Oregon, Portland, Hardiman Burnett discussed on The Norman Goldman Show


Welcome to the show. Ladies and gentlemen. I'm Ben I'm no. Wow. This is like a very standard intro. We're trying today. Yeah, we're going we're going straight for it. But we were only able to make this show, of course, with the assistance of our esteemed third member of friends, neighbors, super producer Casey. Peckham. Sort of a vanilla opening would you white bread a little homogeneous bay? Yes. Yes. Today. We are well let's, let's start in the modern day for a long time. Neither of us had ever been to Portland until pretty recently true, I only spent a little bit of time there. I think you had a little bit more of a fully fleshed out Portland experience. But we tell me then is the dream of the nineties. In fact, still alive in Portland. Yes. I thoroughly enjoyed the town at the root surprising. I was diplomatic enough, not to directly mention the comedy show, Portland area to anybody that gets really old. I am sure does, it's like when people visit our city and call it hotlanta. Yeah. This is even more. Agreed. Just probably people running around. They put a bird on the yes. And Portland has this national reputation at least for being a very progressive city right, face tattoos or cool. Marijuana's decriminalize. The streets are paved in marijuana. In fact, and Portland. It does have a particular smell. And in general, people would see it as sort of a bastion of left leaning culture. Yeah. Super chill, you know, you can be can buy a sandwich. I song. In Portland, literally. You have to be a good song. It's just a song a song or a little soft shoe. Or maybe you got a one man band kinda Dick Van Dyke situation going on. Did see a one man band when I was there. Did you see that guy? No. I just pulled that out of my of my year. We'll you are correct. And there are one man bands in Portland. There are also numerous amazing things amazing. It's of history. One of our co workers, a guy named Nathan is actually from Oregon. And he assured us that Portland is more of a cultural exception to the rule nowadays. Yeah. Actually wearing my Timberline lodge hat right now. I bought at the Portland airport. And as you might imagine Portland airport, not a chain restaurant incite my friend, all of the shops sell handmade artistic goods. I bought some really cute little pieces of pottery. They're for me. Mom. That's sweet of you, man. And this really DOE, Pat, it is a great hat. So it's safe to say that you and I are fans of Portland and would travel there again in the future. Sure, at least modern Portland. Right, right. I don't think I would want to travel there in a time machine to past. Yes. Yes. Today's episode is about the origins of Oregon Portland in particular, well, one take or as it's called here. I'm in some of these articles that we're looking at the Oregon country. Yeah. Oregon country, it might sound weird to some people. What is Oregon kept seeing it? And it was a little weird, sending computer, but I figured it out with my internet sleuth skills. What would now be modern day? Oregon Washington state, and Idaho, was all kind of cluster together in this one big old chunk of land collectively referred to as the Oregon country. Yeah. And this was, let's see way back in eighteen eighteen. Right. The US and Britain agreed to jointly occupy this seems like a odd couple a situation. And then I think the US started getting a little greedy and being, you know, we kind of want this. For our own went turn this into some states. Yeah. Because the British wanted to be in the area in Oregon country, mainly to engage in the first trade astray, and James k Polk who is an expansionist president. Right. Really wanted to make this our own and not not share now go have with the Brits anymore, so that ultimately happened they negotiated. They decided it wasn't worth going to war over the Brits. Did anyway. And there was some back and forth. And there's a really great slogan that the northerners used it was fifty four forty or fight, and fifty four forty was talking about the coordinates the latitude that Mark the northernmost part of this territory and during these negotiations. The US is first proposal. Was that the territory be cut in half? Right. With that, with that border at the forty ninth parallel, and the British rejected it. And so the expansionist many of whom were anti slavery northerners, which is super important for this part of the they are the ones who called. For more American aggression, get out there, be a big dog fifty four forty or fight. It's hard to say did really well with that fifty four forty or fight. It's tough. Fun when you really get it right though sense of accomplishment, as I'm sure they've gotten when they finally arrived at a pretty decent deal with the Brits, where they divided the territory along the forty ninth parallel yes, pretty close to fifty four. I guess what's the forty though fifty four? Forty minutes divisions of the grease like a decimal. Okay. So this is where we end up with Oregon needing to become a state. And when you become a stay, what do you do you have to have a state constitution? And as we know constitutions are not generally made overnights. They often reflect common practices goals or even existing laws that a community has practiced or written down beforehand, and Oregon, had