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A Confederacy of Ambition William Winlock Miller and the Making of Washington Territory cover
  • ISBN: 9780295975023
  • ISBN10: 0295975024

A Confederacy of Ambition William Winlock Miller and the Making of Washington Territory

by William L. Lang

  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Univ of Washington Pr
  • Publish date: 12/01/1996
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Description
The promise of opportunity drew twenty-seven-year-old Illinois schoolteacher William Winlock Miller west to the future Washington Territory in 1850. Like so many other Oregon Trail emigrants Miller arrived cash-poor and ambitious, but unlike most he fulfilled his grandest ambitions. By the time of his death in 1876, Miller had amassed one of the largest private fortunes in the territory and had used it creatively in developing the region's assets, leaving a significant mark on the territory's political and economic history. William Lang's biography takes readers into the heart of Washington territorial politics, where alliances often hinged more on mutual economic interest than political principles and nearly all agreed that government should encourage ambitious and energetic men. In this world, Lang argues, Miller succeeded because he parlayed his talents in camaraderie politics and sharp-pencil business affairs with an unabashed mining of governmental opportunities. This account of William Winlock Miller and the first quarter century of Washington's history offers a new view of the pioneer era, emphasizing that the West was developed in large measure by men like Miller who manipulated government and its resources to their own and the region's advantage.
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