Phillip Margolin is best known for his best selling contemporary legal thrillers set in the Pacific Northwest. In his latest release, WORTHY BROWN’S DAUGHTER, Margolin offers his devoted readers something fascinating and fresh: a novel inspired by a true story of frontier justice in 19th-century Oregon, Holmes vs. Ford (1853), and the horrors the freed slave Holmes family went through to get their children returned to them.
Phillip Margolin has written seventeen New York Times bestsellers, including Sleight of Hand (April 2013), Capitol Murder (April 2012) and Supreme Justice (May 2010). Each displays a unique, compelling insider’s view of criminal behavior, which comes from his long background as a criminal defense attorney who has handled thirty murder cases. With Vanishing Acts, he teamed up with his daughter Ami Margolin Rome to write a gripping tween mystery. Winner of the Distinguished Northwest Writer Award and the Spotted Owl Award for Executive Privilege, Phillip Margolin lives in Portland, OR. For more on him and his books, visit: www.phillipmargolin.com and follow him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/
Joining Mr. Margolin will be Oregon history author R. Gregory Nokes. Nokes is the author of BREAKING CHAINS: SLAVERY ON TRIAL IN THE OREGON TERRITORY, the real life story of the only slavery case adjudicated in Oregon’s pre-Civil War courts – Homes v. Ford.
R. Gregory Nokes first wrote about the murders of Chinese miners in 1995. His article, "A most Daring Outrage, Murders at Chinese Massacre Cove, 1887," appeared in the Fall 2006 issue of the Oregon Historical Quarterly. His reporting on the subject has resulted in a formal designation of the massacre site as Chinese Massacre Cove.
Nokes retired in 2003 after 43 years in journalism, including 25 years with The Associated Press and 15 years with The Oregonian in Portland. While with The AP, he was stationed in New York, San Juan, Buenos Aires and Washington, D.C., where he served as both an economics and diplomatic correspondent. He traveled to more than 50 countries during his career. Nokes graduated from Willamette University and attended Harvard University as a 1972 Nieman Fellow. Since retiring, he has embarked on a second career as a writer and lecturer on the experience of immigrant Chinese in the Pacific Northwest. He lives with his wife, Candise, in West Linn, Oregon. For more on him and his books, visit: http://rgregorynokes.com/
Both authors will be discussing their books, taking questions and signing books.
Book Summary WORTHY BROWN’S DAUGHTER
Like thousands of other Americans in the nineteenth century, Matthew Penny, a young lawyer, believes that he and his wife, Rachel, can forge a better future out West. But after she drowns on the Oregon Trail, Matthew arrives on the frontier with nothing but shattered dreams. Unable to face the memories that await back home, he joins the handful of lawyers practicing in Portland, Oregon--which in 1860 is just a riverfront town in a state less than a year old.
Worthy Brown, a slave from Georgia, journeys west with his master, Caleb Barbour, who promises to reward Worthy and his daughter, Roxanne, with their freedom if they help him establish a homestead in Oregon. When Barbour reneges on his pledge, Worthy's hope for a fresh start with his child is destroyed.
In the hands of critically acclaimed thriller writer Phillip Margolin, the fates of these desperate men intertwine in a breathtaking narrative about the extent of evil and the high price of true justice. Matthew and Worthy decide to challenge Barbour in court, but events rapidly spiral out of their control and the stakes become higher than either of them could ever have imagined. And when Matthew, struggling to survive in the cutthroat, corrupt world of frontier law, crosses paths with Heather Gillette, the beautiful daughter of a wealthy Portland businessman, his grief-stricken existence is turned upside down, and suddenly he has everything to fight for.
Book Summary BREAKING CHAINS: SLAVERY ON TRIAL IN THE OREGON TERRITORY
When they were brought to Oregon in 1844, Missouri slaves Robin and Polly Holmes and their children were promised freedom in exchange for helping develop their owner's Willamette Valley farm. However, Nathaniel Ford, an influential settler and legislator, kept them in bondage until 1850, even then refusing to free their children. Holmes took his former master to court and, in the face of enormous odds, won the case in 1853.
In "Breaking Chains," R. Gregory Nokes tells the story of the only slavery case adjudicated in Oregon's pre-Civil War courts--Holmes v. Ford. Through the lens of this landmark case, Nokes explores the historical context of racism in Oregon and the West, reminding readers that there actually were slaves in Oregon, though relatively few in number.
Drawing on the court record, Nokes offers an intimate account of the relationship between a slave and his master from the slave's point of view. He also explores the experiences of other slaves in early Oregon, examining attitudes toward race and revealing contradictions in the state's history. Oregon was the only free state admitted to the union with a voter-approved constitutional clause banning African Americans and, despite the prohibition of slavery in the state, many in Oregon tolerated it and supported politicians who advocated for slavery, including Oregon's first territorial governor.
"Breaking Chains" sheds light on a somber part of Oregon's history, bringing the story of slavery in Oregon to a broader audience. The book will appeal to readers interested in Pacific Northwest history and in the history of slavery in the United States.
The community is invited to join us for an evening with two amazing authors and refreshments. Books will be available for purchase and signing. For more information, visit http://janspaperbacks.com/
Jan’s Paperbacks is an independently owned bookstore specializing in selling and trading paperback books in-store as well as selling new and eBooks through their online store www.JansPaperbacks.com. The store has been a staple in the Aloha community for over 30 years.
Visit Jan’s Paperbacks at 18095 SW Tualatin Valley Hwy, Aloha, Oregon 97006, call 503-649-3444, or go online at www.JansPaperbacks.com.