WA Secretary of State Blogs

Songs of Willow Frost. By Jaime Ford

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014 Posted in Articles, Washington Reads | No Comments »


ford-frostSongs of Willow Frost. By Jamie Ford. (New York: Ballantine Books, 2013.)

Recommendation submitted by:
Will Stuivenga, Cooperative Projects Manager, Washington State Library, Tumwater, WA.

Our protagonist is William Eng, a 12-year-old living at the Sacred Heart Orphanage in 1930’s Seattle. He’s been there since he was seven; no one is interested in adopting a Chinese boy. Only, he remembers his beloved mother, a singer and a dancer, and he remembers finding her slumped in the bathtub, and how she was carried off to the hospital, and he never saw her again.

But now he sees her on the screen in a vaudeville show preview down at the local movie theater—he’s certain it’s her—and he sets off, together with the blind girl, Charlotte, fellow outcast, and his best friend, to find Liu Song, aka Willow Frost, his mother.

The book recounts this seemingly impossible quest, as well as Liu Song’s own tragic story, and how she came to give up her precious child. Will they be reunited to make a life together? We’re kept in suspense until the final page.

Full of old Seattle scenes and images, this poignant tale will tug at your heart-strings, while filling in a chapter in our nation’s regrettable history of the prejudice suffered by its people of Chinese heritage.

ISBN: 978-0-345-52202-3

Available at the Washington State Library, NW 813.6 FORD 2013
Available as an eBook.
Downloadable talking book available through NLS and WTBBL.

Truth Like the Sun By Jim Lynch

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014 Posted in Articles, Washington Reads | No Comments »


Truth-Like-the-SunTruth Like the Sun. By Jim Lynch. (New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2012.)

Recommendation submitted by:
Will Stuivenga, Cooperative Projects Manager, Washington State Library, Tumwater, WA.

Jim Lynch’s third novel, Truth Like the Sun, set in Seattle, bounces back and forth between 1962 and 2001, telling us a story that revolves around the Seattle World’s Fair and its fictional chief mover and shaker, one Robert Morgan, a.k.a. Mr. Seattle, a high-flying, entrepreneurial city booster, who maybe loves wine, women and gambling a little more than is good for him, but is largely responsible for building the iconic Space Needle, and for much of the success of the fair. Through his eyes, we witness the excitement of the fair, and its famous visitors, including Elvis Presley, President Kennedy, Ed Sullivan, John Glenn, and many more.

Back in the more recent present era, we follow the efforts of Helen Gulanos, would-be hotshot reporter, who’s recently arrived in town, and who hopes to secure her career with a hard-hitting, fully researched exposé of Mr. Morgan, who has just decided to run for mayor, after all these many years. Helen’s life is complicated by her single mother status, and the fact that she finds her target to be oddly compelling, and begins to develop a grudging respect for the guy, still charismatic after all these years, even as she strives to dig the dirt on him.

Native son author Lynch seems to be moving ever closer to main-stream fiction with each new novel. His first effort, The Highest Tide, a remarkable coming of age story set in the Olympia area, had an other-worldly almost SciFi aspect to the natural wonders it depicted.

His second attempt, Border Songs, still had more than a hint of the fantastic with its larger-than-life primary character, and its chain of slightly off-kilter, not-quite-believable series of events.

Now, in this third literary foray, the Space Needle itself seems to be the most fantastic element, as we move ever more firmly into the realm of big-city politics and finance as they are in real life. Truth Like the Sun is a great read, but misses some of that element of the fantastical that was so central to Lynch’s earlier novels. Nevertheless, strongly recommended, especially for those who enjoy fiction set in the Pacific NW.

ISBN: 978-0-307-95868-6

Available at the Washington State Library, NW 813.6 LYNCH 2012
Available as an eBook
Downloadable talking book and Braille editions through NLS and  WTBBL.

