Greg Nokes

Greg Nokes had a forty-three-year career in news, both as a reporter and editor. He worked twenty-five years with the Associated Press in Salt Lake City, New York City, Puerto Rico, Buenos Aires, and Washington, D.C., and retired in 2004 from the Oregonian. Nokes did his undergraduate work at Willamette University and attended Harvard University as a Nieman Fellow in 1971-1972. He was a contributing author to The Media and Foreign Policy (St. Martin’s Press, 1990), and his article on the murders at Chinese Massacre Cove in 1887 appeared in the Fall 1996 issue of the Oregon Historical Quarterly. Greg retired from The Oregonian in 2003 to embark on a new career as author and lecturer. He is author of two non-fiction Northwest histories: Massacred for Gold: The Chinese in Hells Canyon, in 2009, and Breaking Chains: Slavery on Trial in the Oregon Territory, in 2013, both published by Oregon State University Press. Breaking Chains was a finalist for the 2014 Oregon Book Award for non-fiction. He is currently at work on a biography of Peter Burnett of which the working title is" The Many Faces of Peter Hardeman Burnett: Oregon Pioneer and the Failed First Elected Governor of California."

Author's Entries

  • Black Exclusion Laws in Oregon

    Oregon's racial makeup has been shaped by three Black exclusion laws that were in place during much of the region's early history. These laws, all later rescinded, largely succeeded in their aim of discouraging free Blacks from settling in Oregon early on, ensuring that Oregon would develop as primarily white. …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Chinese Massacre at Deep Creek

    Of the many crimes and injustices committed against early Chinese immigrants in the American West, what may have been the most brutal occurred at Deep Creek on the Oregon side of the Snake River in Hells Canyon. In May 1887, at what is now known as Chinese Massacre Cove, as …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Holmes v. Ford

    On April 16, 1852, a former slave named Robin Holmes filed suit against his white former owner, Nathaniel Ford, in the only slavery case adjudicated in an Oregon court. Holmes was one of about fifty slaves who settlers had brought to Oregon from Missouri. Many of Oregon’s first white settlers …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Peter Burnett (1807-1895)

    Peter Hardeman Burnett was a leader on the Oregon Trail, a town-builder, a legislator, and the region’s first judge. Throughout his professional career, he easily won people’s confidence and gained significant public positions, but he failed to provide effective leadership partly because he refused to take advice from others. His …

    Oregon Encyclopedia