Publication Title

Pacific Northwest Quarterly


state capital, Washington State

Document Type



The controversy over the location of the seat of government, which had flared up frequently in Washington Territory during the period 1855-1875, was comparatively dormant in the following decade. With the coming of the railroads, the discovery of gold in the Fraser River country and Idaho, the use of irrigation in central Washington, the growth of the sheep and cattle business, the increase in commerce on the Columbia and Snake rivers, the development of the lumber and fishing industries west of the Cascade Range, the population of all sections of the territory rapidly increased, and Washington Territory was soon to be ready for statehood. In 1878 its citizens had sought entry into the Union, but it had been refused. Ten years later, with rapid expansion in full swing, the talk of statehood was once more revived. At the same time there developed the feeling that it was now time to locate the capital in a new place, which should reflect the internal growth and expansion of Washington.

[Courtesy of JSTOR. Posted with permission from Pacific Northwest Quarterly.]

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