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Sewell , Joseph
Joseph Sewell was one of the earliest of Oregon's African American athletes to receive public acclaim for athletic accomplishments. He excelled at horse racing and bare knuckle fighting. The Grant County News, August 26, 1886 and February 13, 1890 describe his bare knuckled fights against the best fighters in John Day and other local "Spring" fights. It is believed Joseph died sometime in the 1890s after a fight in either Baker or Pendleton. Sewell's exploits are all the more noticeable because he was a distinct minority in eastern Oregon and was not living in the state legally.