1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Washington
WASHINGTON, the most north-westerly state of the United States of America. It lies between latitudes 45° 32' and 49° N. and between longitudes 116° 57' and 124° 48' W. On the N. it is bounded by British Columbia, along the 49th parallel as far W. as the middle of the Strait of Georgia and then down the middle of this strait and Haro Strait, and along the middle of the channel the Strait of Juan de Fuca, which separate it from Vancouver Island; on the E. the south portion of its boundary is the Snake river, which separates it from Idaho, but from the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater rivers (a little W. of 117°) the E. boundary line between Washington and Idaho runs directly N.; on the S. the Columbia river separates it from Oregon from the mouth of that river to the point of the upper intersection with the 46th parallel of N. latitude, but from thence eastward the S. boundary line between Washington and Oregon is the 46th parallel; on the W. the state is bounded by the Pacific Ocean. The state has a maximum length, from E. to W., of 360 m. and a maximum width of 240 m.; area, 69,127 sq. m., of which 2291 sq. m. are water surface.
Pacific Mountains province, consisting of the Coast range and the Cascade range, separated by a broad basin known as the Sound Valley. The eastern half of the state is occupied in the north by a westward extension of the Rocky Mountains, and in the centre and south by the north-western portion of the Columbia Plateau province. The most prominent physical feature of the state is the Cascade mountain range, which with a N.N.E. and S.S.W. trend crosses the state 30 to 40 m. W. of the middle. On the S. border this mountain range occupies a tract about 50 m. in width, and to the northward it widens to 100 m. or more. The general height of the ridges and peaks is about 8000 ft. above the sea, but there are five ancient snow-capped volcanoes which equal or exceed 10,000 ft. These are Mount Rainier or Tacoma (14,363 ft.), Mount Adams (12,470 ft.), Mount Baker (10,827 ft.), Glacier Peak (10,436 ft.) and Mount St Helens (10,000 ft.). Glaciers are common both in the N. and in the S. region, even on the higher elevations. Both slopes of the Cascades are cut deep by valleys. Along the Pacific Coast the ridges of the Coast range are only about 1500 ft. in height in the S. part of the state, but they rise northward in the Olympic Mountains and reach a maximum of elevation on Mount Olympus of 8150 ft. The Olympics meet the ocean along a rather straight line, but farther S. the coast line is broken by Gray's Harbour and Willapa Bay, the drowned lower portions of river valleys. The upheaval of the Cascade Mountains on the E. and the Olympic Mountains and Coast range on the W. left between them the Puget Sound Basin, the gently sloping sides of which descend in the central portion to less than 100 ft. from sea-level. A still greater subsidence farther north produced Puget Sound. East of the Cascade Mountains the Columbia and Spokane rivers mark the boundary between the Okanogan Highlands to the northward and the Columbia plateau to the southward. The Okanogan Highlands, an outlier of the Rocky Mountains extending westward from the Cœur d'Alene Mountains in Idaho, reach heights of 5000 to 6000 ft. above the sea, but are characterized by long gentle slopes, rounded divides and wide stream basins. In some of the larger valleys there are glacial terraces. The Columbia plateau consists of horizontal beds of lava having a total thickness of several thousand feet, and its surface has a general elevation of 1000 to 2000 ft. above sea-level. West of the Columbia river the plain is broken by several monoclonal ridges rising 2000 to 3000 ft. above it and extending eastward 50 to 75 m. from the foothills of the Cascades. In some parts, especially (in Douglas and Grant counties) within the Big Bend of the Columbia, the plain is frequently cut by coulees, or abandoned river channels, some of them 500 to 600 ft. deep and with very precipitous walls. The Grand Coulée represents the course of the Columbia river during the glacial period, when its regular channel was blocked with ice. There are also deep canyons which have been cut by the rivers in their present courses, especially by the Snake river and its tributaries. The S.W. corner of the state is occupied by the Blue Mountains, which rise about 7000 ft. above the sea and are cut deep by canyons. About 11,000 sq. m. in Washington have a minimum elevation exceeding 3000 ft.; an approximately equal area has a maximum elevation less than 500 ft., and the mean elevation of the entire state is 1700 ft.
The Okanogan Highlands, the Columbia plain, the E. slope of the Cascade Mountains and the S. portion of the Puget Sound Basin are drained by the Columbia and its tributaries. This large river enters the N.E. corner of the state from the N., traverses it in a winding course from N. to S. forms the greater portion of its S.boundary, and discharges into the Pacific Ocean. The Snake (in
central part) and the Pend Oreille (on the N. boundary) are its principal tributaries from the E.; the Yakima (a little above the mouth of the Snake) from the W.; and the Okanogan (in the north central part of the state), from the N. A portion of the Puget Sound Basin and a portion of the Coast range are drained by the Chehalis river, which has cut a channel through the Coast range and discharges into Gray's Harbour. The W. slope of the Cascades, most of the E. slope of the Olympics and the N. portion of the Puget Sound Basin are drained by a great number of small rivers into the Puget Sound; and the W. slope of the Olympics and Coast range is drained by several other small rivers into the Pacific. On the Cascade Mountains, at the heads of streams, are a number of lakes of glacial origin, the largest of which is Lake Chelan on the E. slope in Chelan county. This is nearly 60 m. in length, and from 1 to 4 m. wide. At the upper end it is about 1400 ft. deep, but it is shallow at the lower end where the water is held back by a morainal dam, and where only 3½ m. from the Columbia river it is about 400 ft. above the level of the river. There are also several alkali lakes or chains of alkali lakes in the coulees on the Columbia plateau.
