As we prepare to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, we in Washington know little of the experience of the war by those living in the Washington Territory. The war was not only of significance in the battlefield states, but also here in the far northwest, where settlers argued through the very same issues that tore the United States apart. As Washington State Historical Society prepares to launch a major exhibition, “Civil War Pathways,” in February 2014, we seek your help in learning more about Washington Territory during the antebellum, wartime and early Reconstruction periods.

Civil War Pathways Read-In
Volunteer Program

Join hundreds of researchers who will fan out across Washington State, visiting archives, museums and libraries to read the primary documents of our history, from 1857-1871.  Participants will read an assignments in newspapers, published classic histories, and archival material of all sorts. Join us to discover the forgotten Civil War experience in Washington Territory. Volunteers will attend a training session, read primary documents, scan and upload their discoveries to make a permanent record – an on-line searchable database of Civil War-era citations and documents, hosted by the Washington State Historical Society.

Get Involved

Join us to discover the forgotten Civil War experience in Washington Territory, and report your discoveries online to make a permanent record. At the conclusion of the Read-In, to meet, share, and celebrate this great accomplishment. Lorraine McConaghy, public historian with the Museum of History and Industry in Seattle, serves as project coordinator.

Volunteer training dates and locations

Saturday, February 9, 10-4 Seattle
Wednesday February 13, 10-4 Seattle
Saturday, February 16, 10-4 Vancouver
Saturday, February 23, 10-4 Olympia
Saturday, March 2, 10-4 Tacoma
Sunday, March 10, 12-6 Walla Walla
Saturday, March 23, 10-4 Yakima
Saturday, April 13, 10-4 Cheney
Saturday, April 20, 10-4 La Conner
Saturday, April 27, 10-4 Seattle

To register for a training workshop, contact Darby Langdon at dlangdon@seanet.com or Lorraine McConaghy at lmcconaghy@wshs.wa.gov. Technical questions about this workshop may be directed to Tamara Georgick at tamara.georgick@wshs.wa.gov. For more information, download our frequently asked questions document (PDF format).

Follow the Discussion

Volunteer Discussion Forum