5 Periods of Wyoming History

Wyoming historians divide the history of the state into five periods. Thought it might be fun to take those five periods and try to list my favorite broad fact about each. So, here goes.
These are my favorites, please let me know what yours are.

1.    Exploration - trappers and traders

Without a doubt, Jim Bridger is the most famous early Wyomingite as all three, explorer, trapper, and trader. He also could be listed as one of the all-time great storytellers in Wyoming history.

2.    Emigration -  Oregon Trail
Many things could fall into place here, but the sheer numbers alone seem to be my favorite trail fact. Travel started about, 1843, peaked in 1846-1869, and by the early 1880s, it ended. During that period of time, 400,000 travelers used this main thoroughfare west. On average 10% died before reaching their western dreams.
3.    Indian Campaigns/Wars
Remember – this has to be something in Wyoming, thereby ruling out Custer on the Greasy Grass River.
 My top fact, The Gratton Massacre in 1854. Considered the first battle of the Sioux War, which by many, including myself, consider to be the beginning of the Indian Wars in the west.
Camp on the Laramie River not far from the site of the Gratton fight
4.    Territorial days
For me this is an easy one – Giving the vote to women happened when Wyoming was a territory in 1869, twenty-one years before statehood. Interesting that it may have been more for the publicity than for the rights of women.
Esther Morris - leader of the Women's Rights movement in Wyoming
5.    After Statehood
Many things could belong here, but I decided not to list people. Instead my favorite, after statehood fact about Wyoming is the wide open spaces, a state with only a half million people. Giving citizens and visitors incredible views in every county in the state.


Oh, if I were to list people they would be, Nellie Tayloe Ross, and Buffalo Bill Cody. Ross because she was the first women governor in the United States and Cody because of his legend, much bigger than his real accomplishments, but never the less important in making the old west into the movie, novel, and television wild west.
The west, Wyoming style
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