Picturing Seattle's early history, you might imagine pioneers coming over the Cascade passes; Northwest Native Americans gathering shellfish; early settlers logging and mining, certainly. But chain gangs?
They certainly weren't on our historical radar — at least not until Knute Berger dug into the city's turn-of-the-20th-century system of crime and punishment. Then things got ugly.
Dark, dank cells, crowded with vermin; little food; typhoid outbreaks; beatings and plenty of discrimination. Chain gangs, it turned out, were just the beginning.
Last week we ran Knute's four-part series on the topic, which you can read here — Life on a Seattle chain gang, Life in an early Seattle jail, How women & socialists toppled Seattle chain gangs and The surprising way Seattle used to deal with street harassment.
And below, Knute talks with Seattle Top Story's Robert Mak about the topic.