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Our Northwest Heritage

Lights in the Northwest

Our NW Her. Teacher CD

Lights in NW Teacher CD

Trial and Triumph

Our Northwest Heritage 2nd edition provides a comprehensive survey of the history of the Pacific Northwest from a Christian perspective. Since 2003 when the first edition appeared, it has become the preferred text for Christian schools and homeschoolers studying Washington State and Northwest history. Whether examining the native tribes before European contact or exploring the challenges facing 21st century residents, readers are encouraged to praise God's handiwork and appreciate the influence of Christianity on the Pacific Northwest. Many inspiring stories of faithful Christians are included and an abundance of photographs, illustrations and maps enhance the text. 324 pages copyright 2014. Recommended for students age 13 and older. MP3 Audio Book of Our NW Heritage 2nd edition also available see below)

Teacher Supplement CD available see below 

Paperback - $36.95 plus tax & shipping. $33.95 each for 12 or more. 

Hardback - We no longer publish a hardback edition

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"Our Northwest Heritage gives students a biblical perspective on Washington and Pacific Northwest history as they examine God's hand in the settling and growth of this great region." Debbie Schindler, superintendent, South Sound Christian Schools.

"A refreshing and enlightening history text that is great for our students - I enthusiastically recommend Our Northwest Heritage." Bill Kelley, history teacher, Cedar Park Christian Schools.

"Rich in information and historical anecdotes with Christian beliefs woven throughout, it truly brings the history of the Pacific Northwest alive for my students." Pam Madsen, history teacher, Harbor Christian Homeschool Cooperative.

"As an administrator and teacher, I have not found a better text for integrating biblical worldview into the study of Washington and Northwest history." Stephen Roddy, director of education, Lighthouse Christian School.

Audio Book of Our Northwest Heritage Second Edition (2014) (CD) using the MP3 format is available. Plays in computers and in newer CD players equipped to play MP3 files $29.95

What is the Teacher's Supplement to Our Northwest Heritage?

The Teacher's Supplement to Our Northwest Heritage is a computer disk containing tests, test answer keys, outline map exercises for the maps found in the text and instructional suggestions for each chapter of the book, a valuable aid to teachers.

Table of Content and Sample Material: The sample pages below are design to show content. They do not reflect the look, type style, size or layout of the book, or the size and quality of the photographs included in the book. All of the below are copyrighted material.




1. The Land: Three States; Five Regions

2. The Northwest's First Residents

3. Explorers and Fur Traders

4. The Gospel to the Northwest

5. Pushing West

6. Working the Land and Building Towns

7. Two World Wars and One Great Depression

8. Recent Times

9. Civil Government

Each chapter begins with a story designed to draw the reader into the chapter's time and place and provide depth and context. Below is the start of the Chapter 2 introduction.

A whaler from the Makah tribe holds the tools of the hunt: a harpoon, rope and sealskin floats. The Makah, and a few other coastal tribes, developed an ingenious system of tracking, killing and hauling gray whale to shore.



"So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel because the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth."

Genesis 11:8-9

Makah, the Whale People

Several hundred years ago on a rocky outcropping of Cape Flattery, the most northwesterly point of the Pacific Northwest mainland, a Makah Indian spied a faint mist spout from the waters of the Pacific Ocean. "Whale! Whale!" he shouted. Hunters sprang into action. Dragging long dugout canoes to the water, they hopped aboard and paddled in unison, cutting through the crashing surf. In minutes, six canoes sped for the open sea. Each canoe carried eight men. One man steered, six paddled and the leader, harpoon in hand, stood in the bow directing the hunt.

The whaling canoes slicing through the blue-green waters had come from towering trees, more than a hundred feet tall. The Makah crafted their canoes from the straight-grained wood of giant cedars. They prayed to the cedar tree spirit for wisdom before choosing a tree and asked the guardian spirits of the axe and wedge to bless their work. Without the use of metal tools, they felled cedars with stone axes and wedges, split them lengthwise and hollowed out the logs by chipping, burning and scraping. Craftsmen shaped the hulls by filling them with boiling water and stretching the steamed wood with poles. The pliable hull was made wide in the middle and narrowed to a point on the ends. Experienced hands measured the thickness of the sides by feel and carefully chiseled out the wood to near perfect symmetry. Intricately carved bow pieces resembling animals were attached to the hull with pegs. Finally, they sanded the canoes with sharkskin, painted the inside red and charred the outside black...

