Collection List for Database
E. B. "Harry" Ault writings, letters, and ephemera, 1898-1928. (E. B. Harry Ault papers. Accession No. 0213-001)
Harry Ault (1883-1961) was a journalist and a prominent member of the socialist and labor movements in Washington state in the first half of the 20th century. The "sketches" and short written pieces of Ault's in this collection describe his youth as a resident of Equality Colony, a socialist commune located near Edison, Washington. The letters and ephemera describe his later career in the 1910s and 1920s as the editor of the Seattle Union Record, the official organ of the Seattle Central Labor Council. The Union Record and Ault played an important role in the Seattle General Strike and the aftermath of the Centralia Massacre. These documents depict the successes of, and the tensions within, the labor movement in Washington during those years, including some documents produced by the opponents of organized labor, which Ault had collected and saved.
Broussais C. Beck labor spy reports and ephemera, 1919-1920. (Broussais C. Beck papers. Accession No. 0155-001)
Broussais Coman Beck (1886-1936) was a Seattle businessman who served as the Bon Marche's store manager in the late 1910s and early 1920s. In that capacity, he worked against the organized labor movement in Seattle by employing labor spies to infiltrate unions and other labor organizations. These spies sent him regular updates, along with examples of flyers, leaflets, and other ephemera distributed by activists in the movement. The documents give evidence of the actions and attitudes of members of the most influential labor organizations in Seattle -- the Central Labor Council, the Boilermakers' Local, the Metal Trades Council, the Industrial Workers of the World, and several others -- in the months following the Seattle General Strike, as well as their reactions to the Centralia Massacre.
John Berns and John "Packer Jack" Newman correspondence, 1898-1928. (John Emmett Berns papers. Accession no. 0740-001)
John Emmett Berns, a writer, collaborated with and collected the correspondence of John "Packer Jack" Newman (1863-1931), a famous Klondike Gold Rush packer and John Leonard (1879-1914?) who was Alaska's first balloonist. John Berns used these letters to write an unpublished article about the 1898 Klondike Gold Rush. He decribes events in Skagway including the life and times of various notorius personalities including Jefferson "Soapy" R. Smith who was a famous criminal and the informal "mayor" of Skagway until he was shot by vigilante citizens in 1898.
David E. Blaine and Catherine P. Blaine letters, 1854-1856. (Blaine Family papers. Accession no. 4611-001)
Methodist minister, Reverend David Edwards Blaine (1824-1900) and his wife Catherine Paine (1829-1908) moved from Seneca Falls, New York to Seattle in the fall of 1853 as part of a missionary movement. The Blaines later moved to Portland, Oregon Territory to continue their work as missionaries. This collection of their letters to their family describes life in early Seattle including the building of their church, relations with the local Native Americans, local industry, the rising value of land in Seattle, the Battle of Seattle in 1856 during the Yakima War, local politics, conflict between British agents of the Hudson's Bay Company and American settlers, relationships with other missionaries in Washington Territory and general reflections on their natural surroundings and duties. Letters post February 1856 describe life in Portland and further events in the Yakima War.
Documents from the Cannery Workers' and Farm Laborers' Union (Cannery Workers and Farm Laborers Union Local 7 records. Accession No. 3927-001)
The Cannery Workers' and Farm Laborers' Union was organized June 19, 1933 in Seattle to represent the primarily Filipino-American laborers who worked in the Alaska salmon canneries. Filipino Alaskeros first appeared in the canneries around 1911. In the 1920s as exclusionary immigration laws went into effect, they replaced the Japanese, who had replaced the Chinese in the canneries. Workers were recruited through labor contractors who were paid to provide a work crew for the summer canning season. The contractor paid workers wages and other expenses. This system led to many abuses and harsh working conditions from which grew the movement toward unionization. These items document the early history of the union from the 1930s-1950s.
Letters of George W. Carmack, 1895-1922 (George W. Carmack papers. Accession no. 5176-001)
George W. Carmack was a miner whose discovery of gold on Bonanza Creek started the Klondike gold rush. After deserting from the U.S. Marine Corps in 1882, Carmack lived among the Tagish Indians in the Yukon valley along with his common law wife, Kate Carmack. George and Kate later moved to California. George eventually left California and Kate, and in 1900 married Marguerite Laimee. Kate brought suit to prove she was George's wife and entitled to alimony. These letters document Carmack's discovery of gold in the Yukon and his legal battle with Kate Carmack.
