Thomas Wickham Prosch papers, 1775-1915  PDF  XML

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Prosch, Thomas Wickham, 1850-1915
Title
Thomas Wickham Prosch papers
Dates
1775-1915 (inclusive)
Quantity
1.08 cubic feet (3 boxes)
Collection Number
0042 (Accession No. 0042-001)
Summary
Historian and journalist in Washington state
Repository
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries
Box 352900
Seattle, WA
98195-2900
Telephone: 206-543-1929
Fax: 206-543-1931
speccoll@uw.edu
Access Restrictions

Open to all users.

Languages
English


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Thomas Wickham Prosch (1850-1915), the son of pioneer parents Charles and Susan Prosch, moved with his family from Brooklyn, New York, to the Pacific Coast in 1855. Charles Prosch was a printer and, in 1858, founded the Puget Sound Herald in Steilacoom. Thomas Prosch helped his father with the newspaper from an early age, and also worked as a salesman and as a hand at a logging camp. He also worked as a clerk in the State legislature when he was nineteen and, one year later, began work at the customs office at Port Townsend.

In 1867, Charles Prosch and two of his sons, Thomas and Fred, acquired the Pacific Tribune from Randall H. Hewitt and continued its publication in Olympia. By 1872, the newspaper had endured many financial difficulties; however, Thomas was able to purchase complete ownership of the paper. In 1873 he moved to Tacoma, where he continued publication of the paper until 1875, when he—and the paper—relocated to Seattle until it ceased publication in 1878.

One year later, in 1879, Prosch and Samuel L. Crawford purchased the Intelligencer, a Seattle newspaper. In 1881, that paper merged with the Post to become the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. After becoming the sole owner in 1884, early in 1886 Prosch sold the paper to a joint stock company.

Prosch was also deeply involved in Seattle affairs in many other ways. In 1876, he was appointed postmaster of Seattle by President Grant, and held that post for the next two years. He also had charge of the municipal census of Seattle in 1890 and, at the same time, was the special agent in charge of the federal census in Seattle. In the early 1890s, he served for three years as a member of the Seattle School Board. In 1894, he aided in platting the tidelands of Seattle and Tacoma. Prosch was also active in the Seattle Chamber of Commerce (serving as secretary for three years and as a member of the board of trustees for fourteen), and was a member and officer of many different pioneer and historical societies, including the Washington Pioneer's Association.

Much of Prosch’s later life was devoted to historical writing and collecting. He wrote many books about the history of the Puget Sound region, including McCarver and Tacoma, The Conkling-Prosch Family, and David E. Blaine and Catherine P. Blaine. He also wrote many articles for the Washington Historical Quarterly.

In 1877, Prosch married Virginia McCarver, who was the daughter of Morton and Julia Ann McCarver, the founders of Tacoma. They had six children: Julia, Edith, Genevieve, Beatrice, Phoebe, and Arthur. Thomas and Virginia both died on March 30, 1915, when the car in which they were passengers fell from the Riverton Draw Bridge into the Duwamish River.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Correspondence, writings (including Prosch's "Chronological History of Seattle," "Dictionary of Chinook Jargon," poetry, notes, and other writings), financial records, legal documents, and materials collected by Prosch, including early 19th century legal documents, many of which were signed by Presidents of the United States.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Alternative Forms Available

View selections from this collection in digital format.

Restrictions on Use

Creator's literary rights not transferred to the University of Washington Libraries.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Arrangement

Organized into 6 series:

  • Series 1, Correspondence
  • Series 2, Speeches and Writings
  • Series 3, Financial Records
  • Series 4, Legal Documents
  • Series 5, Businesses and Organizations
  • Series 6, Collected Materials

Acquisition Information

Purchased from Mrs. P.P. Anderson, 2/16/1959.

Related Materials

Thomas Prosch Indian Photograph Album (PH0018), Thomas Prosch Seattle Views Photograph Album (PH0027), and Prosch Washington Views Photograph Album (PH0028).


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

 

Correspondence Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Incoming Correspondence
Box/Folder
1/1
Military Passes
8 and 9 February, 1886
1/1
Watson, Scott to Mrs. Prosch
18 May 1888
1/1
Dunbar, F. I.
17 November 1897
1/1
Kincaid, H. R.
24 November 1897
1/1
Weir, Allen
14 June 1904
1/1
Steel, James
24 October 1905
1/1
Minto, John
27 December 1906-8 January 1907
1/1
Harvey, Benjamin L.
19 September 1908
1/1
Crow, G. Timothy
8 November 1909
1/1
Humphry, W. E.
23 July 1911
1/1
Strong, James C.
15 October 1912
1/1
Denny-Bartlett, Laura B.
19 June 1914
1/1
Meeker, Ezra
16 January 1915
Outgoing Correspondence
Box/Folder
½
Bagley
25 June 1874
½
Blaine
July 1914
1/3
Davies, Griffith
189[?]