Each chapter ends with a review like the Chapter 2 review below. Each review includes identification terms, map exercises, short answer, essays, suggested outside readings and activities.


IDENTIFICATION: Explain how each of the following terms is significant to the Northwest:


Coast Indians


Spirit quests


Hazard Stevens


Winter dance







Sweat lodge

Plateau Indians

Nez Perce

Camas root



Chinook Jargon

MAPPING: Locate the following Indian homelands on a map of the Pacific Northwest:

Makah, Chinook, Chehalis, Puyallup,Nisqually, Snoqualmie, Lummi, Quinalt, Klallam, Yakima, Spokane, Cayuse, Nez Perce, Walla Walla, Coeur d' Alene, Clatsop, Umatilla, Shoshone, Klamath, Modoc, Paiute and Bannock


1. List the beliefs and practices of the Makah Indians as described in the chapter introduction.

2. What is the most widely accepted explanation as to how the Indians came to the Northwest?

3. What did the Plateau Indians believe about the earth?

4. What was the spirit quest?

5. What was the most unusual social practice of the Chinook Indians?


1. Compare and contrast the cultural traits of the Coast and Plateau Indians.

2. Describe the social class system of the Coast Indians.

3. Describe the role of the shaman in tribal life.

4. Explain the positive and negative effects that contact with whites had on the tribes.

5. Should the Makah be permitted to hunt whales now?


Indian Legends of the Pacific Northwest by Ella Clark The Nez Perces Since Lewis and Clark by Kate McBeth


1. Visit an Indian reservation and interview a tribal member.

2. Make a list of place names in your area that have Indian origins and list their meanings.

3. Visit a Northwest museum that displays Indian artifacts or take a virtual tour on their website. Some of the more extensive collections can be seen at:

- Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture; U. of Washington campus in Seattle. (206) 543-5590;

- Makah Museum, Bayview Avenue, Highway 112, Neah Bay, WA.; (360) 645-2711;

- Museum of Nez Perce Culture; Highway 95, Spalding, ID; (208) 843-2261;

- Oregon Historical Museum; 1200 SW Park Ave., Portland, OR; (503) 222-1741;

- Washington State History Museum; 1911 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA, (253) 272-3500;

Below is a sample of the content of Chapter 4, the missionaries bringing the message of Christ to the Indians. The sample includes the Whitman Massacre and its aftermath, the Nez Perce Revival and the influence of the Catholic missionaries.



This 19th century sketch of Whitman's murder is wrong in many details. Whitman was struck when he went to get medicine, and Mrs. Whitman was not in the room at the time her husband was killed.

..illness swept through the region. Several Cayuse died every day. Despite Whitman's best efforts, he could not save their lives. Chief Tilokaikt lost two children. Half of the tribe perished in two months. The Cayuse noticed that most of the whites treated by Whitman recovered, but the Indians did not. Their anger grew. Some thought that Whitman wanted them to die. Cayuse leaders made plans to kill Whitman and Spalding and overrun the missions.

The Massacre

On Monday, November 29, 1847, a band of Cayuse led by Tilokaikt and Tomahas entered the crowded mission compound. Most of the occupants were sick or needy immigrants wintering at Waiilatpu. Several were orphaned children whose parents had died on the Oregon Trail. Tilokaikt asked Whitman for medicine. When the doctor turned his back to get it, Tomahas struck him in the head with a tomahawk. Throughout the mission grounds, warriors opened fire killing thirteen people, including Narcissa Whitman. The Cayuse looted and burned the mission buildings and held 47 women and children hostage for more than a month. The plan to kill the Spaldings failed when they found protection among friendly Nez Perce.

Officials of the Hudson's Bay Company ransomed the captives for tobacco, clothing and ammunition. They brought the women and children and the Spaldings down river to the safety of Fort Vancouver. In the aftermath of the massacre, the American Board closed its mission stations in the Northwest. The Spaldings, Walkers and Eells moved to the Willamette Valley where Henry Spalding taught school and preached. Eliza Spalding died there in 1851.

