Skip to main content Skip to navigation
Connecting curious minds with uncommon, undeniably Northwest reads

“Interwoven Lives” destroys stereotypes, exposes lasting influence of Puget Sound’s cross-cultural marriages

Oil painting of Mt. Rainier by artist James Tilton Pickett

In the past, many historians chose to ignore the historical significance of indigenous wives during the birth of Bellingham Bay communities, typically mentioning only the first white women. Yet these mid-1800s alliances played a crucial role, with the women serving as cultural interpreters and mediators, aiding settlement, and reducing regional conflict between native peoples and newcomers. The newest book from Washington State University Press, Candace Wellman’s Interwoven Lives: Indigenous Mothers of Salish Coast Communities, depicts the lives of four of these intermarried Native women.

A companion work to Peace Weavers: Uniting the Salish Coast through Cross-Cultural Marriages, Wellman’s first book on Puget Sound’s cross-cultural marriages, Interwoven Lives describes each wife’s native culture, details ancestral history for both spouses, and traces descendants’ destinies, highlighting their contributions to new communities. Wellman’s research also reveals new details about the Northwest life of Captain George W. Pickett, who later became a Civil War brigadier general.

Jenny Wynn, daughter of an elite Lummi and his Songhees wife, owned a farm with her husband Thomas and donated property for the region’s second rural school. Many descendants became teachers. Snoqualmie Elizabeth Patterson, daughter of Patkanim, western Washington’s most powerful native leader, married a cattleman. After tuberculosis took her life, foster parents raised her daughters, who enhanced Lynden’s literary and business growth as adults. Mary Allen was the daughter of an Nlaka’pamux leader on British Columbia’s Fraser River. The village of Marietta arose from her long marriage. Later, her sons played important roles in southeast Alaska’s early development. Mrs. Pickett, the Haida wife of Fort Bellingham’s commander, died young and left no name to history, but she gave birth to one of the West’s most important early artists, James Tilton Pickett.

Wellman holds undergraduate degrees in sociology from Washington State University and history/secondary education from Western Washington University, and has pursued graduate work in sociology. Born and raised in Washington, the Bellingham resident is a local history consultant and speaks regularly about women’s history and regional settlement. Peace Weavers won the 2018 WILLA literary award for scholarly nonfiction from Women Writing the West.

Wellman attributes much of her success to the generous assistance of mentors and numerous contributors. An expert researcher, her methodology combined disparate primary and secondary sources in academic and local history as well as genealogy and family memory—and her discoveries help destroy common stereotypes about these cross-cultural marriages. Coll Thrush, University of British Columbia professor and author of Native Seattle: Histories from the Crossing-Over Place, agrees. “Candace Wellman’s years of painstaking research and work with local families have brought to the fore these crucially important histories of Indigenous-settler relations in the far Northwest, and challenge much of the received wisdom about the workings of colonialism in this place.”

Interwoven Lives is paperback, 6″ x 9″, 310 pages in length, and lists for $27.95. It is available through bookstores nationwide, direct from WSU Press at 800-354-7360 or online at wsupress.wsu.edu. A nonprofit academic publisher associated with Washington State University in Pullman, Washington, WSU Press concentrates on telling unique, focused stories of the Northwest.

(The book’s cover image, featured here, is “Mt. Rainier,” an oil painting by James Tilton Pickett of Portland, Oregon. Courtesy of the Whatcom Museum, Bellingham, Washington.)

A life-altering event leads to book on Seattle

Jean Godden standing in front of a structure

In December 2015, columnist and newly-retired politician Jean Godden suffered a heart attack. Reflecting during her recovery, she realized she had never told the hidden account of Governor Dixy Lee Ray and the deadly 1980 volcanic eruption. She had not written about Mayor Charley Royer’s initial response when a Greek freighter rammed the West Seattle Bridge, gubernatorial candidate Norm Rice’s battle with a false rumor, or the party staff held the night the Seattle Post-Intelligencer moved to the waterfront. And, she had never fully confided why she decided to leave what she calls, “the best job in the world,” and run for office. It is these stories and others that now—released from the aroma of hospital disinfectants and the tether of IV tubes—she was eager to tell, and she lets them loose in the newest title from Washington State University Press, Citizen Jean: Riots, Rogues, Rumors, and other Inside Seattle Stories.

