Watson C. Squire

Last updated
Watson C. Squire
Watson C Squire.jpg
United States Senator
from Washington
In office
November 20, 1889 March 3, 1897
Succeeded by George Turner
12th Governor of Washington Territory
In office
July 2, 1884 April 9, 1887
Preceded by William A. Newell
Succeeded by Eugene Semple
Personal details
Born(1838-05-18)May 18, 1838
Cape Vincent, New York
DiedJune 7, 1926(1926-06-07) (aged 88)
Seattle, Washington
Nationality American
Political party Republican

Watson Carvosso Squire (May 18, 1838 June 7, 1926) was an American Civil War veteran, twelfth governor of Washington Territory, and United States Senator from the state of Washington.

American Civil War Internal war in the U.S. over slavery

The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States from 1861 to 1865, between the North and the South. The Civil War began primarily as a result of the long-standing controversy over the enslavement of black people. War broke out in April 1861 when secessionist forces attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina shortly after Abraham Lincoln had been inaugurated as the President of the United States. The loyalists of the Union in the North, which also included some geographically western and southern states, proclaimed support for the Constitution. They faced secessionists of the Confederate States in the South, who advocated for states' rights in order to uphold slavery.

The Territory of Washington was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from March 2, 1853, until November 11, 1889, when the territory was admitted to the Union as the State of Washington. It was created from the portion of the Oregon Territory north of the lower Columbia River and north of the 46th parallel east of the Columbia. At its largest extent, it also included the entirety of modern Idaho and parts of Montana and Wyoming, before attaining its final boundaries in 1863.

Washington (state) state of the United States of America

Washington, officially the State of Washington, is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. Named for George Washington, the first U.S. president, the state was made out of the western part of the Washington Territory, which was ceded by Britain in 1846 in accordance with the Oregon Treaty in the settlement of the Oregon boundary dispute. The state, which is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean, by Oregon to the south, by Idaho to the east, and the Canadian province of British Columbia to the north, was admitted to the Union as the 42nd state in 1889. Olympia is the state capital; the state's largest city is Seattle. Washington is often referred to as Washington State to distinguish it from the nation's capital, Washington, D.C..



Born in Cape Vincent, New York, Squire attended the public schools, Falley Seminary (in Fulton, New York) and Fairfield Seminary (Herkimer County, New York). He graduated from Wesleyan University in 1859 and was principal of the Moravia Institute.

Cape Vincent, New York Town in New York, United States

Cape Vincent is a town in Jefferson County, New York, United States. The population was 2,777 at the 2010 census.

Fulton, Oswego County, New York City in New York, United States

Fulton is a small city in the western part of Oswego County, New York. The population was 11,896 as of the 2010 census. The city is named after Robert Fulton, the inventor of the steamboat.

Herkimer County, New York County in New York

Herkimer County is a county in the U.S. state of New York. As of the 2010 census, the population was 64,519. Its county seat is Herkimer. The county was created in 1791 north of the Mohawk River out of part of Montgomery County. It is named after General Nicholas Herkimer, who died from battle wounds in 1777 after taking part in the Battle of Oriskany during the Revolutionary War.


During the Civil War, Squire enlisted in Company F, Nineteenth Regiment, New York Volunteer Infantry, in 1861; he was promoted to the rank of first lieutenant, and was mustered out the same year. He graduated from Cleveland Law School in 1862 and was admitted to the bar the same year, commencing practice in Cleveland, Ohio.

The term muster means the process or event of accounting for members in a military unit. This practice of inspections led to the coining of the English idiom pass muster, meaning being sufficient. When a unit is created, it is "mustered in" and when it is disbanded, it is "mustered out".

Bar (law) The legal profession as an institution

In law, the bar is the legal profession as an institution. The term is a metonym for the line that separates the parts of a courtroom reserved for spectators and those reserved for participants in a trial such as lawyers.

He rejoined the Union Army, soon thereafter, when the Union called for more men. Upon raising and organizing the 7th Independent Company of the Ohio Sharpshooters, Squire was commissioned a captain in 1862. [1] He served with the Seventh Ohio Sharpshooters until 1865. During the Civil War, Squire participated in the battles of Nashville, Chickamauga, Resaca, and Missionary Ridge. During the latter campaign, "Squire served as judge advocate of the general courts martial. Later Squire was made judge advocate of the district of Tennessee," with headquarters in Nashville. [2] "He served on the staff of Major General Rousseau as judge advocate and also under Major General Thomas during the siege and battle of Nashville." [2] In 1865, he was discharged with the rank of captain and was subsequently Brevetted major, lieutenant colonel, and colonel.

Union Army Land force that fought for the Union during the American Civil War

During the American Civil War, the Union Army referred to the United States Army, the land force that fought to preserve the Union of the collective states. Also known as the Federal Army, it proved essential to the preservation of the United States as a working, viable republic.

Battle of Nashville Major battle of the American Civil War

The Battle of Nashville was a two-day battle in the Franklin-Nashville Campaign that represented the end of large-scale fighting west of the coastal states in the American Civil War. It was fought at Nashville, Tennessee, on December 10–19, 1864, between the Confederate Army of Tennessee under Lieutenant General John Bell Hood and Federal forces under Major General George H. Thomas. In one of the largest victories achieved by the Union Army during the war, Thomas attacked and routed Hood's army, largely destroying it as an effective fighting force.