Elizabeth Chambers reminiscences, 1863 (Chambers (Andrew Jackson) Family. Accession No. 0939-001)
Written in 1932 for Andrew C. Denny by his Aunt, Elizabeth Chambers Hunsaker. Elizabeth Chambers was born in 1854, the daughter of Andrew Jackson Chambers whose father settled on Chambers Prairie in 1847. She describes daily domestic chores, fetching water, canning fruit, making candles, social activities, schooling, trips to procure provisions, and farming chores.
Arthur Armstrong Denny overland journal and reminiscence, 1851 (Arthur Armstrong Denny papers. Accession no. 2343-003)
Arthur Armstrong Denny was one of Washington State's early pioneers, and became one of the major civic leaders of Seattle, settling in Alki Point, West Seattle in 1851. In these accounts he describes the trip he took with his family on the Oregon Trail from Indiana west to Portland, Oregon in the spring and summer of 1851, and reminisces about early pioneer life in Seattle.
Letters of Winfield S. Ebey, 1850-1864 (Winfield Scott Ebey Papers. Accession no. 0127-001)
Winfield Scott Ebey (1831-1865) traveled the Oregon Trail from Missouri to Washington Territory in 1854 to join his brother, Isaac Neff Ebey (1818-1857) on his property near Port Townsend. Both men were important figures in the early political life of Washington Territory. This collection includes letters by Ebey family members and major civic leaders. They cover all facets of life in Washington Territory including general descriptions of land and climate, social life, the Yakima War (1855-6), Territorial elections, the Fraser River Gold rush (1858), shipping business, advice for those traveling the Oregon Trail and Isaac's beheading in 1857 by Native Americans from the north.
Richard Dickerson Gholson manuscripts, 1859-1860. (Richard Dickerson Gholson papers. Accession no. 0074-001)
Richard Dickerson Gholson served as Washington Territory Governor from 1859-1861. During this period of time he presided over the incident known as the Pig War. This was a confrontation between American and British authorities over the boundary between the United States and British North America. In 1859, simmering conflict came to a head on San Juan Island when one American killed a pig belonging to the Hudson's Bay Company, setting off the bloodless "Pig War." Both governments set up troops on the island, but war was fortunately averted due to negotiations in which they agreed to a joint military occupation of the island until ownership was confirmed. This collection consists of letters between various military and civil officials discussing a legal conflict between a local judge and a British subject, military rule of the island, the establishment of the British camp, and declarations made by the British governor of Vancouver Island, James Douglas.
Edward Ginn letter, November 1, 1861. (Edward Ginn papers. Accession no. 0005-001)
Washington Territory citizen, Edward Ginn, worked in the shipping industry in the 1860s. In this letter to his brother and sister, he describes the medicine practices of the Salish tribe.
Lila Hannah reminiscence of San Juan Island in 1864 (Lila Hannah Firth papers. Accession no. 4729-001
Reminiscences of Lila Hannah who arrived on San Juan Island in 1864. She recounts the education system on the island, encounters with Native Americans, domestic chores and other details of daily life, local economic conditions and businesses, obtaining food, family illnesses, the Hudson's Bay Company activities on the island, missionaries, and childhood pastimes.
Ann S. Conner Hartsuck documents, 1866 (Ann S. Conner Hartsuck papers. Accession no. 0394-001)
Ann S. Conner sailed for Washington Territory as one of the "Mercer girls" whom Asa Mercer transported to Seattle in a settlement venture. These women were asked to come to Seattle to increase the numbers of marriageable women in the young city. They were also needed to fill jobs, mostly as teachers. Documents in this collection include her diary describing the voyage on the steamship "Continental" from New York to Seattle, her steamship ticket and a letter of introduction to Governor Pickering from Asa Mercer.
George D. Hill letters, 1869-1878. (George D. Hill papers. Accession no. 4267-001)
In 1869, U.S. Army Captain, George D. Hill (c.a. 1840-1890), was sent to Washington Territory to investigate Native American tribes at Neah Bay and Tulalip. He was then appointed Indian Agent at Tulalip and retired from the army. He served at Tulalip until 1871. He then served as acting Indian Agent at the Neah Bay Agency from 1877 to 1878. This collection includes letters between Hill and major administrators in the Office of Indian Affairs. They describe life on the reservations and cover such topics the forced removal of settlers by the government from on reservation land and the state of the Yakima tribe.