Godden spent two decades as a reporter, editor, and columnist with the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and Seattle Times, and served three terms as a Seattle city councilmember, working toward reducing the country’s largest gender wage gap, championing paid parental leave, and more. She witnessed historic events, watched her beloved hometown evolve into a civic and national affairs leader, met city and state movers and shakers, and became a local celebrity herself.

Godden’s tales are based on her own notes, ample files, recollections, and personal experiences. Indeed, few people have spent so much time contemplating Seattle. “What could be better than having two careers, one as a witness recording city history being made and a second one participating in making that history? Seattle is my adopted city, the only one where I have roots. It is a city that has gone from a remote waystation, little known on the world stage, to a leader in civic and national affairs. No longer do people ask if Seattle is near Nome or if you can see Anchorage from here. What is happening in Seattle today shapes the world tomorrow,” she says.

In Citizen Jean, the consummate observer recounts—as only she can—the World’s Fair that got Seattle noticed, the citizen-led battle against freeways, the fight to keep Pike Place Market away from New York investors, the World Trade Organization protests, and more. She shares personal insights, delivers an insider’s view of the city’s newspaper strikes and rivalry, and casts a revealing look at regional politicians.

Beginning in February 2019, she’ll be making multiple appearances across Seattle at places like Elliott Bay Book Company, Third Place Books in Ravenna, and the University Book Store. Our events page has details.

For links to some of her articles, go here and here.

Or, listen to her recent interview on NPR.

Take the Love Your Bookstore Challenge!

The Bookie entrance from the CUB hallway on the WSU Pullman campus
First, head to your local bookstore between November 10 and November 16 and take a picture of the book you are most excited to give someone this holiday season. ​Next, post your photo to Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter between November 10 and November 16 using the hashtag, #loveyourbookstore. Finally, challenge five friends to do the same thing. We hear there are prizes. For more information, go to http://www.loveyourbookstore.com/challenge.html

A flashback to 1962 Seattle landmarks as seen from the official fair guidebook

  Photo of ad for a Monte-Copter Triphibian from the 1962 Seattle World's Fair guidebook

Dinner (including a cocktail) at the top of the brand new Space Needle averaged $7.50

The text reveals that the Space Needle soars to a height of 606 feet. Three curved steel legs, 500 feet high, support a circular, glass-enclosed observation deck and revolving restaurant served by two high speed elevators walled in clear plastic on the outside of a triangular core. In the center, two 832-step stairways zigzagged to the top.

Powered by a one-horsepower motor, it took an hour for the restaurant to rotate a full 360 degrees at a cost of 2 1/2 cents. Diners could expect lunch in the Eye of the Needle restaurant to average $5 and dinner, $7.50 (both prices include a cocktail).

Admission to the observation deck was $1. Buried 30 feet in the ground, the needle’s Y-shaped reinforced concrete foundation weighs more than 5,850 tons, and its legs are attached by 72 steel anchor bolts, each four inches in diameter and 31 1/2 feet long. Find more on the current Space Needle and its more than $100 million renovation here.

According to the guide, the 1.2 -mile Monorail trip from Westlake Mall downtown to the fairgrounds took 95 seconds. One-way fares were 50 cents for adults and 35 cents for children. Round trip fares were 75 and 50 cents.

Described as previewing the future of mass-transit, the trains were 120 feet long and 10 feet wide with a capacity of 450 passengers, but 325 of them had to stand. Empty, each of the four light-metal alloy cars that make up a train weighed about 20,000 pounds. Powered by General Electric 32-volt, 6,500-rpm electric motors, they rode on rubber tires and could reach speeds of over 70 miles an hour on the straight run. Made from pre-cast concrete supported by T-shaped concrete columns, the track is three feet wide and five feet deep, and required more than 15,000 tons of steel.

