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Washington Counties

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Washington Pioneer Dead 1911
Washington Pioneer Dead 1912
Washington Pioneer Dead 1913
Washington Pioneer Dead 1914
Kittitas County Washington Obituaries
Pierce County Washington Obituaries
Spokane County Washington Obituaries

The history of Washington includes thousands of years of Native American history before Europeans and Americans arrived and began to establish territorial claims. The region was part of Oregon Territory from 1848 to 1853, after which it was separated from Oregon and established as Washington Territory.

The Territory of Washington was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from March 2, 1853, until November 11, 1889, when the territory was admitted to the Union as the State of Washington. It was created from the portion of the Oregon Territory north of the lower Columbia River and north of the 46th parallel east of the Columbia. At its largest extent, it also included the entirety of modern Idaho and parts of Montana and Wyoming, before attaining its final boundaries in 1863. In 1889, Washington became the 42nd state of the United States.

The first European record of a landing on the Washington coast was in 1774 by Spaniard Juan Pérez. One year later, Spanish Captain Don Bruno de Heceta on board the Santiago, part of a two-ship flotilla with the Sonora, landed near the mouth of the Quinault River and claimed the coastal lands up to the Russian possessions in the north.

In 1778, the British explorer Captain James Cook sighted Cape Flattery, at the entrance to the Strait of Juan de Fuca. But the strait itself was not found until Charles William Barkley, captain of the Imperial Eagle, sighted it in 1787. Barkley named it for Juan de Fuca. The Spanish-British Nootka Conventions of the 1790s ended Spanish exclusivity and opened the Northwest Coast to explorers and traders from other nations, most notably Britain, Russia, and the fledgling United States. Further explorations of the straits were performed by Spanish explorers Manuel Quimper in 1790 and Francisco de Eliza in 1791 and then by British Captain George Vancouver in 1792. Captain Vancouver claimed the sound for Britain and named the waters south of the Tacoma Narrows Puget's Sound, in honor of Peter Puget, then a lieutenant accompanying him on the Vancouver Expedition. The name later came to be used for the waters north of Tacoma Narrows as well. Vancouver and his expedition mapped the coast of Washington from 1792 to 1794.

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