Constitutionalizing Racism: George H. Williams's Appeal for a White Utopia.

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Date: Winter 2019
From: Oregon Historical Quarterly(Vol. 120, Issue 4)
Publisher: Oregon Historical Society
Document Type: Article
Length: 8,800 words
Lexile Measure: 1350L

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Abstract :

During the mid nineteenth century, migrants to Oregon created public policy around two issues then dominating national attention--race and slavery. The technologies ofthat age, in matters oftransportation and communication, made Oregon isolated and far-removed from the rest of the country. This did not, however, mean that Oregon was cut off from traditions, legacies, and policies of White supremacy. Powerful ideas on slavery and race, formulated by the United States' founding fathers, and especially Thomas Jefferson, influenced framers of the Oregon Constitution in 1857. It is not difficult to draw connections between Jefferson's defense of slavery and belief that America could not succeed as a multi-racial society and White Oregonians' adopting Black exclusion laws during the Provisional and Territorial periods.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A642197993