October 1st Event – Audio Archaeology at Madigan Army Hospital’s Radio Station

Thursday, September 18th, 2014 Posted in Articles, For the Public, News | No Comments »


WSL Program ImageUpcoming Event at the Central Library!

Hidden Voices: Audio Archaeology at Madigan Army Hospital’s Radio Station, with Dale Sadler (Cultural Resources Specialist), and Duane Colt Denfeld (Architectural Historian), Joint Base Lewis-McChord Cultural Resources Program

Wednesday, October 1, 2014 @ 12:30 – 1:30 pm

Washington State Library, 2nd Floor

Point Plaza East, 6880 Capitol Blvd., Tumwater

(360) 704-5200

In this Washington State Archaeology Month presentation, Dale Sadler and Duane Colt Denfeld of Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) Cultural Resources Program will examine a fascinating part of Washington State’s history that was discovered during renovations in 2011 at Madigan Army Medical Center on JBLM in Pierce County. At that time thousands of phonograph records and other musical artifacts were found hidden behind a gymnasium wall.

Research identified them as recordings produced by the Armed Forces Radio Service (AFRS) from the World War II years through 1959. The recordings had been broadcast on the Madigan General Hospital (later Madigan Army Hospital) Bedside Network station, which used the call letters KMGH and later KMAH.

In their talk the speakers will focus on the sound artifacts (transcription discs and acetate recordings) and other related media objects (radio scripts, record sleeve annotations, etc.) that were uncovered in 2011. Some of these artifacts will be on display and the actual transcribed audio used to supplement the presentation. It will be a wonderful opportunity to literally hear the past.

This program is free to the public. You are welcome to bring lunch. Coffee will be served.

50 years of preserving and exploring in the North Cascades of Washington.

Friday, September 5th, 2014 Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, Washington Reads | 1 Comment »


Mount_Shuksan_tarnA small selection of resources tracing 50 years of preserving and exploring in the North Cascades of Washington.

On September 3, 1964 President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the wilderness act as a result of pressure from national and state level citizens and organizations who shared similar concerns about the protection of the United States uninhabited environments amidst increasing industrialization and population growth.  Four years following that act, the North Cascades National Park was created.  The State Library maintains copies of the hearings that led to its creation within its Federal Publication Collection,

The North Cascades. Hearings, Ninetieth Congress, second session (Washington: U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1968. 3 vols. 985 p. Illustrations, maps.) These hearings held April 19-Sept. 4, 1968 in various cities.

 “Serial no. 90-24.”

Y 4.In 8/14:90-8970/ pt.1 thru 3 (call ahead to have these volumes pulled for on-site review)

“H.R. 8970 and related bills, a bill to establish the North Cascades National Park and Ross Lake national recreation area, to designate the Pasayten Wilderness and to modify the Glacier Peak Wilderness in the State of Washington, and for other purposes.”

A less-traveled jewel of Washington’s wilderness regions and one of the nation’s least visited attractions, North Cascades National Park is arguably the crown jewel, the largest block of protected wilderness along the U.S. – Canadian border.  It is largely a roadless area, though it is accessible via the North Cascades highway (WA-20), which commenced prior to Johnson’s administration with appropriated funds in 1958 and completed with a final connection to State Route 153 in 1972.

Washington Highways: North Cascades Highway Dedication Issue. (Olympia, Wash.: Washington State Dept. of Highways, 1964-1972.

WA 388 H531ne 1964 copy three available for checkout

 But don’t be dissuaded by the relative scarcity of roads, there are plenty of road trips for the automotive enthusiast that exploit the natural beauty and opportunities for RV and tent camping that do not require a large-scaling hiking adventure!

The North Cascades Highway: A Roadside Guide to America’s Alps. By Jack McLeod. (Seattle, Wash.: University of Washington Press, 2013. 104 pp. Color illustrations, maps, bibliographical references and index.)

NW 917.975 MCLEOD 2013

 Camping Washington: The Best Public Campground for Tents & RVs, Rated & Reviewed. By Ron C. Judd. (Seattle, Wash.: Mountaineers Books, c2009. 325 pp. Illustrations, maps.)

