The New International Encyclopædia/Washington (State)
WASH′INGTON. A Western State of the United States, popularly called the ‘Evergreen State.’ It occupies the northwestern corner of the United States proper, lies between latitudes 45° 32′ and 49° N., longitudes 110° 57′ and 124° 48′ W., and is bounded on the north by British Columbia, on the east by Idaho, on the south by Oregon, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean. In the northwest a deep inlet formed by the Straits of Juan de Fuca and Georgia separates the State from Vancouver Island. The greater part of the southern boundary is formed by the Columbia River. The State is roughly of rectangular shape, with an extreme length from east to west of 300 miles, and an extreme breadth of 240 miles. The area is 69,180 square miles, including 2300 square miles of water. Washington ranks sixteenth in size among the States.
Topography. Washington closely resembles Oregon in its main topographical features, and, as in Oregon, the Cascade Mountains divide the State into a smaller western and a larger eastern section, which are strongly contrasting in their climatic and other characteristics. The Cascade Mountains form a lofty plateau falling steeply on both sides, and eroded into a rugged complex of peaks and ridges nearly 100 miles wide. The main crest has an average altitude of about 5000 feet, but from the southern part of the plateau the three great volcanic cones of Mount Rainier (Mount Tacoma), which bears a number of glaciers, Mount Adams, and Mount Saint Helens rise, respectively, to altitudes of 14,526, 12,470, and 10,000 feet. In the northern part of the range the highest point is Mount Baker, with an altitude of 10,827 feet. From the eastern base of the Cascades and south of the Great Bend of the Columbia stretches the vast basaltic plateau, an undulating, treeless plain lying between 1000 and 2000 feet above the sea. Almost the only irregularities in its surface are the cañon-like valleys of the Columbia and its branches, and the coulées, more or less dry cañons, which indicate the former paths of the river. West of the Columbia, however, the lava field has been upturned in a series of monoclinal ridges running east and west as spurs of the Cascades, and south of the Snake River, in the southeastern corner of the State, there is another uplift, known as the Blue Mountains, exceeding 5000 feet in altitude. The northeastern quarter of the State, north of the Great Bend and the Spokane River, is rugged and mountainous, forming part of the Rocky Mountain system, and rising in some of its peaks to an altitude of over 6000 feet. The central feature of western Washington is the Puget Sound Basin, a longitudinal depression between the Cascade and Coast ranges corresponding to the Willamette Valley of Oregon. Its highest parts are scarcely over 100 feet above the sea, and it is penetrated through more than half its length by the numerous branching arms of Puget Sound, forming one of the most magnificent systems of harbors in the world. The Coast Range is not very pronounced in the south, consisting of broad irregular masses scarcely exceeding 2000 feet in altitude. In the north, however, it rises into a well-defined group called the Olympic Mountains, whose highest point is Mount Olympus, with a height of 8150 feet. The Pacific coast itself is straight and regular, practically the sole being Gray's and Willapa harbors.
|COPYRIGHT, 1891 AND 1903, BY DODD, MEAD & COMPANY.|
AREA AND POPULATION OF WASHINGTON BY COUNTIES.
|County Seat.|| Area in
|Clallam||A 1||Port Angeles||1,807||2,771||5,603|
|Jefferson||A 2||Port Townsend||1,765||8,368||5,718|
|Kitsap||C 2||Port Orchard||407||4,624||6,767|
|San Juan||B 1||Friday Harbour||187||2,072||2,928|
|Skagit||C 1||Mount Vernon||1,874||8,747||14,272|
|Whatcom||D 1||New Whatcom||2,226||18,591||24,116|
|Yakima||D 3||North Yakima||5,784||4,429||13,462|
Hydrography. The only large independent river in Washington is the Columbia, which drains the entire eastern section of the State. It enters the State near its northeastern corner and flows through the northern mountains and the lava plateau in a southwestward course with a large, winding bend. After turning finally westward it forms the southern boundary of the State until it enters the ocean. It would be navigable throughout its course within the State were it not interrupted at frequent intervals by rapids. Its principal tributaries within the limits of Washington are the Pend Oreille and the Spokane rivers in the northeast and the Snake River in the southeast. Its chief affluent from the east slope of the Cascades is the Yakima. Western Washington is drained by a large number of comparatively small streams flowing into Puget Sound and the ocean. The largest of those entering the sound are the Skagit in the north and the Nesqually in the south. Of the streams rising on the western slope of the Cascades only one, the Chehalis, breaks through the Coast Range and enters the ocean directly. There are a number of lakes in eastern Washington, but most of them are either expanded rivers, such as the long and narrow Lake Chelan, the largest in the State, or remnants of old river courses.
