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Newspapers - Moments In History

The aim of Moments in History is to highlight events that shaped the lives of Washington's citizens. As one type of primary source material, historic newspapers record the aspirations and endeavors of early pioneers. Additionally, these newspapers provide a glimpse of the volatile and sometimes painful relationship between settlers and native peoples.

The list of articles under each event is by no means exhaustive, but provides a representative sample of discussions, facts and observations. To research a particular event in more detail, please search by keyword, personal name or browse from a list of predetermined subject areas.

The list of events and references below will grow as more newspapers are added to the digital collection.


John Wilkes Exploring Expedition
- 1841 (Extracts from Wilkes' Exploring Expedition reprinted in 1855)
The Whitman Mission and Tragedy
- 1847 (The articles are transcripts of Rev. H.H. Spaulding's lectures held in 1866)
William McBean's Rebuttals of Spaulding Lectures
- 1866
Land Claims and Laws
- 1850-1858
Monticello Convention
- 1852
Washington Becomes a Territory
- 1853
Treaties with Native Americans
- 1854-1857
Indian Wars, 1855-1858

Chief Leschi Controversy
- 1855
Martial Law in Washington
1856-1857
Mullan Road
- 1859
Pig War (San Juan Boundary Dispute)
- 1859
Division & Establishment of Idaho as a Territory - 1863
Seattle Brides (Mercer Girls)
- 1864-1866
Severe Winter of 1861-1862
Northern Pacific Railroad In Washington - 1870s-
Nez Perce War
- 1877
Chinese in Washington - 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act
Women's Suffrage
- 1883-1888
Constitutional Convention
- 1889
Washington Gains Statehood - 1889
The Great Fires of 1889
Towns Vie For the State Capital
- 1889-1890

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John Wilkes Exploring Expedition

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The Whitman Mission and Tragedy

Lectures by Rev. H. H. Spaulding, Missionary to the Nez Perce Indians

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William McBean's Rebuttals of Spaulding Lectures

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Land Claims and Laws

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Monticello Convention

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Washington Becomes a Territory

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Treaties with Native Americans

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Indian Wars, 1855-1858

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Chief Leschi Controversy

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Martial Law in Washington

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Mullan Road

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Pig War (San Juan Boundary Dispute)

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Division & Establishment of Idaho as a Territory

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Seattle Brides (Mercer Girls)

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Severe Winter of 1861-1862

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Northern Pacific Railroad In Washington

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Nez Perce War

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Chinese in Washington

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Women's Suffrage

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Constitutional Convention

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Washington Gains Statehood

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The Great Fires of 1889

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Towns Vie For the State Capital