Posted in Maps, Territorial records

Yes, Texas extended all the way to Wyoming

We like to think of our states as we know them now—like, Texas has a panhandle and Las Vegas is in Nevada—not Utah, and Oregon stays on its side of the Snake River.  But any good Western States researcher knows about the past territorial lives of the states along the Rocky Mountain corridor.  In 1850 it was all about Texas, and the territories of Oregon and Utah…

Map of U.S. Territorial Growth (1850) from the Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection. This image can be found at [http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/united_states/us_terr_1850]
And by 1860 the area was part of five territories—Washington, Nebraska, Kansas, Utah, and New Mexico:

Map of U.S. Territorial Growth (1860), cropped, from the Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection. This image can be found at [http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/united_states/us_terr_1860]

By 1870 what we now know as the Western States had taken their familiar shape, and those along the Rockies were officially territories in their own right:

Map of U.S. Territorial Growth (1870) from the Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection. This image can be found at [http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/united_states/us_terr_1870]
By 1900 all the Western States had achieved statehood but New Mexico and Arizona, who were admitted to the Union in 1912:

Map of U.S. Territorial Growth (1900), cropped, from the Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection. This image can be found at [http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/united_states/us_terr_1900]
Where did your ancestors settle in the West? Make a timeline of their activities and movements and plan to search some Territorial Records.  Help in that area will be posted next time.

“…the maps scanned by the University of Texas Libraries and served from this web site are in the public domain. No permissions are needed to copy them. You may download them and use them as you wish.”

Author:

I am an Accredited Genealogist® professional living in California. I have been researching and teaching since 1988.

3 thoughts on “Yes, Texas extended all the way to Wyoming

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