Climate. There is a great contrast between the climates of western and eastern Washington, owing to the fact that the Cascade Range condenses the greater part of the moisture in the west winds and shuts out the tempering influence of the sea. In western Washington the climate is equable, with a mean temperature for January of 39° and for July of 62°, while the minimum is generally between 10° and 20° and the maximum about 95°. In eastern Washington the mean for January is 30° and for July 74°, while the extremes range between 112° and 30° below zero. Western Washington has a humid atmosphere with an annual rainfall ranging from 54 inches at Olympia to 132 inches at Clearwater, on the Pacific coast. In some years the rainfall on the coast may be even more than 150 inches, a quantity exceeded in few places on the globe. The average normal rainfall for the whole of eastern Washington is 16 inches, and except on the higher slopes in the north and southeast, it is insufficient to support agriculture without irrigation. In the south central part of the State the average is less than 10 inches. Another circumstance unfavorable to agriculture in the eastern section is the fact that throughout the State by far the greater amount of precipitation occurs during the winter months. Thus at Clearwater the normal precipitation for January is 20 inches, while in .July it is only one inch. The snowfall is heavy on the western mountains, but in eastern Washington it is light, and the warm chinooks often evaporate it completely without wetting the ground. Blizzards and tornadoes are unknown, but thunderstorms occur at long intervals.
Soil and Vegetation. The soils are fertile in most parts of the State. The Puget Sound Basin is covered with a rich alluvium resting on a subsoil of glacial drift. On the southern mountain slopes and over the great plains of eastern Washington the soil is composed of decayed volcanic material, which possesses the elements of fertility in the highest degree, and, where it has accumulated to a sufficient depth, can be rendered highly productive by irrigation. Where not irrigated, however, the eastern lava plains are treeless and consist mainly of sage brush desert. The higher slopes of the north and east are covered with rich grasses, and on the eastern spurs and slopes of the Cascades there are open, park-like forests of pine. Western Washington, on the other hand, is covered with some of the most magnificent forests in the world. They consist mainly of gigantic coniferous trees such as the Douglas spruce, giant cedar, and Western hemlock, though the redwood and giant sequoia do not range as far north as this. The forests are rendered almost impenetrable by a profusion of undergrowth thriving in the rankest luxuriance in the moist atmosphere.
For Fauna, see the paragraph under United States.
Geology. The southern half of the Washington Cascades, and the whole of eastern Washington south of the Great Bend and the Spokane River, are covered by an immense sheet of basalt forming part of the great Oregon lava-flow, the most extensive volcanic outburst known on the globe. It is of geologically recent origin—Mount Rainier still gives evidences of volcanic activity—and over large areas it has been but little disturbed or eroded. The rivers, however, have cut deep cañons through it, which in the case of the Snake River penetrate into the underlying rocks, showing the lava field to be 1000 and 2000 feet in thickness. For about 100 miles around the confluence of the Snake and Columbia rivers the lava is overlaid by an irregular deposit of unconsolidated sand, clay, and volcanic dust dating from late Tertiary times and known as the John Day formation, having been laid down in the ancient Lake John Day. The northern half of the Cascades and the mountain country of northeastern Washington consist mainly of ancient crystalline rocks and Lower Paleozoic strata. In Western Washington Cretaceous and Tertiary deposits are the principal surface formations, though Carboniferous strata are upturned around the volcanic centre of Mount Olympus. The northern part of the State was covered by the Pleistocene ice-sheet, which left a heavy drift covering around Puget Sound, and is supposed to have formed the channels of the latter by its scouring action. It also dammed the Columbia River at the Great Bend, and forced it into a new and more southerly channel now indicated by the remarkable ‘Grand Coulée.’ When the ice retreated the river resumed its old channel.