Cayuse War

Oregon settlers were furious when they learned of the massacre. A volunteer militia of 500 riflemen pursued the Cayuse. Few battles were fought as the Cayuse fled into the Blue Mountains. For two years, militiamen assailed the Cayuse. Many Indians died due to exposure to the harsh elements and lack of food. Finally, the tribe surrendered five warriors involved in the killing. They were tried, convicted and sentenced to death. Tilokaikt, Tomahas and three other warriors were hanged in Oregon City in the spring of 1850.

The Nez Perce Revival

The government forbade Spalding to return to Lapwai for many years. When he did return in October of 1871, 24 years after he was forced to leave, a great spiritual awakening among the Nez Perce began. In less than 18 months, more than 600 people were baptized and joined the church. "This is a glorious day," Spalding wrote, "Bless the Lord, O my soul!"

In 1873, Spokan Garry invited 70-year-old Henry Spalding to preach to the Spokane. He rode nearly 1,500 miles, preaching to the Spokane as they fished, hunted and gathered roots. In the 1840s, the Walkers and Eells had worked with the tribe for nine years without seeing one turn to Christ. During the summer of 1873, more than 300 Spokane confessed faith in Jesus Christ and were baptized. "The labor has been fearfully severe to ride so much on rough horses in my old age," Spalding wrote, "but my heart has overflowed with praises to God and joy in his wonderful work." Henry Spalding died in Lapwai in 1874, leaving behind several strong churches among the Nez Perce and Spokane. This great spiritual awakening among the Plateau tribes is known as the Nez Perce Revival. Several of the churches born out of the revival thrive to the present day.


John McLoughlin wanted the Hudson's Bay Company to bring Roman Catholic priests to the Northwest. Many of the retired French Canadian trappers living in the Willamette Valley were Catholics. And McLoughlin wanted to encourage more British settlers in the area without relying on the American missionaries for religious instruction.

So in 1838, with the help of the Hudson's Bay Company, Roman Catholic missionaries from Quebec, Francis Blanchet and Modeste Demers, arrived in the Northwest. Both men were well suited for the work; they were diligent and had experience working with Indians. They established St. Paul's Mission at French Prairie in the Willamette Valley, St. Francis Mission in the Cowlitz Valley, St. John the Apostle Mission near Willamette Falls and mission stations at Nisqually, Walla Walla, Okanogan, Colville and several other places.

Blanchet and Demers traveled widely and preached to tribes on the coast, in the lowlands and east of the Cascades. If the Indians were willing, the priests baptized their children immediately. On several occasions they baptized hundreds of children at a time. They taught the Indians to make the sign of the cross, recite short prayers and sing canticles - short chants or hymns used in church services. The singing was essential. One Catholic missionary said, "Without singing, the best things are of little value; noise is essential to their enjoyment."

They encouraged the Indians to practice the songs, prayers and gestures in their absence and teach them to others. This teaching-one-another strategy was very effective. Blanchet often met Indians who had never seen a priest and yet were acquainted with the sign of the cross and could sing a few canticles.

Later, Blanchet was ordained the first archbishop of the Northwest. He sailed to Europe to raise funds and recruit more missionaries for the work. He returned in 1847 with 21 priests and nuns. They built schools and churches throughout the region.

Although Catholic missionaries found the Indians receptive to their forms of worship, getting them to renounce their sins was another matter. One priest working among the tribes of the Puget Sound wrote, "If to be a Christian it were only necessary to know some prayers, and sing canticles, there is not one among them who would not adopt the title; but an important point still to be gained is a change in their morals. As soon as we touch this chord, their ardor is changed into indifference."

Despite frustrations and difficulties, Catholic missionaries labored to win the Indians to the Catholic faith. One priest named Lionnet, working with the Chinook

Indians near Astoria, wrote his superiors:

Francis Blanchet (top left), Peter John DeSmet (top right) and Modeste Demers traveled throughout the Northwest proclaiming the Catholic faith to the Indians.

  "My savages begin to communicate with the grace. God had put his arms around them and their frightened course is opening to the light of truth?" Lionnet baptized many Chinooks, but when he moved, they fell away. One local observer said that the Chinooks had a general idea of the Catholic faith, "But no one believed it. In the absence of the priest, they all returned to their old heathenism again."

