WA Secretary of State Blogs

Oh, the places you’ll go!

September 25th, 2013 WSL NW & Special Collections Posted in Articles, WSL 160 Comments Off on Oh, the places you’ll go!

As the Washington State Library nears its 160th anniversary, the staff here have been reflecting on the movement, growth, and development of the Library’s collections  and services from the Territorial up through this modern era – and the impact these factors have had on life of Washingtonians.

Follow us over the next few weeks as we trace the movement of the original Territorial Library Collection, which not only lives on at the Washington State Library, but as a part of the Washington State Law Library at the home of the State Supreme Court, also known as the Temple of Justice.  In later months we will focus on the transition of the Territorial Library into the State Library, as Washington State prepares to celebrate 125 years of Washington Statehood.

Introduction: Purchase and Delivery

P9240032The original books, maps, globes, and miscellaneous materials that made up the original Washington Territorial Library collection were secured using funds appropriated out of the Organic Act of March 2, 1853. This act was signed by President Millard Fillmore and provided $5,000 to the newly appointed Territorial Governor, Isaac I. Stevens, for purchases towards the library. Adjusting for inflation this amount is approximately equivalent to $135,950 in the year 2012. With these funds Stevens purchased books from H. Bailliere of London and C.B. Norton and Co. of New York City; collected archival documents from all the states of the union and made arrangements for the casing and portage of these materials through vendors in New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C.

The first 2,000 books left New York City on May 21, 1853 on the clipper Invincible.  The ship traveled around the Horn of South America to San Francisco, where the books were held briefly by the Port of San Francisco. The collection then traversed the waters from San Francisco to Olympia, arriving October 23, 1853 on the brig Tarquinia packed in “Massachusetts steamer trunks.” Since the day that brig touched shore, the Territorial Library moved quite a few times around Olympia.

1853: G.A. Barnes’ Warehouse*

George A. Barnes, c.1891

George A. Barnes, c.1891

The first books arrived on Sunday, October 23, 1853, and were stored in an Olympia warehouse owned by G. A. Barnes. George A. Barnes was an eminent pioneer in the city’s history, a member of Olympia’s first Board of Trustees, and the proprietor of its first general mercantile. Barnes also established Barnes’ Hook & Ladder Brigade, the first volunteer fire department, around that same time. Alongside his many other achievements he established Olympia’s first bank, G.A. Barnes & Co., in 1884 [Jones, 337] and served a one-year stint as mayor of Olympia in 1880.
While we are not entirely certain of the exact location of Barnes’ warehouse, sources [Rathbun, pg.17] have placed his mercantile at the west end of what was then called 1st Street (now Thurston Avenue), near Percival Landing on the Olympia waterfront. It is likely that the warehouse was close or next to this mercantile. The books were stored at this warehouse until the arrival of newly appointed Territorial Governor Isaac I. Stevens on Friday the 25th of November. If we are correct in our placement of the location, there is a hotel of modern construction in its place today.

 *No picture of Barnes’ warehouse available. If you have an image or leads towards an image of this historic site, please contact us at pnw@sos.wa.gov

 

Circa 11/1853-11/1854: Oblate Mission’s Buildings*

1860s Olympia WT - looking East across Budd Inlet

1860s Olympia WT – looking East across Budd Inlet. Bridge is 4th Ave. (Image courtesy of Bigelow House)

 
Sometime shortly following Stevens’ arrival, the materials were moved – likely to one of the two one-room, one-story buildings on the west side of Main Street between 2nd and 3rd avenues. These buildings, measuring 16 feet by 20 feet, had been rented by Governor Stevens for $900 a year from , a missionary of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, a monastic Catholic order. One of these buildings was used by the Railroad Commission as it compiled its survey reports for the proposed route for the Northern Pacific Railroad. The other was used by the Stevens family upon their arrival in Washington [Nicandri, pg. 64.]
The first report of Steven’s Territorial Librarian appointee, Benjamin [Bion] Freeman Kendall – appointed February 28, 1854, and elected by the House of Representatives on April 17, 1854 – enumerated 2,130 books (the remaining purchase had arrived) and documents, including the two globes.

Oblate Pascal Ricard

Father Pascal Ricard b.05-16-1805, d.01-09-1862

Father Ricard is best known for his establishment in June 1848 of Saint Joseph’s mission on the east side of Budd Inlet. That land is now preserved as Priest Point State Park. [Ibid, pg. 8] Sensing an Olympia growth boom, Father Tempier of Marseilles had Ricard purchase four lots for the downtown buildings in 1852 or 1853. These lots were the former site of the cabin belonging to Levi Lathrop Smith, Olympia’s co-founder and a tragic figure in Washington territorial history. Ricard did so, and placed the lots in the name of another member of the order, Brother George Blanchet, so as not to appear too land-hungry following his Priest Point purchase. The Oblate’s downtown buildings are long-gone and now the block is home to the Olympia Center, “a public facility open to all members of the community actively participating in programs or meetings.”

