Correspondence, 1896-1908

Overview of the Collection

Seattle (Wash.). Labor Commissioner
1896-1908 (inclusive)
2 volumes
Collection Number
Correspondence of the Labor Commissioner, 1896-1908.
Seattle Municipal Archives
Seattle Municipal Archives
Office of the City Clerk
City of Seattle
PO Box 94728
Seattle, WA
Telephone: 2062337807
Fax: 2063869025
Access Restrictions

Records are open to the public.

Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Historical NoteReturn to Top

Seattle's 1896 Freeholders' City Charter created the position of Labor Commissioner in the Civil Service Department and established the Public Employment Office. The Labor Commissioner, who also served as Chief Examiner and secretary of the Civil Service Commission, received and responded to applications both from job seekers and from businesses seeking employees; the Commissioner also maintained records of applicants' names, addresses, and type of position requested. The Labor Commissioner managed the Public Employment Office and maintained labor statistics for the City. The Public Employment Office was abolished in 1942.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Two volumes of outgoing correspondence from the Labor Commissioner include replies to businesses seeking temporary and permanent laborers, individuals requesting employment, and persons from out of the area gathering information about employment possibilities in Seattle. Letters include information regarding the availability of positions in various lines of work, as well as wage information. When positions in the requested line of work were unavailable or scarce, the letters often suggested "domestic help" positions as an alternative, particularly for women.

Other documents include statistics and expense reports of the department. Of particular interest is a 1902 letter to the State Labor Commissioner making recommendations for changes in legislation.

A front-of-the-book index contains the names of addressees of correspondence.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Preferred Citation

[Item and date], Labor Commissioner Correspondence, Record Series 6005-01. Volume [number]. Seattle Municipal Archives.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Correspondence is arranged chronologically in two volumes.

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Labor Commissioner's Correspondence, 1896-1908Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Labor Commissioner's Correspondence
Labor Commissioner's Correspondence

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Employees--Recruiting--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Employment agencies--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Women--Employment--Washington (State)--Seattle

Corporate Names

  • Seattle (Wash.). Public Employment Office

Geographical Names

  • Seattle (Wash.)--Politics and government

Form or Genre Terms

  • Correspondence