Lucky us...Today there's a great piece in the Statesman today about Oregon Northwest Black Pioneers and their research and fund-raising in support of the Oregon African American Museum.
That's got to be an exciting area of research. For while there's a clear history of execrable racism that will not be so difficult to document and too often painful to read, there's also a lost continent, however sparsely populated, of laudable people and stories. The recovery of that continent will be a special archeology. Though there's not as much going on as you'd wish, there's way more than you suspect!
Over at the O, John Terry revisits the 1865 double-hanging near Church and Trade.
In other news, K. Williams Brown proposes Sir Thomas More as the Patron Saint of Salem. This paperweight is the perfect way to celebrate!
But you know what there is no patron saint of? Salem.So, you know, a decapitated Saint for the Capital City? Are we running around like a headless chicken? The jokes are capital! Yuk, yuk, yuk...
When I called local Catholic churches and abbeys to ask about this, they said there was no reason Salem couldn't have a patron saint — Baker City, for example, does — just that we don't have one, so far as we know.
So then I called Jerry Lauzon, who is just about my favorite source ever and a devout Catholic. He was tickled by the idea of a patron saint of Salem, at which point we tried to figure out who is the patron of bureacracies.
And so, here is Jerry's and my humble suggestion: Saint Thomas More, born Feb. 7, 1478, and decapitated July 6, 1535 after snubbing King Henry VII.
Saint Thomas is the patron saint of civil servants, court clerks, lawyers, politicians, politicos and statesmen, which seems appropriate for Salem.
He's also the patron of large families, difficult marriages and step-parents, which is useful no matter your location. Also, his feast day is June 22, which is a really pleasant time to be in Salem