Another prominent Catholic missionary was Peter John DeSmet. He and his helpers worked among the Flatheads, Nez Perce and other tribes of the Columbia Plateau and the Rocky Mountains. Their mission field stretched hundreds of miles across the mountain ranges and valleys of the West. They founded many missions including Sacred Heart among the Coeur d'Alene and St. Ignatius at the site of present-day Spokane. DeSmet came to be called the "Missionary of the Rockies."

Mother Joseph

In 1856, Mother Joseph and four other Sisters of Providence came from Montreal, Canada to the Northwest and began works of mercy to the Indians and settlers. As a young girl, Mother Joseph excelled in all she did. She wanted to be a nun. When she entered the convent at age 20, her father said...

The following sample is drawn from Chapter 6, Working the Land and Building Towns, 1850-1910. This sample describes the discrimination against the Chinese and the efforts that Christian leaders took to try and prevent it, a part of the story left untold in secular texts.


...cotton from the east and south to ports on Puget Sound for shipping to China. Before long, the Great Northern made huge profits, and Hill was able to purchase the financially strapped Northern Pacific. Hill then controlled the two transcontinental railroads to the Pacific Northwest.

    Railroads brought an explosion in population. In 1883, the year the Northern Pacific was completed, the population of Washington, Oregon and Idaho was 300,000 people. Just twenty years later, the population had increased over seven times to 2,140,000.

James Hill, built the Great Northern Railway and then bought the Northern Pacific Railroad.


In the 1860s, thousands of Chinese men came to America to work on the Central Pacific, the first transcontinental railroad. In 1871, when work began on the Northern Pacific, 2,000 Chinese laborers came from San Francisco to grade and lay track from Kalama on the Columbia River to Tacoma. After the railroads were constructed, the Chinese settled in the towns of Puget Sound and Portland. They worked in the fields, logging camps and fish canneries. They ran laundries and did manual labor that many whites were unwilling to do. Some Chinese began businesses and retail shops of their own. In Idaho, half the miners in 1870 were Chinese.

When tough economic times came, white resentment toward the Chinese grew. The Knights of Labor, a workers' union active in the Northwest, blamed the Chinese for low wages and few jobs. "Treason is better than to labor beside a Chinese slave," they said. Signs began to appear on the streets of Puget Sound cities stating: "The Chinese Must Go!" Some residents resented the sight of pony-tailed Chinese working in their conical straw hats. Tacoma, Seattle, Puyallup, Olympia and other towns called for the expulsion of the Chinese. Many Chinese fled to Canada or Oregon in order to escape the mounting tension.

Tacoma had the largest population of Chinese in Washington. In 1885, out of a total population of 6,900, more than 700 were Chinese. The mayor of Tacoma and other civic leaders agreed with the Knights of Labor that the city would be better off without the Chinese. The leading newspaper in town hoped that Tacoma would soon be known as "a town without a Chinaman." Threats against Chinese and vandalism against their property increased.

Christian Leaders Defend the Chinese

Christian ministers rushed to the defense of the Chinese. The Protestant ministers of Tacoma published a declaration of support for the Chinese and condemned the idea of expulsion. They declared the expulsion order "prejudice and wrong." "We are God's watchmen," the ministers wrote, "under oath to speak for God." The Reverend W.D. McFarland defended the Chinese from his pulpit. When several members of his congregation walked out in the middle of the sermon, he shouted after them, "Go! Go! I will preach until the benches are empty." Thugs threatened to kill McFarland; so for a time he wore a holster with two pistols.

Father Peter Hylebos, pastor of St. Leo's Catholic Church, carried a club into the streets and warned men in his neighborhood against hurting the Chinese. "Go about your business and may the grace of God go with you," Hylebos told them. "And by the Eternal you will need it if you lay a violent finger on one of those yellow brothers of yours."

But threats of expulsion and violence convinced hundreds of Chinese to flee the city. On November 3, 1885, an armed mob in Tacoma rounded up the Chinese and forced them onto a train bound for Portland. They stole property and burned Chinese homes and businesses to the ground. Seattle and several other Northwest communities followed suit. In Pierce City, Idaho, a mob lynched five Chinese men.

Portland had the largest population of Chinese immigrants in the Northwest, numbering between 6,000 to 10,000 people. The Knights of Labor organized anti-Chinese demonstrations and riots in Portland in 1886. Protesters smashed windows in Chinese shops and threatened the Chinese with violence if they did not leave the city. However, white business leaders resisted the Knights and soon crushed the anti-Chinese crusade. Still, many Chinese fled Portland, returning to China or moving to the eastern half of the United States where they were safe from the anti-Chinese fervor of the West Coast...

