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First Wednesday---The Troubled Life of Peter Burnett

  • OSWEGO HERITAGE COUNCIL 398 10th Street Lake Oswego, OR, 97034 United States (map)

May 2, 2018---The Troubled Life Of Peter Burnett

The Troubled Life of Peter Burnett: Oregon Pioneer and First Governor of California is the first, full-length biography of this western explorer and California’s first governor. A former slaveholder, he could never seem to get beyond his single-minded goal of banning blacks and other minorities from the West. Peter Burnett helped organize the first major wagon train to the Oregon Country, where he served on Oregon’s first elected government and was Oregon’s first supreme court judge. He opened a wagon road from Oregon to California, and worked with the young John Sutter to develop the new city of Sacramento. Within a year of arriving in California, voters overwhelmingly elected him as their first governor. He also served on the California Supreme Court, remembered for a notoriously racist decision in the Archy Lee slavery case. Burnett resigned from many of his important positions, including the governorship, where he was widely perceived a failure. Historians, scholars and readers with an interest in western history will welcome this accessible and deeply researched account of this puzzling historical figure.

Mr. Nokes' book will be released May, 2018