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Homesteading in Washington

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Chris Santos

on 13 June 2017

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Transcript of Homesteading in Washington

Homesteading in Washington
Environment, Politics, Economy
By: Jack Byrd

Environment
Environment:
Source: Olympic Peninsula Community Museum
In the early 1850s the first homesteaders would claim their land by building a small cabin. To grow food the settlers would create a garden which consist of grasses, clovers, timothy, root crops such as potatoes, hops, apples, wheat, and strawberries. One of the hardest accomplishments the first settlers had to over come was to remove tree stumps. Also the Natives were frustrated with the new settler's because of them cutting down the trees.

Environment:
Source: Center for the Study of the Pacific Northwest
Finally when the homesteaders got to their destination and already built a shelter they had to worry about food. Creating a farm was one of the homesteader’s greatest challenges. Also it was specifically more challenging for the people that settled in the Olympic Peninsula because of the dense, forest terrain. “The farmer's first task, clearing the land for planting, varied greatly depending on local geography and vegetation. The Olympic Peninsula homesteader often had to contend with massive cedar, spruce, and fir trees.”


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Environment:
Source: Olympic Peninsula Community Museum
Since there were so many trees in the area and the house were made out of logs, that means the houses would be next to the tall trees. This could be a advantage or disadvantage, you may have a local supply of trees to make more structures but, during hailstorms, heavy rain, or even snow the trees could always fall down. Back then a lot of people died because of the trees falling on their house and property.

Environment:
Source: Center for the Study of the Pacific Northwest
To clear the land for farming, in much of nineteenth-century the homesteader’s would use a method called “slashing and burning”, this consisted of someone chopping down a tree with a axe. After the tree was down they would pile up the debris then lit it up on fire to clear it. Finally the stumps of the trees were left to rot, or burned. For those who could afford it, people could use explosions, “steam donkey engines, and later tractors and bulldozers, were the most effective means of clearing land - but these resources were not typically part of homesteading or farming in general before the 1910s.” Also people could rent farms to use for a limited times.

Environment:
Source: Olympic Peninsula Community Museum
Under the Homestead Act of 1862, an individual could claim 160 acres of public land for a small fee. The homesteader received a title to the land if they lived on the land continuously and made certain improvements within 5 years, known as proving up. The Homestead Act required that applicants farm the land - a way of life which was better suited to the American plains than to the Olympic Peninsula, due to its soil conditions, rainy climate, and topography” which is a arrangement of the natural and physical features of an area.

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Environment:
Source: Center for the Study of the Pacific Northwest
Most of the homes were built with either logs, sod or cut lumber, depending on what material might be easily at hand. Living quarters on Washington homesteads were almost exclusively built with wood. Log cabins required few tools and no nails, but needed a ready supply of logs and were better suited to smaller houses.
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Environment:
Source: Center for the Study of the Pacific Northwest
Many homesteaders chose plank houses or shanties instead, for several reasons. Due to the environment in Washington, it had a great supply of trees and numerous mills, especially in the heavily forested areas near the Puget Sound and on the Olympic Peninsula.

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Environment:
Source: Olympic Peninsula Community Museum
In the environment they lived in the homesteaders had certain jobs because of the physical features around them. Sometimes people had to go away from their claim, or property, to provide money for their family. Some of the local jobs in the area were loggers, U.S. Forest Rangers, mail carriers, miners, fishermen, packers, guides, bounty hunters, hired hands. Usually the man of the house would go do the jobs and leave the wives and children behind because they had to keep the farm alive and provide for the family back at home.

Environment:
Source: Center for the Study of the Pacific Northwest
Getting to Washington to settle was very difficult for the homesteaders. This was because everywhere in Washington there was no civilization yet so no forests were taken down to build houses. Therefore this means they had to go through the dense forests and deadly rivers.


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Environment:
Source: Center for the Study of the Pacific Northwest
“The increasing mechanization of farming during the Homestead Era, especially in the early decades of the twentieth century, also contributed to the expansion and productivity of agriculture in Washington. Technological innovation was first concentrated on the tasks of cultivation which brought improved plows, harrows, seed drills, reapers, mowers, binders, combines, into wider use. Later in the nineteenth century, new methods of motive power were developed.


