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Joseph Whidbey circumnavigates Whidbey Island in June 1792.

In June 1792, Joseph Whidbey, a British naval officer on Captain George Vancouver's voyage of discovery to the waters of the future Washington state, circumnavigates a large island located at the inte...

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British Royal Navy Lieutenant William Broughton names Point Vancouver on October 30, 1792.

On October 30, 1792, British Royal Navy Lieutenant William Broughton (1762-1821), who is exploring the Columbia River under orders from Captain George Vancouver (1757-1798), names Point Vancouver for ...

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Native Americans set a huge forest fire in about 1800.

In about the year 1800, oral tradition holds that Native Americans set a huge forest fire that consumed as much as 250,000 acres in the area between Mount Rainier, Mount Saint Helens, and present-day ...

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The United States signs the Louisiana Purchase Treaty and buys Louisiana Territory from France on May 2, 1803.

On May 2, 1803, the United States and France sign the Louisiana Purchase Treaty, (which was antedated to April 30, 1803). With the stroke of a pen, the United States, a new and rather small nation, do...

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Lewis and Clark Expedition enters future state of Washington on October 10, 1805.

On October 10, 1805, Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Volunteers for Northwestern Discovery enter what is now the state of Washington, at the confluence of what they call the "Koos koos ke" (Clearwate...

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Lewis and Clark reach the confluence of the Snake and Columbia rivers on October 16, 1805.

On October 16, 1805, the Lewis and Clark Expedition reaches the confluence of the Snake and Columbia rivers at present-day Pasco, beginning the final leg of 4,000-mile journey of exploration from St. ...

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Lewis and Clark begin descending the rapids of the Columbia River at Celilo Falls on October 22, 1805.

On October 22, 1805, Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery encounter Celilo Falls, at the beginning of a 55-mile stretch of the Columbia River that will prove to be the most difficult and dangero...

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Lewis and Clark camp near Salmon Creek in Clark County on November 4, 1805.

On November 4, 1805, the Corps of Discovery led by Meriwether Lewis (1774-1809) and William Clark (1770-1838) camps on the Columbia River in what is now Clark County, beside a Chinookan Indian house n...

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Lewis and Clark prematurely celebrate their arrival at the Pacific Ocean on November 7, 1805.

On November 7, 1805, thinking he can see and hear the Pacific Ocean in the distance, William Clark writes his most famous journal entry: "Great joy in camp we are in view of the Ocian, this great Paci...

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Lewis and Clark Expedition reaches the Pacific Ocean on November 15, 1805.

On November 15, 1805, Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Volunteers for Northwestern Discovery reach the Pacific Ocean at the mouth of the Columbia River, one year, six months, and one day after leaving...

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Captain William Clark of the Lewis and Clark Expedition visits the future site of Long Beach on November 19, 1805.

On November 19, 1805, Captain William Clark (1770-1838) of the Lewis and Clark Expedition visits the future site of Long Beach. Clark records in his journal that at the most northerly point the expedi...

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In first election by Americans in the West, the Corps of Discovery votes to winter on the south side of the Columbia River on November 24, 1805.

On November 24, 1805, the Corps of Discovery, led by Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, votes to spend the winter on the south bank of the Columbia River. All members of the expedition are a...

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Homeward bound, the Lewis and Clark Expedition leaves future state of Washington on May 5, 1806.

On May 5, 1806, after taking an overland shortcut from present-day Wallula to the vicinity of Clarkston, the Lewis and Clark Expedition leaves the confines of what is now the state of Washington. From...

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Jaco Finlay guides five Iroquois trappers to the Columbia in June 1808.

In the summer of 1808, Jacques Raphael "Jaco" Finlay (1768-1828) guides five Iroquois trappers from eastern Canada across the Continental Divide. Finlay, a "free hunter" and former and future clerk fo...

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Russian ship Saint Nicholas wrecks near mouth of Quillayute River on November 1, 1808.

On November 1, 1808, the Russian brig Saint Nicholas wrecks just south of the mouth of the Quillayute River at latitude 47 degrees 56 minutes. Although the crew of 20 men and women makes it to shore s...

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Fur trader David Thompson explores the Pend Oreille River in September and October 1809.

From September 27 through October 6, 1809, Canadian explorer David Thompson (1770-1857) scouts the Pend Oreille River from Lake Pend Oreille in Idaho, downstream through what is now Pend Oreille Count...

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The North West Company establishes Spokane House in 1810.

In 1810, the Canadian North West Company establishes a fur-trading post called Spokane House where the Little Spokane River joins the Spokane River, about 10 miles downstream from the current location...

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John Jacob Astor and Pacific Fur Company partners sign agreement in New York City on June 23, 1810.

On June 23, 1810, Pacific Fur Company partners sign articles of agreement in New York City. This new enterprise aims to monopolize the American fur trade from coast to coast. The wealthy New York merc...

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The ship Tonquin out of New York City sights the mouth of the Columbia River on March 22, 1811.

On March 22, 1811, the ship Tonquin out of New York City sights the mouth of the Columbia River. The Tonquin is owned by fur baron John Jacob Astor (1763-1848) of New York and carries charter members ...

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Hawaiian Islanders conduct traditional funeral for drowned countryman near mouth of Columbia River on March 26, 1811.

On March 26, 1811, on the shore of Cape Disappointment, six Hawaiian Islanders conduct a traditional funeral for one of their countrymen who drowned near the mouth of the Columbia River. The mourners ...

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Astorians trade with Chinook and Clatsop Indians in April 1811.

During the first weeks of April 1811, members of the Pacific Fur Company trade with the local Chinook and Clatsop Indians while a small party scouts the north shore of the Columbia River and journeys ...

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David Thompson visits Kalispel Indians on Pend Oreille River beginning on June 8, 1811.

In early June 1811, David Thompson (1770-1857), Canadian explorer, geographer, and fur trader, visits a village of Kalispel Indians on the Pend Oreille River, then travels to Spokane House, the North ...

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David Thompson traverses Colville Valley beginning on June 17, 1811.

On June 17, 1811, David Thompson (1770-1857), Canadian explorer, geographer, and fur trader, sets off north from Spokane House, the North West Company's trading post on the Spokane River. Along the wa...

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David Thompson party reaches Kettle Falls on the Columbia River on June 19, 1811.

On June 19, 1811, a party of Canadian fur traders from the North West Company, led by explorer and mapmaker David Thompson (1770-1857), reaches Kettle Falls on the Columbia River. For many years, the ...

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