Annie Bucklin Hyde reminiscence of an education on Bainbridge Island. (Annie Bucklin Hyde papers. Accession no. 1883-001)
Andrew Levitt and Henry Coonse Diary, December 1851 to January 1855. (Henry Coonse papers. Accession 4709-001)
Diaries of Andrew Levitt and Henry Coonse both of whom resided in west central Lewis County, 1851-1857. Andrew appears to have lived alone and describes at length weather conditions, construction of his cabin, his interactions with the local Native American population, and the occasional visits of passing schooners. Henry's journal entries start January 1, 1854 and recount daily farm activities. He died June 5, 1857 by accidental drowning at Cowlitz Landing.
Letters of the McElroy Family, 1849-1890 (McElroy Family papers. Accession no. 0027-001)
Correspondence of Thornton F. McElroy, Washington Territorial official and his wife, Sarah Collins McElroy. Thorton McElroy joined the gold rush to California in 1849, journeyed overland by wagon train to Oregon City, Ore. to work on the Oregon Spectator, and was subsequently sent by Thomas Dryer to Olympia, Washington to establish and publish "The Columbian" in 1852. He worked as the Territorial printer from 1863-1872, and was foreman of the newspaper the "Pioneer and Democrat". These letters relate his overland journeys, the 1949 gold rush, the newspaper publishing and printing business in Oregon and Washington Territories, and politics and social conditions in the Northwest during the late 19th century.
H.N. Merritt diary, 1888-1889. (Robert Byrd papers. Accession no. 1781-001)
Diary of H.N. Merritt of Chadron, Nebraska describing his experiences when he first came to Lake Chelan in 1888-1889.
Albert Nelson Jr. diary of his experiences during the Klondike Gold Rush, 1897-1899 (Albert Nelson Jr. Diary. Accession no. 1726-001)
Albert Nelson, Jr.'s family were originally wheat farmers in Walla Walla, Washington. During the Klondike Gold Rush of 1897, Albert decided to to travel north to try his luck in the gold fields. This 38-page excerpt from his diary covers experiences in the Yukon Territory from 1897-1899. He describes everyday life, as well as unusual occurrences, such as singer Kate Sullivan, the opera singer, coming to town.
Nez Perce Speeches at the Treaty Council of 1863 at Lapwai, Idaho. (Nez Perce Tribe of Idaho records. Accession no. 0004-001)
Handwritten copies of speeches by Nez Perce Indians: Yute-semilican, Lawyer, Billy, His-quo-ta, and Timothy, concerning trespassing by whites on the Nez Perce reservation, and other problems, delivered at council with United States Commissioners Hale, Howe and Hutchins, May 28, 1863.
James Milo Nosler Diary, excerpts. (James Milo Nosler papers.Accession No. 0068-001)
Diary of James Milo Nosler, early pioneer from Kansas who settled first in Oregon and then in Eastern Washington in 1871. His writings recount daily life, family illnesses, business engagements, education and politics. He died in 1886 at age 43 of consumption.
Eugene Semple documents and letters, 1887-1905 (Eugene Semple papers. Accession no. 0532-001)
Letters and documents of Eugene Semple, governor of Washington Territory from 1887-1889, concerning the organization of the Lake Washington Waterway Company and the promotion of the uncompleted south Seattle ship canal in 1889-1903 to connect Lake Washington with Elliott Bay; the signing of the women's suffrage bill in 1888; and labor trouble at the Roslyn and Newcastle coal mines in 1888-1889. Also included are letters regarding the Klondike Gold Rush of 1897.
Margharete and James Shotwell letters, 1891-1899. (Margharete Ross Shotwell papers. Accession no. 4060-001)
Personal correspondence of Margharete Ross Shotwell and her fiancee (later her husband) James Hunter Shotwell of Thurston County. After their marriage, James writes to his wife Margharete about his experiences prospecting for gold in Alaska's Kotzebue Sound in 1898-1899.
Documents of Territorial Governor Watson C. Squire, 1885-1887 ( Watson C. Squire papers. Accession no. 4004-001 and no. 4004-002)
Watson Carvosso Squire, 1838-1926, was an attorney, Civil War veteran, industrialist, and governor of Washington Territory from 1884-1887. He was president of the Washington Statehood Convention in 1889 and served as a Washington State senator from 1889-1897. After the passage of the national Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882, anti-Chinese agitation on the West Coast reached a fever pitch in 1885-1886. Governor Squire was forced to declare martial law in Seattle to maintain order during the anti-Chinese riots in Seattle and Tacoma, and later investigated property losses of the Chinese. These documents covering the period from 1885-1887 describe those events.
