Washington Statehood

United States - Scott #758 (1935)
United States – Scott #758 (1935)

On November 11, 1889, the State of Washington was admitted as the 42nd state of the United States. Washington is a state in the Pacific Northwest region made out of the western part of the Washington Territory, which was ceded by Britain in 1846 in accordance with the Oregon Treaty in the settlement of the Oregon boundary dispute. Olympia is the state capital; the state’s largest city is Seattle.

Washington was named after the first U.S. president, George Washington, by an act of the United States Congress during the creation of Washington Territory in 1853. The territory was to be named “Columbia”, for the Columbia River and the Columbia District, but Kentucky representative Richard H. Stanton found the name too similar to the District of Columbia (the national capital, itself containing the city of Washington), and proposed naming the new territory after President Washington. Washington is the only U.S. state named after a president.

Confusion over the state of Washington and the city of Washington, D. C., led to renaming proposals during the statehood process for Washington in 1889, including David Dudley Field II’s suggestion to name the new state “Tacoma”. These proposals failed to garner support. Washington, D. C.’s, own statehood movement in the 21st century includes a proposal to use the name “State of Washington, Douglass Commonwealth”, which would conflict with the current state of Washington. Residents of Washington (known as “Washingtonians”) and the Pacific Northwest simply refer to the state as “Washington,” and the nation’s capital “Washington, D. C.,” “the other Washington,” or simply “D. C.”.

Physical map of the State of Washington
Physical map of the State of Washington

Washington is the 18th largest state, with an area of 71,362 square miles (184,827 km²), and the 13th most populous state, with more than 7.4 million people. Approximately 60 percent of Washington’s residents live in the Seattle metropolitan area, the center of transportation, business, and industry along Puget Sound, an inlet of the Pacific Ocean consisting of numerous islands, deep fjords, and bays carved out by glaciers. The remainder of the state consists of: deep temperate rainforests in the west; mountain ranges in the west, central, northeast, and far southeast; and a semi-arid basin region in the east, central, and south, given over to intensive agriculture. Washington is the second most populous state on the West Coast and in the Western United States, after California. Mount Rainier, an active stratovolcano, is the state’s highest elevation, at almost 14,411 feet (4,392 meters), and is the most topographically prominent mountain in the contiguous United States.

Washington is a leading lumber producer. Its rugged surface is rich in stands of Douglas fir, hemlock, ponderosa pine, white pine, spruce, larch, and cedar. The state is the biggest producer of apples, hops, pears, red raspberries, spearmint oil, and sweet cherries, and ranks high in the production of apricots, asparagus, dry edible peas, grapes, lentils, peppermint oil, and potatoes. Livestock and livestock products make important contributions to total farm revenue, and the commercial fishing of salmon, halibut, and bottomfish makes a significant contribution to the state’s economy. Washington ranks second only to California in the production of wine.

Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Washington State. Photo taken on July 9, 2008.
Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Washington State. Photo taken on July 9, 2008.
The Washington State Capitol building in Olympia. Photo taken on August 13, 2006.
The Washington State Capitol building in Olympia. Photo taken on August 13, 2006.

Manufacturing industries in Washington include aircraft and missiles, ship-building, and other transportation equipment, lumber, food processing, metals and metal products, chemicals, and machinery. Washington has over 1,000 dams, including the Grand Coulee Dam, built for a variety of purposes, including irrigation, power, flood control, and water storage.

Washington is one of the wealthiest and most liberally progressive states in the country. The state consistently ranks among the best for life expectancy, low unemployment, and degrees of freedom for minorities.[4] Along with Colorado, Washington was one of the first to legalize medicinal and recreational cannabis, was among the first thirty-six states to legalize same-sex marriage, doing so in 2012, and was one of only four U.S. states to have been providing legal abortions on request before the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade loosened federal abortion laws. Similarly, Washington voters approved a 2008 referendum on legalization of physician-assisted suicide, and is currently only one of five states, along with Oregon, California, Colorado and Vermont, as well as the District of Columbia to have legalized the practice. The state is also one of eight in the country to have criminalized the sale, possession and transfer of bump stocks, with California, Florida, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, Maryland, and Massachusetts also having banned these devices.

A panorama of the south face of Mount Rainier with Kautz Ice Cliff visible at center viewed from Westside Road, Washington State Route 706, Mount Rainier National Park. Photo taken on July 18, 2008.
A panorama of the south face of Mount Rainier with Kautz Ice Cliff visible at center viewed from Westside Road, Washington State Route 706, Mount Rainier National Park. Photo taken on July 18, 2008.

Scott #758, was released in imperforate sheets of 200 on March 15, 1935 — the “Farley’s Follies” version of a 3-cent deep violet stamp portraying Mount Rainier and Mirror Lake originally issued on August 3, 1934, perforated 11 (Scott #742). The design also appeared in imperforate souvenir sheets of six issued for the American Philatelic Society’s Convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on August 28, 1934 (Scott #750), the special printing of which was issued in sheets of 20 panes of six stamps each (Scott #770).

The Bureau of Engraving and Printing prepared several scenic designs in 1922 one of which was a beautiful view of Mount Rainier and Mirror Lake. It was this image that was eventually selected for the three-cent value in the 1934 National Parks issue. The BEP was requested to prepare a design on May 16, 1934. This was submitted on June 22 and the model prepared by Victor S. McClosky Jr. was approved by Postmaster General James A. Farley on June 28. The original photograph had been taken by Asahel Curtis of the National Park Service. The die proof was approved on July 16, with the vignette engraved by J.C. Benzing and the frame and lettering done by W.B. Wells. Printing was started on July 19 and the first delivery to the Post Office Department was made four days later. They were first placed on sale in Longmire, Washington, and Washington, D.C. on August 3.

Viewed from the northwest (Tacoma), Liberty Cap is the apparent summit with Mowich Face below. Photo taken on August 20, 1984.
Viewed from the northwest (Tacoma), Liberty Cap is the apparent summit with Mowich Face below. Photo taken on August 20, 1984.

For the special printing that is catalogued as Scott #758, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing delivered 11,700 imperforate sheets of which 9,937 were sold. They also delivered 1,079,600 stamps in blocks of four of which only 288,688 were sold. The balance remaining on hand after sales stopped on June 15, 1935, were returned to the Bureau — the blocks of four for redemption and destruction while the full sheets were gummed and perforated.

 Mount Rainier, also known as Tacoma, is the highest mountain of the Cascade Range of the Pacific Northwest, and the highest mountain in the State of Washington. It is a large active stratovolcano located 59 miles (95 km) south-southeast of Seattle, in the Mount Rainier National Park. It is the most topographically prominent mountain in the contiguous United States and the Cascade Volcanic Arc, with a summit elevation of 14,411 feet (4,392 m). Mt. Rainier is considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world, and it is on the Decade Volcano list. Because of its large amount of glacial ice, Mt. Rainier could produce massive lahars that could threaten the entire Puyallup River valley, and poses a grave threat to the southern sections of the 3.7-million-resident Seattle metropolitan area.

Flag of Washington State
State flag of Washington
Seal of the State of Washington
Seal of the State of Washington

 

 

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