NW 917.9706 JUDD 2009

Even the casual appreciator finds themselves knocked back by the North Cascades raw beauty.  From top to bottom it’s a stunner: steep peaks beset with translucent blue glaciers that melt into dramatic waterfalls streaming into alpine meadows and deep and lovely lakes cannot help but wow.  Such untrammeled gorgeousness has led many to dub it the Alps of North America, but it is its own wonderful vision.  A vision so singular that it held members of the Beat Generation in thrall

Poets on the Peaks: Gary Snyder, Philip Whalen & Jack Kerouac in the North Cascades. Text and Photographs by John Suiter. (Washington, D.C.: Counterpoint, c2002. 340 pp. Illustrations, bibliographical references and index.)

NW 811.54 SUITER 2002                  AVAILABLE

If you cannot visit soon but wish to get a glimpse, you can see its beauty captured in photographs by checking out

Lake Chelan and the North Cascades: A Pictorial Tour. Text and photos by Mike and Nancy Barnhart; edited by Ana Maria Spagna. (Stehekin, WA: Bridge Creek Pub., c2000. 52 pp. Illustrations, maps.)

NW 917.977 BARNHAR 2000

Shortly after the park’s creation, local author Frank Darvill and the Mountaineers of Washington State each created a collection of maps and routes to aide interested hikers

A Pocket Guide to Selected Trails of the North Cascades National Park and Associated Recreational Complex. By Fred T. Darvill, Jr. (Mount Vernon, Wash. (P.O. Box 636, 98273): F.T.Darvill, c1968.)  52 pp.: illustrations, map.)

NW 917.9773 DARVILL 1968

Hiker’s Map of the North Cascades; Routes and Rocks in the Mt. Challenger Quadrangle. By Rowland W. Tabor and Dwight Farnsworth Crowder. Drawings by Ed Hanson.(Seattle, The Mountaineers 1968. 47 p. Illustrations, maps, bibliographic references.)

R 917.9724 TABOR 1968 (Library Use Only)

Since then there have been additional works created to guide those who wish to wander through the northern woods.  The Mountaineers’ guide has added many more hikes of varying difficulty and length since that early guide

100 Hikes in Washington’s North Cascades National Park Region. (Seattle, WA: Mountaineers, c2000-

NW 917.9773 ONE HUN 2000

You can spend just a single day hiking.  If you are interested in doing so, try consulting

Day Hike! North Cascades, 3rd Edition: The Best Trails You Can Hike in a Day. By Mike McQuaide (Seattle, Wash: Sasquatch Books 2014. 240 pp.)

NW 796.5109 MCQUAID 2014

Longtime Puget Sound area residents may remember Television personality Don McCune (who also played children’s show host “Captain Puget”) hosted a series called “Exploration Northwest.” In that series he hosted a three episode special split into 30-minute-segments on the North Cascades.  Well, as luck would have it, the State Library has those available for your viewing pleasure as well:

North Cascades [videorecording] / KOMO TV. (Woodinville, WA: Don McCune Library, c2005.

1 videodisc (90 min.): sd., col. with b&w sequences; 4 3/4 in.

NW DVD 979.773 NORTH C 2005

In the first segment, the history of the four-year construction of the north cross-state highway is documented. The second segment presents the story of injured eagles care of wounded eagles and their eventual return to their native Skagit Valley habitat. In the third segment, climbers scale pinnacles in the North Cascades and demonstrate free-climbing skills.

There is wildlife galore to encounter in the North Cascades.  Bird lovers will discover tons of bird watching opportunities,

Birds of the Northwestern National Parks: A Birder’s Perspective. By Roland H. Wauer; drawings by Mimi Hoppe Wolf. (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2000. 137 pp. Illustrations.)

