The Info List - Washington Territory

Seal of Washington Territory

Capital Olympia

Government Organized incorporated territory

Governor List


 •  Split from Oregon
Territory March 2, 1853

 •  Idaho Territory
Idaho Territory
split off March 4, 1863

 •  Statehood November 11, 1889

The Territory of Washington was an organized incorporated territory of the United States
United States
that existed from March 2, 1853, until November 11, 1889, when the territory was admitted to the Union as the State of Washington. It was created from the portion of the Oregon
Territory north of the lower Columbia River
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.


1 History 2 See also 3 References 4 External links

History[edit] See also: History of Washington (state) Agitation in favor of self-government developed in the regions of the Oregon Territory
Oregon Territory
north of the Columbia River
Columbia River
in 1851–1852.[1] A group of prominent settlers from the Cowlitz and Puget Sound
Puget Sound
regions met on November 25, 1852, at the "Monticello Convention" in present-day Longview, 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 U.S. House of Representatives
U.S. House of Representatives
by Representative Charles E. Stuart
Charles E. Stuart
on January 25, 1853.[3] Representative Richard H. Stanton
Richard H. Stanton
argued that the proposed name—the "Territory of Columbia"—might be confused for the District of Columbia, and suggested a name honoring George Washington instead.[4] The bill was thus amended with the name "Washington", though not without some debate,[5] and passed in the House on February 10, passed in the Senate on March 2, and signed by President Millard Fillmore
Millard Fillmore
on the same day.[6] 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
Columbia Lancaster
was elected as the first delegate to U.S. Congress. 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
Nebraska Territory
on March 2, 1861.[10][11] In 1863, the area of Washington Territory
Washington Territory
east of the Snake River
Snake River
and the 117th meridian was reorganized as part of the newly created 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.

Washington Territory
Washington Territory
(green) and Oregon Territory
Oregon Territory
(blue) in 1853.

Washington Territory
Washington Territory
(green) and State of Oregon
in 1859.

Portions ceded to the Nebraska and Idaho
Territories in 1861 and 1863.

See also[edit]

Washington portal Montana
portal Idaho
portal Wyoming
portal History portal

Washington Territory's At-large congressional district Historic regions of the United States History of Washington Oregon
Treaty, 1846 Territorial evolution of the United States

International territory that would later become part of the Territory of Washington:

Country, 1818–1846

U.S. territory that would later become part of the Territory of Washington:

Provisional Government of Oregon, 1843–1849 (extralegal) Territory of Oregon, 1848–1859 State of Deseret, 1849–1850 (extralegal)

U.S. territories
U.S. territories
that encompassed land that was previously part of the Territory of Washington:

Territory of Jefferson, 1859–1861 (extralegal) Territory of Nebraska, 1854–1867 Territory of Dakota, 1861–1889 Territory of Idaho, 1863–1890 Territory of Montana, 1864–1889 Territory of Wyoming, 1868–1890

US states that encompass land that was once part of the Territory of Washington:

State of Montana, 1889 State of Washington, 1889 State of Idaho, 1890 State of Wyoming, 1890


^ 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.  ^ "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.  ^ Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States, Volume 48, p. 185, January 25., 1853 ^ McClelland, John M., Jr. (Summer 1988). "Almost Columbia, Triumphantly Washington". Columbia Magazine. 2 (2): 3–11. Archived from the original on April 26, 2012. Retrieved December 17, 2011.  ^ 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". ^ Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States, Volume 48, p. 397, March 3, 1853. ^ Oldham, Kit (January 15, 2003). " Governor
Isaac Stevens
Isaac Stevens
selects Olympia as capital of Washington Territory
Washington Territory
on November 28, 1853". HistoryLink.  ^ Fuller, Tim. ""The Most Accurate and Useful Law Books Possible": Milestones of Official Case Reporting in Washington". Washington State Courts.  ^ "Act of Congress Admitting Oregon
to the Union". Oregon
Blue Book. February 14, 1859.  ^ "The Statistician and Economist". The Statistician and Economist. San Francisco: L.P. McCarty. 19: 59. 1897–1898.  ^ Johnson, Harrison (1880). "Chapter I: Historical". Johnson's History of Nebraska. Omaha: Henry Gibson. p. 41. 

External links[edit]

has the text of an Encyclopaedia Britannica
Encyclopaedia Britannica
(9th ed.) article about Washington Territory.

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
United States
and of British Columbia, Extending from Lake Superior to the Pacific Ocean, 1865, David Rumsey Collection  Hawes, J. W. (1879). "Washington, a territory of the United States". The American Cyclopædia. 

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