 

*No picture of the Oblate Buildings available. If you have an image or leads towards an image of this historic site, please contact us at pnw@sos.wa.gov

 

Join us next week as the Territorial Collection moves into its first built to suit structure, and first brush with controversy!

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Profiles of Washington Territorial Librarians – Isaac Van Dorsey Mossman, 1870-1873

September 18th, 2013 Matthew Roach Posted in Articles, For the Public, State Library Collections, WSL 160 Comments Off on Profiles of Washington Territorial Librarians – Isaac Van Dorsey Mossman, 1870-1873

Mossman

Isaac Mossman

Isaac Van Dorsey Mossman, 1870-1873

“We doubt not,” said the Daily Pacific Tribune, “that Mr. Mossman will make an efficient and faithful librarian” when the fourth Territorial Librarian for the year 1870 was named. He was born Aug. 8, 1830 in Centerville, Indiana. Mossman arrived in Oregon City Oct. 20, 1853 as part of the Miller Party. Isaac took part in the 1855-1856 Indian War, holding the rank of Corporal and fighting in the Columbia Gorge and east of the Cascades theater where he was wounded in 1856. For the next few years he held a series of odd jobs in Oregon and Washington, including running a pony express business in the Walla Walla area.

He came to Olympia in 1867 and found employment with the city’s Street Superintendent. Appointed Territorial Librarian by the Governor Nov. 7, 1870. While still in office of Librarian, he was elected Thurston County Coroner in 1872 and Olympia Marshall in 1873. In 1877 he worked as a Sergeant of Arms in the Legislature. By 1879 his poor health forced him to retire from public life, and he made a living by light work and running a used furniture store. Mossman left Olympia for Oakland, California in 1890 and eventually moved to Portland late in life. He died Oct. 11, 1912 in a Roseburg, Oregon soldiers’ home.

Mossman’s autobiographical work, A Pony Expressman’s Recollections, is part of the WSL collection. In this role you could say he was an early promoter of rapid information delivery.

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

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Profiles of Washington Territorial Librarians – Champion B. Mann

September 11th, 2013 Matthew Roach Posted in Articles, For the Public, WSL 160 Comments Off on Profiles of Washington Territorial Librarians – Champion B. Mann

Champion B, Mann

Champion B, Mann

Longtime Olympia political fixture, C.B. Mann was born Nov. 2, 1844 in Crawford County, Pennsylvania. Mann attended Willamette University in Salem, Oregon and graduated from Portland Business College before arriving in Olympia in March 1870.

He was assigned to the position of Territorial Librarian and served from Aug. 1 to Nov. 6, 1870. C.B. initially held the occupation of school teacher in Oregon and was chosen school district principal in Olympia at the same time he was Librarian.

A Republican, Mann held a variety of public offices: City Treasurer, County Treasurer, County Commissioner, and Olympia Mayor (1894-1895).

A bottle from C. B. Mann’s apothecary.

A bottle from C. B. Mann’s apothecary.

Later in life he was active in gathering historical and biographical data on the pioneers of Thurston County. In a sad coincidence, although in different states Mann and his only son, Claude, died almost simultaneously on October 19, 1929.

Mann was also the topic of an earlier blogpost here, “Digging Up History“.

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

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Profiles of Washington Territorial Librarians – Sylvester Hill Mann, 1870

September 4th, 2013 Matthew Roach Posted in Articles, For the Public, State Library Collections, WSL 160 Comments Off on Profiles of Washington Territorial Librarians – Sylvester Hill Mann, 1870

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Sylvester Hill Mann

He was born May 6, 1817 in upstate New York. Raised in Pennsylvania, Mann was a soldier in a volunteer unit during the Civil War in 1862-1863. His occupation as a Methodist minister took him all over the Pacific Northwest. The Mann family arrived in Oregon’s Willamette River Valley via the Isthmus route in 1864. By 1870 Rev. Mann was sent to Olympia, where he found himself appointed to fill out the Territorial Librarian term of the late Mr. Mabie. He took the oath of office June 21, 1870. As the June 20 issue of the Daily Pacific Tribune reported: “The decease of J.D. Mabie having left this office vacant, Acting Gov. Scott has appointed Rev. S.H. Mann to fill it until the next Legislature convenes. We heartily approve of this appointment, though it is questionable whether the new incumbent will be able to fill it for the unexpired term, as the next Methodist Conference will probably assign him to another field.” There was no “probably” about it. They did. To Seattle. By Aug. 1, his son, C.B. Mann, was taking the oath of office as his replacement. The roughly five weeks of Rev. Mann’s term might be a record for brevity in the office. He was sent to Seattle in 1870-1872, Steilacoom 1872-1874, and finally to Brownsville, Oregon in 1874. He died there Mar. 15, 1876. Considered “somewhat retiring,” his poor health was attributed to his involvement in the Civil War.