NW 598.0723 WAUER 2000

And all sorts of mammals ranging from elk, wolves and wolverines to the always controversial Grizzly Bear presence can be sighted.  In fact the North Cascades are one of the few areas in Washington State where the Grizzly, while listed as endangered in this state, can still be encountered.  Be observant and – as always – take care, especially if you are going fishing in the late summer or autumn.

Wolves in the Land of Salmon. By David Moskowitz. (Portland, OR: Timber Press, c2013. 334 pp. Illustrations, maps, bibliographical references and index.)

NW 599.773 MOSKOWI 2013

North Cascade (Nooksack) Elk Herd. Prepared by Michael A. Davison. (Olympia, WA: Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, Wildlife Program, [2002] 53 pp. Illustrations, maps, bibliographical references.)

WA 639.2 F62nor c2 2002 c.2         AVAILABLE

Click on the following to:

View online from Washington State Library as a PDF Document – Adobe Acrobat Reader Required

http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov/Record/ViewMedia/542A3D7A97762AE702EB8673A66FEB2A?_ga=1.46557220.2028710183.1406221241

A Preliminary Study of Historic and Recent Reports of Grizzly Bears, Ursus Arctos, in the North Cascades Area of Washington.  By Paul T. Sullivan. (Olympia, Wash.: Washington Dept. of Game, [1983]

WA 799 G141pre s1 1983 c.1

North Cascades Grizzly Bear Ecosystem Evaluation: Final Report. By Jon A. Almack, William L. Gaines, Robert H. Naney … [et al.] (Denver, Colo.: Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee, 1993.

Washington State Docs WA 799 W64nor c2 1993

Grizzly Wars: The Public Fight over the Great Bear. By David Knibb; foreword by Lance Craighead. (Spokane: Eastern Washington University Press, c2008. 284 pp. Illustrations, maps, bibliographical references, and index.)

NW 333.9597 KNIBB 2008

There are pieces of history tucked away in the park as well, for the curious historians and archaeology buffs:

Historic Structures Inventory: North Cascades National Park Service Complex. Compiled by Gretchen A. Luxenberg. (Seattle, Wash.: Cultural Resources Division, Pacific Northwest Region, National Park Service, [1984]  108pp. Illustrations, maps, forms, bibliographical references, and index.)

Goat Lake Trail: A Hike into Mining History.” By Richard C. McCollum. (Seattle, Wash.: Northwest Press, [1981], 2 pp. Illustrations, maps, bibliographical references.) As part of the journal, Northwest discovery; v. 2, no. 5. pp. 270-330

NW 979.5 NORTHWE 1981 May

Not only is history to found in the park but it has been made there, particularly in the field of fire control:

Spittin’ in the Wind. Bk. 1, History & Tales: North Cascades Smokejumper Base: The Birthplace Of Smokejumping, 1939-2007. By Bill Moody and Larry Longley. (2007. 256 pp. Illustrations)

NW 634.9618 SPITTIN 2007

As with so many natural spaces, tense debates regarding best practices on how to maintain the lands, and how to best balance human interactions with the environment with the needs of the environment as a whole, persist.

Wilderness Alps: Conservation and Conflict in Washington’s North Cascades. By Harvey Manning with the North Cascades Conservation Council; edited by Ken Wilcox; foreword by David R. Brower. (Bellingham, Wash.: Northwest Wild Books, 2007. 479 pp. Illustrations, bibliographical references, and index.)

NW 979.773 MANNING 2007

We invite you to join us in celebrating this Washington treasure.  Please consider taking a road trip into this marvelous region of our state, and maybe as you’re planning a trip you’ll feel like picking up some resources at your State or local library along the way.

Protection Island

Thursday, November 14th, 2013 Posted in Articles, For the Public, Random News from the Newspapers on Microfilm Collection, State Library Collections | 2 Comments »


protectionislandmap

From the desk of Steve Willis, Central Library Services Program Manager of the Washington State Library:

Some people just don’t know their boundaries. This Seattle Daily Times article from April 9, 1908 actually describes two problematic boundary issues in the Strait of Juan de Fuca:

 ISLAND OWNERSHIP IS IN DISPUTE

Judge Albertson of Seattle Hears Rival Claims of Jefferson and Clallam Counties at Port Townsend.