Fauna.—Many species of wild animals still inhabit the state, but the number of each species has been much reduced. The caribou, moose, antelope, mountain sheep, beaver, otter and mink are scarce. Few elk are found except in the inaccessible districts on the Olympic Mountains. White- and black-tailed deer and black bear inhabit the densest forests. Mountain goats are quite numerous on the Cascades. The destruction of cougars, lynx ( wildcats ), coyotes and wolves is encouraged by bounties. Coyotes and jack-rabbits are the most numerous denizens of the Columbia plain. Musk-rats and skunks are numerous west of the Cascades. The blue grouse and partridge are the principal game birds. The sage-hen is common on the Columbia plain. The Japanese pheasant and the California quail have increased in numbers under the protection of the state. Among other game birds are prairie-chickens, ducks, geese, swan, brant, sandhill crane and snipe. The speckled trout, which abounds in nearly all of the mountain streams and lakes, is the principal game fish. Other freshwater fish are the perch, black bass, pike, pickerel and white fish. There are large quantities of salmon in the lower Columbia river, in Gray's and Willapa harbours, and in Puget Sound; oyster fisheries in Gray's and Willapa harbours and in Puget Sound; cod, perch, flounders, smelt, herring and sardines in these and other salt waters. For all the more desirable game a close season has been established by the state.
Flora.—The Puget Sound Basin and the neighbouring slopes of the Cascade and Olympic Mountains are noted for their forests, consisting mainly of giant Douglas fir or Oregon pine (Pseudotsuga Douglasii), but containing also some cedar, spruce and hemlock, a smaller representation of a few other species and a dense undergrowth. Near the Pacific Coast the forests consist principally of hemlock, cedar and Sitka spruce. At an elevation of about 3000 ft. on the W. slope of the Cascades the red fir ceases to be the dominant tree, and between this elevation and the region of perpetual snow, on a few of the highest peaks, rise a succession of forest zones containing principally: (1) yellow pine, red and yellow fir, white fir and cedar; (2) lodge pole pine, white pine, Engelmann spruce and yew; (3) sub alpine fir, lovely fir, noble fir, Mertens hemlock, Alaska cedar and tamarack; (4) white-bark pine, Patton hemlock, alpine larch and creeping juniper. Deciduous trees and shrubs are represented in western Washington by comparatively small numbers of maple, alder, oak, cottonwood, willow, ash, aspen, birch, dogwood, sumach, thornapple, wild cherry, chokecherry, elder, huckleberry, blueberry, blackberry, raspberry, gooseberry and grape. The E. slope of the Cascades and most of the Okanogan Highlands are clothed with light forests consisting chiefly of yellow pine, but containing also Douglas fir, cedar, larch, tamarack and a very small amount of oak. In the eastern part of the Okanogan Highlands there is some western white pine, and here, too, larch is most abundant. The Columbia plain is for the most part treeless and, except where irrigated, grows principally bunch-grass or, in its lower and more arid parts, sagebrush. In the forest regions of eastern Washington the underbrush is light, but grasses and a great variety of flowering plants abound.
Climate.—In western Washington, where the ocean greatly influences the temperature and the mountains condense the moisture of vapour-bearing winds, the climate is equable and moist. Eastern Washington, too, usually has a mild temperature, but occasionally some regions in this part of the state are visited by a continental extreme, and as the winds from the ocean lose most of their moisture in passing over the Cascades, the climate is either dry or arid according to elevation. Along the coast the temperature is rarely above 92° F. or below 10° F.; the mean temperature for July is about 60°, for January 40°, and for the entire year 50°. In the Puget Sound Basin an occasional cold east wind during a dry period in winter causes the temperature to fall below zero. At Centralia, in the Chehalis Valley, the temperature has risen as high as 102°. But the mean temperature for January is 34° in the N. portion of the basin and 40° in the S. portion; for July it is 60° in the north and 65° in the south; and for the entire year it is 46° in the north and 52° in the south. During April and October the temperatures in eastern Washington are nearly the same as those in western Washington, but during July the temperatures in eastern Washington are subject to a range from 40° to 110°, and during January from 65° to −30°. However, the climate is so dry in eastern Washington that the “sensible” variations are much less than those recorded by the thermometer. In the south-eastern counties the winters are mild, with the exception of an occasional cold period, and the summers are hot. The rainfall on the W. slope of the Olympic, Coast range and Cascade Mountains is from 60 to 120 in. annually, and in the Puget Sound Basin it is from 25 to 60 in., it being least on the N.E. or leeward side of the Olympics. About three fourths of the rain in western Washington falls during the wet season from November to April inclusive. On the Okanogan Highlands, on the eastern foothills of the Cascade Mountains, on the Blue Mountains and on the elevated portion of the Columbia Plain which comprises the E. border counties, the annual rainfall and melted snow amount to from 12 to 24 in., but in the southern half of eastern Washington the Columbia river flows through a wide district of low elevation, where the rainfall and melted snow amount to only 6 to 12 in. a year, and where there is scarcely any precipitation during the summer months. There is a heavy snowfall in winter on the mountains, and in a large portion of eastern Washington the average annual snowfall is 40 in. or more. Along the coast the prevailing winds blow from the west or south; in the Puget Sound Basin from the south, and in eastern Washington from the south-west, except in the Yakima and Wenatchee valleys, where they are north-west. During summer the winds are very moderate in western Washington, but during winter they occasionally blow with great violence. In eastern Washington hot winds from the north or east are occasionally injurious to the growing wheat in June or July. Light hailstorms are not uncommon, but tornadoes are unknown in the state.
