Pacific Northwest Historical Documents Database
In the 19th century pioneers and entrepreneurs were drawn west by the prospects of success and a better life. The following description of the Pacific Northwest extolls its riches and endless potential:
Washington Territory has 20,000,000 acres of timber, 10,000,000 acres of prairie and 5,000,000 rich alluvial bottom open for settlement. Washington Territory has unequaled climate for comfort and healthfulness. Average temperature: Spring, 50 deg.; Summer, 69 deg., Fall, 52 deg.; Winter, 36 deg. Rate of mortality, 1 in 228. Exports of the Territory are lumber, hoop-poles, coal, wheat, flour, barley, oats, hops, fruit, horned cattle, horses, sheep, hides, wool, furs, and fish. Over 500 species of flowering plants indigenous to the Territory. Fish plentiful in its waters. It has the finest harbors in the world. It is profusely watered by rivers. Twenty navigable rivers. It has good schools and school laws, and churches of all denominations. Washington Territory wants industrious men and women, no room for loafers. (West shore, March 1878, p.109)
About the Database
The Pacific Northwest Historical Documents database is a collection of original, diaries, letters, reminiscences and political documents drawn from various sources within the Special Collections Division. These documents recount the early settlement of Washington and the establishment of homesteads and towns and describe the hardships faced by many of the early pioneers. Some writings also focus on political and societal issues that challenged the settlers of the Pacific Northwest, such as, the women's suffrage movement. A number of the handwritten documents have been transcribed, as well as scanned at a higher resolution to enable the user to view them in more detail.
In some cases, only selections from each collection or item were digitized. Many, however, were scanned in their entirety. Some material was scanned in grayscale using a Microtek Scanmaker 9600L and saved in .jpg format. Other letters and ephemera in this collection were scanned using a Microtek ScanMaker 9600XL saved as TIFF files, manipulated in Adobe PhotoShop to achieve the best and clearest possible digital image and loaded into the Contentdm JPEG 2000 software. The scanned images were then linked with descriptive data using Contentdm software. The material for this database was selected, researched and described by Kristin Kinsey, Sarah Weeks, Sheri Boggs, Sarmila C. Franklin, Cortney Leach , James W. Rosenzweig, and Jade D'Addario.
Explore the database by looking through these Manuscripts, Publications and Books.