Almost all of Blanchet's correspondence was in French. Roberta Stringham Brown and Patricia O'Connell Killen have chosen forty-five of those letters to translate and annotate, creating a history of early Washington that provides new insights into relationships, events, and personalities. A number of the letters provide first-hand glimpses of familiar events, such as the Whitman tragedy, the California gold rush, Indian wars and land displacement, transportation advances, and the domestic material culture of a frontier borderland. Others voice the hardships of historically underrepresented groups, including Native Americans, Metis, and French Canadians, and the experiences of ordinary people in growing population centers such as Seattle, Walla Walla, and Vancouver, Wash-ington. Still others describe the struggle to bring social, medical, and educational institutions to the region, a struggle in which women religious workers played a key role. The letters-and the editors' fascinating annotations-provide an engaging and insightful look at an important period in the history of the Pacific Northwest and southwest Canada.
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