Washington , officially the State of Washington, is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. Named after George Washington, the first President of the United States, 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. It was admitted to the Union as the 42nd state in 1889. Olympia is the state capital. Washington is sometimes referred to as Washington State to distinguish it from Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States, which is often shortened to Washington.