By Senators Oke Saling, McCaslin, McDonald, Metcalf, Cantu and Snyder


     WHEREAS, The United States Navy undertook the United States Exploring Expedition, 1838, the nation's first maritime attempt to pursue the international pastime of seeking new lands for commercial exploitation, and the wealth and prestige such opportunities would bring the parent nation; and

     WHEREAS, The United States Exploring Expedition, U.S. Ex. Ex. circumnavigated the earth between 1838 and 1842, establishing the United States as a great scientific and maritime power; and

     WHEREAS, Under the iron-handed, irascible command of Lt. Charles Wilkes, a skilled navigator, the squadron of vessels, including the brig Porpoise, the sloops-of-war, Vincennes and Peacock and the schooner Flying Fish established the United States presence worldwide, creating detailed charts eventually used during World War II and observations of military and national import; and

     WHEREAS, The collections gathered by the scientific specialists enlisted to the U.S. Ex. Ex., has formed the nucleus of the National Institute, the Smithsonian and Botanical Gardens, paintings and illustrations to the National History Museum, Washington, D.C.; and

     WHEREAS, The U.S. Ex. Ex. placed names on hundreds of geographical locations in what now is Washington State including Elliott Bay, Bainbridge Island, Commencement Bay, Wasp Islands, Brackenridge Bluff, Gig Harbor, Point Wells and Mount Constitution; and

     WHEREAS, Penned in his hand 'I, notwithstanding stood for the bar of the Columbia River, after making every preparation to cross it, but on approaching nearer, I found breakers extending from Cape Disappointment to Point Adams, in one unbroken line' wrote Wilkes at his first observation of what now is Washington State which occurred on April 28, 1841, and on May 8, 1841 described the Narrows as 'nothing can be more striking than the beauty of these waters without a shoal or rock or any danger whatever...';

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That in observation of the sesquicentennial of the Wilkes United States Exploring Expedition's approach to the Northwest, sighting the Columbia River and the contributions to our knowledge about the geography and ethnographic heritage of the Northwest, April 28, 1991, be known as Charles Wilkes, United States Exploring Expedition Day in Washington State.


I, Gordon A. Golob, Secretary of the Senate,

do hereby certify that this is a true and

correct copy of Senate Resolution 1991-8678,

adopted by the Senate April 28, 1991.





Secretary of the Senate