Washington, the most north-western state of the American Union, is bounded by British Columbia, Idaho, Oregon, and the Pacific. It is 350 miles long (E. to W.), 200 miles wide, and 69,180 sq. m. in area. The Cascade Range (q.v.) traverses the state from N. to S. The summits of several of the volcanic cones are covered with perpetual snow, and their glaciers rival in beauty those of Switzerland. Western Washington is mountainous, interspersed with fertile valleys. The Coast Range to the west of the Cascades extends in broken masses from the S. to the Strait of Juan de Fuca. This strait and the great inland sea of Puget Sound afford some of the best harbours in the world. Central Washington, between the Cascade Range and the Columbia River, is a lofty plateau region, its surface, like that of Eastern Washington, largely covered with lava, and carved into deep and picturesque canons by the tributaries of the Columbia. East of the Columbia the plateaus and plains are cut by the valleys of Clark's Fork and the Spokane and Snake rivers. The whole of Eastern and a portion of Western Washington are drained by the Columbia River, which for nearly 300 miles forms the boundary with Oregon. In Western Washington the winters are very mild, and the rainfall is the heaviest in the United States. Western Washington is heavily wooded, and lumbering a leading pursuit. Portions of Central and Eastern Washington are well adapted for wheat-growing and grazing. There are extensive coalfields around Puget Sound. The coast fisheries and the salmon-canneries on the Columbia are valuable. Washington was organised as a territory in 1853, reduced to its present limits in 1863, and admitted as a state in 1889. Towns are Seattle, Tacoma, Spokane, Walla Walla, and Olympia (the capital). Pop. (1870) 23,955; (18S0) 75,116; (1900) 518,103.
Washington, name of over 200 cities, towns, townships, villages, and hamlets in the United States: (1) the capital of Daviess county, Indiana, 173 miles W. of Cincinnati, with coalmines near by; pop. 8550. - (2) the capital of Fayette county, Ohio, 77 miles ENE. of Cincinnati; pop. 5742. - (3) the capital of Washington county, Pennsylvania, 31 miles SW. of Pittsburgh, with many mills and cigar-factories, coalmines, and the Washington and Jefferson College (Presbyterian; founded 1802). Pop. 7663.