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People & Peoples

Carrie Burton Overton, First African-American Female Student at UW

Carrie Burton Overton, the first female African-American student at the University of Wyoming, triumphed over poverty and race prejudice in the course of her long life. After training as a stenographer at UW, she earned music diplomas from Howard University and the Juilliard School and, later, bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Columbia University. 

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Encyclopedia | In the spring of 1878, about 950 Northern Arapaho people arrived with a military escort on the Eastern Shoshone Reservation in the Wind River Valley in central Wyoming Territory. The two tribes had been in open warfare as recently as four years before, and bad feelings lingered between them.
Encyclopedia | In the 1860s, the Eastern Shoshone people signed two treaties with the U.S. government. The first set aside vast holdings for them. Just five years later, as the transcontinental railroad was approaching, a second treaty established a Shoshone reservation in the Wind River valley—with less than a tenth the earlier amount of land.
Encyclopedia | The Mountain Shoshone, sometimes called Sheepeaters, lived at high elevations in what’s now northwestern Wyoming from prehistoric times down through the mid-1800s. Recent archaeological discoveries shed increasing light on the lives of these peoples, ancestors of some of today’s Eastern Shoshone.
Encyclopedia | Recent, surprising discoveries including a prehistoric village in the Wind River Range above Dubois, Wyo., suggest humans—most likely ancestors of today’s Shoshone people—lived high-mountain lives as long as 10,000 years ago. 
Encyclopedia | Batiste Gamara, 19, emigrated from the Italian Piedmont to New York in 1907. He mined copper and coal in Pennsylvania, Michigan and, finally, near Kemmerer, Wyo. There, tragically, he was killed by falling coal in 1915. His great nephew tells his story. 
Encyclopedia | In 1876, Dom Pedro II, emperor of Brazil, traveled the United States in advance of the celebration in Philadelphia that year of the nation’s centennial. A Cheyenne Leader reporter managed to get a story—even though the emperor’s train stopped in the Magic City in the middle of the night. 
Encyclopedia | Scientist, scholar and poet June Etta Downey, an internationally recognized expert in personality testing, was longtime head of the University of Wyoming psychology department. She published seven books and scores of articles, and served on the UW faculty for 34 years before her death in 1932. 
Encyclopedia | Carrie Burton Overton, the first female African-American student at the University of Wyoming, triumphed over poverty and race prejudice in the course of her long life. After training as a stenographer at UW, she earned music diplomas from Howard University and the Juilliard School and, later, bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Columbia University. 

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