Publication Title

Washington Law Review and State Bar Journal


Oregon Territory, territorial justice

Document Type



Territorial justice in Washington had its roots in the judicial system of Oregon Territory, where the need for the administration of law and order was the motivating force which initiated the formation of civil authority The administration of justice, like the civil authority, must expand as the population grows and as the territorial area becomes larger and better organized. Strong men are always needed in the administration of justice; but in the frontier settlement where law and order are often flouted with impunity, even stronger men are needed if the courts are to command the respect which is their due. Law and order is the first essential attribute of a civil society, no less on the frontier than in the densely populated urban community.

The history of the courts of Washington Territory was no exception to this rule. Their organization and development at all times, kept pace with the growth of the Territory At all times its judges were "learned in the law", even if on occasion their moral and social make-up were not above suspicion.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.