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Isaac I. Stevens [Revised Edition]

Young Man in a Hurry

Kent D. Richards


“Isaac Stevens was most often in the center of activity, providing leadership, spewing out orders and ideas, shaping events, or creating controversy. He was a man either loved or hated.”—Kent D. Richards.

Reissued with a new preface, this definitive biography of Washington Territory’s controversial first governor continues to be an essential work about early history in Washington, northern Idaho and western Montana.


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Washington Territory’s first governor remains as controversial today as he was to his frontier contemporaries during the Pacific Northwest’s most turbulent era—the mid-1850s. Indian wars, martial law, and bitter political disputes, as well as the establishment of a new, sound governmental system, characterized Isaac I. Stevens’s years as governor (1853-1857). Richard’s definitive biography is one of the essential works on the history of early Washington, as well as of northern Idaho and western Montana, which in the 1850s were included in Washington Territory. This revised edition offers a new preface.

Illustrations / maps / notes / bibliography / index / 468 pages (2016)


“Kent Richards is neither a partisan nor a defamer. He gives a fully documented, objective picture of Stevens and his environment; he shows an officer with human foibles who in his career in public service is forced to grapple with many of the basic issues of American expansionism—the territorial system, the demands of new scientific reconnaissance, Indian-white relations, civil versus military controls, and stresses between the United States and Great Britain in the Northwest. Richards meets his challenges better than Stevens met most of his.— Clark C. Spence, University of Illinois, Civil War History

“A balanced portrait of Stevens, reflecting both his strengths and weaknesses…we recommend it.”—Wellpinit Independent Watchdog


Additional information

Dimensions 6 x 9 in

eBook, Paperback