Parents and Teachers: Support Ducksters by following us on Ducksters Facebook or Ducksters Twitter.
Ducksters Educational SiteDucksters Educational Site
History Biography Geography Science Games

History >> US Geography >> US State History

Washington

State History

Native Americans

The land of Washington has been inhabited by people for thousands of years. Before the Europeans arrived there were many Native American tribes in the region.

Along the coast, tribes such as the Chinook, Makah, Lummi, and Nooksack thrived. They used wood from the cedar trees to build permanent longhouses and dugout canoes. They hunted for game and fished along the coast and the rivers for food.



Mount Rainier by Lyn Topinka

Further inland were the plateau tribes. They included the Nez Perce, Yakima, Cayuse, Okanogan, and Spokane tribes. These tribes moved often to find new hunting grounds and lived in less permanent grass huts. They often fished in the rivers and streams for salmon.

Europeans Arrive

In 1775, Spanish explorer Captain Bruno Heceta landed on the coast of Washington and claimed the land for Spain. Soon other European explorers arrived including British Captains James Cook in 1778 and George Vancouver in 1792. Vancouver spent two years mapping out the coast of Washington. He discovered and named Puget Sound and claimed the area for Britain. Also in 1792, American Robert Gray explored the region. He discovered and named the Columbia River.

Early Settlers

The first settlers in the region were fur traders. These men traded with the local Native Americans for furs that were valuable in China and Europe. In 1805, American explorers Lewis and Clark entered the region after crossing the continent of North America. They were exploring the land west of the Mississippi and the Louisiana Purchase. They spent the winter at the mouth of the Columbia River. In 1836, the missionary Marcus Whitman arrived. He built several missions in an effort to teach the Native Americans about Christianity.



Marcus Whitman by Paul Kane

Becoming a State

Throughout the early 1800s, the land of Washington was shared between the United States and Great Britain. In 1846, the United States gained control of the region through the Oregon Treaty. Washington became part of the Oregon Territory which included Washington, Oregon, Idaho, parts of Wyoming, and parts of Montana. In 1853, Oregon broke off and the Washington Territory was formed. On November 11, 1889, Washington was admitted into the Union as the 42nd state.

Growing

The state of Washington grew rapidly in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The main industry was timber, but soon apples and wheat became important crops. Seattle became one of the main ports for people traveling to Alaska during the Yukon Gold Rush, causing it to double in size over a fairly short period of time.



Seattle skyline

Timeline More US State History:

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming


Works Cited

History >> US Geography >> US State History





About Ducksters Privacy Policy   

Follow us on Ducksters Facebook or Ducksters Twitter

This site is a product of TSI (Technological Solutions, Inc.), Copyright 2017, All Rights Reserved. By using this site you agree to the Terms of Use.