Soils.—The soils of western Washington are chiefly glacial, those of eastern Washington chiefly volcanic. In the low tidewater district of the Puget Sound Basin an exceptionally productive soil has been made by the mixture of river silt and sea sand. In numerous depressions, some of which may have been the beds of lakes formed by beaver dams, the soil is deep and largely of vegetable formation. In the valleys of rivers which have overflowed their banks and on level bench lands there is considerable silt and vegetable loam mixed with glacial clay; but on the hills and ridges of western Washington the soil is almost wholly a glacial deposit consisting principally of clay but usually containing some sand and gravel. On the Columbia plateau the soil is principally volcanic ash and decomposed lava; it is almost wholly volcanic ash in the more arid sections, but elsewhere more decomposed lava or other igneous rocks, and some vegetable loam is mixed with the ash. On the E. slope of the Cascades and on the Okanogan Highlands glacial deposits of clay, gravel or sand, as well as vegetable loam, are mixed with the volcanic substances.
Fisheries.—Washington's many waterways, both fresh and salt, and especially those which indent or are near the coast, make the fisheries resources of great value. The catch and canning of salmon are particularly important. In 1905 the value of canned salmon was $2,431,605 (26,601,429 ℔).
Forests.—In 1907 the estimated area of standing timber in Washington was 11,720 sq. m. besides that included in national forest reserves. The forest reserves are included in ten national parks, named the Chelan, Columbia, Colville, Kaniksu, Olympic, Ranier, Snoqualmie, Washington, Wanaha and Wenatchee, the Chelan being the largest, with an area of 2,492,500 acres. The aggregate area of these parks (all of which were opened in 1907 and 1908) is 18,850.7 sq. m., or about three-elevenths of the total area of the state.
Irrigation.—The principal Federal irrigation undertakings in 1910 were known as the “Okanogan project” and the “Yakima project.” The former (authorized in 1905) provided for the irrigation of about 10,000 acres in Okanogan county by means of two reservoirs of an aggregate area of 650 acres, main canals and main laterals 20 m. long and small laterals 30 m. long, the water being taken from the Salmon river. In 1909 about 3000 acres in this project were watered and under cultivation. The Yakima project involved the irrigation of about 600,000 acres by means of five reservoirs of an aggregate area of 804,000 acre-feet, and was undertaken by the United States government in 1905.
Agriculture.—The development of the agricultural resources of Washington was exceedingly rapid after 1880. The wheat crop in 1909 was 35,780,000 bushels, valued at $33,275,000; oats, 9,898,000 bushels, valued at $4,751,000; barley, 7,189,000 bushels, valued at $4,601,000; rye, 84,000 bushels, valued at $79,000; Indian corn, 417,000 bushels, valued at $359,000. The principal wheat-producing region is the south-eastern part of the state. Western Washington has large hay crops; in the E. part of the state much alfalfa is grown, especially in Yakima county. In W. Washington peas are raised for forage.
Vegetable crops are successfully grown in low alluvial lands of the W. part of the state, and on the irrigated volcanic ash lands E. of the mountains. Apple-growing and the raising of other fruits have increased rapidly. Small fruits are more successful in the W. part of the state. Grapes are grown on the mountain sides, cranberries on the bog lands near the coast, and nuts in the S.E. parts.Live-stock and dairy products are important factors in the
ranges is less common than when large herds grazed free on government lands. Dairying, as distinct from grazing, has much increased in importance in recent years.
Minerals.—The mineral wealth of Washington is large, but its resources have been only slightly developed, and had hardly begun before the first decade of the 20th century: in 1902 the total value of air mineral products was $5,393,659; in 1907 it was $11,617,706 and in 1908 $11,610,224.
The coal deposits of Washington are the only important ones in the Pacific states, and in Washington only, of the Pacific states, is there any coking coal. In the Cowlitz Valley an inferior coal was found in 1848. The first important coal-mining was near Bellingham Bay, in Whatcom county, where coal was discovered in 1852 and where 5374 tons were mined in 1860. Between 1850 and 1860 coal was found on the Stilaguamish river (Snohomish county) and on the Black river (near Seattle) and in 1863 at Gilman (King county); but it was not until between 1880 and 1885, when the Green river field in King county and the Roslyn mines in Kittitas county were opened, that commercial production became important: the output was 3,024,943 tons (valued at $6,690,412) in 1908, when nearly one half (1,414,621 tons) of the total was from Kittitas county and most of the remainder from the counties of King (931,643 tons) and Pierce (551,678 tons). There are large deposits of glacial and residual clays and clay shales throughout the state.
