Site founded Sept. 1, 2000. We passed 3 million page views on Feb. 10, 2009
These home pages remain free of any charge. We need donations or subscriptions to continue.
Please pass on this website link to your family, relatives, friends and clients.

(S and N Railroad)

Skagit River Journal

of History & Folklore
Free Home Page Stories & Photos
The most in-depth, comprehensive site about the Skagit

Covers from British Columbia to Puget Sound. Counties covered: Skagit, Whatcom, Island, San Juan, Snohomish & BC. An evolving history dedicated to committing random acts of historical kindness
Noel V. Bourasaw, editor (bullet) 810 Central Ave., Sedro-Woolley, Washington, 98284
Home of the Tarheel Stomp (bullet) Mortimer Cook slept here & named the town Bug

(Click to send email)

National and world timeline 1880-84

      For the past ten years we have built a database of notable events not only in the Northwest, but nationwide and worldwide. We feel it is important for readers to have a resource for the context of the frontier years. Among hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles, websites and books, our main sources are listed at the bottom of the article.


Capsule of President James A. Garfield
      President Garfield was also born in Ohio and like Rutherford Hayes he was fatherless very early, his father dying when he was two. He was also raised by a single mother, as Hayes was, and earned money for his education by driving canal-boat teams. He graduated from Williams College in 1856 and then returned to Ohio, where he became a professor of the classics at Western Reserve Eclectic Institute (later Hiram College) for a year before he was appointed its president. He was elected to the Ohio Senate in 1859 as a Republican and volunteered for the Civil War, where he successfully led a brigade against Confederate troops at Middle Creek, Kentucky. At 31, Garfield became a brigadier general and two years later a major general of volunteers. In 1862, his Ohio district elected him to Congress and, unlike Hayes, he agreed when President Lincoln persuaded him to resign his commission. The president apparently argued that it was easier to find major generals than to obtain effective Republicans for Congress. Garfield won re-election for eight more terms and became the leading Republican in the House.
      Garfield proved during the 1880 campaign that he could manipulate even the most hardened politicians when he won by a very narrow margin, largely through the support of a New York machine boss, U.S. Senator Roscoe Conkling. Conkling would soon regret his support. Garfield began moving towards civil service reform in his short term of office and carried on the relatively clean government tradition of Hayes. Both Garfield and his wife Lucretia (nicknamed "Crete") were devout members of the Disciple of Christ church and she devoted herself to raising their five children. She dreamed of refurbishing the executive mansion but she caught malaria, which was blamed on the swamps behind the White House, and then her husband was assassinated. She eventually recovered and lived to age 86 and all her children went on to have distinguished careers.





Capsule of President Chester Arthur
      Chester A. Arthur was the fifth child of a fervent abolitionist preacher who moved his family from one Baptist parish to the next throughout New York and Vermont. His college days were undistinguished, marked mainly by his political demonstrations. Arthur went on to practice law for one of the most prominent law firms in New York, aiding in some of the most crucial cases of the day including some that death with the rights of African Americans. Arthur worked actively for the political machine of Roscoe Conkling, a New York Republican party boss and U.S. senator who used patronage and party discipline to advance his power in the state. The machine advanced the interests of the vast stream of immigrants in return for their votes, often when they had not established residency or citizenship. Recognizing the administrative genius that Arthur demonstrated as quartermaster general for all of New York during the Civil War,, Conkling helped Arthur get appointed as Collector of the Port of New York under Republican President Ulysses S. Grant. While there is no evidence of blatant corruption on Arthur's part, the New York Customs House under his leadership routinely collected kickbacks of salary from customs house employees to support the Republican party. President Hayes fired him, as noted above.
      Conkling assumed that Arthur would stay in his camp after he was elected as vice president, and Arthur did become estranged from Garfield when he refused to join attempts to reform civil service. But when he ascended to President after Garfield's assassination, Arthur surprised everyone by acting independently and defying Conkling. Indeed, one of Arthur's strongest legacies is his role in support of the Pendleton Act, which attempted to counter patronage and cronyism by requiring competitive exams for government office. Specifically, the law banned salary kickbacks and insured that promotion would be based on merit, not connections. He also ran counter to his own Republican Party when he pushed for tariff reduction to relieve indebted farmers and middle-class consumers; Republicans usually supported high tariffs to protect big business and manufacturing. In keeping with Republican and popular opinion, Arthur supported the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, banning Chinese immigration for ten years and forbidding Chinese citizenship. Arthur picked up where Lucretia Garfield left off with a project to refurbish the White House. Known as a man of elegant taste who loved to throw lavish parties, Arthur came to the presidency as "The Gentleman Boss" of New York. Disgusted with the shabby look of the executive mansion, Arthur hired the most famous designer in New York, Louis Comfort Tiffany, to transform it into a showplace befitting the office. Arthur loved to showcase his two children at White House social affairs, but did not care for family life. His wife, Ellen Lewis Herndon, died before he assumed office. He much preferred fishing, feasting with his cronies and administrative work. Because he knew that he suffered from a fatal kidney disease, Arthur did not actively seek reelection for a second term and died two years after leaving office. Arthur's administration marks a period of transition in American politics because he encouraged women to take an active role in politics. His era was marked by groups pressing strongly for women's suffrage and temperance and moves toward addressing social justice issues related to poverty, child labor, government regulation, and immigration. Despite having advanced in his career through managing the New York political machine, Arthur showed tremendous flexibility and a willingness to embrace reform.

