Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Washington State Constitution Research


Photograph of a stack of newspapers.

Newspapers covered the 1889 constitutional convention, often in great detail.

Newspapers can also be useful for exploring the arguments for and against amendments.

Graphic: blickpixel, Pixabay

Newspapers: Selected Articles

(1) This collection in the UW Law Digital Commons presents pages from:

  • Anacortes Progress
  • Chehalis Bee
  • Chehalis Nugget
  • Spokane Falls Review
  • Vancouver Independent
  • Washington Standard


(2) The following pages for each newspaper link to newspaper pages.

If a paper is listed in both groups, use (1). You'll find that the access is better because you see headlines and column numbers before going to the newspaper page.

Newspapers: Searchable

Chronicling America, hosted by the Library of Congress (and developed with partners), has a large collection of digitized newspapers, 1789-1924, including almost 50 papers from Washington Territory and Washington State.

Papers whose coverage includes 1889, when the constitution was drafted and voted on:

The Washington State Library also has a collection of digitized historic newspapers from Washington. Papers that include 1889 are:

You might want to try newspapers from other states. (The Oregonian had extensive coverage of Washington's constitutional convention, but is not available in this collection.)

And, of course, if you are research an amendment, check newspapers that covers the year it was adopted.

Many digitized newspapers are available through the University Libraries. Very useful for events after 1895, the collection includes the Seattle Times, 1895-1984 (UW restricted).

Newspapers: Wish List

Later in the project we would like to add:

  • Daily Oregon Statesman
  • Puget Sound Weekly Argus
  • Seattle Post-Intelligencer
  • Seattle Times
  • Spokane Falls Northwest Tribune
  • Tacoma Ledger
  • Walla Walla Weekly Statesman