The following samples are drawn from Chapter 7, Two World Wars and One Great Depression. The first reading is the chapter introduction on William Boeing, the second sample contrasts Communist writer, Anna Louise Strong with Presbyterian minister, Mark Matthews.


William Boeing, with mail pouch, and test pilot Eddie Hubbard, stand on a Lake Union dock after completing the world's first international air mail flight in 1919. They carried letters from Vancouver, B.C. to Seattle in a Boeing seaplane.


The largest company in the Northwest during the 20th Century was born on July 4, 1914. On that day, a barnstorming pilot gave William Boeing, a Seattle businessman, a ride in a seaplane. After several flights, Boeing told a friend, "I think we can build a better airplane." Boeing took flying lessons, hired a designer and a mechanic to build a plane, and the Boeing Airplane Company was underway.

Boeing owned a lumber company and large tracts of timberland. He also ran a furniture factory and a boatyard. In those days, airplanes were constructed mostly from wood, primarily spruce, because it was lightweight and durable. In less than two years, Boeing and his partners had designed and built a quality seaplane. He used carpenters and cabinet makers from his furniture factory to construct the wings, body and tail. Boeing, himself, test piloted the seaplane from Lake Union on its first flight.

He promoted the plane to private companies and to the United States military. The timing was perfect, because America had just entered the First World War in 1917, and the military needed airplanes. The navy placed an order for 50 of Boeing's seaplanes. Not long afterward the army ordered planes too. Rival companies could not match the low price of Boeing airplanes because they had to pay market prices for spruce, while Boeing logged and milled the wood from his own timberland.

After the war, orders for planes dried up. Boeing kept his employees busy making furniture. His workers turned out dressers, tables and nightstands until demand for airplanes returned. In the 1920s, the Boeing Company designed a fighter plane that the army purchased. But the company struggled...

                        Although striking workers behaved peacefully, federal troops were called in during the Seattle General Strike in February of 1919.

Anna Louise Strong: From Christianity to Communism

Anna Louise Strong's ancestors were Pilgrims who arrived in the New World in the 1630s. For 300 years their offspring prospered in America as earnest Christian believers. Anna Louise's father, Sydney Strong, was a Congregational minister in Seattle. Anna and her father wrote a series of pamphlets called "Bible Hero Classics." The series was a great success and the pamphlets were used in Sunday school classes across the country. But Anna Louise grew restless in Seattle and moved to New York.

She was heartsick by the terrible living quarters of the poor and the dangerous and unhealthy working conditions of children. Strong befriended people who believed that communism was the answer to the problems of the world. She threw her energies into passing child labor laws, strengthening workers' unions and promoting socialist causes. She stopped attending church and drifted from her Christian upbringing.

Strong returned to Seattle and joined the IWW, writing articles in support of the Seattle General Strike and the Communist Revolution in Russia. In 1921, she visited Russia and befriended the communist leaders. For most of the rest of her life, Strong lived and worked in the Soviet Union and China. She dedicated herself to the promotion of communism throughout the world. She praised communist governments in articles, books and newsletters. She called the United States an imperialist nation and a source of evil in the world. "The USSR carries the great hope of mankind," she wrote. She revered Mao, the communist leader of China, and wrote: "I am willing to believe that Mao's works are the greatest and best yet appearing for the present epoch, that he is 99.99 percent god, but not 100 percent."

When communist leaders persecuted Christians, closed churches and executed hundreds of thousands of people, Strong said nothing. She died in China in 1970, at the age of 84, far from her homeland, family and Christian roots. The Seattle Times newspaper, commenting on her life, wrote, "What a woman of her brilliance, drive and public spirit might have accomplished for her native America or her city of Seattle had she not become an early and lifelong convert to the communist religion."

Mark Matthews, Seattle Minister

The most famous minister to serve in the Pacific Northwest was Mark Matthews, pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Seattle from 1902 to 1940. When Pastor Matthews arrived, the membership at First Presbyterian was 400. Before long, it grew to more than 9,000 members. Under his leadership, the church established 28 branch churches in the area, including Japanese and Chinese congregations, which ran Sunday schools, worship services and community outreach programs.