Letters of Isaac Ingalls Stevens, 1855-1858 (Isaac Ingalls Stevens Papers. Accession no. 0111-001)
Isaac I. Stevens served as the first Governor and Superintendent of Indian Affairs for Washington Territory (1853-57) and later as the territory's delegate to Congress (1857-1858). This collection includes several of his letters from 1855 to 1858, both to and from congressmen, judges, colonels, and Indian Agents as well as a circular letter describing the benefits of living in Washington Territory and a plan for the construction of a road between Puget Sound and Snoqualmie Pass. The letters dating from 1855-1858 describe life on the reservations of local tribes, events in the Yakima War (1855-56), conflicts between British and American citizens over jurisdiction of San Juan Island, the state of mail service, an expedition for exploring possible routes for a Pacific Railroad line, and protection for settlers from hostile Native Americans.
Anna Louise Strong correspondence and ephemera, 1909-1935. (Anna Louise Strong papers. Accession No. 1309-001)
Anna Louise Strong was already a vocal progressive reformer when she came to Seattle with her father, Congregationalist minister Sydney Strong. These letters and other documents trace her increasing involvement in the Seattle labor movement, in part due to her work writing for the Seattle Union Record, and the outcomes of that involvement. The primary event described is the campaign waged against her for her political views, which ultimately achieved its goal of recalling her from her position as a Seattle School Board member in March, 1918. Some correspondence also reflects back on her work in Seattle and on her perspective on the successes and failures of Seattle's labor movement, which Strong wrote after leaving the city to travel and write in the Soviet Union.
James Gilchrist Swan diaries, 1859-1866. (James Gilchrist Swan papers. Accession no. 1703-001)
An early Washington pioneer, student of Northwest Indian language and culture, political advisor, artist, and teacher, James Gilchrist Swan was born in 1818 and travelled west from Massachusetts to San Francisco to participate in the gold rush. After two years in California, Swan travelled north to Washington Territory, eventually settling in Port Townsend. It was in Washington that he began studying and working with the Makah tribe in Neah Bay. He spent several years with the Makah, learning their language and writing an ethnography on the tribe. He also worked as a schoolteacher on the reservation. In addition to his work as an anthropologist and teacher, Swan authored The Northwest Coast; or, Three Years' Residence in Washington Territory, an early book on pioneer and Native American life in Washington, and served for several years as secretary to Congressional delegate Isaac Stevens. He was also a judge and a consul to Hawaii. Additionally, Swan worked for the Smithsonian Institution, collecting Native American artifacts for several world's fairs. Swan died in 1900.
Louise Swift Letters, 1863-1869. (Louise Swift papers. Accession No. 4917-001)
Letters written primarily by Louise Swift, wife of Captain James Henry Swift, from Whidbey Island to relatives in Massachusetts in 1863-1869 describing domestic activities, family relationships, illnesses, children, deaths, and social life. Louisa died in the diphtheria epidemic that swept the island in August 1869.
Letters to William Henson Wallace, 1863. (William Henson Wallace Papers. Accession no. 1157-001)
William Henson Wallace served as the Washington Territory delegate to the 37th Congress (1863-1865) and also as Idaho Territory's Governor and Idaho's delegate to Congress from 1861-1863. This 1863 collection of letters to Wallace from Indian Agents and a military commander describes the status of various Native American tribes in Washington, Oregon and Idaho territories as well as specifically addressing conflicts within the Nez Perce following the Treaty of 1863 which severely reduced reservation lands.
Helen Julia Mason Walsh memoires, 1877. (Helen Julia Mason Walsh papers. Accession no. 4947-001)
This reminiscence contains an account of Mrs. Walsh's experiences in the 1877 Nez Perce war. Helen Julia Mason Walsh, an early settler on the Salmon River in Idaho, describes Nez Perce hostilities in the White Bird Canyon in the summer of 1877. She recounts fleeing with her brother, Harry Mason, and the family of William Osborn, only to be attacked and captured at the Osborn cabin on White Bird Creek.