Battle of Chickamauga American Civil War battle

The Battle of Chickamauga, fought on September 18 – 20, 1863, between U.S. and Confederate forces in the American Civil War, marked the end of a Union offensive in southeastern Tennessee and northwestern Georgia — the Chickamauga Campaign. It was the first major battle of the war fought in Georgia, the most significant Union defeat in the Western Theater, and involved the second-highest number of casualties after the Battle of Gettysburg.

From 1865 to 1879, Squire was employed with the Remington Arms Company as secretary, treasurer, and manager and purchased large holdings in the Territory of Washington in 1876. He married Ida Remington on December 23, 1868, and they had four children, Philo Remington, Shirley Herbert, Adine, and Marjorie. [3]

Squire moved to Seattle in 1879 and was Governor of the Territory of Washington from 1884 to 1887. As governor, Squire confronted the difficult challenge of maintaining law and order during the anti-Chinese riots in Seattle and Tacoma. [4] These riots began in 1885 and peaked on February 8, 1886. At that time, Squire declared martial law and began a system of military rule until order was restored. [5] [6] "Soon after President Cleveland issued a proclamation calling for the restoration of order, and when that was ignored, Federal troops were ordered into Seattle." [4] Squire withdrew martial law on February 22, 1886, but by then most of the Chinese residents already had been expelled from the Territory, put on a ship, and sent to San Francisco. Subsequently, at the request of the U.S. State Department, Governor Squire investigated the losses of property by the Chinese residents of Tacoma, Seattle, and the surrounding area. [2]

Seattle City in Washington, United States

Seattle is a seaport city on the West Coast of the United States. It is the seat of King County, Washington. With an estimated 744,955 residents as of 2018, Seattle is the largest city in both the state of Washington and the Pacific Northwest region of North America. According to U.S. Census data released in 2018, the Seattle metropolitan area's population stands at 3.94 million, and ranks as the 15th largest in the United States. In July 2013, it was the fastest-growing major city in the United States and remained in the top 5 in May 2015 with an annual growth rate of 2.1%. In July 2016, Seattle was again the fastest-growing major U.S. city, with a 3.1% annual growth rate. Seattle is the northernmost large city in the United States.

Seattle riot of 1886

The Seattle riot of 1886 occurred on February 6–9, 1886, in Seattle, Washington, amidst rising anti-Chinese sentiment caused by intense labor competition and in the context of an ongoing struggle between labor and capital in the Western United States. The dispute arose when a mob affiliated with a local Knights of Labor chapter formed small committees to carry out a forcible expulsion of all Chinese from the city. Violence erupted between the Knights of Labor rioters and federal troops ordered in by President Grover Cleveland. The incident resulted in the removal of over 200 Chinese people from Seattle and left 2 militia men and 3 rioters seriously injured.

San Francisco Consolidated city-county in California, US

San Francisco, officially City and County of San Francisco and colloquially known as SF, San Fran, or "The City", is a city in—and the cultural, commercial, and financial center of—Northern California. San Francisco is the 13th most populous city in the United States, and the fourth most populous in California, with 883,305 residents as of 2018. It covers an area of about 46.89 square miles (121.4 km2), mostly at the north end of the San Francisco Peninsula in the San Francisco Bay Area, making it the second most densely populated large U.S. city, and the fifth most densely populated U.S. county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs. San Francisco is the 12th-largest metropolitan statistical area in the United States, with 4,729,484 people in 2018. With San Jose, it forms the fifth most populous combined statistical area in the United States, the San Jose–San Francisco–Oakland, CA Combined Statistical Area.

Upon the admission of Washington as a State into the Union in 1889, Squire was elected as a Republican to the U.S. Senate; he was reelected in 1891 and served from November 20, 1889, to March 4, 1897. He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1897. While in the Senate, he was chairman of the Committee on Coast Defenses (Fifty-second and Fifty-fourth Congresses) and a member of the Committee on Transportation Routes to the Seaboard (Fifty-second Congress). He retired from the practice of law and devoted his time to the management of his properties in Seattle; he was organizer and president of the Union Trust Co. and the Squire Investment Co.


Squire died in Seattle, aged 88, and is interred at Evergreen - Washelli Memorial Park, Washelli Cemetery, Seattle. [7]

See also

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  1. James, Patricia R. (December 2005). "Watson C. Squire". Famous People of New York. The Family Tree. Archived from the original on 2011-07-14.
  2. 1 2 3 "Guide to the Watson C. Squire Papers". University Libraries, University of Washington. Retrieved November 4, 2012.
  3. "Watson C. Squire". Washington Secretary of State. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  4. 1 2 "President Chester A. Arthur appointed Watson C. Squire governor". Territorial Timeline. Washington Secretary of State. Retrieved November 4, 2012.
  5. "Watson C. Squire". University Libraries, University of Washington. Retrieved November 4, 2012.
  6. "Daniel Manning letter to Governor Watson C. Squire regarding enforcement of the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, December 9, 1885". Pacific Northwest Historical Documents Database. University Libraries, University of Washington. Retrieved November 4, 2012.
  7. "Watson C. Squire". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved 10 October 2012.

Further reading

U.S. Senate
Preceded by
U.S. Senator (Class 3) from Washington
Served alongside: John B. Allen, John L. Wilson
Succeeded by
George Turner
Political offices
Preceded by
William Augustus Newell
Governor of Washington Territory
Succeeded by
Eugene Semple