Historical Timeline
 1844 Slavery is declared illegal in Oregon territory.  In June of this year, the "Lash Law" is passed requiring that blacks--be they free or slave--be whipped twice a year "until he or she shall quit the territory." Later the punishment is deemed too harsh, and the punishment is reduced to forced labor in December.   
 1859 Oregon is admitted to the Union as a free state. 
 1861 The Civil War begins in the East.  The Knights of the Golden Circle, an anti-Union, pro-slavery group, opens many chapter sin Oregon.  Their goal in the Northwest is to secede from the US and found their own Pacific Coast Republic.