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Meet Author Priscilla Wegars

BookPeople of Moscow welcomes author Priscilla Wegars of Moscow, Idaho from 11:00am to 12:30pm, Saturday, May 8.  Wegars will be in front of the store with her new book “Polly Bemis” during the Farmers Market.  Books will be available for sale and signing. Masks and following social-distance guidelines are required to attend this event.

Polly Bemis, the mistakenly named “Lalu Nathoy” of books and film, was forcibly brought to the United States, and to Idaho Territory, in 1872 when she was just eighteen. In 1894 she married a Euroamerican man, Charlie Bemis, and they moved to a mining claim on the remote Salmon River; Charlie died in 1922 and Polly died in 1933. Since her death, Polly Bemis’s life has been greatly romanticized. Supposedly, she was a prostitute, “Hong King” was her Chinese owner, and Charlie Bemis “won her in a poker game.” Not one of these statements is true. Polly’s life was genuinely fascinating, and it is time to both celebrate the known facts about her and allow the stereotypical, undocumented legends to die out.

Priscilla Wegars, Ph.D., is a historian, historical archaeologist, artifact analyst, editor, and proofreader. She founded the University of Idaho’s Asian American Comparative Collection (AACC), a unique resource of artifacts, images, and documentary materials essential for understanding Asian American archaeological sites, economic contributions, and cultural history. Priscilla edited “Hidden Heritage: Historical Archaeology of the Overseas Chinese” (1993) and co-edited “Chinese American Death Rituals: Respecting the Ancestors” (2005). She wrote “Imprisoned in Paradise: Japanese Internee Road Workers at the World War II Kooskia Internment Camp” (2010) and “As Rugged as the Terrain: CCC ‘Boys,’ Federal Convicts, and World War II Alien Internees Wrestle with a Mountain Wilderness” (2013). Read more

BookPeople is located at 521 South Main in downtown Moscow. For more information, see


May 8, 2021
11:00 am - 12:30 pm
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BookPeople of Moscow
521 S. Main St.
Moscow, ID 83843 United States
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May 8, 2021 @ 11:00 am - 12:30 pm

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