Bill Williamson
Fictional Character
State of Jefferson
POD: Pre-history;
Relevant POD: 1919
Appearance(s): "Visitor from the East"
"Peace is Better"
"Something Fishy"
"Always Something New"
"Tie a Yellow Ribbon"
Type of Appearance: Direct POV
Nationality: United States
Species: Sasquatch
Date of Birth: 1934 or 1935
Occupation: Lawyer, politician, realtor
Spouse: Louise
Children: Nicole;
Unnamed second daughter
Political Party: Democratic Party
Political Office(s): Governor of Jefferson

Bill Williamson (born 1934 or 1935) was a Democratic politician who served as the Governor of Jefferson in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He was the state's second sasquatch governor. Before entering politics, Williamson had been a lawyer and real estate broker.[1] He began his political career when he was elected to the Jefferson State Senate, serving until the early 1970s, when he attained the governor's mansion. He was married to another sasquatch, Louise, and had two daughters, one of whom was named Nicole. During his time as governor, Williamson did his best to ensure that the state of Jefferson stayed open and diverse.


Visit with the Yeti Lama[]

In August 1979, Williamson was able to arrange a visit from the Yeti Lama of Tibet in Eureka. The visit was a largely symbolic one: one consequence of Richard Nixon's visit to China was that the State Department perceived the Yeti Lama as a mere tourist.[2] While the national press gave the meeting scant attention, plenty of reporters from around Jefferson did cover the meeting. Williamson was careful to demonstrate how inclusive Jefferson was, bringing himself, his publicist, Barbara Rasmussen, the Yeti Lama, his retinue, and the Japanese crew of the ship the Yeti Lama traveled on all together for the photo op.[3]

Meeting with Nobuo Fujita[]

The following month, Williamson and Rasmussen went to Port Orford to meet with Nobuo Fujita, the owner of a successful local Datsun dealership. Fujita had also been a pilot in the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II, and had launched the only bombing on the mainland U.S., specifically two attacks, one on Port Orford on September 9, 1942 and the other in Siskiyou National Forest on September 29.[4]

Williamson used the meeting again to emphasize the diversity of Jefferson, a place where people got along regardless of race and size, and where people who'd once been at war could live together in peace.[5]


Intervention in the Ashland Shakespeare Festival[]

In the Spring of 1980, Williamson involved himself in the Ashland Shakespeare Festival after his daughter, Nicole, was cast as Caliban in The Tempest. Nicole was quite talented, and was more than capable of playing Miranda. However, the director of the play, Reggie Pesky, a Pennsylvanian, was excited by the prospect of having a Caliban that didn't require make-up. While Williamson initially tried to get Pesky to reconsider as a concerned father, he also made use of his status as Governor of Jefferson to try to convince to consider the broader issues of typecasting. He even pointed out that at least one of his ancestors, a great-great grandmother, was supposed to be a little person. Pesky was insulted by this approach.

Williamson then went to Jerry Turner, the producing director of the Ashland Shakespeare Festival. Turner also had issues with Pesky's decision to cast Nicole as Caliban, but was hesitant to override a visiting director, for fear of driving off future directors. However, when Williamson told Turner about Pesky's general excitement about having a Caliban that didn't need make-up, Turner realized just how badly that would play in Ashland and in the whole state of Jefferson. To help persuade Turner, Williamson offered to find state money to help further fund the festival. After Turner secured Williamson's promise that there would be no strings attached, he agreed.

Nicole played Miranda brilliantly. Pesky privately conceded so to Williamson, then told Williamson, "Fuck you."

A few days later, Williamson announced that the Legislature had authorized a new annual grant of $75,000 a year to the Ashland Shakespeare Festival. The amount was half of what Williamson had asked for, and still quite a bit less than he'd actually expected to get. During the press conference, Williamson downplayed Nicole's role in the whole matter.[6]

Mediation Between the Merfolk and the Karuk[]

In Summer 1980, Governor Williamson, at the request of Chief Steve Hobbs of the Karuk Indians, agreed to mediate a conflict over fishing rights between the Karuk and the merfolk. Hobbs alleged that the merfolk were fishing salmon at the mouth of the Klamath River near Requa and Crescent City, before the salmon could reach their spawning grounds further inland. Williamson was initially hesitant to intervene, given the interjurisdictional nature of the conflict. However, he agreed with Hobbs' assessment that Federal intervention might cause more harm than good.

Later that day, lobbyist Liam McMichaels contacted Williamson on behalf of the merfolk. McMichaels explained that the merfolk were feeling their own pressure from Russian, Japanese, and Korean fishing boats which were able to take massive amounts of fish, depriving the merfolk of their food supply. While Williamson was somewhat skeptical, he agreed to meet with McMichael's clients.

A few days later, Williamson drove to Requa, where he took a boat owned by Dave Super, a Karuk, out to the meeting place. The Supers shared some of their knowledge about Merfolk with Williamson, as well as their disdain.

