R. Gregory Nokes will be here to present 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 working their owner’s Willamette Valley farm. However, slaveholder Nathaniel Ford 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 his case in 1853. In Breaking Chains, Mr. Nokes tells the story of the only slavery case ever adjudicated in Oregon. Drawing on the court record of this landmark case, he 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 and revealing contradictions in the state’s history. Mr. Nokes is the author of Massacred for Gold:The Chinese in Hells Canyon, which The Oregonian named as one of the Top Ten Northwest Books of 2009. He is a former reporter and editor for the Associated Press as well as The Oregonian. He is a graduate of Willamette University and attended Harvard University as a Nieman Fellow.