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Treasures of the Archives: Census Record Highlights Diversity of Early Washington

Detail of the 1850 Clark County Census shows a household inhabited by HBC Chief Factor Peter Skene Ogden, the mixed-raced children he had with his native wife, and two Hawaiian employees of the Hudson’s Bay Company. 1850 Clark County Census, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives.

Detail of the 1850 Clark County Census shows a household inhabited by HBC Chief Factor Peter Skene Ogden, the mixed-raced children he had with his native wife, and two Hawaiian employees of the Hudson’s Bay Company. 1850 Clark County Census, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov.

One of the older digitized records we have here at the archives is the 1850 Clark County Census. The federal census is mandated by the U.S. Constitution and takes place every ten years. In many cases it is the most complete record we have of past communities. The 1850 Clark County Census vividly illustrates a diverse community of peoples from all over the world, and can serve as a model of how historians tease information out of census records.

Treasures of the Archives: A 100-Year-Old Voters’ Guide

Caption: This Voters’ Pamphlet from 1916 finds Washingtonians voting on some very familiar issues. Publications, State Government Agencies, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives.

Caption: This Voters’ Pamphlet from 1916 finds Washingtonians voting on some very familiar issues. Publications, State Government Agencies, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov.

Everyone have their ballots? Items like this 1916 pamphlet are a reminder that voters in Washington have been shaping state policies for more than a century. 100 years ago this November, Senator Mike Poindexter was elected. The 17th Amendment, allowing the direct election of Senators, had been passed only a few years before, so this was, only the second time Washington citizens had directly elected a senator.

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