Nokes Book Blog

Stay current on articles, notes and appearances.

“Slavery’s Descendants” to be published in May

The cover is approved for the new Rutgers U. book on “Slavery’s Descendants.” Book itself will be out in May. My contribution is an article on the experiences of a slave named Reuben Shipley who was brought to Oregon from Missouri by one of my ancestors in 1853.

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Take a trip down to Oregon City … California

There aren’t many places where Oregon pioneer Peter Burnett is esteemed for his role in western history. But Oregon City, California, is one of them. No, that’s not a misprint. There is such a place and it’s connected in history to Oregon’s Oregon City. The other...

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Missouri Historical Review publishes a book note on Burnett

The Troubled Life of Peter Burnett: Oregon Pioneer and First Governor of California. By R. Gregory Nokes (Corvallis: Oregon State University Press, 2018). xii + 270 pp. Appendixes. Notes. Bibliography. Index. $19.95, paper. Peter Burnett’s life followed an...

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The Applegate drowning

Those of you who have read my new book, “The Troubled Life of Peter Burnett,” will recall the chapter describing the drowning of two young boys of the Applegate family in the Columbia River in 1843.

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Greg Nokes interviewed on AM NORTHWEST

He was an Oregon pioneer and first governor of California, but he was also a former slaveholder who could never seem to get beyond his single-minded goal of banning blacks and other minorities from the West. R. Gregory Nokes, author of the new book The Troubled Life...

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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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