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

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Profiles of Washington Territorial Librarians- Woodruff, Chapman, Shelton and Mabie 1866-1870

August 28th, 2013 Matthew Roach Posted in Articles, For the Public, WSL 160 Comments Off on Profiles of Washington Territorial Librarians- Woodruff, Chapman, Shelton and Mabie 1866-1870

Mabie

Headstone of Jeremiah D. Mabie, Masonic Memorial Park, Tumwater

Samuel Nelson Woodruff, 1866

He was born Mar. 6, 1829 in Ohio. His journal during the 1852 overland trip to Olympia is now in the University of Washington’s collection. He married Samantha Packwood in Feb. 1854 and set himself up as a farmer. Woodruff was listed as “Town Marshall” in a July 1864 edition of the Pacific Tribune, an early territorial paper out of Olympia. His year-long term as Territorial Librarian was not completed. It would appear Woodruff resigned his office, moved back to his native state, and was divorced by Samantha– in that order. He remarried in Jan. 1869. Woodruff died Jan. 18, 1896 in New Lyme, Ohio.

Henry Lensen Chapman, 1866

Woodruff’s term was apparently completed by his brother-in-law, H.L. Chapman, although no record of an oath of office exists. Henry was born July 26, 1831 in Ohio. He was a member of Woodruff’s party on the Oregon Trail in 1852. Chapman operated a flour and feed store and warehouse on Olympia’s Main Street wharf. Prior to his Sept. 1, 1866 appointment as Territorial Librarian by Gov. Pickering, he was a Justice of the Peace. In 1870-1871 he is listed as an employee in the office of the Surveyor-General of Washington Territory. Chapman and his family moved to Oakland, Calif. in 1877, where he died Jan. 20, 1902.

Levi Shelton, 1867-1869

The first of the biennial appointments for the job, being Territorial Librarian was just one of the many posts held by Shelton. He was born in Buncombe County, North Carolina in 1817 and lived in Missouri by the 1840s. Arriving in Washington Territory Aug. 7, 1852, he quickly dove into public life. An active Democrat, Shelton was elected to the Thurston County Commission in 1854, and served as a member of the Territorial House during the 7th Session in 1859. He was elected as an Olympia Trustee (City Council) in 1870 and served as the Council (Senate) Sergeant of Arms in 1873. After he retired from farming he became a saloon keeper. Shelton died in Olympia in August, 1878.

Jeremiah D. Mabie, 1869-1870

Upstate New York native Mabie was born ca. 1828. He was raised in Illinois, and came to Olympia with his father and brother in the 1850s. Mabie’s occupation is listed as “Speculator” in the 1870 census, but he was apparently counted in his final days. He died three quarters of the way into his term as Territorial Librarian, June 15, 1870 of consumption, aged 39.

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

(Attached, an image of Mabie’s headstone, Masonic Memorial Park, Tumwater)

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Profiles of Washington Territorial Librarians – Thomas Taylor, 1862 & John Paul Judson 1864

August 21st, 2013 Matthew Roach Posted in Articles, For the Public, State Library Collections, WSL 160 2 Comments »

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Thomas Taylor, 1862

Although no oath of office record exists today, Taylor was apparently Librarian in 1862. The March 29, 1862 issue of the Washington Standard includes this Library Notice: “All persons having books belonging to the Territorial Library will please return at once, or the by-laws will be put in force. Thos. Taylor, Ter. Librarian.” He quite probably was the same aged Thomas Taylor who was born Oct. 17, 1793 (some sources say 1791) in Frederick County, Va. and came out to Oregon in the early 1850s from Morgan County, Illinois. In 1861 he served as a member of the House in the 9th Session. For a while he lived in the Grand Mound area and then in Elma. He was a long-time and active preacher, remaining in amazingly good health during his senior years. Taylor died in Elma, Wash., May 14, 1886.

