Eighty bank failures in four years

In 1893 the four-year-old state of Washington plunged into the last depression of the 19th century. Banks failed. Railroad building stopped. Money became so scarce that Port Angeles and Bellingham made their own. Jobless men sawed wood, picked blackberries and dug clams. In Spokane, the town›s richest man was wiped out, and from Tacoma and Seattle protesters set off for Washington, D.C., on foot and by stealing rides on trains. In The Panic of 1893, Bruce Ramsey tells the story of how people survived and how their resilience defined their new state.

Ramsey is a Washington writer and researcher retired from a 37-year career in newspapers and magazines as a business reporter, editor and columnist in Seattle and Hong Kong. He worked four years on this book, reading old newspapers at libraries around Washington, looking up lawsuits and personal papers, and visiting the National Archives in College Park, Maryland. The Panic of 1893 tells a story not available anywhere else.

Book reading and signing: August 16, 2018, 6 p.m., at the University Bookstore, Seattle.