The True Story Of How Wyoming Lied To Become A State
It began with The Louisiana Purchase.
At first, it was all just western territory.
Territories got governors and other elected officials. But they were still only territories, not states.
Slowly those territories began to divide up into states.
But to apply for statehood they had to have at least 60,000 people.
Back then the Wyoming territory was nowhere near the required 60,000 number.
What to do?
Well, they could LIE!
On March 26, 1890, Wyoming's Territorial Delegate Joseph Carey introduced a bill in the House of Representatives to establish the territory as a state.
The central issue was Wyoming's population which fell below the traditional standard for statehood of 60,000 citizens.
Carey suggested that Wyoming actually had a population of nearly 125,000.
That claim was questioned due to the low numbers in the last election turnout.
Cary dismissed the argument saying, "There is but little of politics in Wyoming. Every year is an off-year," Carey said.
Cary then explained that Wyoming and its rugged terrain made it difficult for census takers to conduct accurate population surveys.
That argument was utter buffalo dung.
Yet, somehow, they bought it.
Thus Wyoming became the 44th state in the union on July 10, 1890.
Now over 130 years later and it is still the least populated state.
Wyoming only has one representative in the U.S. House.
Some states argue that Wyoming should not even get that because they don't have the population. Each member of the U.S. House of Representatives serves a Congressional District of 700,000 people. The entire state of Wyoming is well below that number.
Just weeks after becoming a state the 1890 United States Census counted 62,555 citizens in the territory. That's just over the 60,000 threshold.
So Mr. Carey was lying, but he was not wrong.
Well, that's just typical for Wyoming.