Serpentine marble with seamed markings has been found in Adams and Stevens counties. Granite is found about Puget Sound and in the extreme eastern part of the state; it is largely used in riprap or rough foundations. Sandstone is found especially in the N.W. in Whatcom and San Juan counties; it is used for paving blocks. Limestone also is found most plentifully in the north and north-western parts of the state.
Gold, silver, copper, lead and a little iron (almost entirely brown ore) are the principal ores of commercial importance found in Washington. The total value of gold, silver, copper and lead in 1908 was $378,816 (gold $242,234, silver $47,076, copper $41,188, lead $48,318). The largest output of each of these ores in 1908 was in Stevens county; Ferry, King and Okanogan counties ranked next in the output of gold; Okanogan and Ferry counties in the output of silver; Okanogan in the output of copper; and King in the output of lead. About nine-tenths of the gold was got from dry or siliceous ores and about 8% from placer mines; about two thirds of the silver from dry or siliceous ores, about two-ninths from copper ores, and most of the other ninth from lead ores. The only lead ore is galena. The copper is mostly a copper glance passing into chalcopyrite; it is found in fissure veins with granite. A small quantity of zinc (7 tons in 1906) is occasionally produced. Tungsten is found as wolframite in Stevens county near Deer Trail and Bissell, in Okanogan county near Loomis, in Whatcom county near the international boundary, and (with some scheelite) at Silver Hill, near Spokane. Nickel has been found near Keller in Ferry county, and molybdenum near Davenport, Lincoln county. There is chromite in the black sands of the sea-coast and the banks of the larger rivers. Antimony deposits were first worked in 1906. Arsenic is found.
Manufactures.—There was remarkable growth in the manufacturing industries of Washington between 1880 and 1905, due primarily to the extraordinary development of its lumber industry. In 1870 the value of lumber products was $1,307,585, and the Territory ranked thirty-first among the states and territories in this industry, and in 1880 the value of the product was $1,734,742; by 1905 the value had increased to $49,572,512, and Washington now ranked first. The manufacture of planing mill products, including sashes, doors and blinds, was an important industry, the products being valued in 1905 at $5,173,422.
Next in commercial importance to lumber and timber products are flour and grist mill products, valued in 1905 at $14,663,612. Other important manufactures are: slaughtering and meat packing (wholesale), $6,251,705 in 1905; malt liquors, $4,471,777; and foundry and machine shop products, $3,862,279.
Transportation and Commerce.—Puget Sound has formed a natural terminus for several transcontinental railways, the cities of Seattle and Tacoma on its shores affording outlets to the commerce of the Pacific for the Northern Pacific, the Great Northern and the Chicago, Milwaukee & Puget Sound transcontinental lines, which enter these cities with their own tracks. The Union Pacific and the Canadian Pacific reach Seattle over the tracks of other roads. The Northern Pacific and the Great Northern enter the state near the middle of its eastern boundary at Spokane, which is a centre for practically all the railway lines in the eastern part of the state. The Northern Pacific, the first of the transcontinental roads to touch the Pacific north of San Francisco, reaches Seattle with a wide sweep to the south, crossing the Columbia river about where it is entered by the Yakima and ascending the valley of the latter to the Cascade Mountains. The Great Northern, running west from Spokane, crosses the state in nearly a straight line, and between this road and the Northern Pacific, and paralleling the Great Northern, runs the recently constructed Chicago, Milwaukee & Puget Sound, the westward extension of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St Paul. The Northern Pacific sends a branch line south from Tacoma parallel with the coast to Portland on the Columbia river, where it meets the Southern Pacific and the Oregon Railroad & Navigation Company's line (a subsidiary of the Union Pacific), thus affording communication southwards, and up the valley of the Columbia to the east. Entering the south-east corner of the state, the Oregon Railroad & Navigation Company extends a line northwards to Spokane, and a branch of the Great Northern, leaving the main line at this city, runs north-westward into British Columbia. The Spokane, Portland & Seattle railway connects the three cities named by way of the Columbia Valley; and the Spokane & Inland Empire sends a line eastward into Idaho to the Cœur d'Alene country and another through the south-eastern part of the state into Nevada. In 1880 the railway mileage was 289 m.; in 1890, 2012.05 m.; in 1900, 2888.44 m.; and on the 1st of January 1909, 4180.32 m.
Seattle and Tacoma are among the four leading ports of the United States on the Pacific. Other harbours on Puget Sound of commercial importance are Olympia, Everett and Bellingham. Port Townsend is the port of entry for Puget Sound. Gray'sHarbour, on the western coast, is of importance in lumber traffic.
Population.—The population in 1860 was 11,594; in 1870, 23,955; in 1880, 75,116; in 1890, 349,390, an increase within the decade of 365-1%; in 1900, 518,103, an increase of about 45%. In 1910, according to the U.S. census returns, the total population of the state reached 1,141,990. Of the total population in 1900, 394,179 were native whites, 111,364 or 21.5% were foreign-born, 10,139 (of whom 2531 were not taxed) were Indians, 5617 were Japanese, 3629 were Chinese, and 2514 were negroes. The Indians on reservations in 1909 were chiefly those on Colville Reservation (1,297,000 acres unallotted), in the N.E. part of the state, and the Yakima Reservation (837,753 acres unallotted), in the S. part; they belonged to many small tribes chiefly of the Salishan, Athapascan, Chinookan and Shahapiian stocks. Of the foreign-born, 18,385 were English-Canadians, 16,686 Germans, 12,737 Swedes, 10,481 natives of England, 9891 Norwegians and 7262 Irish. Of the total population 241,388 were of foreign parentage (i.e. either one or both parents were foreign-born), and of those having both parents of a given nationality 34,490 were of German, 19,359 of Swedish, 17,456 of Irish, 16,959 of Norwegian and 16,835 of English parentage. The Roman Catholic Church in 1906 had more members than any other religious denomination, 74,981 out of the total of 191,976 in all denominations; there were 31,700 Methodists, 13,464 Lutherans, 11,316 Baptists, 10,628 Disciples of Christ, 10,025 Congregationalists and 6780 Protestant Episcopalians.