Mining. Washington is the most important coal-mining State on the Pacific coast, and is the only one of those States which has coal of coking quality. The production of this mineral has increased steadily since 1894, the output in 1901 being 2,578,217 short tons. Almost the entire product was obtained from King, Kittitas, and Pierce counties. Gold and silver are mined in fluctuating quantities, the value of the output in 1900 being gold $580,500, and silver $206,640, commercial value. The gold is obtained almost wholly from quartz veins. Considerable quantities of limestone and some sandstone, granite, and marble are quarried.
Fisheries. As early as 1850 fish were shipped from Washington, and since that date the growth in the industry has been very rapid. The period between 1892 and 1902 showed an especially appreciable advancement, the value of the output in the former year being about $1,300,000, and in the latter about $6,700,000. The total amount invested in the industry in 1902 was $6,819,818, and there were between nine and ten thousand persons engaged in its pursuit. Salmon is the largest single product, the output in 1902 being valued at $3,889,185. The number of cases of salmon packed in 1866 was 4000, while in 1902 it was about 770,000. The canning and packing of fish ranks third among the industries of the State. Its growth during the period of 1890-1900 is indicated by the following table:
The establishment and rapid advance of this
industry, bringing with it new methods of catching
the fish, has greatly diminished the former
plentiful supply. To remedy this condition, fish
hatcheries have from time to time been
established, until in 1900 there were fourteen in
ation. The exportation of fish in comparison with
its output is very small, being valued in the
fiscal year of 1901 at $354,221, over two-thirds
of which sum was represented by salmon.
Agriculture. In 1900, 8,499,297 acres, or 19.9 per cent. of the total area, were included in farms. The total acreage more than doubled in the decade 1890-1900 and the area of improved land, 3,465,960 acres, almost doubled in the same period. The recent enlargement of ranges by the incorporation of parts of the public domain has resulted in a continuous increase in the average size of farms since 1870, the average in 1900 being 250 acres. The agricultural area of Washington is greatly limited by the extensive mountainous and arid districts. In the western part the rainfall is very ample and the valley between the Cascade and Coast ranges is highly favored for cultivation. In central Washington the rainfall is insufficient for crops, but toward the eastern border it becomes heavier and extensive farming operations are carried on without the aid of irrigation. The depth of the channels of the large streams prevents the use of their abundant waters for irrigation. The principal region in which irrigation is possible is the Yakima River valley. The greater part of the irrigated area of the State is watered from the Yakima and its tributaries. The total crop area irrigated in 1900 was 117,798 acres. Alfalfa, clover, and other grasses and vegetables and fruit are the chief crops irrigated. Over half of the total crop area of the State is in wheat. Wheat production is greatest in eastern Washington, Walla Walla and Spokane being in the regions of heaviest production. The crop is grown almost wholly without irrigation. The soil is exceedingly fertile and a very high per acreage yield is obtained from wheat, as also from other crops. Barley and oats are the only other cereals of importance. The region is not adapted for corn. Hay and forage rank second in area and value. Potatoes are a favorite crop, and sugar-beet culture has developed in Spokane County. In Yakima, Pierce, and some other counties hops are a valuable crop. The most remarkable agricultural development between 1890 and 1900 was in fruit culture. The number of apple trees in 1900 (2,735,824) was nearly 9 times as great as in 1890 and the number of plum and prune trees (1,290,845) was more than 15 times as great. The southeastern counties lead in fruit-raising. The alluvium soil at the mouths of the tributary streams to the Walla Walla are peculiarly adapted to the cultivation of orchard fruits. The following table shows the acreage of the leading crops in the census years indicated:
|Hay and forage||497,139||............|
Stock-Raising. Extensive areas too arid for cultivation afford pasturing facilities. All kinds of domestic animals are rapidly increasing in numbers. The number of sheep increased 110.4 per cent. between 1890 and 1900 and all other varieties increased over 50 per cent. The following table shows the number of domestic animals on farms and ranges:
|Mules and asses||2,856||1,345|
Forests and Forest Products. Forests of yellow pine, interspersed with tamarack and Western white pine, are common east of the Cascades and north of the Columbia River. Light forests of yellow pine also cover the eastern part of the State south of Spokane. East of the Cascades dense heavy forests of red fir prevail except near the coast, where its place is taken by the hemlock, cedar, and Sitka spruce. The total wooded area is estimated at 47,700 square miles, or 71 per cent. of the State's area. This includes large areas that have been burned or cut over, and 9500 square miles of forest reserved in the mountainous country and 324 square miles of the Mount Rainier National Park. The red fir constitutes over one-half of the stock of mercantile timber, estimated in feet. This and the cedar have been cut most extensively, the red fir being manufactured into lumber and the cedar into shingles. Puget Sound makes a large part of the timber land accessible to water transportation, in consequence of which the lumber industry has been much more extensive than in Oregon or California. The industry has developed almost wholly since 1880. (See table under Manufactures.) In 1900 the State ranked fifth among the lumber States. Wholesale methods of lumbering are followed. Donkey engines and wire cables are in common use in the lumber camps, and logging railways are often built for the transportation of logs.