John Paul Judson, 1864

Judson

John Paul Judson

Born May 6, 1840 in Cologne, Prussia, J.P. Judson’s family came to Illinois in 1845. In Oct. 1853 they made their way to Pierce County. According to Bancroft, “He earned the money in mining on the Fraser River with which he paid for two years’ schooling in Vancouver.” The young Judson was appointed Territorial Librarian while still a law student and literally lived in the Library “to have more ready access to the law books then at his command,” so wrote John Miller Murphy. He also worked as Chief Clerk in the House in 1864. For a brief time he was a school teacher until he earned his law degree in 1867 and went into private practice.

After living in Port Townsend, he returned to Olympia in order to assume the office of Territorial Superintendent of Public Instruction, a post he held from 1873 to 1880. His legacy was overhauling Washington’s educational system. As Dryden explains:

The School Law of 1877 was an important milestone because it marked the end of the pioneer period in education. Responsibility for it can be attributed to John P. Judson, Washington Territory’s … superintendent of public instruction. This law created a Territorial Board of Education with specified duties, and it also provided for county boards of education. One section dealt with certification of teachers, qualifications, and examinations.

Writer Angie Burt Bowden echoes, “His term was one of the most important in territorial history, because of its length– he served six years– because of the growth in professional spirit and usefulness through the county and territorial institutes; and because of the initiation of the Board of Education.” In 1876 he was the Democratic candidate for Territorial Delegate to Congress and lost by a mere 73 votes. In 1877 he also held the office of Olympia Mayor. After his Superintendent term was completed, Judson moved to Tacoma and became a Regent for the University of Washington. His final years were spent in Spokane and then Colville, where he died in April, 1910.

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

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Profiles of Washington Territorial Librarians – James Clark Head, 1860 – 1861, 1863, 1865

August 14th, 2013 Matthew Roach Posted in For the Public, State Library Collections, WSL 160 1 Comment »

(Head served three nonconsecutive terms as Territorial Librarian.)

J.C. Head was born in Washington County, Ky. in 1810. His family apparently lived in Illinois before their arrival in Olympia, Aug. 18, 1853. A carpenter by trade, Head also was made a Justice of the Peace and in 1856 presided over the case of the accused murderer of Leschi’s brother, Quiemuth. Bion Kendall was the attorney for the defense, Elwood Evans the prosecutor. His first term as Librarian was the last time the office was combined with the duties of Auditor. Both of his roles were eventful in 1860-1861. Briahna Taylor wrote on his Auditor half:

J.C. Head’s tenure was highlighted by the Civil War and a tight financial condition. While earlier debts faced during Hicks’ tenure had been paid, financial troubles for the territory lingered. Congress faced the mounting costs of the Civil War and reduced the territory’s appropriations. This affected the entire territory, including legislators who were not given funds to travel between Olympia and their hometowns for the session. Some had to procure loans to finance their travel and stay in the territorial capitol.

If that wasn’t enough, legislators sued J.C. Head the Librarian for refusing to move the collection to Vancouver, proving the importance of a library as a foundation for government. Maryan Reynolds explains the 1861 coup attempt:

A sizable number of legislators sought to move the territorial capital from Olympia to Vancouver. Their first step was to pass a law requiring Territorial Librarian J.C. Head to move his office and the library to Vancouver between June 2 and August 1. Another law mandated a popular vote on the issue during July, which the legislators were certain would favor their cause. But Acting Governor McGill refused to permit the move, and the district court refused to require J.C. Head to show cause as to why he should not move the library.

Head’s refusal to budge quite probably saved Olympia’s status as the capitol.

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

 

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Profiles of Washington Territorial Librarians – Andrew Jackson Moses, 1859

August 7th, 2013 Matthew Roach Posted in Articles, For the Public, State Library Collections, WSL 160 1 Comment »

Called “a family of rascals” by one historian, the Moses brothers (Simpson, A.B., and Andrew, a native of South Carolina) along with Elwood Evans, came from Ohio to Olympia 1851 via the Nicaragua route. Simpson had been appointed the Collector and Andrew became a merchant on Main Street (Capitol Way). He had the instincts of an information professional when he ran this notice in the Feb. 5, 1853 issue of the Columbian

Notice: From and after this date I will keep a register of names of all persons arriving in our new Territory, and I simply suggest to those now here to place their names upon the same book in order hereafter when any person desiring to know the place of residence of any relative or friend who may be living in this section of Oregon, they may know where to find them, and at the same time shall be ready to facilitate transportation to those who may desire going down the Sound. Andrew J. Moses, Main Street, Olympia.

