Later Developments

Photo of a black man sitting at a desk in a journalist office.
The Advocate newspaper served as an influential voice of the black community in Portland beginning in 1903.
Although this exhibit focuses on the 1840 to 1870 time period, Oregon continued to struggle with racial equality as demonstrated by the following chronology of later national and Oregon developments:

November 2, 1900

Oregon voters reject a proposal to repeal the exclusion clause in the constitution.


The Advocate, a weekly newspaper for the “intelligent discussion and authentic diffusion of matters appertaining to the colored people, especially of Portland and the State of Oregon,” was started. It included societal news (i.e. births, deaths, marriages, etc.), editorials, job announcements, civil rights issues, etc.


George Hardin becomes the first, African-American in Portland, to be named as a police officer.

Photo of Beatrice Cannady in her senior years.
Beatrice Cannady pioneered rights for blacks in Oregon. (Image via Wikimedia Commons)


Portland’s chapter of the NAACP is founded and is the oldest, continuously chartered chapter west of the Mississippi.


Ku Klux Klan organizes chapters in Oregon.


Beatrice Cannady becomes the first, African-American woman to graduate from Lewis & Clark Law School.


Exclusionary Clause is removed from the Oregon Constitution.


State Constitution is amended to remove voting restrictions against African and Chinese Americans.

Photo of 2 Mark Hatfield sitting at a desk with another white man. Behind them stand 3 black men and 3 women.
Proponents of Oregon's 1953 Public Accommodations Bill, also known as the Civil Rights Bill. The legislation required "full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities and privileges of any place of public accommodation, resort or amusement, without any distinction, discrimination or restriction on account of race, religion, color or national origin.” (Image courtesy Oregon Historical Society) Enlarge image


Law repealed prohibiting inter-racial marriage.


Public Accommodations’ Law prohibits racial discrimination by businesses.


Supreme Court upholds Brown vs. The Board of Education of Topeka, abolishing segregated schools.


Oregon Fair Housing Act passes.


The Oregon Legislature ratifies Fifteenth Amendment 90 years after its adoption in the United States.


National Civil Rights Act passes outlawing unequal voter registration requirements; and racial segregation in schools, workplaces, and public places.

Photo of white policy forcefully grabbing and pulling away black men from a street corner.
Portland was one of many cities to experience race riots in the late 1960s. (Image courtesy Oregon Historical Society) Enlarge image


Congress passes the Voters’ Rights Act, prohibiting qualifications or pre-requisites to vote.


Racial tensions result in riots in Portland.

April 25, 1973

Oregon re-ratifies the 14th Amendment 105 years after rescinding their ratification and actual ratification by 28 states.


Margaret Carter becomes the first African-American woman elected to the Oregon Legislature.

Photo of Hill Hill in suit and tie.
Jim Hill served as Oregon's first black statewide official in 1992.


African exchange student, Mulugeta Seraw, is killed in Portland by racist “skinheads.”


First African-American, James A. Hill, Jr., is elected to statewide office as State Treasurer.


Measure requiring the removal of racist language from the State Constitution passes.


Oregon Equality Act passes.