Williamson met with two merfolk: a merman who used the name Ishmael for convenience, and a mermaid who called herself Ethel. Both belonged to the Squid Clan. While the merfolk did not have the physical ability to speak English, they understood it, and could write it. By means of a pair of slate boards and grease pencils, the parties were able to communicate. Ishmael confirmed that as the head of the Squid Clan, other clans would listen to him.

Ethel informed Williamson that the foreign factory boats were no longer off shore. While the two agreed that the merfolk would ease up on taking salmon for the time being, they both also acknowledged that they'd be nomadic but for the salmon at the mouth of the Klamath. Consequently, the Karuks also agreed to limit their salmon fishing as well. Further, Ishmael demanded that the Karuk who used boats refrain from attacking the merfolk directly, as the merfolk had close ties with the United States Navy SEALS.

Days later, Williamson met with Chief Hobbs again. Hobbs informed Williamson that some anonymous person had called him, and made veiled threats about blowing up structures around Happy Camp. While Hobbs remained sour about the final agreement, he shared Williamson's view that it would be a cheaper and safer alternative to violent conflict.[7]

Rediscovery of the Speartooth Salmon[]

On Election Night, 1980, Williamson received a call from game warden Eric Bishop in Grants Pass to inform Williamson that a local fisherman, Greg Donovan, had pulled a Speartooth salmon from the Rogue River. Given the number of legends about speartooths, Williamson was initially dubious, but soon found Bishop's sincerity compelling, and agreed to make the trip to Grants Pass the next day.

After independently confirming that Bishop did indeed work for the Jefferson Department of Fish and Game, Williamson then contacted Mervin McDougald, the ichthyologist at Jefferson State Ashland (as Ashland was the only college town near Grants Pass). McDougald was similarly dubious, but agreed to go with Williamson to Grants Pass the next day.

Williamson picked up McDougald the next day. McDougald gave Williamson a quick lesson in ichthyology, suggesting that the speartooth might be the survival of Oncorhynchus rastrosus. They then drove to Grants Pass where they met with Eric Bishop, who in turn took them to the Donovan residence. After engaging in pleasantries, the group discussed the specimen, which the Donovans had already deboned, and placed in a freezer. They'd even tasted some of its flesh. Greg Donovan also assured McDougald that he'd kept the remaining parts on ice, rather than dispose of them.

After reviewing the remains, McDougald concluded that the specimen was not Oncorhynchus rastrosus, but rather an offshoot. Williamson then began to prepare for the inevitable press conference, which included gathering the photos Eric Bishop had taken and as well as more samples of the specimen for the trip back to Ashland. The next day, he had Barbara Rasmussen set up the press conference. Charles Kuralt personally called Williamson to confirm that this was a legitimate story, and set up an interview with Williamson for after the conference.

Both events went successfully.[8]


End of the Iran Hostage Crisis[]

On February 3, 1981, Williamson and Rasmussen welcomed home Mark Gordon, a sasquatch analyst with the U.S. State Department. Gordon had been a hostage in Iran from November 1979 until January 1981.

At Williamson's invitation, Gordon and his family dined with Williamson and Louise at the governor's mansion that night. Everyone listened to Gordon's harrowing recollections of his time as a hostage. After the meal, Gordon's father Tim personally thanked Williamson, describing his actions as umglatch. Williamson also told Mark Gordon that he was available if Gordon wanted to talk. Gordon took Williamson up on the offer about week later, venting over lunch at Fat Albert's.[9]

A few days later, Asianto Supandy, an Indonesian restaurateur and Indonesia's honorary consul to Jefferson. Albert had bragged about Williamson and Gordon's lunch to Supandy. Concurrently, Supandy received a message from Consul Kertosudiro in Los Angeles to deliver to Williamson. The message, purportedly written by President Suharto, was a rubber-stamped goodwill message anticipating continued good relations between Indonesia and the United States. Supandy invited Williamson and Gordon to a dinner at his restaurant, the Bird of Paradise, to show that not all of the world's Muslims shared Iran's theology.

Williamson quickly understood Supandy's purpose, and extended the invitation to Gordon. Gordon had little use for Suharto, he, like Williamson, saw the political value of dinner, which was well covered by the press. All parties enjoyed the meal, and broadly expressed feelings of mutual respect and friendship.


  1. Thirty Days Later: Steaming Forward: 30 Adventures in Time, loc. 2272, ebook.
  2. Ibid., loc. 450.
  3. Ibid., loc. 487.
  4. Ibid., Loc. 2323-2335.
  5. Ibid., Loc. 2335-2361.
  6. See, e.g., http://www.tor.com/2016/06/15/typecasting/
  7. https://www.tor.com/2020/01/08/something-fishy-harry-turtledove/
  8. https://www.tor.com/2020/01/08/always-something-new-harry-turtledove/
  9. https://www.tor.com/2020/01/08/tie-a-yellow-ribbon-harry-turtledove/
Political offices
(Fictional Work)
Preceded by
Last known is
Gilbert Gable
Governor of Jefferson
(State of Jefferson Stories)

Succeeded by
Incumbent in 1981