Speeches and Writings Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
1/4-18
"Chronological History of Seattle"
undated
1/19-20
"Chronological History of Seattle," loose section and notes
undated
½1
"Dictionary of the Chinook Jargon"
1912
½2
"The Chinook Jargon" (copy)
1912
2/1
"The Political Beginnings of Washington Territory"
1905
2/2
Memoranda for C. W. Smith
May 1909
2/3
Loose historical notes on the Pacific Northwest
undated
2/4
Loose notes on Seattle
undated
2/5
Poems in Chinook Jargon
8 May 1918, undated
Box
3
Log book of "Notes on Puget Sound Area," 1851-1914
undated
Box/Folder
2/6-8
Typescript of log book of "Notes on Puget Sound Area"
undated

Financial Records Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
2/9
Checkbook
1896-1897
2/10
Postmaster receipts
1877-1878

Legal Documents Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
2/11
Warranty deed from Frank Clark
1877

Businesses and Organizations Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
2/12
Seattle Post-Intelligencer stock records
List of stockholders, certificates of shares in the Capital Stock, and orders to pay dividends on shares
1881, 1886
2/13
Steilacoom Library Association
Provisional constitution, bill of sale, and resolution
1895, 1908, undated

Collected Materials Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Correspondence
Miscellaneous collected correspondence
Box/Folder
2/14
Tyler, I. to Robert Tyler
23 December 1845
2/14
Dale, W. P. to Wm. H. Wallace
5 June 1865
2/14
Corbett, H. W. to James C. Whitney
24 July 1868
2/14
Kelly, James K. to W. B. Perry
12 January 1872
2/14
Mitchell, J. H. to Ross A. Wilson
6 March 1873
2/14
McMicken, W. and others to D. J. Morrell
13 April 1876
2/14
Bravider and Keats to J. R. Lewis
11 June 1889
2/14
Meachun, Martha to Urban Hocks
3 October, year undated
2/14
Colfax, Schuyler to Editor of the Post-Intelligencer
19 October, year undated
2/15
McCarver, M. M.
1868
Speeches and Writings
Box/Folder
2/16
Report on Oregon Territory by Com. Charles Wilkes, typescript #104
1842
2/17
Poems
1869, 1891, undated
Financial Records
Box/Folder
2/18
Freight receipt for one bale of coffee, signed by Isaiah Cole
6 July 1819
2/19
Washington Mill Company pay slips
1861-1862
2/20
Tuition accounts for Portland Academy & Female Seminary, and Santiam Academy
1862, undated
Legal Documents
Box/Folder
2/21
Protest of fire at Cape Francois, Santo Domingo by Isaac Vredenburgh
1802
2/22
Ship's Pass signed by President Thomas Jefferson and Secretary of State James Madison
1805
2/23
Mortgage of William Reynolds, Jr. farm and sale of Reynolds' farm to S. Galloway
1812, 1839
2/24
Land deed of Wiley Hicks, signed by Martin Van Buren
1838
2/25
Distribution of Acts of Congress, signed by James Buchanan
1847
2/26
Copy of statement of goods seized on Frazer River
1858
2/27
Will of Charles C. Terry
26 February 1867
Businesses and Organizations
Box/Folder
2/28
Meeting of Seattle Engine Co. No. One
6 July 1876
Political Materials
Box/Folder
2/29
Election poll tickets
1848-1893
2/30
Election poll lists for Clatsop and Pacific Counties, Oregon
1852
Box/Folder
2/31
Revolutionary War-era documents
1775-1822
Ephemera
Box/Folder
2/32
"The Beacon and the Watchman" Volume I, No. 1
4 January 1834
2/32
Advertisement for bulbs from S. H. Smith, Olympia
undated
2/33
"Truth Teller"
1858
Barker, Charles
Box/Folder
2/34
Correspondence and Copy of Discharge from the United States Army
1852-1861
Barron, James
Box/Folder
2/35
Financial Records
1852-1862
2/36
Legal Documents
1852-1862
2/37
Correspondence and Plot Survey
1852-1862
2/38
Envelopes
1912-1915

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Chinook jargon--Dictionaries
  • Chinook jargon--Sources
  • Historians--Washington (State)--Seattle--Archives
  • Municipal officials and employees--Washington (State)--Seattle--Archives
  • Personal Papers/Corporate Records (University of Washington)
  • Publishers and publishing--Washington (State)--Seattle--Archives

Personal Names

  • Prosch, Thomas Wickham, 1850-1915--Archives

Geographical Names

  • Seattle (Wash.)--History--19th century--Sources
  • United States--History--18th century--Sources
  • United States--History--Revolution, 1775-1783--Sources
  • Washington Territory--History--Sources