History of Washington (U.S. state)

History Of Washington (U.S. State)

History of Washington (U.S. state)

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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. In 1889, Washington became the 42nd state of the United States.

Prehistory

Archaeological evidence suggests that the Pacific Northwest was one of the first populated areas in North America. Animal and human bones 13,000 years old have been found across Washington and evidence of human habitation in the Olympic Peninsula dates back to approximately 9,000 BCE, 3,000 to 5,000 years after massive flooding of the Columbia River which carved the Columbia Gorge.

Anthropologists estimate there were 125 distinct Northwest tribes and 50 dialects in existence before the arrival of Euro-Americans in this region. Throughout the Puget Sound region, coastal tribes made use of the region’s abundant natural resources, subsisting primarily on salmon, halibut, shellfish, and whale. Cedar was an important building material and was used by tribes to build both longhouses and large Canoes. Clothing was also made from the bark of cedar trees. The Columbia River tribes became the richest of the Washington tribes through their...
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