Pacific Northwest-a Colony, No Longer?

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Week 2 Assignment: Pacific Northwest-A Colony, No Longer? What were the major trends and major events of this time period? What patterns does Schwantes think were most important? In what sense was the Whitman story at Waiilatpu a tragedy? From 1800 through 1880 the trends in the Pacific Northwest seemed to be those of exploration, trade, politics and religion. One of the major events that happened was the Lewis & Clark Expedition (aka The Corps of Volunteers for Northwest Discovery). In May 1803, the United States purchased Louisiana from France, prompting President Thomas Jefferson to send an expedition West to explore the new territory. This was major because “Jefferson was convinced that such an undertaking would not only result in a commercial cross-continent water route, but would produce scientific, military, and ethnographic (Indians) data of vital importance to the nation.” Members of the expedition also had a hand in local politics, and that “members of Lewis and Clark expedition voted in the first recorded election in the Pacific Northwest on November 24, 1805”. Also important, is that in 1810 The North West Company established Spokane House. This was not just a house, but also a compound of buildings including a store, and an office for trading. This is the first non-Indian settlement in Eastern Washington. Spokane House established a cultural and social center in this region. Fur trading was what drew non-Indians to our region and interestingly, the value of items was determined by beaver pelts: “Prices on an 1824 list from Spokane House ranged from "Scissors" for "½ beaver," to "American rifles" for "30 beaver" (Becher, 39). British guns went for 18 beaver, while "One good horse" cost two pelts. In turn, beaver skins sold in London for two to eight dollars a pound, or in China for four dollars a pelt.” Spokane House closed in 1821, when

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