Will Require Some Time to Decide Puzzling Question–Bit of Water in Straits Said to Belong to No One.

The Times Special Service.

PORT TOWNSEND, Thursday, April 9.–The hearing of the case involving which of the two counties, Jefferson or Clallam, is entitled to collect the taxes from the owners of Protection Island, which has been occupying the attention of the superior court here for the past week, with Superior Judge Albertson, of King County, sitting instead of Judge Still, came to a close yesterday afternoon after the introduction of an endless amount of testimony, ranging in scope and description from a single sheet of certified tax receipts to the professional opinions of civil engineers, as well as master mariners long operating in the waters of the Strait of Juan de Fuca.”port townsend

“According to prevailing opinion, the whole discussion hinges on the construction Judge Albertson will be called upon to place on the legislative enactment defining the boundaries between Jefferson and Clallam Counties, as to whether the use of the term ‘north’ in the paragraph means true or magnetic north. There is a material difference between the two.”

Case Under Advisement.

“Before terminating the hearing, Judge Albertson announced that he would take the matter under advisement owing to the fact that so many cited authorities had been introduced into the taking of the evidence and that it might be some time before he was prepared to announce his findings.”

“The precipitation of the present litigation recalls the fact that county boundaries are not the only ones over which some question might be raised in Washington. By a coincidence there is a point in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, not too distant from the little speck of dry land now in dispute, that neither Uncle Sam nor John Bull have any jurisdiction over.”

“This fact was brought out some years ago when the steamship Rosalie, with Capt. Charles W. Ames in command, was operating on the Sound-Victoria route. Coming over from Victoria one day, Capt. Ames had occasion to reprove one of the men aboard the boat for his actions, and the fellow, who was a much smaller man than the herculean master, believing that he was about to suffer bodily injury, drew a revolver and shot Capt. Ames through the shoulder. Fortunately, the bullet was only a flesh wound.”

“The man was arrested here on a charge of murderous assault, but was later discharged upon hearing for lack of jurisdiction. His attorney, after demonstrating the speed of the vessel, the time she had run and the distance covered, showed conclusively that the offense had not been committed in American waters. A similar complaint was accordingly filed in Victoria, and at the hearing the same procedure was followed in the investigation.”

No Punishment for Crime.

“At this hearing the exact designated international boundary line between the two countries was brought out from the government charts, and then the attorney for the defense sprang a great surprise by claiming that the offense, as alleged in the complaint, had not been committed within the jurisdiction of the British courts. Expert testimony, which was taken at length, finally proved beyond question that this contention was well founded, and the prisoner was discharged.”

“The only deduction to be drawn is that at some points in the Strait of Juan de Fuca there is a narrow strip of water, but in ‘no man’s land,’ and where almost any crime, even up to a capital offense, can be committed without fear of retribution at the hands of the court.”

“It is a very fortunate thing, be it said, that this strip of no country’s high seas is very narrow in width and short in length and could be located by no one but a man versed in the art of navigation. Few of these, in fact, know anything about the boundaries of the unusual strip of salt water, and it is said that Puget Sound mariners who know exactly where it is located, always ease her off half a point while crossing the Strait to avoid the place in which it has been legally proven is entirely without the pale of the law of any country.”

Protection Island was eventually award to Jefferson County. The problem might have started back in 1854, when Clallam County was carved out of Jefferson. There was an odd border arrangement just south of Protection Island. James G. McCurdy in By Juan de Fuca’s Strait (1937) explains:

rosalie

Rosalie

“Living in that district was a family with a very sinister reputation. Even murder had been laid at its door. The people of Jefferson said very emphatically: ‘We don’t want that family of killers in our county– let Clallam have them.’ So the lines were run to eliminate the undesirables from the county in which they had so long been residents. At the time of the division, the population of Jefferson County was but 189 persons.”