Manufactures. Manufacturing has developed
almost wholly since 1885, in which year railroad
connection was made with the older parts
of the country. A new impetus was given to the
industry through the discoveries of gold in
Alaska in 1897. The rapidity of development
is shown by the fact that while the value
of manufactured products was only $3,250,134
in 1880, it was $80,795,051 in 1900. The
number of people engaged in the industry
increased meanwhile from 1147 to 38,806, the latter
being 6.6 per cent. of the population for that
year. By far the most important branch of
industry is the sawing of lumber. (See above.)
Next in importance is the manufacture of flour
and grist mill products. An Oriental market is
developing for the products of this industry. The
canning and preserving of fish has developed
almost wholly since 1890. (See Fisheries.) The
slaughtering and meat-packing industry is of
equal importance with the foregoing. Seattle is
the largest and most rapidly developing
manufacturing centre, followed at a distance by
Tacoma and Spokane. Statistics for the industries
mentioned and for a number of less important
ones are given
on the following page.
Transportation and Commerce. Washington possesses the best commercial facilities of any of the Pacific States. The principal outlet to the sea is Puget Sound, which, by reason of its position and the numerous bays and inlets with which its shores are indented, is especially well adapted to commercial purposes. The Puget Sound customs district, through its port of entry. Port Townsend (q.v.), controls the greater part of the trade with Alaska and the Orient. The total value of its foreign commerce in 1902 was $47,478,000, including exports to the amount of $34,726,000. Gray's Harbor and Willapa Harbor are other important outlets. Water communication with the interior is afforded by the Columbia and Snake rivers and their branches. The Columbia, the most important stream, is navigable for large steamers as far as Vancouver, and for smaller vessels throughout the greater part of its course. In 1893 the total railway mileage was 2619, and in 1900, 2914. The principal lines are the Northern Pacific and the Great Northern. They both traverse the State from east to west as far as Seattle, where the Northern Pacific turns south, extending to Portland, Oregon, and the Great Northern turns north to the Canadian border. The Canadian Pacific operates trains over the Seattle and International Railway, and thus brings the commercial centres of the State into touch with a third continental system.
|Value of products,|
work and repairing
|Increase, 1890 to 1900||......||636||10,244||$25,415,543|
|Per cent. of increase||......||84.2||79.8||92.9|
Banks. As Washington was admitted to Statehood long after the national banking system was introduced, the national banks are the older and the stronger institutions. The banking provisions of the Constitution are very incomplete. Yearly reports to the State Auditor are required, but there is no punishment for failure to comply with the rule. The banks are sound and there were no failures even during the panic of 1893. The number of State banks is rapidly increasing; in 1899 there were 28 banks and in 1902 40.
The following table shows the financial condition of the various banks in 1902:
Government. The first Constitution, adopted by a vote of the people in 1889, is still in operation. An amendment may be proposed in either branch of the Legislature and must receive the approval of two-thirds of the members elected to each House, followed by the approval of a majority of the electors voting at a popular election. In like manner a constitutional convention may be called, but the Constitution drawn up cannot be valid until adopted by the people. The rights of suffrage are limited to male citizens 21 or more years of age, who have resided in the State one year, the county 90 days, and the town, ward, or precinct 30 days, and who are of sane mind and have not been convicted of infamous crime. The Legislature may, however, give women the right to vote at school elections.