its own pre existing laws in eighteen forty four they passed something called the exclusion law. And this was this was enacted by the provisional government of the region at the time. What, what did the exclusion law do? Yeah, it was this guy named Peter Burnett, who was like, kind of Oregon trail kind of blazer, I guess Peter Hardiman, Hardiman Burnett. And actually spoiler alert, we're going to dig into him in a little more detail later in the show foreshadowing. Big time for shadowing. But here's what this dude is just to give you a taste of what his matter was, like he was a former slave owner and has, has a really crazy resume did all kinds of interesting things, but by all accounts, a alarming dastardly racist nearly through. So this exclusion law, that was enacted sort of pre proper government and constitution basically allowed slaveholders to hold on for dear life to those slaves for a maximum of for up to three years. And at I, I was like, wait is this is this because of emancipation? That was decades later. This is eighteen forty four that wasn't until like eighteen sixties. Right. And I realize, oh, no, Oregon outlawed slavery in the territory. Right. But here's the key, your thing is going to go. Oh, that's, that's nice. What a great bunch of people. Yeah. Okay. But, but there's more. So, yeah. This grace period of three years, but then all of those freed black people work required to leave. Yeah, that's the thing. The government of Oregon pass this. Exclusion law of eighteen forty four and in it, they did place, a ban on slavery, with a requirement the slave owners, eventually free their slaves, but they did this with the understanding that any African American who remained in Oregon, after they were freed would be flogged, whiplash and forcibly expelled from the country if they were caught in the Oregon country, again, within six months, then the punishment would be. Repeated. And then eventually the law was amended in another version to substitute forced labor, so essentially slavery, instead of flogging and then it was repealed in eighteen forty five. So this community was so racist that the, the didn't even condone slavery. They were so such white supremacist data's didn't want him around, like at all. And there's, there's some language we'll get into in a second. But I just want to point this out of the that law, you mentioned about flogging or that was called the Burnett lash law. Because our buddy Burnett was so into this that he, he wanted to brand with his own his name was like a signature thing, and it required that or declared rather that offenders, who refused to leave would be punished with, quote, not less than twenty or more than thirty. Nine stripes, and that would that would be a cycle that would recur every six months until they left. And fortunately, this lash law did get amended and repealed. So as far as we know today, a no people wherever lashed as a result of that law. But this was just the first of three different laws likeness that all were meant to ban people of color from Oregon country which, again at that point is like Washington, Oregon, and part of Idaho. A huge swath of land. That's right. And we're getting some of this information from a few different places wounded. My favorites was a Washington Post article by deneen, L Brown. Cohen, Portland band blacks Oregon's shameful history as an all white state, or as I've seen it referred to as an all white utopia kind of right after at least there's this weird history of intentional communities and utopian thinking. In oregon. So it's not, not all examples are racist. But this definitely was the idea for the people who were supporting this concept was that somehow society would be better, if they all felt like if they also identified with the same ethnicity. Now, did they have the same sort of racism, that would be common in the northeast at the time wherein, for instance, Italian or Irish immigrants or children of those immigrants are still considered not wide enough? I don't know. But what was on the books was specifically targeting people of color in eighteen forty eight this provisional territorial government passed a law making it illegal for any quote, negro, or mulatto to live in Oregon country, but they did have a provision for people who had native American blood, which they weird. Referred to as half breeds despicable people people. But it's interesting that all it takes just get a little white in. You really didn't like black people. Yeah, yeah. That's what it boils down to. All right. Then. Yeah. So it state time baby here we go. What do you need to make a state as established earlier? Get you need. You gotta have some dirt. You gotta have a delineation between your dirt and the other people's dirt, yet to have some people in both sides. Oh, that you can differentiate constitution. There we go. Yes. In eighteen fifty seven. The government of what would become Oregon was working on its constitution. They did a couple of things. They grossly plagiarized constitutions from other states at the time of that's just gonna be some of that, right. Constitution is not exactly. Great work poetry that you, you know, pilfering from is looked down upon. It's sort of like stealing a. Boilerplate release form our site. Yeah, I think that's a very good.

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