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Free Traveling Guides » States » Wyoming

History of Wyoming

The State of Wyoming, situated in the western region of the United States of America, was originally inhabited by a number of Native American groups, such as the Crow, Lakota, Shoshone, and Arapaho. This region was first described in 1807 by John Colter, a significant member of the Lewis & Clark Expedition. The South Pass was discovered in 1812 by Robert Stuart and his group of five men, while returning back from Astoria. The area in Wyoming, which is currently known as the Bridger Pass, was located first by Jim Bridger in 1850. This Bridger Pass was later used by the Union Pacific Railroad in 1868.

Wyoming was given its current name in 1865, when a bill to provide a “temporary government for the territory of Wyoming” was introduced to the Congress by Representative J. M. Ashley. The Wyoming Territory was finally established by the Federal Government on July 25, 1868. However, Wyoming neither enjoyed significant discoveries of gold or silver nor observed boom in population in the subsequent years. After the expeditions to the Yellowstone Country, sponsored by the government, were undertaken, the past reports about Yellowstone were found to be factual. This led to the establishment of the Yellowstone National Park in 1872. Yellowstone National Park, situated within the far northwestern boundaries of Wyoming, was the first national park to be established in the world.

Wyoming became the first U.S. state to extend suffrage to women in 1869. It also became the first state to have elected a female governor, Nellie Tayloe Ross, in the year 1924. Wyoming was finally added to the Union on July 10, 1890. A significant event in the history of the state is the Johnson County War, which erupted between the competing groups of cattle ranchers in 1892. This conflict over commercial competition in the use of the public land was triggered by the passage of the federal Homestead Act that led to a sudden influx of ranchers in the state.

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