Executive. The Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, Secretary of State, Treasurer, Auditor, Attorney-General, Superintendent of Public Instruction, and a Commissioner of Public Lands are elected on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November every four years. The Governor may call extra sessions of the Legislature, and exercises, under regulation, the pardoning power. A two-thirds vote of the members present in each House may overcome the Governor's veto, whether of an entire bill or any part thereof.
Legislative. The minimum and maximum limits to the number of representatives are respectively 63 and 99, and the number of Senators cannot be more than one-half nor less than one-third of the number of Representatives. The former are elected for two years, the latter for four years. Regular sessions are held biennially and are limited in length to 60 days, the time of meeting being subject to the control of the Legislature. Any bill may originate in either House, but cannot contain more than one subject. Unless approved by a two-thirds vote of all the members elected to each House, a bill cannot be considered in either House unless the time of its introduction shall have been at least ten days before the final adjournment of the Legislature. Members receive $5 per day and mileage.
Judiciary. The Supreme Court consists of five judges, who are elected for six years. The number of judges, however, may be increased by the Legislature. In each organized county at least one Superior Court judge is elected for a term of four years.
Local Government. The Legislature maintains a uniform system of county government, in which no county officer is eligible to hold office more than two terms in succession. Municipal corporations can be treated only by general laws.
Washington has three representatives in the National House of Representatives. The capital is Olympia.
Finances. At the time of its admission to Statehood Washington assumed the Territorial debt, consisting of $153,669, which existed in the form of unpaid and interest-bearing warrants. This debt was bonded in 1900. The Constitution prohibits the creation of a funded debt over $400,000; but the insufficiency of taxable property made payments of money expenses impossible, and both the bonded and floating debt gradually grew. In 1900 the bonded debt amounted to $820,000, and there were outstanding debts to the amount of $721,000. Since then most of the latter has been converted into bonds. Most of the bonds are held by the permanent school fund, and, while the total nominal debt on September 30, 1902, amounted to $1,344,739, only $179,739 was due to private people. Against this debt the State had a balance in the treasury of $912,073, divided among 23 funds. The main sources of revenue are a general property tax and the sale of public lands. The total receipts for the two years ending September 30, 1902, were $7,149,381, and disbursements $6,663,308.
Militia. The population of the State of militia age in 1900 was 149,586. The organized militia in 1901 numbered 958 men.
Population. The following figures show the growth of the population by decades: 1860, 11,594; 1870, 23,955; 1880, 75,116; 1890, 349,390; 1900, 518,103. The State ranks 33d in the Union and second on the Pacific Coast. The males are largely in excess of the females, the former having numbered, in 1900, 304,178, and the latter 213,925. As in other Western States, there is a large foreign-born element, which in 1900 numbered 111,364, distributed among various nationalities, with English-speaking Canadians in the lead. The negroes in 1900 numbered 2514, Japanese 5617, Chinese 3629, and Indians 10,039. In 1900 there were 7.7 inhabitants to the square mile. The population is confined mainly to the Puget Sound region and the southeastern part of the State. There is a rather large urban population, the aggregate number of those in towns of over 4000 inhabitants in 1900 amounting to 36.4 per cent. of the total population. Seattle and Spokane almost doubled their population between 1890 and 1900, the former having in 1900 80,671 and the latter 36,848 inhabitants. In the same year the population of Tacoma was 37,714; Walla Walla, 10,049; Everett, 7838; New Whatcom, 6834.
Religion. The leading denominations in point of numbers are the Roman Catholics, Methodists, Disciples of Christ, Presbyterians, Baptists, and Congregationalists.
Education. The public school system is under the control of a State Superintendent of Public Instruction, elected for four years, and a Board of Education, appointed by the Governor with the consent of the Senate. All school districts of the State must maintain school for at least three months during the year, and all graded schools in incorporated cities and towns must be in session for at least six months. The public school system is supported financially by the common school fund (derived from State and individual appropriations and donations, the proceeds from public lands, etc.), and by a tax which must not exceed 5 mills on the dollar. In the census year 1900, out of a total of 158,245 children of school age, 100,731, or about 63 per cent., were in attendance. Of the population over ten years of age, 3.1 per cent. were classed as illiterate. The school statistics for 1902 gave the number of children of school age as 167,902, and the number in actual attendance as 136,645, or 81 per cent., which is a notable increase over the 1900 figures. The principal institutions of learning in the State are the University of Washington (see Washington, University of), at Seattle; Gonzaga College, at Spokane; Whitman College, at Walla Walla; and the Washington Agricultural College and School of Science, at Pullman. There are also State normal schools at Cheney and Ellensburg.
