Nokes Book Blog

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What Would Peter Burnett Think?

I’ve been wondering how Peter Burnett, dead these 123 years, would have reacted to my new book, “The Troubled Life of Peter Burnett: Oregon Pioneer and First Governor of California.” Would he hail it as a validation of a life of struggle, or denounce it as grossly...

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My Take: Willamette Falls

Those of you who have read my new book on Peter Burnett will have noticed references to Native American fishing at Willamette Falls, near Oregon City. The forty-foot high falls was a traditional tribal fishing ground for salmon for many centuries for the Chinookan...

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Peter Burnett’s Resume

Although it didn't always translate into achievement, Peter Burnett had probably the most impressive resume of any early leader in the American West. Because of space limitations, we trimmed his resume from my new book, "The Troubled Life of Pete Burnett: Oregon...

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Nokes pens book about troubled Oregon pioneer

THE EAST OREGONIAN — Few people in the 19th century American West could boast the achievements of Peter Burnett. He helped organize the first major wagon train to the Oregon Country. He served on Oregon’s first elected government and was Oregon’s first supreme court...

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The Golden State’s Unpopular Pro-Slavery Governor

BY R. GREGORY NOKES Peter Hardeman Burnett had probably the most impressive list of achievements of any leader in the early American West. He served on the supreme court of the Oregon Territory and became the first governor of California. So why has he been forgotten?...

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Nokes talks about Burnett on Jefferson Public Radio

Greg Nokes is interviewed by Jefferson Public Radio for his new book on California's First Governor, Peter Burnett. You can probably remember a few names from the early days of white settlement in Oregon and California. A few people were prominent in the formation of...

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Volunteers Clear Trail to Massacre Site

CHINESE MASSACRE COVE Those of you who read my book, "Massacred for Gold: The Chinese in Hells Canyon," will recall the difficult and strenuous hike I took with my late friend, Mike Shanahan to the massacre site. I received today a note and the following press release...

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