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Topic: Exploration

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Alessandro Malaspina: Early Explorer of the Pacific Northwest Coast

Alessandro Malaspina (1754-1810), an Italian explorer who sailed under the Spanish flag, is not as well-known as others who explored the Northwest Coast in the late eighteenth century. But like contem...

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Columbia River Treaty -- Historical Background

The Columbia River Treaty, signed in 1961 and ratified in 1964, was a landmark event in the joint U.S.-Canadian possession of the Columbia River. Yet for most of the river's vast history, the notion o...

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Donation Land Law, also known as the Oregon Land Law

The Donation Land Law of 1850, or Oregon Land Law, permitted settlers on unsurveyed lands to select claims of 320 acres per settler (640 acres per married couple) provided they resided there for four ...

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Fort Colvile (Hudson's Bay Company), 1825-1871

Fort Colvile, located near Kettle Falls, was established by the British Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) in 1825 when it moved its upper Columbia Basin fur-trading operations to this new location from Spoka...

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Fort Okanogan

Fort Okanogan was the first American outpost in what is now the state of Washington. Established in 1811 by representatives of John Jacob Astor's Pacific Fur Company, the "fort" was a modest affair, i...

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History Day Award Winner: Vancouver's Exploration of the North Pacific, 1791-1795 by Emily Miller

George Vancouver's voyage of 1791-1795 was about the exploration of a new world and staking England's claim there; about cultural encounters and exchanges of knowledge and ideas. But in terms of looki...

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Hudson's Bay Company

The Hudson's Bay Company, a fur-trading enterprise headquartered in London, began operations on the shores of Hudson Bay in 1670. During the next century and a half, it gradually expanded its network ...

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Journey from Puyallup to east Lewis County (1885): A Reminiscence

This is an account by Gus A. Temple of a March 1885 journey from Puyallup (in present-day Pierce County) to Davis Lake Valley in east Lewis County near present-day Morton. Temple was 14 years old at t...

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Lewis and Clark Expedition in Washington, 1805-1806: An Illustrated Tour

An illustrated tour of the Lewis and Clark Expedition in what is now the state of Washington. The Corps of Volunteers for Northwest Discovery (as the expedition was formally named) entered the area of...

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Lewis and Clark in Washington

In May 1803, the United States purchased Louisiana from France. The doubling of U.S. territory caused President Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) to send Meriwether Lewis (1774-1809) on a westward expediti...

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Mexican American Women in Washington

Mexicans first moved to Washington Territory in the 1860s, one family raising sheep in the Yakima valley and another operating a mule pack train. In the twentieth century, particularly after the start...

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Milestones for Washington State History -- Part 1: Prehistory to 1850

This is a brief chronology of the milestones of Washington history. Part 1 begins at prehistorical times and goes to 1850. Search the HistoryLink.org database for detailed essays on these events.

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Mukilteo -- Thumbnail History

Mukilteo is one of the oldest settlements in Snohomish County and the first county seat. Situated on Possession Sound, the town is bordered on the east by Everett and Paine Field. The site, long home ...

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Native Americans of Puget Sound -- A Brief History of the First People and Their Cultures

Current scientific data indicate that Native Americans arrived from Siberia via the Bering Sea land bridge about 12,000 years ago, during the last Ice Age. Native Americans in King County, who are uni...

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Oregon Territory, Establishment of

European exploration of the Pacific Northwest from the late 1500s through the 1700s led to multiple and overlapping territorial claims by Spain, Russia, France, Britain, and last but not least, the ne...

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Pacific Northwest Explorations Before the American Presence

In A. D. 458, a Chinese adventurer named Hwui Shan crossed the Pacific to Mexico, and then followed the Japan current north to Alaska. Centuries later, in September 1513, Vasco Nunez de Balboa "discov...

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Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894), Adventurer

Ralph P. Edgerton was a judge in the Sixth Division of the Spokane County Superior Court and a member of the Spokane Corral of The Westerners. He wrote this biography of Northwest native and seafarer ...

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Seattle and King County's First Non-Indian Settlers

In the vicinity of the Duwamish River and Elliott Bay where in 1851 the first U.S. settlers began building log cabins, the Duwamish tribe occupied at least 17 villages. The first non-Natives to settle...

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Spanish Exploration: Arteaga and Bodega y Quadra's 1779 Expedition

In 1779, Spain launched a third expedition from San Blas, Mexico, to Nueva Galicia (the Pacific Northwest). The third expedition was planned after the triumphant return of Juan Francisco de la Bodega ...

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Spanish Exploration: Hezeta (Heceta) and Bodega y Quadra Expedition of 1775 to Formally Claim the Pacific Northwest for Spain

In March 1775, the second Spanish expedition, commanded by Bruno de Hezeta (sometimes spelled Heceta), sailed north from Mexico to Nueva Galicia (the Pacific Northwest). This expedition set forth shor...

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Spanish Exploration: Juan Perez Expedition of 1774 -- First European Discovery and Exploration of Washington State Coast and Nueva Galicia (the Pacific Northwest)

Juan Perez (Juan Josef Perez Hernandez), sailing on the frigate Santiago with a crew made up mostly of Mexicans, was the first non-native to sight, examine, name, and record the islands near British C...

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Thayer, Helen (b. 1937), Sportswoman, Explorer

Helen Thayer was the first woman and oldest person to make a solo journey to the magnetic North Pole. She competed internationally as a world-class discus thrower, and in 1975 became the U.S. National...

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Turning Point 1: An Accidental Metropolis

This the first in a series of special essays commissioned by The Seattle Times to examine crucial turning points in the history of Seattle and King County. "An Accidental Metropolis" considers the gam...

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United States Coast Survey in Washington Territory

The United States Coast Survey began charting what was to become Washington Territory in June 1850 when naval assistant Lieutenant Commanding William Pope McArthur (1814-1850) crossed the Columbia Riv...

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