Below, fair visitors were welcomed by a bronze Chief Seattle statue. At its Fifth and Denny Way site since 1912, numerous groups proposed relocating it prior to the fair. You can read about that, and stories of other memorial close calls in Monumental Seattle.

There were also ads for some interesting products:
The aqua-pull

Enjoy the latest development in water sports–5 to 6 motorless, noiseless fast-boats propelled by underwater cables–for low-cost enjoyment of water-skiing. Made in Switzerland.

The Monte-Copter Triphibian for use on land-sea-air

Executive air transportation from home to business, lake cottage, vacation spot etc. with minimum of delay. This jet helicopter is pneumatically driven, eliminating gears, clutches, drive shafts, and tail rotor, and can be driven in close quarters without the rotor in motion. Dealerships now available.

 

New book reveals stories behind Seattle statues, memorials, and markers

Picture of artist Alonzo Victor Lewis in studio, including several busts and a model military statue

Monumental Seattle cover

Beginning with the 1899 installation of a Tlingit totem pole in Pioneer Square and stretching to Safeco Field’s 2017 Ken Griffey Jr. sculpture, Seattle offers an impressive abundance of public monuments, statues, busts, and plaques. Private donors and civic groups commissioned works by prominent national sculptors, as well as local artists James A. Wehn, Alonzo Victor Lewis, and others, to represent diverse perspectives and celebrate a wide array of cultural heroes, dozens of firsts, the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, aviation, and military and maritime service. Whether cast in bronze or carved in granite, their longevity is not guaranteed. The newest book from Washington State University Press, Monumental Seattle: The Stories Behind the City’s Statues, Memorials, and Markers, offers Seattle residents and visitors a historical narrative of these public remembrances—accounts that often take unexpected twists and turns.

A Seattle Chamber of Commerce delegation stole the city’s first heritage marker from a Native Alaskan village. A bust of Chief Seattle was “kidnapped” and held for ransom. Visitors find the statue hailing William H. Seward—Secretary of State under Abraham Lincoln who later negotiated the 1867 purchase of Russian Alaska—not in Seward Park, but in Volunteer Park. Similarly, the granite bust in Denny Park does not honor a Denny. Intense public scrutiny of a memorial depicting a World War I soldier prompted its removal from the city center. An unassuming plaque positioned on the corner of a downtown building belies a secret tale of Gold Rush love, betrayal, and murder.

In addition to telling the stories behind these heritage markers, author Robert Spalding considers their history and deeper meaning, exploring how and why people chose to commemorate the past, the selection of sites and artists, and the context of the era. He also discusses how changing societal values affect public memorials, noting works that are missing or relocated, and how they have been maintained, altered, neglected, or even vandalized. Maps and appendices provide details on locations, artists, inscriptions, and more.

Robert Spalding lived in Seattle for fifteen years. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Northern Iowa and a Master of Arts degree from Purdue University. He is also the author of The Essential Guide to Touring Washington Wineries.

Monumental Seattle is paperback, 6″ x 9″, 220 pages, and lists for $22.95. It is also available through bookstores nationwide.

How curiosity led to a book

Statue of Reverend Mark Matthews in Seattle's Denny Park
Have you ever wondered why authors write the books they do?

For Robert Spalding, it was a robust sense of curiosity. Driving past Denny Park, he noticed a statue he had seen before, but this time decided to take a closer look. Aware of the park’s name and the Denny family’s significance in Seattle history, he assumed the sculpture would memorialize either Arthur or David Denny. To his great surprise, it didn’t. The bust was of a person Spalding had never heard of—Reverend Dr. Mark Matthews. The incongruity piqued his interest, and he began researching monuments and markers scattered throughout the city.

For three years, Spalding spent his lunch hours at the Seattle Central Library, diligently researching the city’s heritage markers. What he learned—starting with the original totem pole installed in Pioneer Place in 1899—was fascinating. Writing in his spare time for another three years, he completed his manuscript—one that included the story of Reverend Dr. Mark Matthews—and became Monumental Seattle, his second book—available in bookstores soon.