Government.—Washington is governed under its original constitution, which was adopted on the 1st of October 1889. An amendment may be proposed by either branch of the legislature; if approved by two-thirds of the members elected to each branch and subsequently, at the next general election, by a majority of the people who vote on the question it becomes a part of the constitution. Five amendments have been adopted: one in 1894, one in 1896, one in 1900, one in 1904, and one in 1910. Suffrage is conferred upon all adult citizens of the United States (including women, 1910) who have lived in the state one year, in the county ninety days, and in the city, town, ward or precinct thirty days immediately preceding the election, and are able to read and speak the English language; Indians who are not taxed, idiots, insane persons and convicts are debarred. General elections are held biennially, in even numbered years, on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, and candidates, except those for the supreme court bench and a few local offices, are nominated at a direct primary election, held the second Tuesday in September.
auditor, attorney-general, superintendent of public instruction and commissioner of public lands are elected for a term of four years; and each new administration begins on the second Monday in January. The governor's salary is $6000 a year, which is the maximum allowed by the constitution.
The legislature consists of a Senate and a House of Representatives, and the constitution provides that the number of representatives shall not be less than sixty-three nor more than ninety-nine, and the number of senators not more than one-half nor less than one-third the number of representatives. Senators are elected by single districts for a term of four years, a portion retiring every two years; representatives are elected, one, two or three from a district, for a term of two years. Regular sessions of the legislature are heldbiennially, in odd-numbered years, and begin on the second Monday
passed both houses may be vetoed by the governor, and to override a veto a two-thirds vote of the members present in each house is required. No law other than appropriation bills can go into effect until ninety days after the adjournment of the legislature, except in case of an emergency, by a vote in each house of two-thirds of all its members. The members of the legislature are paid $5 for each day's attendance during the session, besides an allowance for travelling expenses.
Justice is administered principally by a supreme court, superior courts and justices of the peace. The supreme court consists of nine judges elected for a term of six years, one of those whose term next expires being chosen chief justice, and is divided into two departments. The presence of at least three judges in each department is required, and the concurrence of at least three judges is necessary to a decision. In case of a disagreement the case may be heard again in the same department, transferred to the other department, or to the court en banc. The chief justice or any four of his associates may at any time convene the court en banc, and if so convened at least five of the judges must be present, and the concurrence of at least five is necessary to a decision. The supreme court has original jurisdiction in habeas corpus, quo warranto and mandamus proceedings against all state officers; and it has appellate jurisdiction except in civil actions for the recovery of money or personal property, in which the original amount in controversy does not exceed $200, and which at the same time do not involve the legality of a tax, impost, assessment, toll or municipal fine, or the validity of a statute. Judges of the superior courts (one or more for each county, or one for two or more counties jointly) are elected for a term of four years. They have original jurisdiction in all cases in equity, in all cases at law which involve the title or possession of real property, or the legality of a tax, impost, assessment, toll or municipal fine, and in all other cases at law in which the amount in controversy is $100 or more, in nearly all criminal cases, in matters of probate, in proceedings for divorce, and in various other cases; and they have appellate jurisdiction of cases originally tried before a justice of the peace or other inferior courts where the amount in controversy is more than $20. Justices of the peace, one or more in each election precinct, are elected for a term of two years. They have jurisdiction of various civil actions in which the amount in controversy is less than $100, and concurrent jurisdiction with the superior courts in all cases of misdemeanours, but punishment by a justice of the peace is limited in cities of the first class to a fine of $500, or imprisonment for six months, and elsewhere to a fine of $100 or imprisonment for thirty days.
Local Government.—The government of each county is vested principally in a board of three commissioners elected by a county at large, some for two and some for four years. The other county officers are a clerk, a treasurer, an auditor, an assessor, an attorney, an engineer, a sheriff, a coroner and a superintendent of public schools, each elected for a term of two years. Township organization is in force only when adopted by a particular county at a county election; in 1910 only one county (Spokane) had the township organization. Each township is governed by the electors assembled annually (the first Tuesday in March) in town meeting and by three supervisors, a clerk, a treasurer, an assessor, a justice of the peace and a constable, and an overseer of highways for each road district, all elected at the town meeting, justice of the peace and a constable for a term of two years, the other officers for a term of one year; each overseer of highways is chosen by the electors of his district. Municipalities are incorporated under general, laws, and cities are divided into three classes, the first class including those having a population of 20,000 or more, the second class those having a population between 10,000 and 20,000, the third class those having a population between 1500 and 10,000. When a community has a population between 300 and 1500 within an area of 1 sq. m., it may be incorporated as a town. A city of the first class is permitted to frame its own charter, but its general powers are prescribed by statute. A city of the second class must elect a mayor and twelve councilmen, and its mayor must appoint a police judge, an attorney, a street commissioner and a chief of police. A city of the third class must elect a mayor, seven councilmen, a treasurer, a health officer, a clerk and an attorney, and its mayor must apoint a marshal, a police justice and as many policemen as the council provides for. An incorporated town must elect a mayor, five councilmen and a treasurer, and its mayor must appoint a marshal and a clerk.
