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Father Pandosy establishes the Immaculate Conception Mission on Manastash Creek in the Kittitas Valley in July 1848.

In July 1848, Father Charles M. Pandosy (1824-1891) establishes the Immaculate Conception Mission on Manastash Creek in the Kittitas Valley. Pandosy is a Catholic Missionary Oblate of Mary Immaculate...

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Congress creates Territory of Oregon on August 14, 1848.

On August 14, 1848, Congress establishes the Territorial Government of Oregon. The United States had enjoyed sovereignty over the region, which included present-day Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, sinc...

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Native Americans force settlers to leave Whidbey Island in August 1848.

In August 1848, local Puget Sound Indians force two white settlers, Thomas W. Glasgow and Antonio B. Rabbeson, to abandon farms on Whidbey Island, located in northern Puget Sound. Among the Native peo...

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California Gold Rush spurs economic development of the Northwest in 1849.

In 1849, the California Gold Rush results in a flood of immigrants to the West Coast whose demand for lumber triggers economic development in the Pacific Northwest. Lumber from the Columbia River and ...

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United States Army establishes Camp Columbia at the Hudson's Bay Company's Fort Vancouver on May 13, 1849.

On May 13, 1849, Companies L and M of the United States Army First Artillery arrive at the Hudson's Bay Company's Fort Vancouver and establish an army post that they initially name Camp Columbia. The ...

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First criminal trial in future Washington Territory convenes on October 2, 1849.

On October 2, 1849, Chief Justice William P. Bryant of Oregon Territory convenes the first criminal trial in the future Washington Territory at Fort Steilacoom to try six members of the Snoqualmie tri...

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Colonel Isaac Ebey surveys Puget Sound in the spring or summer of 1850.

In the spring or summer of 1850, Colonel Isaac Ebey (1818-1857) conducts a reconnaissance of Puget Sound, including Elliott Bay, the Duwamish River, and Lake Washington. His glowing description inspir...

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American customs inspector seizes the British ship Albion, whose crew is cutting timber at Discovery Bay, on April 22, 1850.

On April 22, 1850, newly appointed American customs inspector Eben May Dorr seizes the British ship Albion, which is anchored in Discovery Bay at the northeastern tip of the Olympic Peninsula in what ...

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Schuyler and Eliza Saunders settle at future site of Chehalis on May 1, 1850.

On May 1, 1850, Schuyler (1810-1860) and Eliza (1826-1900) Saunders choose a homestead near the confluence of the Newaukum and Chehalis rivers. They are the first non-Indian settlers in the immediate ...

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Trial of five Cayuse accused of Whitman murder begins on May 21, 1850.

On May 21, 1850, the trial of five Cayuse men accused of murdering Protestant missionary Marcus Whitman begins in Oregon City, capital of the newly organized Oregon Territory. Whitman, his wife Narcis...

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John Holgate explores the Duwamish River by canoe but does not stake King County land claim during the summer of 1850.

During the summer of 1850, John Cornelius Holgate (1828-1868) canoes up Puget Sound from the village of Olympia. He explores the Duwamish River, and considers settling on the site (the future Georgeto...

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Donation Land Claim Act, spur to American settlement of Oregon Territory, takes effect on September 27, 1850.

On September 27, 1850, the Donation Land Claim Act of 1850 takes effect. The act creates a powerful incentive for settlement of the Oregon Territory by offering 320 acres at no charge to qualifying ad...

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Isaac Ebey is the first permanent U.S. settler on Whidbey Island on October 15, 1850.

On October 15, 1850, Col. Isaac N. Ebey (1818-1857) files a claim on Whidbey Island under the Donation Land Law, less than a month after its passage.

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Zakarias Martin Taftezon, Ulrich Freund, and Clement Sumner file land claims to the future city of Oak Harbor on January 4, 1851.

On January 4, 1851, Zakarias Martin Taftezon (1821-1901), Swiss Ulrich Freund, and New Englander Clement W. "Charlie" Sumner file claims under the Donation Land Law at what will become the city of Oak...

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Bishop Augustin Blanchet dedicates Washington's original St. James Cathedral at Fort Vancouver on January 23, 1851.

On January 23, 1851, Bishop Augustin Magloire Alexandre (A. M. A.) Blanchet (1797-1887) consecrates as a Catholic cathedral a rustic missionary church on land adjacent to the Hudson's Bay Company's ...

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Oregon Territorial Legislature forms Pacific County on February 4, 1851.

On February 4, 1851, the Oregon Territorial Legislature forms the new Pacific County. The county starts quite small and will soon increase in size. The county seat begins in Pacific City, near what i...

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Alfred A. Plummer and Charles Bachelder settle on the site of future Port Townsend on April 24, 1851.

On April 24, 1851, Alfred A. Plummer (1822-1883) and Charles Bachelder land on a beach at the mouth of Port Townsend, an extensive bay at the northeast corner of the Olympic Peninsula in what is now J...

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Francis Chenoweth builds Washington's first railroad in July 1851.

In July 1851, Francis A. Chenoweth (1819-1899), who moved west from Wisconsin in 1849 and settled near present day Bonneville Dam on the north side of the Columbia River, begins operating what can be ...

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Shoalwater Bay oysters begin feeding San Francisco in 1851.

In 1851, oysters from Shoalwater (later Willapa) Bay start feeding San Francisco. The oyster business will flourish in the bay until the 1880s and will be an important cause of settlement in the area.

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Settlers of North Oregon convene a convention at Cowlitz Landing to form a separate territory on August 29, 1851.

On August 29, 1851, settlers of North Oregon convene a convention at Cowlitz Landing to form a separate territory. The attendees resolve that lawyer John Chapman should draft a memorial to Congress as...

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Luther Collins Party arrives at mouth of Duwamish River in future King County on September 14, 1851.

On September 14, 1851, Luther M. Collins (1813-1860), Henry Van Asselt (1817-1902), Jacob Maple (or Mapel) (1798-1884), and his son Samuel Maple (or Mapel) (1827-1880) arrive at the mouth of the Duwam...

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Collins, Van Asselt, and Maple (or Mapel) select first Donation Land Claims in King County on September 16, 1851.

On September 16, 1851, Luther M. Collins (1813-1860), Henry Van Asselt (1817-1902), and Jacob Maple (or Mapel) (1798-1884) and his son Samuel Maple (1827-1880) select the first Donation Land claims wi...

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Denny Party scouts arrive at mouth of Duwamish River in future King County on September 25, 1851.

On September 25, 1851, David Denny (1832-1903), John Low (1820-1888), and Lee Terry (1818-1862) arrive in a vessel commanded by Capt. Robert C. Fay at the mouth of the Duwamish River in the future Kin...

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Collins party encounters Denny party scouts at Duwamish Head near future site of Seattle on September 27, 1851.

On September 27, 1851, the Collins party encounters Denny party scouts at Duwamish Head. These two groups will be the first non-Indian settlers of the Seattle area. David Denny (1832-1903), John Low (...

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