In 1859-1860 Capt. William Raynolds led scientists, artists and soldiers who mapped much of present Wyoming and Montana. Their maps show a West frozen in time, home to Native people. But the maps were tools too of the nation’s sense of itself and its Manifest Destiny—to dispossess people who already lived here.
A major route for emigrants, freighters, the military, stagecoaches and mail, the Overland Trail across present southern Wyoming saw heavy traffic in the 1850s and 1860s. At different stations along the way, coach drivers obtained fresh horses, the wives of station masters fed dusty travelers and soldiers fought attacking warriors.