Oregon Secretary of State

Black Individuals and Families in Oregon

Senior aged black man with white hair, balding on top, plays a fiddle or violin.
Louis Southworth lived most of his adult life in Oregon. He is one of many Black Oregonians described in this section of the exhibit. Enlarge image
This exhibit section uses original sources such as census, probate and death records—much of it from the Oregon State Archives holdings—to piece together the lives of some of the Black individuals and families in Oregon from 1840 to 1870. Research into many of these people yields sparse results and often leaves more questions than answers, but that is the nature of this challenging area of documentary exploration.

Their ​Stories