When Gov. Stevens arrived in Olympia, he compiled a roster of prominent locals who, in the words of historian Kent D. Richards, “might provide information or services or who exercised power and influence among their peers.” Andrew was among the 30 or so names in the list. He served as a sergeant in the Indian War. It was for the alleged involvement in the death of his brother, A.B. Moses, that Leschi was executed. In 1859 Andrew defeated his father-in-law, James Clark Head, 22-11 in the legislative vote selecting a new Auditor/Librarian.

In addition to holding two territorial posts he was also the U.S. District Court Clerk in 1859. Moses was involved in forming the Alert Hook and Ladder Company, Olympia’s first firefighting group. Andrew was admitted to the bar in 1865 and acted as a Justice of the Peace. Vanishing from the Olympia scene after his divorce in 1870, he surfaced in Portland. The May 11, 1872 of the Washington Standard reported Moses had been arrested for forgery. He was still living in Portland, working as an attorney, and providing entertaining newspaper copy through his exploits as late as the 1890s.  Andrew Jackson Moses died in Roseburg, Oregon on April 3, 1897 and was buried in Portland.

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

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Profiles of Washington Territorial Librarians – Urban East Hicks, 1858

July 31st, 2013 Matthew Roach Posted in Articles, State Library Collections, WSL 160 Comments Off on Profiles of Washington Territorial Librarians – Urban East Hicks, 1858

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Urban Hicks

Urban Hicks, the man with the paradoxical name, was born May 14, 1828 in Missouri where he learned the printing trade in the towns of Paris and Hannibal. Coming to Oregon Territory in 1851 as part of the Ruddell Party, he lived in several places before settling in Olympia. Hicks held a variety of local offices, including County Clerk and Assessor. Served with distinction during the Indian War of 1855-1856, rising to the rank of Captain. He was charged with erecting blockhouses for the protection of the settlers during the hostilities. Hicks was a school teacher in what is now Lacey 1856-1857. Appointed as Librarian/Auditor 1858, and later as simply Auditor 1865-1867. During his first term, according to Briahna Taylor, the Library was not Capt. Hicks’ primary concern:

“Financially, Hicks’ tenure as auditor was burdened by a territorial debt from the Indian War. Under the federal Organic Act, counties served as the collector of local and federal taxes. Of those taxes remitted to the federal government, Congress appropriated funds to the territory to finance territorial government operations. But counties faced challenges collecting all taxes owed, thus reducing revenues submitted to the federal government and ultimately allocations to the territory. Hicks faced mounting territorial debt.”

In between his terms as Auditor he published the Vancouver Telegraph, 1861-1862. He returned to Olympia and produced the Washington Democrat, 1864-1865. His editorials bought about accusations from Republicans that he was a Copperhead. Even so, he was sworn in as Territorial Quartermaster General in 1865. After the Civil War he continued to be on the move and working in the newspaper business up and down the Pacific Coast. In later years he lived on Orcas Island and eventually became a resident of the Soldiers Home and Colony in Orting, where he died in March 1905. The family name lives on geographically through Hicks Lake in Thurston County. 

More information can be found in the work Pioneer Reminiscences of Urban E. Hicks.

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Profiles in Washington Territorial Librarians – Henry R. Crosbie, 1857

July 24th, 2013 Matthew Roach Posted in Articles, For the Public, State Library Collections, WSL 160 Comments Off on Profiles in Washington Territorial Librarians – Henry R. Crosbie, 1857

crosbie

Henry R. Crosbie

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

Born ca. 1825, Pennsylvanian “Harry” Crosbie was elected to the first three territorial legislative sessions (1854-1855) as a member of the House representing Clark County (then known as Clarke County), where he had been District Court Clerk. In his capacity as a House member he was also on the first Commission on Education. In the 2nd Session he served as Speaker of the House. He was “replaced” in the Third Session.

Crosbie held the rank of Lieutenant Colonel during the 1855-1856 Indian War, and at one point served as a scout for Gov. Stevens to investigate rumors of gold discoveries in the Colville area. He was an unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic nomination to Congress in 1856. Also in that year he was made the Washington Territory U.S. Attorney. Crosbie may have been a member of Leschi’s legal defense team in the first trial of the Nisqually leader.

In Jan. 1857 the Legislature appointed him to the newly combined office of Territorial Auditor and Librarian for one year at a salary of $325. Shortly after his stint as Auditor/Librarian, Crosbie was made a Justice of the Peace in Whatcom County (as well as Coroner, according to one source) and was an instrumental American legal presence during the San Juan Islands Pig War of 1859. Historians have recognized Judge Crosbie as being a level-headed figure in the U.S./British boundary controversy. He was assigned to the Utah Territory Supreme Court in Aug. 1860. As late as 1894 he was still filing financial claims with Congress regarding his personal expenses for the Pig War episode.

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