The six-foot-six-inch Matthews, who wore a tall top hat, became the most widely recognized person in Seattle. Sightseeing guides in the 1920s and 1930s brought tourists by the church and boasted, "Seattle's First Presbyterian Church -the largest Protestant church in the world!"

Pastor Matthews stood firmly for the inerrancy of the Bible when liberal theologians tried to undermine the faith. Liberals taught that the Bible was a book of human origin written to teach good behavior. They said that Christ was a great moral teacher, not God in human flesh. Matthews preached powerfully against these errors. "Christianity is not a system of doctrine," he said, "nor is it a beautifully wrought out moral code. It is the person Jesus Christ. He is the Son of God, the living, pulsating Son of God."

Matthews believed that Christians must work to improve their communities. He spoke out against a corrupt mayor and police chief and led a movement which saw them removed from office and sentenced to prison. Matthews received death threats and warnings that his family would be harmed if he battled corruption and criminal activity in the city. He bought two pearl-handled pistols for protection and carried on the fight. He worked to stamp out gambling, prostitution and graft. He helped to establish a juvenile justice system to reform young delinquents and keep them out of adult prison. Scores of troubled youths were released to Pastor Matthews's personal care. Many of these young men turned to Christ and went on to lead productive lives, thanks to Matthews's guidance...

Mark Matthews (left), pastor of Seattle's First Presbyterian Church, dedicated his life to spread the Gospel. Anna Louise Strong (right) dedicated her life to spread communism.

The following are excerpts from Chapter 8

CHAPTER 8: RECENT TIMES (1945-Present)

"Be very careful, then, how you live not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil." Ephesians 5:15-16


On January 8, 1956, five American missionaries, Jim Elliot, Ed McCully, Nate Saint, Pete Fleming and Roger Youderian, stood on a sandy bank of a river deep in the jungles of Ecuador. They were waiting for the Aucas, a violent and isolated tribe never before contacted by Christians. The men had worked for months trying to cultivate trust with the Aucas. They had dropped gifts to the Aucas from a small airplane and left presents for them in the jungle. They had learned a few words of greeting in the Auca language. They hoped that they could befriend the Aucas and lead them to new life in Jesus Christ. Now they had taken the bold step of flying to a clearing and making camp in the heart of Auca territory.

One of the missionaries was a bright, athletic man named Jim Elliot. Elliot grew up in Portland, Oregon, and was raised by his devout parents to love the Lord. He reveled in the beauty of the Northwest and enjoyed hiking, canoeing and mountain climbing. He climbed all the major peaks of the Cascade Mountains.

Elliot was determined to live a life dedicated to God's service. "Fix my heart wholly, Lord, to follow Thee," he prayed. He tried to direct every activity to God's glory. At Wheaton College, Elliot was a champion wrestler. "I wrestle," he wrote, "solely for the strength and coordination of muscle that the body receives while working out, with the ultimate end of presenting a more useful body as a living sacrifice."

In college, he felt God's call to preach the good news of Jesus in South America. He prepared for it by studying Spanish and majoring in Greek so that he could one day translate the Bible into some unwritten language. When he sailed for South America in 1952, exhilaration in serving God overwhelmed him. "Joy, sheer joy, and thanksgiving fill and encompass me," he wrote in his journal. "God has done and is doing all I ever desired, much ...

Seattle's Michelle Akers leads the USA women's soccer team to victory in the finals of the 1999 World Cup.


Since the United States Space Shuttle program began in 1981, two shuttle missions have ended in disaster with the loss of all the crew. In both incidents, an astronaut from Washington was killed.

Astronaut Francis "Dick" Scobee was born in Cle Elum, Washington in 1939. He graduated from Auburn High School and began a stellar career in the Air Force. Scobee was selected into the elite astronaut program of NASA and became one of the first Space Shuttle Commanders. Scobee was commanding the Challenger Space Shuttle mission on January 24, 1986 when it exploded shortly after liftoff. Scobee and the entire crew were killed. Francis Scobee elementary school in Auburn, Washington, is named in his honor.

Francis Scobee (left) from Auburn, Washington, and Michael Anderson (right) from Spokane died in Space Shuttle accidents. Space Shuttle Atlantis launches (center).

