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Oregon Outcast - John Beeson's Struggle for Justice for the Indians, 1853-1889
Oregon Outcast - John Beeson's Struggle for Justice for the Indians, 1853-1889
Oregon Outcast by Jan Wright


 
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During his lifetime, John Beeson (1801-1889) was called the Indian Apostle, Father Beeson, the Alpha and Omega of the Indian cause, a monomaniac, a depraved liar, vile, fanatical, and venerable. Because of his insistence on justice for the Indians, he was politically disqualified for residency in Territorial Oregon. Threatened by newspaper editors, clergymen, volunteer Indian fighters, and government officials, he was compelled to leave his home and family for his own safety. He found his way to New York City, where in 1857 he published A Plea for the Indians, a book that exposed the white man's inability to apply reason and compassion when there was land to be obtained, and money to be made. From his East Coast base, he walked up the steps of state houses, had tea with governors and congressmen, stood at the podium of many a church and shouted from his soap box to catch the attention of reformers such as Wendell Phillips, Lucretia Mott, Belva Lockwood, Frederick Douglass, and Abraham Lincoln. A practicing spiritualist and pacifist, he was branded as an outsider and ridiculed in the press during his lifetime, yet his passion for justice and human rights in the face of adversity still resonate today.