Eliza Spalding Warren letters regarding the Whitman Massacre. (Clarence Leroy Andrews papers. Accession no. 4797-002)
The Whitman Massacre took place on Nov. 29, 1847, at Waiilatpu, a Christian mission on the Walla Walla River, when missionary Marcus Whitman, his wife Narcissa, and twelve male residents of the mission were murdered by a small band of Cayuse. The Cayuse blamed Whitman for a measles epidemic that had killed many members of the tribe, and also feared that he was bringing in too many white settlers. Eliza Spalding, only ten years old at the time of the event, describes the events of that day and offers advice on which historical accounts of the day might be most reliable.
Washington Territory documents, 1878-1889 (Washington Territory records. Accession no. 4284-001)
These records from Washington Territory illuminate a number of social concerns present in Washington Territory in the 1870s and 1880s. Most of the manuscripts originate from the Washington Territory Constitutional Convention held in Walla Walla during June and July of 1878. These documents include resolutions adopted regarding Native American tribes and lands as well as women's rights and women's suffrage, suggestions for constitutional articles. The collection also contains a petition from the territory's citizens to Congress requesting admission for statehood in 1889.
Charles and Sarah Willoughby letters and manuscripts, 1878-1885. (Charles L. Willoughby papers. Accession no. 4972-001)
Charles L. Willoughby (1832-1888) served as the Indian Agent at the Neah Bay Reservation for the Makah tribe in the late 1870s, and as Indian Agent at the Quinault Reservation in the 1880s. Letters between Willoughby and the various Commissioners of Indian Affairs illustrate many issues regarding life and work at the reservations. Charles's wife, Sarah C. Willoughby (1842-1913), a former teacher and university instructor, was a close observer of the people she encountered while living on the reservation. Her letters and unfinished manuscripts offer many details about Native American customs and practices, and relate a number of legends she attributes to several different tribes of the Pacific Northwest.
Publications and Books
Choir's pioneer directory of the city of Seattle and King County, History, business directory, and immigrant's guide to and throughout Washington Territory and vicinity, (1878) F891 C54 1878
Early history of Thurston County, Washington: together with biographies and reminiscences of those identified with pioneer days, (1914) 979.746 B61 1914
The great Seattle fire of June 6th, 1889 : containing a succinct and complete account of the greatest conflagration on the Pacific coast F899.S4 A87 1966
History of the city of Spokane and Spokane County, Washington: from its earliest settlement to the present time, (1912) F899 S76 D87
History of the Yakima Valley, Washington; comprising Yakima, Kittitas, and Benton Counties, (1919) 979.77 L98h
History of Washington; the rise and progress of an American state, (1909) F891 S66 1909
An Illustrated history of Klickitat, Yakima and Kittitas counties, with an outline of the early history of the state of Washington, (1904) F897 K6 I45 1977
An illustrated history of Skagit and Snohomish Counties; their people, their commerce and their resources, with an outline of the early history of the state of Washington, (1906) 979.733 IL6
An illustrated history of southeastern Washington, including Walla Walla, Columbia, Garfield and Asotin counties, Washington, (1906) 979.79 IL6
An Illustrated history of Stevens, Ferry, Okanogan and Chelan counties, State of Washington, (1904) 979.76 St4i
An illustrated history of the Big Bend country, embracing Lincoln, Douglas, Adams, and Franklin counties, state of Washington, (1904) 979.783 IL6
An illustrated history of the state of Washington, containing biographical mention of its pioneers and prominent citizens, (1893) 979.7 H58i
An Illustrated history of Whitman County, State of Washington, (1901) 979.792 IL61
In the beginning: a sketch of some early events in western Washington while it was still a part of old Oregon, (1905) 979.5 B14
Island Home, (1892) 979.742 ISH 1892
Island County: a world beater (1913) F897 I7 I85
Island County Times, (1913) 979.737 Sw5n
Lyman's history of old Walla Walla County, embracing Walla Walla, Columbia, Garfield and Asotin counties, (1918) 979.79 L98L
Reminisences of Andrew Jackson Chambers. 979.719 C355r
Reminiscences of Washington territory: scenes, incidents and reflections of the pioneer period on Puget Sound, (1904) 979.7 P94
Rural settlement in Western Washington, (1922) HT167.5 W3 H66 1986
Told by the pioneers... Tales of frontier life as told by those who remember the days of the territory and early statehood of Washington, (1937-38) F891 U75 1937
Washington centennial commemorative booklet, (1845-1945) 979.7 W277cee
West shore, (May 1880) 979.705 WE
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