Harry Tracy: Trail of the Northwest's Last Desperado Tour

  • By Alan J. Stein
  • Posted 9/29/2004
  • HistoryLink.org Essay 7059

Journey back to 1902, and follow the trail of Harry Tracy -- the Wild Northwest's last desperado -- one step ahead of the posse. Written by Alan J. Stein and designed by Chris Goodman.

In Pursuit of Harry Tracy

When Harry Tracy arrived in King County on July 2, 1902, he set in motion the local episodes of the last great manhunt of the Wild West. One month earlier, Tracy had escaped with cohort David Merrill from the Oregon State Penitentiary. The convicts eluded Oregon lawmen for weeks. After arriving in Washington, Tracy shot Merrill in the back and proceeded to Olympia, where he hijacked a launch to Seattle.

Our tour pursues Tracy throughout King County one step ahead of the authorities, all the way to his violent rendezvous with justice in Eastern Washington. This account is based chiefly on contemporary newspaper accounts of Tracy's exploits, and corrects a number of errors and embellishments that have since become part of the Tracy legend. Click the numbers on the map to track Tracy.

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