Commemorative issue Washington Territory centennial
Medallion, pioneers & Washington scene
The fur trade was Washington's first major industry. Marcus Whitman and Jason Lee led an influx of missionaries into the Oregon territory in the 1830s, the next decade followed by the first rush of settlers. Through the 1850s, the Willamette Valley of Oregon attracted most settlers to the Northwest. In eastern Washington, the Whitman massacre in 1847 followed by prolonged Indian wars delayed settlement in the Columbia basin. Settlements were being established around Puget Sound: Olympia, Port Townsend, and Seattle. The U.S. Congress approved a proposal for a Columbia Territory in March 1853, with the name "Washington" being substituted by amendment. Isaac I. Stevens was the first territorial governor.