Arthur S. Beardsley and Donald A. McDonald, The Courts and Early Bar of Washington Territory, 17 Wash. L. Rev. & St. B.J. 57 (1942), https://digitalcommons.law.uw.edu/faculty-articles/424
Washington Law Review and State Bar Journal
Oregon Territory, territorial justice
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.