Biographical Note

Arrangement

Scope and Content

Terms of Access

Terms of Use

Acquisition Info

Related Material

Inventory   [ + ]

Subject Terms


Guide to the Thomas Wickham Prosch Papers



Manuscript Collection No.: 0042
Accession No.: 0042-001
Creator: Prosch, Thomas Wickham, 1850-1915, creator
Title: Thomas Wickham Prosch papers
Date Span: 1775-1915
Quantity: 1.08 cubic feet (3 boxes)
Languages: Collection materials are in English.




Biographical Note

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.

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

Scope and Content

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.

Terms of Access

Open to all users.

Terms of Use

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

Acquisition Info

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

Related Material

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


Inventory

  
Box/FolderDate
Correspondence
Incoming Correspondence
1/1Military Passes8 and 9 February, 1886
1/1Watson, Scott to Mrs. Prosch18 May 1888
1/1Dunbar, F. I.17 November 1897
1/1Kincaid, H. R.24 November 1897
1/1Weir, Allen14 June 1904
1/1Steel, James24 October 1905
1/1Minto, John27 December 1906-8 January 1907
1/1Harvey, Benjamin L.19 September 1908
1/1Crow, G. Timothy8 November 1909
1/1Humphry, W. E.23 July 1911
1/1Strong, James C.15 October 1912
1/1Denny-Bartlett, Laura B.19 June 1914
1/1Meeker, Ezra16 January 1915
Outgoing Correspondence
½Bagley25 June 1874
½BlaineJuly 1914
1/3Davies, Griffith189[?]

  
Box/FolderDate
Speeches and Writings
1/4-18"Chronological History of Seattle"undated
1/19-20"Chronological History of Seattle," loose section and notesundated
½1"Dictionary of the Chinook Jargon"1912
½2"The Chinook Jargon" (copy)1912
2/1"The Political Beginnings of Washington Territory"1905
2/2Memoranda for C. W. SmithMay 1909
2/3Loose historical notes on the Pacific Northwestundated
2/4Loose notes on Seattleundated
2/5Poems in Chinook Jargon8 May 1918, undated
Box
3Log book of "Notes on Puget Sound Area," 1851-1914undated
Box/Folder
2/6-8Typescript of log book of "Notes on Puget Sound Area"undated

  
Box/FolderDate
Financial Records
2/9Checkbook1896-1897
2/10Postmaster receipts1877-1878

  
Box/FolderDate
Legal Documents
2/11Warranty deed from Frank Clark1877

  
Box/FolderDate
Businesses and Organizations
2/12Seattle Post-Intelligencer stock records1881, 1886
Scope and Content: List of stockholders, certificates of shares in the Capital Stock, and orders to pay dividends on shares
2/13Steilacoom Library Association1895, 1908, undated
Scope and Content: Provisional constitution, bill of sale, and resolution

  
Box/FolderDate
Collected Materials
Correspondence
Miscellaneous collected correspondence
2/14Tyler, I. to Robert Tyler23 December 1845
2/14Dale, W. P. to Wm. H. Wallace5 June 1865
2/14Corbett, H. W. to James C. Whitney24 July 1868
2/14Kelly, James K. to W. B. Perry12 January 1872
2/14Mitchell, J. H. to Ross A. Wilson6 March 1873
2/14McMicken, W. and others to D. J. Morrell13 April 1876
2/14Bravider and Keats to J. R. Lewis11 June 1889
2/14Meachun, Martha to Urban Hocks3 October, year undated
2/14Colfax, Schuyler to Editor of the Post-Intelligencer19 October, year undated
2/15McCarver, M. M.1868
Speeches and Writings
2/16Report on Oregon Territory by Com. Charles Wilkes, typescript #1041842
2/17Poems1869, 1891, undated
Financial Records
2/18Freight receipt for one bale of coffee, signed by Isaiah Cole6 July 1819
2/19Washington Mill Company pay slips1861-1862
2/20Tuition accounts for Portland Academy & Female Seminary, and Santiam Academy1862, undated
Legal Documents
2/21Protest of fire at Cape Francois, Santo Domingo by Isaac Vredenburgh1802
2/22Ship's Pass signed by President Thomas Jefferson and Secretary of State James Madison1805
2/23Mortgage of William Reynolds, Jr. farm and sale of Reynolds' farm to S. Galloway1812, 1839
2/24Land deed of Wiley Hicks, signed by Martin Van Buren1838
2/25Distribution of Acts of Congress, signed by James Buchanan1847
2/26Copy of statement of goods seized on Frazer River1858
2/27Will of Charles C. Terry26 February 1867
Businesses and Organizations
2/28Meeting of Seattle Engine Co. No. One6 July 1876
Political Materials
2/29Election poll tickets1848-1893
2/30Election poll lists for Clatsop and Pacific Counties, Oregon1852
2/31Revolutionary War-era documents1775-1822
Ephemera
2/32"The Beacon and the Watchman" Volume I, No. 14 January 1834
2/32Advertisement for bulbs from S. H. Smith, Olympiaundated
2/33"Truth Teller"1858
Barker, Charles
2/34Correspondence and Copy of Discharge from the United States Army1852-1861
Barron, James
2/35Financial Records1852-1862
2/36Legal Documents1852-1862
2/37Correspondence and Plot Survey1852-1862
2/38Envelopes1912-1915

Subject Terms

Personal Names:
Prosch, Thomas Wickham, 1850-1915--Archives.
Geographic Names:
United States--History--Revolution, 1775-1783--Sources.
Subjects:
Chinook jargon--Dictionaries
Personal Papers/Corporate Records
Last modified: February 22, 2016
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