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It’s voting time for October Library Jewels

It’s voting time for October Library Jewels

Since we’re all in a voting mood with the General Election ending today, how about you vote in our monthly Library Jewels poll as well? Just choose from among our three October candidates. Our online poll closes this Friday at 5 p.m. Washington territorial censuses 1916 Orpheum programs, posters 1910 photo album of NW Washington Please follow and like us:

October Library Jewel #1: WA territorial censuses

October Library Jewel #1: WA territorial censuses

(Photo courtesy of Washington State Library) We’re all familiar with the Census that the federal government undertakes every decade. (BTW, the U.S. population is now 322 million!) But did you know that the U.S. Census folks also focus on American territories? The U.S. Census Bureau even conducted censuses for Washington Territory three different times – in 1860, 1870 and 1880. (In 1850, Washington was not even a territory – we were part of Oregon Territory – and by 1890, Washington…

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Library Jewel #3: Letters, photos of 1860s secretary of WA Territory

Library Jewel #3: Letters, photos of 1860s secretary of WA Territory

Part of the Elwood Evans collection. (Photo courtesy of Washington State Library) Ever hear of Elwood Evans? Don’t feel bad if you haven’t. You’d have to be a Washington Territory history buff to have any idea who he was. Evans was secretary of Washington Territory from 1863 to 1868. In 1865, he carried two titles, as he also was acting governor of the territory. When he was appointed territorial secretary in 1862 by Gov. William Pickering, Evans’ predecessor, L. Jay…

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March Archives Treasure #1: 1857 Western WA Territory map

March Archives Treasure #1: 1857 Western WA Territory map

(Image courtesy of Washington State Archives) When you look at maps of Washington nowadays, you see a state that is crisscrossed with freeways, highways and railroads, one where cities and towns dot so much of the landscape. That wasn’t the case in 1857, when Washington was in its early years as a mere territory and 32 years away from statehood. Back then, very few towns existed. In fact, rivers, Puget Sound and the coastline were the geographical features that stood…

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Dr. Seuss booklet from World War II tops Library Jewels poll

Dr. Seuss booklet from World War II tops Library Jewels poll

(Image courtesy of Washington State Library) February’s State Library Jewels poll proved what any kid will tell you – it’s hard to beat Dr. Seuss. A booklet written by the famed author (known back then as Theodore Geisel) for World War II servicemen about the dangers of contracting malaria ran away with the poll, receiving 65 percent of the vote. Finishing second with 30 percent was the collection of Washington Territory volunteer papers. A book of Valentine’s Day-themed poems took…

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Library Jewels poll is open, so vote!

Library Jewels poll is open, so vote!

It might now be March, but we’re thinking about February when it comes to our State Library Jewels blog series. After displaying February’s three Library Jewels last week, we’ve opened the online poll so you and others can choose your fave. The first Library Jewel is a hand-pressed book of romantic and Valentine’s Day-themed poems from Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Ted Kooser. The second is a collection of Washington Territory volunteer papers from 1854 to 1861. The third and final jewel…

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“Archives Treasures” item #3: territorial seal

“Archives Treasures” item #3: territorial seal

Earlier this week, we started our new blog series that highlights some of the millions of documents, images, maps and other historical goodies housed in our State Archives. Here is the third and final contender in this month’s Archives Treasures poll: the official seal of Washington Territory. The territorial seal was proposed and designed in 1853 by J.K. Duncan, a lieutenant in the U.S. Army assigned to Territorial Governor Isaac Stevens’ survey party.  It was adopted in 1854. The territorial…

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From Digital Archives: 1889 WA constitutional convention begins

From Digital Archives: 1889 WA constitutional convention begins

The mere mention of July 4 automatically conjures up thoughts of barbecues, parades and fireworks, but most importantly America’s Independence Day. Unbeknownst to many, it also marks a key date in the Washington history, 125 years ago. It was on July 4, 1889, when 75 elected delegates assembled in the Territorial Capitol Building in Olympia to draft a state constitution that would form the basis for all future Washington laws.  The delegates worked several weeks before the convention wrapped up…

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From the Archives: When Olympia was incorporated

From the Archives: When Olympia was incorporated

Part of the Territorial Legislature’s act incorporating Olympia. (Image courtesy of Washington State Archives) When you consider that Olympia was founded in 1850 and selected by Territorial Gov. Isaac Stevens in 1853 to be the capital of Washington Territory, you might also assume that Olympia was incorporated as a town around this time as well. In fact, Olympia wasn’t incorporated until Jan. 28, 1859, when the Territorial Legislature did the honors. Part of the official act incorporating Olympia 155 years…

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So, what DO you buy for a 160th anniversary?

So, what DO you buy for a 160th anniversary?

(Map courtesy of Washington State Library) Unless you really excel at Washington history, you probably didn’t know that this Saturday marks the 160th anniversary of the creation of Washington Territory. (Believe it or not, there is a word – tetracentennial – for such a rare occasion.) Before 1853, the land north of the Columbia River was part of Oregon Territory, established in 1848. But settlers north of the Columbia soon were demanding their own territory. On Feb. 8, 1853, Congress…

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