which is the center of Mr. Margolin's book.
Known for his critically acclaimed contemporary thrillers, New York Times bestselling author Phillip Margolin explores intriguing new territory in Worthy Brown's Daughter, a compelling historical drama, set in nineteenth-century Oregon, that combines a heartbreaking story of slavery and murder with classic Margolin plot twists.
One of a handful of lawyers in the new state of Oregon, recently widowed Matthew Penny agrees to help Worthy Brown, a newly freed slave, rescue his fifteen year old daughter, Roxanne, from their former master, a powerful Portland lawyer. Worthy's lawsuit sets in motion events that lead to Worthy's arrest for murder and create an agonizing moral dilemma that could send either Worthy or Matthew to the hangman.
At the same time, hanging judge Jed Tyler, a powerful politician with a barren personal life, becomes infatuated with a beautiful gold-digger who is scheming to murder Benjamin Gillette, Oregon's wealthiest businessman. When Gillette appears to die from natural causes, Sharon Hill produces a forged contract of marriage and Tyler must decide if he will sacrifice his reputation to defend that of the woman who inspired his irrational obsession.
At Worthy's trial, Matthew saves Worthy by producing a stunning courtroom surprise and his attempt to stop the deadly fortune hunter ends in a violent climax.
In Breaking Chains, R. Gregory Nokes tells the story of the only slavery case adjudicated in Oregon’s pre-Civil War courts—Holmes v. Ford. Through the lens of this landmark case, Nokes explores the historical context of racism in Oregon and the West, reminding readers that there actually were slaves in Oregon, though relatively few in number.
Drawing on the court record, Nokes offers an intimate account of the relationship between a slave and his master from the slave’s point of view. He also explores the experiences of other slaves in early Oregon, examining attitudes toward race and revealing contradictions in the state’s history. Oregon was the only free state admitted to the union with a voter-approved constitutional clause banning African Americans and, despite the prohibition of slavery in the state, many in Oregon tolerated it and supported politicians who advocated for slavery, including Oregon’s first territorial governor.