Astronaut Michael Anderson from Spokane was born in 1959. He graduated from Cheney High School in Cheney, Washington, and earned a B.S. from the University of Washington in 1981. He advanced rapidly as an Air Force officer and was selected for NASA and the Space Shuttle program in 1994. Anderson served a 9-day mission on the Space Shuttle Endeavor in 1998. On February 1, 2003, Anderson perished when the Space Shuttle Columbia exploded during entry, just minutes before the 16-day flight was scheduled to land.

The following samples from Chapter 9, Civil Government in the Northwest, include the chapter introduction, unjust initiatives passed in the Northwest and the pro-life organization, Human Life.


"Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king." (1 Peter 2:17)


Government is the system of rule by which community members are directed and restrained. There are many types of governments such as: family, church, school and business. However, the topic of this chapter is civil government. Civil government is the rule exercised by public officials, directing the affairs of all the citizens of a community. Civil governments exist primarily to protect lives and property and preserve an orderly society. The civil government accomplishes tasks that individuals are unable to do alone.

The Bible lays the foundation for how Christians are to understand civil government. The Scriptures proclaim: "The earth is the Lord's and everything in it." (Psalm 24:1) He is the supreme ruler over all his creation. God, in his wisdom, delegated some of his authority in the world to man. The Apostle Paul wrote, "Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established." (Romans 13:1). In I Timothy 2:1, believers are commanded to pray for all those in authority over them. When Christ commanded his followers, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's," (Luke 20:25) he called Christians to submit to the civil government.

Giving to Caesar the things that are Caesar's requires Christians to pray for and respect their leaders, pay taxes and obey the laws. Since the United States is a representative democracy, each citizen has an important role to play. We not only submit to our government officials, but we actively participate in electing our leaders and influencing legislation. To effectively participate in American democracy, citizens should understand the different types of civil governments and how they work.


There are three levels of civil government in the United States: federal, state and local. Northwest residents have rights and responsibilities as citizens...

Unjust Initiatives

Initiatives can be powerful tools for good as citizens bypass the legislature and the governor and make laws that they support directly. However, it can be abused. One of the worst cases of abuse occurred in Oregon. In the early 1920s, the Ku Klux Klan, a hate group prejudicial to blacks, Catholics and Jews, won a wide following in Oregon. The Klan detested church-sponsored schools. They thought that they were un-American and kept students from being indoctrinated into "American values." These schools were run by different groups, but most were Roman Catholic. The Klan led a drive to outlaw all private and church-sponsored schools. Their motto was: "One Flag! One School! One Language!"

In 1922, voters passed an initiative that required all children ages eight to sixteen to attend public schools. Oregon became the first state in America to force all children into public schools! However, in 1925, the United States Supreme Court struck down the Oregon law before it was put into effect. The justices unanimously declared the Oregon law unconstitutional as a violation of the parents' right to send their children to schools of their own choice. Private and religious schools were free to operate in Oregon....

In 2012, Washington voters radically altered the definition of marriage by approving by a 53% to 47% vote same-sex marriage, becoming the first state to have voter-approved same sex marriage-with Maine and Maryland who passed similar referendums on the same day.

Ku Klux Klan members march in Washington, D.C. in 1926. The KKK's influence in Oregon led to an initiative in 1922 outlawing all private schools for children under 17.

LOBBYING: Human Life of Washington

One of the many interest groups trying to influence lawmakers in the Northwest is Human Life of Washington. It is the largest pro-life education organization in Washington State. In November of 1970, the citizens of Washington passed a referendum that allowed abortion up to the 16th week of pregnancy. This gave Washington one of the most liberal abortion laws in the country and stripped the unborn of legal protection. A number of pro-life citizens who had fought to defeat the referendum decided to form a new organization to protect the unborn. Since 1970, Human Life of Washington has borne witness to the value of human life from conception to natural death, regardless of a person's mental or physical capabilities. The organization supports pro-life candidates and promotes legislation to protect innocent life from the unborn to the elderly. Human Life representatives speak to schools, churches, civic and professional group meetings. Members lobby legislators in the hopes of expanding protection of human life. Oregon and Idaho have strong pro-life organizations also.

The text samples above provide sample content only. They do not reproduce the look, layout, text design or photograph size and quality found in the Our Northwest Heritage. All material is copyrighted and should not be reproduced in any form.

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