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Washington Territory

Territory of Washington
the United States



Seal of Washington Territory of Washington Territory

Seal of Washington Territory

Capital Olympia
Government Organized incorporated territory
Governor List
 •  Split from Oregon Territory March 2, 1853
 •  Idaho Territory split off March 4, 1863
 •  Statehood November 11, 1889

The Territory of Washington was an Union as the State of Washington. It was created from the portion of the Oregon Territory north of the lower Columbia River and north of the 46th parallel east of the Columbia. At its largest extent, it also included the entirety of modern Idaho and parts of Montana and Wyoming, before attaining its final boundaries in 1863.


  • History 1
  • See also 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


Agitation in favor of self-government developed in the regions of the Oregon Territory north of the Columbia River in 1851–1852.[1] A group of prominent settlers from the Cowlitz and Puget Sound regions met on November 25, 1852, at the "Monticello Convention", to draft a petition to the United States Congress calling for a separate territory north of the Columbia River. After gaining approval from the Oregon territorial government, the proposal was sent to the federal government.[2]

The bill to establish the territory, H.R. 348, was reported in the

  • Historical Timeline of Events Leading to the formation of Washington State, from Washington State University
  • Early Washington Maps, more than 925 maps hosted by WSU
  • "The Long Wait for Statehood, Why it took Washington 36 years and Idaho 26 years to achieve their goals", Columbia: Fall 1988; Vol. 2, No. 3
  • Map of Oregon, Washington, and part of British Columbia, 1860, David Rumsey Collection. Oregon, Washington Territory, western Nebraska Territory, southern British Columbia, in 1860. Showing political divisions, counties and Emigrant Trail.
  • General Map of the North Pacific States and Territories Belonging to the United States and of British Columbia, Extending from Lake Superior to the Pacific Ocean, 1865, David Rumsey Collection
  •  J. W. Hawes (1879). "Washington, a territory of the United States".  

External links

  1. ^ Weber, Dennis P. (Fall 2003). "The Creation of Washington: Securing Democracy North of the Columbia". Columbia Magazine 17 (3): 23–34. Retrieved February 11, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Settlers met at Monticello to sign a petition asking Congress to create a separate territory north of the Columbia River". Washington History. Washington Secretary of State. Retrieved July 19, 2011. 
  3. ^ Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States, Volume 48, p. 185, January 25., 1853
  4. ^ McClelland, John M., Jr. (Summer 1988). "Almost Columbia, Triumphantly Washington". Columbia Magazine 2 (2): 3–11. Retrieved December 17, 2011. 
  5. ^ The Congressional Globe, 32nd Congress, 2nd Session, p. 555. Rep. Alexander Evans argued that the name "Washington" was as confusing as "Columbia". In a later amendment to H.R. 348, a senator offered the name "Washingtonia".
  6. ^ Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States, Volume 48, p. 397, March 3, 1853.
  7. ^ Kit Oldham (January 15, 2003). "Governor Isaac Stevens selects Olympia as capital of Washington Territory on November 28, 1853". HistoryLink. 
  8. ^ Tim Fuller. The Most Accurate and Useful Law Books Possible": Milestones of Official Case Reporting in Washington""". Washington State Courts. 
  9. ^ "Act of Congress Admitting Oregon to the Union". Oregon Blue Book. February 14, 1859. 
  10. ^ The Statistician and Economist (San Francisco: L.P. McCarty) 19: 59. 1897–1898 
  11. ^ Harrison Johnson (1880). "Chapter I: Historical". Johnson's History of Nebraska. Omaha: Henry Gibson. p. 41. 


See also

In 1863, the area of Washington Territory east of the Idaho Territory, leaving the territory within the current boundaries of Washington State, which was admitted to the Union on November 11, 1889 as the 42nd US state.

The original boundaries of the territory included all of the present day State of Washington, as well as northern Idaho and Montana west of the continental divide. On the admission of the State of Oregon to the union in 1859, the eastern portions of the Oregon Territory, including southern Idaho, portions of Wyoming west of the continental divide, and a small portion of present-day Ravalli County, Montana were annexed to the Washington Territory.[9] The southeastern tip of the territory (in present day Wyoming) was sent to Nebraska Territory on March 2, 1861.[10][11]

Isaac Stevens, who was appointed the territory's first governor, declared Olympia to be the territorial capital. A territorial legislature was elected and first met in February 1854,[7] and the territorial supreme court issued its first decision later in the year.[8] Columbia Lancaster was elected as the first delegate to U.S. Congress.

[6] on the same day.Millard Fillmore on March 2, and signed by President Senate and passed in the House on February 10, passed in the [5] The bill was thus amended with the name "Washington", though not without some debate,[4]

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