The shooting of the Captain known as “Big Ames” aboard the Rosalie must have taken place between 1894-1897, when he was the skipper of that steamer. A couple months after the above 1908 article the International Boundary Commission was formed to finalize some of the irregularities of the Canada-U.S. border. Presumably if such a no-man’s strip of water really existed in Juan de Fuca as described in the Rosalie case, this Commission would have addressed that.

Profiles of Washington Territorial Librarians – Eleanor (Ellen) Sharp Stevenson, 1888-1890

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013 Posted in Articles, For the Public, WSL 160 | No Comments »


ellenstevenson_detailEleanor (Ellen) Sharp Stevenson, 1888-1890

She was the last Territorial Librarian and by default became the first State Librarian when Washington attained statehood on Nov. 11, 1889. Born July, 1848 in Logan County, Ky., she surfaced as a teacher in Olympia in 1882. In 1884 she was apparently teaching in Mason County. By 1886 Ellen was employed as a clerk for the Legislature and in that brief window of time (1883-1888) when women could vote in Washington (before legal challenges shut down the right), she ran unsuccessfully as a candidate from the radical People’s Party for the office of Thurston County School Superintendent. She was appointed by Gov. Eugene Semple to the office of Territorial Librarian. In her 1888 report Ellen wrote:

There has been an allowance of $50 a year for the expenses of the Library. There may have been a time when this sum was sufficient, based on the business transacted by the office, yet, in the two years just passed, it has restricted the business of this office in every department– limiting the correspondence, the shipping and receiving. It has made of the Librarian both porter and janitor, and necessitated working in cold rooms without fire.

Given the popularity of the current Washington State Library’s massive collection of newspapers (on microfilm, hardcopy, and online), Stevenson was prophetic when she wrote, “Newspapers contain the history of the days’ proceedings and will grow in value with the years.” By 1897 she was living in Spokane where she ran a boarding house. Ellen appears to have lived in Spokane until at least 1915.

Profiles of Washington Territorial Librarians – Eliza Des Saure Newell, 1882-1887

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013 Posted in Articles, For the Public, State Library Collections, WSL 160 | No Comments »


wshs_ElizaNewellJordan

Eliza Des Saure Newell

Eliza Des Saure Newell, 1882-1887

The longest serving Territorial Librarian was born in 1853 in New Jersey. In 1882 her father, the eccentric William Augustus Newell, was the Governor. Gov. Newell had appointed his daughter Eleanor as his personal secretary. His other daughter, Eliza, he appointed to the post of Territorial Librarian. The Governor’s nepotism forced the Legislature to change the Territorial laws regarding women in office. Maryan Reynolds picks up the story:

In 1881, Governor William A. Newell submitted his daughter’s name for Territorial Librarian. The legislature responded by passing a bill establishing that ‘Any person male or female over the age of twenty-one years shall be eligible to the office of Territorial Librarian and the word ‘he’ whenever contained in this act shall be construed to mean ‘he’ and ‘she.’

Eliza Newell, Washington’s first female Territorial Librarian, began her tenure on the first Monday in January 1882. Governor Watson C. Squire, Governor Newell’s successor, reappointed her to the post in 1884. Eliza Newell had a wonderful way of wording when it came to official business. In her 1887 report to the Legislature she stated her need for a larger budget with this:

The appropriation for incidentals, is too small for the necessary expenses of the Library, which requires postoffice box, stationary, stamps, wrapping paper, twine, light, fuel, and expressage and porterage to be paid frequently for books to be sent to the Library. The shelves of the main Library are filled to dense packing, also those of the annex. The necessity for additional room is manifest to any observer, and I trust that suitable provision will be made to overcome the inconvenience to which the Library is now subjected, and to make provision for the large increase which may properly be expected. The Library now contains ten thousand volumes.

