Washington Early History

Washington State. Known simply as Washington (pronounced in English / ˈwɒʃɪŋtən /) or The Evergreen State. One of the 50 states of the United States of America, located in the Northwest region, officially founded on November 11, 1889 when its constitution was accepted and promulgated. Abbreviated as WA by ABBREVIATIONFINDER, Washington was named in honor of the undisputed leader of the American insurgents during their War of Independence and subsequent first president of the United States, George Washington. Not to be confused with the capital of the United States, Washington DC; For this reason, in the United States, the state is often called the state of Washington, and the national capital, DC (abbreviation for District of ColumbiaDistrict of Columbia in English).

Native peoples

In the region where the state of Washington is located today, various Native American tribes lived several thousand years ago, long before the arrival of the first Europeans. The Nez Percé, the Spokane, the Yakama, the Chinook and the Puyallup were the native peoples who lived in the coastal area of ​​the current state. Scholars divide these tribes into two groups: the Salishians and the Penutians. The former lived in the north and on the Washington coast, while the latter lived in the interior, along the west and south of the state. These towns are characterized by making a living from fishing, having large boats, large houses, totem poles and the practice of potlacht.

The Nez Percé were originally located in the lower reaches of the Snake River and in its tributaries the Salmon River and Clearwater Creek, in the center of present-day Idaho, Oregon and Washington. For their part, the Spokane lived on the banks of the Spokane River, in the eastern part of Washington state and northern Idaho. The Yakima originally lived divided between the two banks of the Columbia River, between the Wenatcheeand Yakima rivers, in Washington State. The Chinook are located in the middle and upper reaches of the Columbia River, in the current states of Oregon and Washington. While the Puyallup were located on the Northwest Coast of the United States until they were located on an Indian reservation in the current territory of Tacoma.

European conquest

In the 18th century, Europeans sought to settle in this region of the Pacific coast due to the high value of sea otter skins, an animal that was abundant in these waters.

The first Europeans to explore Washington were the Spanish. They intensively explored the coastline of the current state, and claimed the area for the Spanish crown under the command of the Spanish explorer Bruno de Heceta who arrived in the area on July 12, 1775 on the ship Santiago [6] . The arrival took place through a wide bay which they called Nueva Galicia (Pacific Northwest) and claimed for Spain through the Treaty of Tordesillas. However, they did not found any permanent settlements. The bay, later called Grenville Bay, lies along the shoreline of what is now Grays Harbor County. Such explorations were carried out under the fear of a Russian expansion – which then controlled Alaska – in a southward direction.

In 1790, Great Britain and Spain reached the Nootka Sound Agreement, by which the coast between California and Alaska was left open to trade and settlement by both nations. In 1792, George Vancouver, a British naval officer, explored the Puget Sound,being considered the first European to map the coastline of the current state of Washington. However, that same year a map of the Northwest coast of the United States had been published that includes the entire area, due to Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra, who had traveled it in 1775. Both sailors exchanged cartographic information and maintained a friendly relationship during the resolution of the incident on the island of Nutka. Alejandro Malaspina’s expedition had also explored the area. The British, at least in principle, were also not interested in founding permanent settlements, although they claimed the region from the British crown.

  • CountryAAH: Offers a full list of cities and towns in Washington, together with postal codes for each of them, and including capital city of Washington.

American occupation

The American Robert Gray, along with his expedition, composed of hunters and merchants, were the first of that nationality to explore the interior of Washington, having departed from Boston, Massachusetts, under the command of a private company. They landed on the Washington coast in 1792. The United States then came to claim the region. British and American traders and hunters hunted and traded in the region of present-day Washington. The Hudson’s Bay Company founded the first permanent settlement in the region, present-day Vancouver.

Other expeditions stimulated public interest, and, in 1811, John Jacob Astor established a fur trading post – Astoria – near the source of the Columbia. In 1818, the United States and Great Britain agreed to a ten-year period of unified occupation of the Oregon Territory (officially referred to as the Oregon Country).

The westward American expansion resulted in an increasing number of American settlers moving to the region beginning in the 1840s. The United States began to claim for itself all the lands south of the 54º 40 ‘meridian and west of the Rocky Mountains. The British had demanded that the border be the 49th meridian, and it would continue in a southerly direction, following the course of the Columbia River, west of the Rocky Mountains – in that case, much of the west of present-day Washington would be under British control..

Washington Early History