Miscellaneous Laws.—Either husband or wife may hold, manage and dispose of his or her separate property independent of the other, but property which they hold in common is under the management and control of the husband except that he cannot devise by will more than one-half of the community real or personal property, or convey, mortgage or encumber any of the community real estate unless his wife joins him. When either husband or wife dies intestate one-third of the separate real estate of the deceased goes to the survivor if there are two or more children, one-half of it if there is only one child, the whole of it if there are no children, no issue of children, and no father, mother, brother or sister. One-half of the community property goes to the survivor in any case, and the whole of it if there is no will and neither children nor the issue of children. Where there is no will one-half of the residue of the separate personal estate goes to the survivor if there are issue, and the whole of it if there are no issue. A law enacted in 1909 forbids a marriage in which either of the parties is a common drunkard, habitual criminal, epileptic, imbecile, feeble-minded person, idiot or insane person, a person who has been afflicted with hereditary insanity, a person who is afflicted with pulmonary tuberculosis in its advanced stages, or a person who is afflicted with any contagious venereal disease, unless the woman is at least forty-five years of age. A plaintiff must reside in the state one year before filing an application for a divorce. Neither party is permitted to marry a third party until six months after the divorce has been obtained. Washington has a state board consisting of three members appointed by the governor to confer with commissioners from other states upon such matters as marriage and divorce, insolvency, descent and distribution of property, the execution and probate of wills, for the purpose of promoting uniformity of legislation respecting them. A homestead to the value of $1000 which is owned and occupied by the head of a family is exempt from attachment or forced sale except for debts secured by mechanics', labourers', material men's or vendors' liens upon the premises. If the owner is a married man the homestead may be selected from the community property but not the wife's separate property without her consent, and when it has been selected, even if from the husband's separate property, it cannot be encumbered or conveyed without the wife's consent. Personal property is exempt from execution or attachment as follows: all wearing apparel of every person and family; private libraries to the value of S500; all family pictures; household goods to the value of $500; certain domestic animals or $250 worth of other property chosen instead; firearms kept for the use of a person or family; certain articles (within specified values) necessary to the occupations of farmers, physicians, and other professional men, teamsters, lighter men, &c., and the proceeds of all life and accident Insurance. By a law enacted in 1909 the licensing of the sale of intoxicating liquors, other than for medical purposes by druggists and pharmacists, is left to the option of counties and cities.
Charities, &c.—The state charitable and penal institutions consist of the Western Washington Hospital for the Insane at Fort Steilacoom, the Eastern Washington Hospital for the Insane at Medical Lake, the State School for the Deaf and the State School for the Blind at Vancouver, the State Institution for Feeble-minded near Medical Lake, the Washington Soldiers' Home and Soldiers' Colony at Orting, the Veterans' Home at Port Orchard, the State Penitentiary at Walla Walla, the State Reformatory at Monroe and the State Training School at Chehalis. All of these institutions are' under the management of a bi-partisan State Board of Control which consists of three members appointed by the governor for a term of six years, one every two years, and also removable by the governor in his discretion. Each member receives a salary of S3000 a year. Thesame board together with the superintendent of the penitentiary constitute a prison board. The State Training School is for the reformatory training of children between eight and eighteen years of age who have been found guilty of any crime other than murder, manslaughter or highway robbery, or who for some other cause have been committed to it by a court of competent jurisdiction.
Education.—The public school system is administered by a state superintendent of public instruction, a state board of education, regents or trustees of higher institutions of learning, a superintendent of the common schools and a board of education in each county, and a board of directors in each school district. The state superintendent is elected for a term of four years. The state board of education consists of the state superintendent, the president of the University of Washington, the president of the State College of Washington, the principal of one of the state normal schools chosen biennially by the principals of the state normal schools, and three other members appointed biennially by the governor, one of whom must be a superintendent of a district of the first class, one a county superintendent and one a principal of a high school. This body very largely determines the course of study in the elementary schools, high schools, normal school and the normal departments of the University and the State College, approves the requirements for entrance to the University and the State College, and prepares the questions for the examination of teachers. Each county superintendent is elected for a term of two years. The county board of education consists of the county superintendent and four other members appointed by him for a term of two years; one of its principal duties is to adopt the text-books for schools in districts in which there is no four-year accredited high school. In a school district which maintains a four-year accredited high school there is a text-book commission consisting of the city superintendent or the principal of the high school, two members of the board of directors designated by the board, and two teachers appointed by the board. All children between eight and fifteen years of age, and all between fifteen and sixteen years of age who are not regularly employed in some useful or remunerative occupation, must attend the public school all the time it is in session or a private school for the same time unless excused by the city or the county superintendent because of mental or physical disabilityor because of proficiency in the branches taught in the first eight
one at Bellingham, and one at Ellensburg, and each of them is under the management of a board of three trustees appointed by the governor with the concurrence of the Senate for a term of six years, one every two years. The State College of Washington (1890) at Pullman, for instruction in agriculture, mechanical arts and natural sciences, includes an agricultural college, an experiment station and a school of science. The University of Washington (1862) at Seattle embraces a college of liberal arts, a college of engineering and schools of law, pharmacy, mines and forestry. Whitman College (Congregational, 1866) at Walla Walla, Gonzaga College (Roman Catholic, 1887) at Spokane, Whitworth College (Presbyterian, 1890) at Tacoma and the University of Puget Sound (Methodist Episcopal, 1903) at Tacoma are institutions of higher learning maintained and controlled by their respective denominations.