It seems Gov. Newell, famous for being eternally financially hard pressed, used the Library as his residence. According to historian Gordon Newell (apparently no relation):

Previous governors had been accustomed to rent office space for themselves in downtown Olympia, but the always financially embarrassed Newell took over the territorial library rooms in the capitol building to save that expense. When his daughter was out he frequently ambled from his inner sanctum to check out books for clients of the library, a charming example of territorial informality …

At the end of her term, Eliza married Judge Mason Irwin. She died an untimely death on Dec. 16, 1891.

The One Minute Jail Sentence

Friday, October 11th, 2013 Posted in Articles, For the Public, Random News from the Newspapers on Microfilm Collection, State Library Collections | 2 Comments »


jail

From the desk of Steve Willis, Central Library Services Program Manager of the Washington State Library

The following news article describes what was most probably the shortest jail sentence in Washington State history. This is from the Seattle Daily Times, January 20, 1906:

MINUTE IN JAIL

 SHORTEST SENTENCE EVER PASSED GIVEN TO JOE INCARCERATION.

JUDGE FRATER THINKS HE SHOULD GO TO JAIL BUT NOT STAY THERE.

RESULT OF SIX MONTHS’ LITIGATION IS ONE MINUTE’S INCARCERATION.

“Joe Munch yesterday received from Judge Frater what was probably the lightest sentence ever given a prisoner, that of one minute in the county jail. Those who heard the decision were inclined to take it as a joke of the judge’s, until Munch was hustled off to jail and kept there until the second hand of the jailer’s watch had completed the circle of sixty seconds. Munch was so surprised that he hardly knew what was going on and when released decided that the best thing for him to do was to get away for fear the sight of him should cause the judge to inflict a heavier penalty.”

“Munch is a soldier, on leave of absence. On the thirteenth day of August he found garrison life dull and proceeded to get drunk. A policeman found him in this condition and he was hustled off to the police station. In Judge Gordon’s court he was sentenced to thirty days for being drunk and disorderly, but his case was taken to the higher court.”

Frater

Judge Archibald Frater

“Judge Frater decided that while the soldier’s crime was not enough to merit punishment, for the looks of things he ought to be sent to jail, and have a lesson taught him. Consequently Munch was sentenced to an imprisonment of one minute, something which the clerk who makes out the sentence documents never heard of before and which caused much merriment in court house circles.”

Judge Archibald Wanless Frater was hardly a flippant character. He was born in Belmont County, Ohio in 1856 and attended college with Warren G. Harding, who became his lifelong friend. Frater migrated to Tacoma in 1888 and after a short time moved to Snohomish. While there he was elected to the House in 1890 and served as a Republican representing the 44th District for one term.

Frater moved to Seattle in 1898 and was elected King County Superior Court Judge in 1904. The Judge was instrumental in organizing the county’s juvenile justice system. He served in office up to his death on Christmas, 1925.

And what of Munch? He didn’t get to enjoy his freedom for too long. In August 1906 after leaving Fort Lawton he was aboard the transport ship Buford and was shot by a sergeant in self-defense when Munch became unruly and assaulted him. Maybe he needed to have been incarcerated for a few minutes more.

UST_Buford

The Buford, AKA The Soviet Ark

A bit of Buford trivia: This ship later became known as the “Soviet Ark” during the post-World War I Red Scare as the United States deported “undesirables” such as Emma Goldman out of the country. Later Buster Keaton used the ship as the main set for his 1924 film, The Navigator.

Profiles of Washington Territorial Librarians – Elwood Evans 1877-1879

Thursday, October 10th, 2013 Posted in Articles, For the Public, State Library Collections, WSL 160 | No Comments »


Evans-edited

Elwood Evans

It is difficult to get away from Elwood Evans while reading about the political history of Washington Territory. Born in Philadelphia Dec. 29, 1828, he was appointed a Deputy Collector of Customs under Simpson P. Moses and arrived in Olympia with the Moses brothers in 1851. Admitted to the bar shortly after setting up shop, he became one of the Territory’s earliest lawyers. His initial stay in Washington Territory was brief, in late 1852 he went to Washington, D.C. to campaign for the creation of a territory separate from Oregon. Evans served as an aide to Gov. Stevens during the overland expedition to Washington Territory in 1853, a party that included Bion Kendall. He served as the Chief Clerk of the House during the First Session (1854) and was later elected to fill an unexpired term of a House member. At the same time he filled the role of Thurston County School Superintendent.

