With the buffalo gone and poverty, hunger and disease increasing, the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes came under intense pressure in the 1890s to sell their land. In 1896, they sold the U.S. government a piece of their reservation ten miles square—including the splendid hot springs at present Thermopolis, Wyo.
Politics & Government
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|Casper Star-Tribune, Northern Utilities and||Kerry Drake|
|CCC, Wyoming||Kerry Drake|
|Chatterton, Fenimore||Wyoming State Archives|
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|Cheyenne, Wyo., history of||Lori Van Pelt|
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|Clark, Clarence Don||Barbara Allen Bogart|
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Politics & Government
Congress in 1887 passed the Dawes Act, setting up a framework for dividing up tribal lands on reservations into plots to be held by individual Indian owners, after which they could be leased or sold to anyone. Critics saw it as a method clearly intended to transfer lands out of Indian hands.
Aven Nelson, one of the University of Wyoming’s original faculty, became a world famous botanist. He founded the Rocky Mountain Herbarium on campus, which contains 1.3 million plant specimens from throughout the world. From 1917-1922, he served as university president, but was happy to return to botany when he got the chance.
In October 1918, when a deadly flu was sweeping the world, a Casper newspaper offered advice as sound now as it was then: Avoid crowds, wash your hands often, “[d]on’t worry, and keep your feet warm.” But there was reason to worry. Schools, churches and businesses closed—and 780 Wyomingites died.
Just before sunset, on Oct. 31, 1903, a sheriff’s posse and a band of Oglala Sioux families from the Pine Ridge Reservation engaged in a brief, sharp gunfight near Lightning Creek, northeast of Douglas, Wyo. Seven people died, and a U.S. Senate investigation followed.
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.
In 1919, Lt. Col. Dwight D. Eisenhower and an Army truck convoy crossed Wyoming and the nation to determine the condition of the nation’s roads—which were terrible. In the 1950s, with memories of that trip vivid in his mind, President Eisenhower successfully pushed Congress to back a system of interstate highways.
Crossing what’s now Wyoming in sub-zero cold, Elizabeth Cumming suffered a badly frostbitten foot in November 1857. She and her husband Alfred—the new governor of Utah Territory—and about 2,000 U.S. troops were unsure if they’d be welcomed in Salt Lake City—or faced with armed resistance.