Finance.—The revenue for state, county and municipal purposes is derived principally from a general property tax, a privilege tax levied on the gross receipts of express companies and private car companies, an inheritance tax and licence fees for the sale of intoxicating liquors. Real property is assessed biennially; personal property, annually. For the two years ending the 1st of October 1908 the total receipts into the state treasury amounted to $10,854,281.42 and the total disbursements amounted to $11,053,375.13. The net state debt on the 1st of October 1908amounted to $967,576.38.
History.—The early exploration of the western coast of North America grew out of the search for a supposed passage, sometimes called the “Strait of Aman” between the Pacific and the Atlantic. In Purchas his Pilgrimmes (1625) was published the story of Juan de Fuca, a Greek mariner whose real name was Apostolos Valerianos, who claimed to have discovered the passage and to have sailed in it more than twenty days. Though the story was a fabrication, the strait south of Vancouver Island was given his name. An account of the various Spanish and English explorers has already been given under Oregon and need not be repeated at length here.
In 1787 a company of Boston merchants sent two vessels, the “Columbia” and the “Washington” under John Kendrick and Robert Gray (1755–1806) to investigate the possibility of establishing trading posts. They reached Nootka Sound in September 1788, and in July 1789 Captain Gray in the “Columbia” began the homeward voyage by way of China. Captain Kendrick remained, erected a fort on Nootka Sound, demonstrated that Vancouver was an island and in 1791 purchased from the Indians large tracts of land between 47° and 51° N. lat. for his employers. On the homeward voyage he was accidentally killed and his vessel was lost. Meanwhile Captain Gray in September 1790 sailed from Boston on a second voyage. During the winter of 1791–1792 he built another fort on Nootka Sound and mounted four cannon from the ship. With the coming of spring he sailed southward, determined to settle definitely the existence of the great river, which he had vainly attempted to enter the previous summer. Captain George Vancouver (1758–1798), in charge of a British exploring expedition then engaged in mapping the coast (1792–1794), was sceptical of the existence of the river, but Captain Gray, undiscouraged, persisted in the search and on the 11th of May 1792 anchored in the river which he named Columbia in honour of his ship. The later claim of the United States to all the territory drained by the river was based chiefly upon this discovery by Captain Gray, who had succeeded where Spanish and British had failed. The territory became known as Oregon (q.v.).
The first white man certainly known to have approached the region from the east was Alexander Mackenzie of the North-west Fur Company, who reached the coast at about lat. 52° in July 1793. With the purchase of Louisiana (30th April 1803) the United States gained a clear title to the land between the Mississippi and the Rocky Mountains as far north as 49° and, because of contiguity, a shadowy claim to the region west of the mountains. In 1819 Spain specifically renounced any claim she might have to the coast north of 42°, strengthening thereby the position of the United States. Just before the purchase of Louisiana, President Jefferson had recommended to Congress (18th January 1803) the sending of an expedition to explore the headwaters of the Missouri, cross the Rockies and follow the streams to the Pacific. In accordance with the recommendation Meriwether Lewis (q.v.) and William Clark, both officers of the United States Army, with a considerable party left St Louis on the 14th of May 1804, ascended the Missouri to the headwaters, crossed the Rockies and, following the Columbia river, reached the ocean in November 1805. The return journey over nearly the same route was begun on the 23rd of March 1806, and on the 23rd of September they reached St Louis.
The story of the struggle of the rival British and American companies to control the fur trade, with the final dominance of the Hudson's Bay Company has been told under Oregon and need not be repeated. Since the country was considered to be of little value the question of boundaries was not pressed either by Great Britain or the United States after the War of 1812, and by a treaty concluded on the 20th of October 1818 it was agreed that “any country that may be claimed by either party on the north-west coast of North America, westward of the Stony (Rocky) Mountains shall be free and open for the term of ten years from the date of the signature of the present convention to the vessels, citizens and subjects of the two powers.” On the 6th of August 1827 the convention was continued in force indefinitely with the proviso that either party might abrogate the agreement on twelve months' notice. Meanwhile Russia (17th April 1824) agreed to make no settlement south of 54° 40' and the United States agreed to make none north of that line. In February 1825 Great Britain and Russia made a similar agreement. This left only Great Britain and the United States as the contestants for that territory west of the Rocky Mountains between 42° and 54° 40', which by this time was commonly known as the Oregon country. American settlers in considerable numbers soon began to enter the region south of the Columbia river, and in 1841, and again in 1843, these settlers attempted to form a provisional government. A fundamental code was adopted in 1845 and a provisional government was established, to endure until “the United States of America extend their Jurisdiction over us.” North of the river, the Hudson's Bay Company discouraged settlement, believing that the final determination of the boundary controversy would make that stream the dividing line. Though there were a few mission stations in the eastern part of the present state of Washington (see Whitman, Marcus), the first permanent American settlement north of the Columbia was made in 1845 on the Des Chutes river, at the head of Puget Sound at the present Tumwater. Others soon followed in spite of the efforts of the chief factor of the Hudson's Bay Company, Dr John M‘Loughlin, and these permanent settlers finally carried the day.