WSU Press title recognized as the best of scholarly nonfiction for women’s stories set in the American West

Author Candace Wellman  Peace Weavers cover

PULLMAN, Wash.—Women Writing the West has announced Bellingham, Washington, author Candace Wellman’s Peace Weavers: Uniting the Salish Coast Through Cross-Cultural Marriages as the 2018 WILLA Literary Award Winner. A team of professional librarians, historians, and university affiliated educators selected it as representing the best of 2017 published scholarly nonfiction for women’s stories set in the American West. Wellman and her book will be honored in Walla Walla, Washington, October 25-27, 2018, at the organization’s 24th annual conference.

While helping researchers at the Washington State Archives, Candace Wellman found the vast majority of marriages in Whatcom County’s early decades were cross-cultural. Although the husbands included nearly every community founder and official, it seemed many historians considered their indigenous wives to be unknowable, unimportant, and uninteresting. Yet the alliances played a crucial role, aiding settlement and reducing regional conflict between native peoples and newcomers. The Native women served as cultural interpreters and mediators, and participated in the birth of new communities. Wellman became determined to uncover the hidden history surrounding these relationships, consulting close to two hundred collaborators.

Peace Weavers illuminates the Puget Sound legacies of four intermarried individuals. Caroline Davis Kavanaugh (Samish-Swinomish) lived on a small peninsula nearly her entire life and protected its life-giving spring. Mary Fitzhugh Lear Phillips (S’Klallam) was the first woman sent to the Washington territorial prison. Clara Tennant Selhameten (Lummi-Duwamish) was a Lummi leader’s daughter who became the county’s first farm wife. She and her husband traveled throughout the area as Methodist missionaries. Nellie Carr Lane (Sto:lo) was an entrepreneur and navigational light keeper who learned to use the court system to fight for her rights.

Their fates represent thousands of intermarriages that began as soon as the feet of European explorers hit the sands of the New World, and Wellman believes there are many more stories to be told. An expert in research methods, sociology, history, and genealogy, She began by re-scrutinizing old sources and searching for new ones, particularly legal cases. Her discoveries destroy common stereotypes about mid-1800s cross-cultural marriages, revealing remarkable, accomplished women.

Peace Weavers is paperback, 6″ x 9″, 302 pages in length, and lists for $27.95. It is available through bookstores nationwide, direct from WSU Press at 800-354-7360 or online at wsupress.wsu.edu. A nonprofit academic publisher associated with Washington State University in Pullman, Washington, WSU Press concentrates on telling unique, focused stories of the Northwest.

Other honors and awards

Media Contacts:     

Caryn Lawton, WSU Press, 509-335-7877, lawton@wsu.edu

Candace Wellman, author, 360- 201-2133 (cell), candace918@aol.com

WSU Press book by University of Idaho cultural anthropologist wins prestigious Evans Handcart Award

Carry Forth the Stories cover

PULLMAN, Wash.— Author and ethnographer Dr. Rodney Frey has won the Evans Handcart Award for his book, Carry Forth the Stories: An Ethnographer’s Journey into Native Oral Tradition published by Washington State University Press. Recently announced by Utah State University’s Mountain West Center for Regional Studies, the prize recognizes the best of research and writing in biographies, autobiographies, and memoirs focusing on stories of people who have shaped the character of the Interior West. “The high quality and diversity of submissions made it a challenge for the regional and national juries to select only two winners,” said Evelyn Funda, director of the Mountain West Center.

The winner of this year’s Evans Handcart Award focuses on spirituality and the lesser-known voices in the region. Frey, who holds a Ph.D. in anthropology and is a professor of ethnography at the University of Idaho, was particularly pleased on behalf of his mentors. Over his forty-year career as an ethnographer and professor, Rodney Frey formed close relationships and successfully partnered with members of the Crow, Coeur d’Alene, Nez Perce, and Warms Springs communities. He describes Carry Forth the Stories as an “ethnographic memoir” that weaves events of his own life story with stories collected from interviews, oral histories and elders that show the power and value of storytelling. He learned by interacting with elders, participating in tribal activities, and through personal experiences. Now he hopes to help others become effective cultural researchers and teachers, supplying a model for engaging with indigenous peoples.