Environment:
Source: Center for the Study of the Pacific Northwest
For farming animal power, which had been a fixture on farms for millennia, was supplemented by steam and internal combustion engines. And this all this technology was to alter the environment so the land could be able to live in.
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Environment:
Source: Olympic Peninsula Community Museum
On the coast of Washington the Morse and Ennis Creeks were gold and silver deposits discovered in the 1900s. Not many people settled near the creeks due to the steep terrain and narrow valley floors, which made farming difficult. Also a another important physical feature was the “Sol duc is a long river, and settlement occurring in the 1880s and 1890s was later than in some areas. Farmable lands were ten-twenty miles from ocean waters. Early settlers included O. Dimmel, J. Fasel, C. Jones, the Moores, E. Boehrig, G. Icke, Mrs. Hunters, and Mrs. Brown. Charles Jones set up a colony of 25 settlers, and Arthur Moore opened a store. Most left the area after experiencing the difficulties described above. T. Moritz discovered the hot springs on the upper Sol Duc in the 1880s, but they weren't developed commercially until after1900.”

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Environment:
Source: Olympic Peninsula Community Museum
A land feature that was also important to the homesteaders was the Quinault, a large river basin. “The lower part of the river basin was set aside for the Quinault Indian Reservation so only the more remote upper river was available for homesteading.”. Due to the homesteaders by the end of 1890, between 20-30 settlers had made claims, or a home. Expeditions through the Olympic Range typically ended in the Quinault River Basin. When more settlers came to the basin it brought the number of claims bigger, and finally and the formation of the Quinault Township Company came to be.
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Environment:
Source: Britannica
Washington has a very helpful physical feature for the new settlers, the Cascade Mountain Range. The mountain range contained mostly volcanoes, and mountains and includes 14,410-foot Mount Rainer. Being next to the volcanoes helped but also caused some disadvantages for farming and settling. Farmers could use the rich soil next to the volcanoes as a advantage to grow better crop, but at the same time it puts you at risk if the volcano erupts.

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Environment:
Source: Britannica
The soils in Washington for farming back then were some of the best soils in the country for farming. Since Washington always rains a lot, this eventually causes there to be rivers. Farmers that grew crops in the soil by the rivers made outstanding crops for harvest. This was because of all of the nutrients from the river made the soil more rich. But some areas in Washington are much drier, some areas have fine-textured sandy soils, this wasn’t good soil for the farms because of how dry the soil was.

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Environment:
Source: Olympic Peninsula Community Museum
Since Washington has a lot of mountains this could be used as a good thing, mining. For example the Cascade Range was great for mining with all of the mountains. Even though mining played a big role in Washington history, it wasn’t one of the best things to do as a job. Miners got paid barely anything and were at risk for death because the caves could collapse, or a explosion might kill them.
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Environment:
Source: Olympic Peninsula Community Museum
Railroads back the were a huge accomplishment to the homesteaders. But not like in the Great Plains where everywhere was flat, in Washington there was dense forests, and huge mountain ranges. So during the railroad it would have to go through mountains, this means the miners would have to do a lot of work. This caused it to be a long time until the railroads were finally done.

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Environment:
Source: Britannica
Back when homesteading first started in Washington it wasn’t the best climate to start off with. Washington is known for its cold, harsh rain. This caused problems for the settlers, first it was very cold and the shelter they made wasn’t t always the best for rain. And rain also meant it was hard to start a shelter because of all the life the water gives from the rain, it was hard to start a claim in thick forests. Even though rain was not always the best thing, it did have benefits. For example, for farmers the rain helped hydrate the plants and soil. Finally, it made lakes and caused more rivers to become more useful to the settlers for water, and also for food such as fish in the lakes.
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Environment:
Source: Center for the Study of the Pacific Northwest
“Regional tribes such as the Makah, S'Klallam, Quileute, Hoh, and Quinnault had long traveled over well worn trails and by canoe.” But finally when the people settled they could use the environment as a advantage to build houses.

Politics
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Politics:
Source: Olympic Peninsula Community Museum
Railroads back then were a huge achievement to the homesteaders because they could final travel at a faster rate then on foot. They could also be used to transport supplies. “Farmers denounced monopolistic rule of railroad companies and accused them of rate gouging.” Similar things happened to the banks at the time. The campaign to add silver to gold as the basis of currency, thereby increasing the supply of money.
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Politics:
Source: History Link
Construction of the Northern Pacific Railroad commenced in 1873 and immediately began to change Washington Territory's social and political landscape. The railroad and other industries imported large numbers of Chinese immigrant workers to lay tracks and to mine coal and other minerals. These workers were initially welcomed by their white neighbors, but respect quickly turned to resentment during the economic downturns of the 1880s, leading to anti-Chinese riots in Seattle and Tacoma and passage of exclusionary federal and state laws all up and down the West Coast.

