Publication Title

Pacific Northwest Quarterly


state capital, Washington State

Document Type



Several political controversies began with the organization of the territorial government of Washington in 1854, grew in intensity with the passage of years, and did not end on the proclamation of statehood in 1889. Among such controversies was the fight for the location of the capital. In fact, contention over the location of the seat of territorial and state government did not cease until the completion of the capitol building in 1927. During the interval of seventy-three years many efforts were made to relocate the capital, and at some time in this period nearly every important city within the present boundaries of the state made plans or entertained hopes to become the capital. Possession of the seat of government would make a place in the sun for the city which could acquire and retain it. The records show how closely several cities came to winning it, and how one city had the prize within its grasp, only to lose it through a legal technicality.

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

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