Top 10 Treasures

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  • thumbnail of 1854 Election Returns

    Election Returns from Washington Territory's First Election - Olympia Precinct, January 30, 1854
    The first election in Washington Territory was to select county officials, the members of the first Territorial Legislature and Washington's delegate to Congress.

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    The First Law Passed by the Washington Territorial Legislature, April 13, 1854
    The first law passed by the Washington Territorial Assembly established the procedures, precinct boundaries and defined who could vote.

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    The Seal of Washington Territory, May 1, 1854
    J.K. Duncan, a lieutenant in the U.S. Army assigned to Territorial Governor Isaac I. Stevens' survey party, designed and drew the official seal of Washington Territory.

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    Election Returns from Washington Territory's First Election - Olympia Precinct, January 30, 1854 The Statehood Telegram, November 11, 1889
    On November 11, 1889, U.S. Secretary of State James Blaine sent a telegram to Elisha P. Ferry, the first governor of the State of Washington, stating: "The President signed the proclamation declaring Washington to be a state in the Union at 5:00 and twenty-seven minutes this afternoon".

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    The Washington State Constitution - Ratified by the Voters, October 1, 1889
    In December, 1888, Congress passed "An Act to Enable" Washington, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana to become states. Among other requirements, Congress required each prospective state to draft and ratify a state constitution.

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    1878 State Constitution, November 5, 1878
    On November 5, 1878, the constitution drafted by the Constitutional Convention in Walla Walla was approved. The finished constitution was sent to Washington, D.C. with a memorial requesting Statehood. However, Congress did not act on the memorial and Washington would have to wait another 11 years, until 1889, to become a state. The book is handsomely bound in leather and hand-written with iron gall ink on vellum.

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    George Washington Letter, November 8, 1777
    Original letter from General George Washington to General Nelson located at Camp Marsh, eight miles from Philadelphia, on November 8, 1777. The letter is on permanent loan from the National Society of Colonial Dames of America in the State of Washington. The correspondence sums up the state of affairs in November, 1777, and states "but the glorious turn which our affairs have taken makes a new plan, & winter campaign (if we can get our poor, ragged and half-naked soldiers cloaked) indispensably necessary."

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    Governor's Signatures
    The signatures of each State Governor from Elisha P. Ferry in 1889 to our current Governor, Christine Gregoire.

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    First Case Heard by the Territorial Supreme Court, December 14, 1854
    George Palmer vs. United States filed December 14, 1854. The case involved the conviction of George Palmer who was charged with "selling and giving spirituous liquor to an Indian and sentenced to pay a fine of five hundred dollars to the United States of America and be imprisoned three months in the County Jail". Due to a number of errors committed by the District Court, the judgment was reversed and Mr. Palmer was released.

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    Washington Volunteer Infantry Records of Events, February 5, 1899
    An after action event report from the Philippine War (Spanish-American War) describing the events of the 1st Washington Volunteers during the month of February, 1899. Of particular note is February 5th, where at 02:50, while in line near the village of Santa Ana, the "enemy opened a heavy fire along the entire line, keeping it up until 8 a.m., when the regiment charged them, driving their force from Santa Ana and vicinity, having complete possession of that village at 10:30 a.m."