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Politics:
Source: Olympic Peninsula Community Museum
“By the 1890s, some of the most visible political issues revolved around the railroad companies, the monetary standard, and federal land policies.” Every homesteader had a vote or stake in the government land policy and how it might affect their claim.

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Politics:
Source: Olympic Peninsula Community Museum
Peter B. Jersted, also known as Pete Benson, was a homesteader, he “was nominated to the position of Precinct Committeeman for the Ozette Precinct of the People's Party Central Committee in Port Angeles.” Jersted went to a convention in Tacoma on June 23, 1896 that determined how delegates would vote at the national convention held in Omaha later that summer.

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Politics:
Source: Olympic Peninsula Community Museum
To change the agricultural causes, farm-based political groups collaborated and challenged the two-party system. A two-party system is a party system where two major political parties take control of the government. The party that was more popular was the People’s Party, “a product of a largely grassroots movement known as Populism”. After that in 1893 the farmers went into the debt, because of that Populism became very strong. “Populists won elections at various levels, including the governorship of Washington state. At the height of their strength, Populists voted to fuse with the Democratic Party in 1896, gambling that victory in the presidential election of that year presented the best chance of achieving their goals.”

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Politics:
Source: Web Guides
“Signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln on May 20, 1862, the Homestead Act encouraged Western migration by providing settlers 160 acres of public land. In exchange, homesteaders paid a small filing fee and were required to complete five years of continuous residence before receiving ownership of the land.

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Politics:
Source: U.S. History Scene
The Homestead Act shifted land ownership and development towards average American citizens.
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Politics:
Source: U.S. History Scene
The Homestead Act was the most comprehensive land distribution bill passed in the nineteenth century.

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Politics:
Source: Web Guides
After six months of residency, homesteaders also had the option of purchasing the land from the government for $1.25 per acre. The Homestead Act led to the distribution of 80 million acres of public land by 1900.” In all the Homestead Act of 1862 caused a lot of people in Washington to change their lifestyles.
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Politics:
Source: History Link
Washington was not originally going to be called Washington. In the start it was going to be called Columbia, because of the Columbia River running through Washington. Finally Washington D.C. demanded it to be called Washington because D.C. stands for District of Columbia, so they changed the name from Columbia to not confuse people, to Washington. In all this made it even more confusing because now there was two “Washington’s”.

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Politics:
Source: History Link
Rutherford B. Hayes, the 19th president, visits Puget Sound cities in October 1880 during the first trip west of the Rockies by a U.S. President. This was a huge accomplishment to Washington because it finally brought more popularity to Washington. The population of Washington Territory is 75,116 in 1880, ten years before that it was 23,955 in 1870. That’s a 51,161 difference in ten years!

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Politics:
Source: History Link
In 1854 and 1855 Chief Seattle and other big tribe leaders signed treaties with the homesteaders to exchange most of the Natives land in guaranteed rights to hunt and fish in their usual way. These privileges were violated “before the ink dried” and it took the tribes about 120 years to finally gain definitive legal recognition of their treaty rights. “This struggle is far from over, and our local Duwamish Tribe was just ambushed in Washington when the Bush Administration rescinded recognition granted in the final days of the Clinton presidency.”

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Politics:
Source: History Link
On February 22, 1889, the United States Congress passed an act enabling the territories of Washington, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana to seek statehood or the status of finally being a state in the United States. On November 11, 1889 the president at the time, Benjamin Harrison, the 23rd president, signed a document admitting Washington to the United States. On October 1st, 1889 the citizens of Washington agreed to the State Constitution by a vote of 40,152 to 11,879.
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Politics:
Source: History Link
African Americans planted the seeds for small but prosperous communities in Seattle and other Washington towns early on, and black workers were actively recruited after the Civil War to build railroads and mine coal, but their exploitation to break early unions would later racial strikes within the state's emerging labor movement.