Links, background reading

Story posted on March 20, 2003, last updated Feb. 15, 2009
Please report any broken links so we can update them

Return to the new-domain home page
Links for portals to subjects and towns
Newest photo features
Search entire site
(bullet) See this Journal website for a timeline of local, state, national, international events for years of the pioneer period.
(bullet) Did you enjoy this story? Remember, as with all our features, this story is a draft and will evolve as we discover more information and photos. This process continues until we eventually compile a book about Northwest history. Can you help?
(bullet) Remember; we welcome correction & criticism.
(bullet) Please report any broken links or files that do not open and we will send you the correct link. With more than 550 features, we depend on your report. Thank you.
(bullet) Read about how you can order CDs that include our photo features from the first five years of our Subscribers Edition. Perfect for gifts.

You can click the donation button to contribute to the rising costs of this site. You can also subscribe to our optional Subscribers-Paid Journal magazine online, which has entered its ninth year with exclusive stories, in-depth research and photos that are shared with our subscribers first. You can go here to read the preview edition to see examples of our in-depth research or read how and why to subscribe.

You can read the history websites about our prime sponsors
Would you like information about how to join them?

(bullet) Oliver-Hammer Clothes Shop at 817 Metcalf Street in downtown Sedro-Woolley, 86 years.
(bullet) Peace and quiet at the Alpine RV Park, just north of Marblemount on Hwy 20, day, week or month, perfect for hunting or fishing
Park your RV or pitch a tent by the Skagit River, just a short drive from Winthrop or Sedro-Woolley

(bullet) Joy's Sedro-Woolley Bakery-Cafe at 823 Metcalf Street in downtown Sedro-Woolley.
(bullet) Check out Sedro-Woolley First section for links to all stories and reasons to shop here first
or make this your destination on your visit or vacation.
(bullet) Are you looking to buy or sell a historic property, business or residence?
We may be able to assist. Email us for details.
Looking for something special on our site? Enter name, town or subject, then press "Find" Search this site powered by FreeFind
    Did you find what you were seeking? We have helped many people find individual names or places, so email if you have any difficulty.
    Tip: Put quotation marks around a specific name or item of two words or more, and then experiment with different combinations of the words without quote marks. We are currently researching some of the names most recently searched for — check the list here. Maybe you have searched for one of them?
Please sign our guestbook so our readers will know where you found out about us, or share something you know about the Skagit River or your memories or those of your family. Share your reactions or suggestions or comment on our Journal. Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to visit our site.

View My Guestbook
Sign My Guestbook
Email us at:
(Click to send email)
Mail copies/documents to Street address: Skagit River Journal, 810 Central Ave., Sedro-Woolley, WA, 98284.