The Territorial House of Representatives sent a memorial to Congress asking that they lop off the northern part of the territory and give it to Washington Territory. Why?
In the words of the memorial, “That all that portion of said territory embraced and included within the boundaries hereinafter set forth and constituting what is known as north Idaho, is so situated in relation to the south and southeast portion of the territory, as to render their political union impracticable for the reason that nature has divided them by a high and rugged range of mountains over which there is no road except as what will admit of passage of riding or pack animal, and this only for about six months of the year. The remaining six months the snow is so deep as to cut off all communication except by telegraph or circuitous route through Washington territory, a distance of about 500 miles.”
That sentiment echoed down through the years, when In 1970, during his first successful run for governor, Cecil D. Andrus famously called Highway 95 a “goat trail.”
The 1881 memorial went on: “Politically, the two sections are united; socially, commercially and geographically, they never can be. We therefore respectfully but urgently pray that when the territory of Washington is admitted into the union that all that portion of Idaho hereinafter described be attached and made a part of the state of Washington.”
The vote was 15 to 8 in favor of the memorial. As is often the case with such missives sent by territories or states, Congress ignored it.