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AfriGeneas Western Frontier Forum

Re: Black Landmarks in the Un-Black West

Just wanted to give notice that perhaps the statement that Emma K, Griffin was a widow when she resided at Sarah Johnstons house in Portland requires further investigation. Another reliable source states that Adolphus B Griffin was alive at 1907 and moved to Louisville. See the following source for details:
A Peculiar Paradise
a History of Blacks in Oregon, 1788-1940
Chapter Seven - Sober, Industrious and Honest
The Black Community of Portland
"...Between 1890 and 1900 the number of black people in Oregon had decreased slightIl, from 1,186 to 1,105, but in the same decade the proportion of the black population living in Multnomah County rose from 44% to 70%, drawn by increased job opportunities at the Portland Hotel and with the railroads. Since 1896, they had a voice in the press in the person of A.D. Griffin, owner and publisher of the New Age. Griffin had been the editor of the Spokane Northwest Echo before coming to Portland, and was a prominent Mason. While living in Oregon, he became the first black man to attend a Republican state convention, and was a stockholder in the Enterprise Investment Company.
...A.D. Griffin continued to publish the New Age until 1907, when he left Portland and moved to Louisville, Kentucky."
Preface by Elizabeth McLagan

“The Chronicle Of McMenamins, Blue Moon - A Pub Reader For Friends And Family.”
The two prime sources in this book that I will refer from are Tim Hills and his article “What Precedes A Blue Moon? - The House Of Wisdom” and early “Oregon Journal” articles which discuss the former Black owners of the Blue Moon lot.
...However, apparently Andrew and Sarah Johnston’s White allies prevailed and a small house was built on their new lot by 1882. Sarah was a housekeeper for a wealthy capitalist and politician named Jonathan Bourne; Andrew worked independently running a restaurant at another location that failed. Their new life was interrupted by Andrew's death caused by a horse handling accident. Sarah continued with her life at the home, taking on as a tenant Emma K. Griffin, the widow of Adolphus B Griffin, founder of Oregon’s first Black newspaper and leading Black political activist. Sarah eventually married Joseph A Wisdom in 1895."

Allen L. Lee, July 2005

The Blue Moon anthology infers Emma K. Griffin was a widow before Sarah Johnston married Joseph A Wisdom in 1895. The only way to reconcile this question is to determine if Emma K Griffin was widowed between 1907 when Adolphus B Griffin left Portland and 1910 when Sarah Johnston died. I'll get back with further info on a later date.

Messages In This Thread

Black Landmarks in the Un-Black West
Re: Black Landmarks in the Un-Black West
Re: Black Landmarks in the Un-Black West

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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