An active member of the Whig Party, he led his colleagues into the newly formed Republican Party by the end of the 1850s. Although Evans and Kendall became political enemies, they were united in their hostility to Gov. Stevens and his declaration of martial law. In Jan. 1859 he was instrumental in the incorporation of Olympia and was elected the President (Mayor) 1859-1861. Although Evans lobbied hard for an appointment to the office of Governor, he was never successful. Yet he was frequently in a position to be Acting-Governor. He was made Territorial Secretary during the Lincoln Administration and assumed the right to select a public printer, and awarded the post to Olympian T.H. McElroy– who, according to Robert Ficken, was “the public face in a printing business partly owned by Evans.” He was no friend of Bion Kendall, and some historians have tried to implicate Evans as guilty by association in a murder conspiracy against his nemesis. 

In 1868 he once again served as Chief Clerk in the House, and made valuable contributions in compiling the Code of 1869. He was elected to the House in the mid-1870s, rising to the office of Speaker. He apparently took over the office of Territorial Librarian simply to move the facility to the capitol campus. It was during this time he seriously started compiling his history of the region, as Norman Clark observed, “Among the most literate of the territorial barristers, his experiences left him with an intense interest in the drama of those early years, and he had already presented manuscripts to the most enterprising historian of the West, H.H. Bancroft of San Francisco.” After he completed his Librarian term, he moved to Tacoma. In 1881 he compiled, along with fellow past Librarian John Paul Judson, the Laws of Washington Territory. He was elected as a member of the First Session of the Washington State House. Evans died in The City of Destiny on Jan. 28, 1898.

[The Territorial Librarian profiles were compiled by Sean Lanksbury, Mary Schaff, Kim Smeenk, and Steve Willis]

WSL and Wheedle at the National Book Festival

Monday, October 7th, 2013 Posted in Articles, For the Public | No Comments »


WA _DSC7150

L to R:Marja Lentz, Susan Hildreth, Director of the Institute for Museum and Library Services, Crystal Lentz, Head of Public Services, Washington State Library

On Saturday, September 21st, the Wheedle traveled to Washington, D.C. to represent our state in the Pavilion of the States at the National Book Festival.

The Pavilion of the States represents the reading and library promotion programs and literary events in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories. When people entered the Pavilion they picked up a Discover Great Places Through Reading map of the United States, which they took around to each state and territory in the Pavilion to be stamped or stickered.  Over 2,500 Washington State Seal stickers were placed on maps throughout the day.

On the back side of the map was a “Great Reads about Great Places” list of books.  Each state selected a work of either fiction or nonfiction about the state or by an author from the state that is a good read for children or young adults, who are the primary audience for the Pavilion of the States.  Washington’s selection for 2013 was “Wheedle and the Noodle,” written by Stephen Cosgrove and illustrated by Robin James.  Stephen Cosgrove generously had his art department create a bookmark to help publicize the book and 5,000 were quickly given away at the Festival.  Children and adults alike oohed and aahed over the adorable illustrations on the bookmark and many took a moment to page through the book.SAMSUNG

While the Pavilion of the States is only open on Saturday, the various genre tents at the Festival were open both Saturday and Sunday.  Over the course of the weekend over 100 authors spoke and many of them signed books as well.  Thousands of people enjoyed listening to authors and learning about books.

The National Book Festival is organized and sponsored by the Library of Congress, while the Pavilion of the States is organized by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress and sponsored by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.  The Festival just completed its 13th year.