Farthest Frontier: The Pacific Northwest

Farthest Frontier: The Pacific Northwest

Farthest Frontier: The Pacific Northwest

Farthest Frontier: The Pacific Northwest

Excerpt

This book would never have been written had not chance brought me to the Pacific Northwest several years ago. Before that time my knowledge of the region was derived mainly from general historical works or an occasional article, none of which had stirred in me any special concern about either its present or its past. But after I had lived there for a short time, I became as intrigued by the country as the most infatuated of the pioneers who had found it their land of promise. That led me to a closer examination of its history. The aspects in which I was particularly interested had to do with the people--their social attitudes, their amusements, their intellectual pursuits, their cultural development--and this volume is the result.

It was with some trepidation that I considered embarking on this study, for some Northwesterners feel, and with some justification, that only those who have lived in the region for a substantial number of years could truly understand it and its heritage. My reasons for proceeding nevertheless were based on the belief that a relatively short residence and the lack of intimate ties should not be deterrents, if these could be balanced by other factors and qualifications which would help give insight and perspective.

A word is in order as to what is meant by the geographical term, the Pacific Northwest. Opinions on that vary. It has been regarded as all the land which lies between the 42nd and 49th parallels and from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean; this would include the states of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and the western portion of Montana. Setting the exact bounds is perhaps a matter of arbitrary choice. Since Montana lies more precisely within the mountain region, it has been excluded from treatment here. British Columbia is also sometimes included in the general territorial designation, but . . .

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