Charitable and Penal Institutions. The charitable and penal institutions are in charge of a bi-partisan board of control. Their authority includes the management, government, and purchasing of supplies for the institutions. There are two State hospitals for the insane, one at Fort Steilasoom and the other at Medical Lake, with 766 and 380 inmates respectively on September 30, 1902. On the same date the Soldiers' Home at Orting contained 168 persons, the school for defective youth at Vancouver 153, the Reform School at Chehalis 151, and the penitentiary at Walla Walla 581. The total expenditure for these institutions for the year ending on the date mentioned was $316,681. A parole law was introduced into the penal system in 1899.
History. The Territory of Washington was set off from Oregon March 2, 1853. The southern boundary was the Columbia River to the 40th parallel near Walla Walla, and thence east to the Rocky Mountains, thus including Idaho and a part of Montana. (For early history, see Oregon.) At its organization the population was only 3965, of whom 1682 were voters. With the discovery of gold in eastern Washington, a great influx of population followed and the alarmed Indians determined to exterminate the whites. This led to the Washington-Oregon Indian war of 1855-56. Again in 1857 there were serious Indian troubles concurrent with the rush of population to the gold fields of British Columbia, but the greatest rush was after the discovery of gold at Salmon River in 1860. At the time of the boundary treaty between Great Britain and the United States in 1846 (see Oregon), the 49th degree was accepted as the boundary to the channel between Vancouver Island and the mainland, thence down that channel to the sea. In 1859 a dispute arose as to which channel was meant, as on this hinged the possession of the Haro Archipelago, of which San Juan is the largest island. A collision between British and American soldiers was narrowly averted. (See Pickett, George E.) The question was finally settled in favor of the United States by the decision of the German Emperor, October 21, 1872. In 1885-86 a violent agitation arose against the Chinese. Mobs burned their houses, forced them to leave the towns, and in some cases resorted to murder. Martial law was declared in Seattle in 1886 and the Governor called for the aid of Federal troops. An attempt was made to secure Statehood in 1876, and in 1878 a constitution was adopted, but to no purpose. In 1881-83 another bill was introduced into Congress, but again failed. In 1889 (February 22d) the Omnibus Statehood Bill, admitting the two Dakotas, Montana, and Washington, was signed by the President. A constitutional convention met July 4th, the Constitution formed was ratified October 1st, and State officers were elected at the same time. The State was admitted November 11th, and its progress since has been exceedingly rapid. The General Government has spent large sums for a navy yard and other governmental works at Port Orchard, near Seattle, and with the increasing importance of the interests of the United States in the Pacific, the State will gain because of its excellent harbors. In national polities the State voted for Republican electors in 1892, and for a fusion ticket of Democrats and Populists in 1896, but returned to the Republican column in 1900.
|Governors of Washington|
|Isaac I. Stevens||1853-57|
|C. H. Mason||Acting||1857|
|C. H. Mason||Acting||1858-59|
|Richard D. Gholson||1859-60|
|Henry M. McGill||Acting||1860-61|
|William H. Wallace||1861|
|L. J. S. Turner||Acting||1861-62|
|George E. Cole||1866-67|
|E. L. Smith||Acting||1867|
|Marshall F. Moore||1867-69|
|Edward S. Salomon||1870-72|
|Elisha P. Ferry||1872-80|
|William A. Newell||1880-84|
|Watson C. Squire||1884-87|
|Miles C. Moore||1889|
|Elisha P. Ferry||Republican||1889-93|
|John H. McGraw||“||1893-97|
|J. R. Rogers||Democrat-Populist||1897-1901|
|Henry G. McBride||Acting||1901—|
Bibliography. Squire, Resources and Development of the Territory of Washington (Portland, 1889); Bancroft, History of Washington, Idaho, and Montana (San Francisco, 1890); Evans, History of the Pacific Northwest (Portland, 1889); Hawthorne, History of Washington (New York, 1893).