Interest in the Oregon country developed with the increase of settlers and of knowledge and a demand for the settlement of the boundary dispute arose. The report of Captain Charles Wilkes, who visited the coast in 1841–1842 in charge of the United States exploring expedition helped to excite this interest. In the presidential campaign of 1844 one of the Democratic demands was “Fifty-four forty or fight.” By a treaty negotiated by James Buchanan, on the part of the United States, and Richard Pakenham, on the part of Great Britain, and ratified on the 17th of July 1846, the boundary was fixed at 49° to the middle of the channel separating the continent from Vancouver Island and thence “southerly through the middle of the said channel and of Fuca's Straits to the Pacific Ocean.” A dispute later arose over this water-line. The act establishing a territorial government for Oregon was approved on the 14th of August 1848, and the first governor, Joseph Lane (1801–1881), assumed the government on the 3rd of March 1849. Following the increase of population north of the Columbia, the territory was divided, and Washington Territory was established on the 2nd of March 1853, with the river as the southern boundary to the point where it is intersected by the forty-sixth parallel, and thence along that parallel to the summit of the Rocky Mountains, thereby including portions of the present states of Idaho and Montana. The first governor, Major Isaac I. Stevens, of the United States Army, took charge on the 29th of September 1853, and a census indicated a population of 3965, of whom 1682 were voters. Olympia was chosen as the temporary seat of government, and Governor Stevens at once set to work to extinguish the Indian titles to land and to survey a route for a railway, which was later to become the Northern Pacific. The Indians, alarmed by the rapid growth of the white population, attempted to destroy the scattered settlements and the wandering prospectors for gold, which had been discovered in eastern Washington in 1855. Between 1855 and 1859, after many sharp contests, the Indians were partially subdued.
Shortly after 1846, the British began to assert that the Rosario Strait and not Haro Strait (as the Americans held) was the channel separating the mainland and Vancouver Island, thus claiming the Haro Archipelago of which San Juan was the principal island. Conflict of authority arose, and in 1859 San Juan was occupied by U.S. troops commanded by Captain George E. Pickett (1825-1875), and for a time hostilities seemed imminent. By agreement joint occupation followed until, by the Treaty of Washington (May 8, 1871), the question was left to the German emperor, who decided (October 21, 1872) in favour of the United States. Meanwhile Oregon was admitted as a state (February 14, 1859) with the present boundaries, and the remnant of the territory, including portions of what are now Idaho and Wyoming, was added to Washington. The discovery of gold in this region, however, brought such a rush of population that the Territory of Idaho was set off (March 3, 1863) and Washington was reduced to its present limits. Rapid growth in population and wealth led to agitation for statehood, and a constitution was adopted in 1878, but Congress declined to pass an enabling act. The development of Alaska and the completion of the Northern Pacific Railroad to the coast (1883) brought a great increase in population. A large number of Chinese coolies who had been introduced to construct the railway congregated in the towns on the completion of the work, and in 1885 serious anti-Chinese riots led to the declaration of martial law by the governor and to the use of United States troops. Finally the long-desired admission to statehood was granted by Congress (February 22, 1889) and President Benjamin Harrison (November 11, 1889) formally announced the admission complete.
Since admission the progress of the state has continued with increasing rapidity. The Alaska-Yukon Exposition, designed to exhibit the resources of western America, held at Seattle June-October 1909, was a complete success. In politics the state has been Republican in national elections, except in 1896, when it was carried by a fusion of Democrats and Populists. A Populist was elected governor and was re-elected in 1900.
|Governors of Washington|
|Isaac I. Stevens||1853-1857|
|C. H. Mason (acting)||1857|
|C. H. Mason (acting)||1858-1859|
|Richard D. Gholson||1859-1860|
|Henry M. McGill (acting)||1860-1861|
|Wm. H. Wallace||1861|
|L. J. S. Turney (acting)||1861-1862|
|George E. Cole||1866-1867|
|E. L. Smith (acting)||1867|
|Marshall F. Moore||1867-1869|
|Edward S. Salmon||1870-1872|
|Elisha P. Ferry||1872-1880|
|W. A. Newell||1880-1884|
|Watson C. Squire||1884-1887|
|Miles C. Moore||1889|
|Elisha P. Ferry||Republican||1889-1893|
|John H. McGraw||”||1893-1897|
|J. R. Rogers||Populist||1897-1901|
|Henry C. McBride||Republican (acting)||1901-1905|
|Albert E. Mead||Republican||1905-1909|
|Samuel G. Cosgrove||”||1909|
|M. E. Hay||Republican (acting)||1909-|
|Emery Walker sc.|
- Absent from the Territory during the greater part of 1865, during which time Elwood Evans acted as governor.
- In place of J. R. Rogers, deceased.
- Died 28th March 1909.