Frey’s transformation began with his first ethnographic study during the summer of 1974, when an elder recognized some shortcomings with the project and introduced the young graduate student to the importance of viewing and experiencing a culture from the inside. That early lesson endured, changing how he approached his research.

In his book, Frey applies indigenous learning and teaching styles, and discusses techniques such as field trips, visits with tribal elders, “family” groups, role playing, and hands-on activities in his classroom. He also addresses being attentive and honest, as well as language, cultural property rights, tribal review, and “giving back” to host communities. Finally, he shares facets of his own journey with the Sundance and beyond, seeking therapy from both Native and Western healing traditions for himself and his son. In the Foreword, Leonard Bends, retired Sundance Chief, praises Frey’s passion as well as the life he brings to the written words, and offers a moving prayer for Frey and his readers.

Carry Forth the Stories is paperback, 6″ x 9″, 286 pages, and lists for $29.95. It is available through bookstores nationwide or direct from WSU Press at 800-354-7360 or online at wsupress.wsu.edu. A nonprofit academic publisher associated with Washington State University in Pullman, Washington, WSU Press concentrates on telling unique, focused stories of the Northwest.

Complete list of WSU Press honors and awards

Media Contacts:      Caryn Lawton, WSU Press, 509-335-7877, lawton@wsu.edu and Rodney Frey, author, 208-885-6268, rfrey@uidaho.edu

 

WSU Press title receives honorable mention in Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Award

Spirit in the Rock cover

PULLMAN, Wash.— Washington State University (WSU) Press is pleased to announce that Spirit in the Rock: The Fierce Battle for Modoc Homelands received an honorable mention in the 20th annual Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards.

Foreword Magazine, Inc. hosts an annual awards program celebrating the best books from university and independent publishers. Authors and publishers submitted more than 2,000 individual titles spread across 65 genres. Foreword selected the finalists, and an expert team of booksellers and librarians from across the country chose the winners. “Choosing finalists for the INDIES is always the highlight of our year, but the job is very difficult due to the high quality of submissions,” said Victoria Sutherland, founder/publisher of Foreword Reviews.

Spirit in the Rock tells the story of the 1873 Modoc War—the most expensive Indian conflict in American history, and the only one in which a general—E. R. S. Canby—was killed. Award-winning broadcast journalist and author Jim Compton (1941–2014) did the research and writing, but after his unexpected death, his wife Carol Arnold, a retired trial attorney, edited and submitted the manuscript to WSU Press, fulfilling Compton’s publishing ambitions.

“As soon as we read the manuscript, we knew we had a winner. Jim Compton captured the war’s personalities and events in a riveting narrative that reads like a novel. It was a privilege to publish it,” WSU Press editor-in-chief Robert Clark said.

Spirit in the Rock is paperback, 6″ x 9″, 340 pages in length, and lists for $27.95. It is available through bookstores nationwide, or direct from WSU Press at 800-354-7360 or online at wsupress.wsu.edu. A nonprofit academic publisher associated with Washington State University in Pullman, Washington, WSU Press concentrates on telling unique, focused stories of the Northwest.

Founded in 1998 and based in Traverse City, Michigan, USA, Foreword Magazine, Inc. is the only media company completely devoted to independent publishing. Publishers of a Folio: award-winning bi-monthly print review journal, special interest products, and daily online content feeds, Foreword exclusively covers university and independent (non “Big 5”) publishers, the books they publish, and their authors.

Their complete history category award list can be found at: https://www.forewordreviews.com/awards/winners/2017/history/.

