TALENT — A campaign to fund a book about pioneer John Beeson, an early advocate of Native American rights, is less than $5,000 from its goal with less than a week remaining in an all-or-nothing Kickstarter effort.
Author and historian Jan Wright of Talent is seeking the money to fund writing, editing and publishing of the book. As of Wednesday afternoon, $26,799 had been pledged by 109 backers toward the $31,000 goal.
Beeson arrived in Talent in 1853 in the middle of an Indian war. His advocacy of peace and Indian rights was contrary to most settlers. Threatened by others, Beeson fled Oregon and began a career in the East advocating for Native Americans.
Talent Mayor Darby Stricker has pledged a portion of the mayor’s discretionary fund toward the effort and encouraged others to support the book.
“In these times, the historical significance of John Beeson’s story cannot be overstated,” said Stricker. “I think it’s an important marker. It's such an illustration about the commencement of Talent history and where we are today, the type of community we are today.”
Stricker allocated $1,000 of the $3,000 annual discretionary fund to the book with the proviso that the amount be matched. Talent Historical Society and local residents matched the amount almost immediately, she said.
The working title for the volume is “Imperfect Apostle John Beeson, Advocate for Native Americans.” The target date for publication is September 2018 if the campaign is successful.
“I have just been blown away by everybody’s support and generosity; widows and rich people, just everyone has been contributing,” said Wright. “They want this story to come out.”
Kickstarter uses an all-or-nothing approach because it motivates people who want to see a project come to life, according to its website. Projects that have obtained 60 percent of their goal are successful 98 percent of the time.
Wright will give a talk about Beeson from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, June 13, at the Phoenix Historical Society, 607 N. Church St., Phoenix.
Deadline for donations is 6:29 a.m. Tuesday, June 13. A video featuring Wright, and more information about Beeson, the book and the campaign can be found online at www.kickstarter.com/projects/235507129/imperfect-apostle-john-beeson-advocate-for-native
— Tony Boom is an Ashland freelance writer. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org