Politics:
Source: History Link
In 1787, “the United States Congress  passed the Northwest Ordinance establishing rules of governance for  ‘territories north of the River Ohio.’” One of its most important details was that territories were to remain free of slavery. This helped but this doesn’t mean people weren't still racist against African Americans. People in Oregon sought to bar free blacks from residing within its borders. In the years leading up to the Civil War, former slaves and African Americans wanted to start a new life but had very little choice.


Politics:
Source: History Link
Going into the presidential election of 1860, people were split because of the question to keep slavery or not. “The sitting president, James Buchanan (1821-1875), was a pro-slavery Democrat, but his party had split into two factions on the issue.” On slide believed people should vote to keep slavery or not to keep it. The other half led by Buchanan’s vice president, John C. Breckinridge, believed that the federal government should protect the right of slaveholders to settle in the territories. Breckinridge won the peoples vote.

Politics:
Source: History Link
Back when Washington became a state women played important roles such as reforms, the making of changes in political problems making them better. But women could not vote. A motion to enfranchise white women in Washington Territory's constitution had failed by just a single vote back in 1853

Politics:
Source: History Link
It was guessed by historians, if the proposal included native women Washington might have become the first American jurisdiction in which women could vote (jurisdiction is the official power to make legal decisions).

Politics:
Source: History Link
With the support of new women voters, various populists, and other visionaries made impressive electoral victories in the early twentieth century. “In 1912, Teddy Roosevelt and other third-party candidates outpolled Democrats and Republicans alike.”

Politics:
Source: History Link
Even if women couldn’t vote they still served as good leaders in early labor unions, farmer granges, and a wide array of social reform movements in the late 1800s and early twentieth century. Women mostly were very strong for the campaign of prohibition of alcohol. There wasn’t to many men voters because they didn’t like the idea of getting rid of alcohol.

Politics:
Source: History Link
The first two decades of the twentieth century witnessed an explosive growth in Washington's population and work force. Just Seattle tripled in size with over 250,000 residents, the population growth mostly has to do with the city's new prominence as the Gateway to Alaska, established by the 1897 Klondike Gold Rush. For celebrating how good Seattle did the past few years Seattle hosted the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, in 1909.

Politics:
Source: History Link
The progressive left also major reforms including the regulation of the railroads, the creation of public port districts and electrical utilities, and state constitutional amendments to authorize legislative recall elections, and citizen initiatives.

Economy
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Economy:
Source: U.S. History Scene
Bring the railroads in to Washington was very important for the economy. Since the railroad/train was a way of transportation it led more people into Washington. Also the railroads made it so people had more jobs such as working on the railroad to help it be finished.
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Economy:
Source: U.S. History Scene
With the great success of the railroads it started a economic chain reaction of steady growth for the entire community and region. Western territories developed into states, farmers moved in, towns, churches, and stores were built to address settler’s needs.

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Economy:
Source: Wikipedia
When homesteaders first settled here, they eventually found out their was Native Americans in Washington before them. This lead to conflict with one another, but also lead to trade. The Natives had all kinds of furs, pelts, spices, tool and other valuables. In exchange the white settlers would give back to the Natives, this became common in Washington.
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Economy:
Source: Wikipedia
Natives weren't big on their new settling friends. They were afraid of settlers because they were scared that they were going to take their land. The Natives gave up land through things called treaties, or a agreement.

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Economy:
Source: Wikipedia
Usually the settlers would give the Natives certain amount of money to move to different land or a reservation. A reservation was an area of land set aside for occupation by North Americans for Native Americans.

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Economy:
Source: Wikipedia
Currency back in the 1800s was very important. All though the currency or money back then wasn’t the exact same as it was today. Currency made it so people could become wealthy, could buy things, and could possibly trade.

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Economy:
Source: Wikipedia
Homesteaders became very excited when they first discovered gold and silver. And once word spread in Washington it lead to more people coming. Not a lot of people got wealthy or rich from finding gold or silver. When people did find gold eventually it stimulated global trade and investment.

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Economy:
Source: U.S. History Scene
Jobs in the 1800s in Washington included, blacksmith, shoemaker, baker, farmer, teacher, and other daily jobs we still have today. Blacksmith back then made farm tools, mill parts, building hardware, fireplace and cooking tools, and often repaired vehicles and shoed horses and oxen as well.
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Economy:
Source: Wikipedia
A lot of popular companies originated from Washington. This includes Microsoft, Amazon.com, Boeing, and Nordstrom, some of the biggest companies. Boeing was created in Washington in 1916 during World War l and expanded from a small airplane business.
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