Other WSU Press honors and awards

Prominent political authorities probe Washington State political trends

Governing the Evergreen State: Political Life in Washington front cover

Washingtonians sanctioned the first voter-approved state Equal Rights Amendment, and they were the first to elect a woman and a Chinese-American as governor. In this state full of political mavericks, split tickets are a source of pride and independent voters currently outnumber Democrats and Republicans. Sam Reed, Secretary of State from 2001 to 2013, explains in his foreword that voters participate in the most open primary system in the nation—a reflection of Washington’s Populist and Progressive era roots—a heritage that drives its citizens and elected officials to remain a powerful center of regional and national legislative change and policy innovation.

On March 5th of this year, in a direct challenge to federal laws, Governor Jay Inslee signed the nation’s first state law that prohibits internet service providers from blocking and slowing down online content—evidence that the state still cultivates political mavericks. Written as a guide for residents and for use in higher education classrooms, Governing the Evergreen State: Political Life in Washington provides an updated and absorbing look at Washington’s ever-evolving state political and judicial system and presents intriguing case studies. Fresh analyses from a wide variety of contributors offer springboards for further discussion. The author roster includes university academics, a senator, a pollster, a newspaper reporter/blogger, a former state Supreme Court chief justice, and a court administrator. Together, they deliver seasoned perspectives on a continually transforming political landscape.

The volume’s first section examines political setting and behavior. Chapters explore state culture, elections, political parties, interest groups, media coverage, and a new topic—Washington’s increasing diversity and role as a protector of civil rights. The second section looks at government institutions and has chapters on the state’s constitution, legislature, governor and other executives, and the judicial system. New topics include continuity and change in public policy, and environmental and natural resource policy.

This compilation is the sixth in a series dedicated to Washington State government and politics. Previous volumes in the series are Governing Washington (2011), Washington State Government and Politics (2004), Government and Politics in the Evergreen State (1992), Political Life in Washington (1985), and The Government and Politics of Washington State (1978). Like these prior editions, Governing the Evergreen State: Political Life in Washington is a cooperative project between WSU Press and The Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service.

WSU Press book receives prestigious award

We Are Aztlan with CHOICE Award

PULLMAN, Wash.— A Washington State University (WSU) Press title, We Are Aztlán!: Chicanx Histories in the Northern Borderlands, has been selected as a Choice Outstanding Academic Title. It also received a top community college recommendation from the organization. Focusing on the Pacific Northwest and the Midwest, multidisciplinary essays in We Are Aztlán! examine the Chicanx movement and experience beyond the Southwest to illuminate how Mexican Americans have challenged racialization, marginalization, and isolation in the northern borderlands.

Every year in the January issue, in print and online, Choice publishes their picks for Outstanding Academic Titles—a prestigious list that reflects the best scholarly titles they reviewed over the past year and carries extraordinary recognition from the academic library community. Only about ten percent of the approximately 6,000 works Choice reviews each year are included.

In awarding Outstanding Academic Titles, the editors examine overall excellence in presentation and scholarship; importance relative to other literature in the field; distinction as a first treatment of a given subject in book or electronic form; originality or uniqueness of treatment; value to undergraduate students; and importance in building undergraduate library collections.

The review itself reveals several of the ways We Are Aztlán! met Choice’s criteria. Critic J. G. Moreno from Northern Arizona University wrote, “This scholarly collection challenges the usual southwest focus on the Mexican and Latino experiences and diverse populations in the US…Each contributor’s academic findings are based on historical archival and oral interviews, which makes this book original and organic. This is the first book collection that links the various Mexican and Latino social and cultural experiences within the US Pacific northwest and midwest regions. García’s leadership in bringing together several scholars will result in major contributions for future research and scholarship on this critical subject matter.”

Choice is part of the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) division of the American Library Association. Together, Choice and ACRL provide libraries with professional development tools, including objective, high-quality evaluations of nonfiction academic writing. Their flagship publication, Choice Reviews (www.choicereviews.org), contains over 200,000 reviews of academic monographs. They publish around 5,000 new reviews annually and serve more than 2,400 institutions worldwide.

WSU Press is a nonprofit academic publisher associated with Washington State University in Pullman, Washington, and concentrates on telling unique, focused stories of the Northwest.