Vanderpool Project

In Oregon City, we are looking to memorialize a man named Jacob Vanderpool, the only known person expelled from Oregon under the state’s Black exclusionary laws. Jacob Vanderpool was a business owner and was forced to leave Oregon after a competing white business owner conspired to have him arrested.

Oregon City was the birthplace of Oregon’s three Black exclusionary laws. To reconcile our history of exclusionary laws, we must go back to the origin of those policies. Starting in Oregon City, the goal is to expand the Vanderpool Project into other communities across Oregon and eventually develop a statewide plan for the reconciliation of our Black exclusionary laws through the intentional recruitment and retention of people of color in Oregon.

640px Wool And Paper Mills, Oregon City, Oregon, Circa 1914 (al+ca 1758)
Oregon City

Jacob's Story

While there may no longer be legal expulsions in the state of Oregon, our state still foments an element of cultural expulsion on communities of color. Thus, the experience of Jacob Vanderpool is still being experienced by people of color today.

In addition to the historical marker, we are working with the city of Oregon City to develop recruitment and retention plans for people of color in the community as our way of remembering and repairing the legacy of Jacob Vanderpool’s expulsion in Oregon City. By using his story to improve the lived reality of people of color in Oregon, we can add new chapters to Jacob Vanderpool’s story and bring him a semblance of redemptive justice.

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Read our articles to learn about the Vanderpool Project.


When the emancipation proclamation was written, newly freed African slaves were able to pursue freedom as American citizens everywhere across this country…except for one place – the state of Oregon.

Jacob's Story

Jacob Vanderpool is the only known person expelled from Oregon under the state’s Black exclusionary laws. He was our historical neighbor until a competing white business owner reported him to authorities.