In the 18th and 19th century
present Wyoming was inhabited by numerous tribes including the Arapaho, Bannock,
Nez Perce, Sioux, Shoshone and
All these tribes were decimated or destroyed in the 19th
century by war or disease and a regime of immigrants was established in their
The influx of emigrants and settlers into their territories led to many encounters with the inhabitants, resulting in an increase of white military presence along the trails. Military posts such as Fort Laramie were established to maintain order in the area. In 1851, the first Treaty of Fort Laramie was signed between the United States and representatives of American Indian nations to ensure peace and the safety of settlers on the trails. The 1850s were subsequently quiet, but increased settler encroachment into lands promised to the tribes in the region caused tensions to rise again, especially after the Bozeman Trail was blazed in 1864 through the hunting grounds of the Powder River Country, which had been promised to the tribes in the 1851 treaty. As encounters between settlers and inhabitats grew more serious in 1865, Major General Grenville M. Dodge ordered the first Powder River Expedition to attempt to quell the violence. The expedition ended in a battle against the Arapaho in the Battle of the Tongue River. The next year the fighting escalated into Red Cloud's War which was the first major military conflict between the United States and the Wyoming tribes.
leader of the Oglala Lakota
at an old age
The second Treaty of Fort Laramie in 1868 ended the war by closing the Powder River Country to whites. Violation of this treaty by miners in the Black Hills lead to the Black Hills War in 1876, which was fought mainly along the border of Wyoming and Montana.
Although Europeans may have ventured
into the northern sections of the state in the late 18th century, John Colter,
a member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, was probably the first white
American to enter the region in 1807.His reports of thermal activity in the Yellowstone
area were considered at the time to be fictional. Robert Stuart and a party
of five men returning from Astoria, Oregon discovered
South Pass in 1812. The route was later followed by the Oregon Trail. In
1850, Jim Bridger located what is now known as Bridger Pass, which was later
used by both the Union Pacific Railroad in 1868, and in the 20th century by Interstate 80. Bridger also explored the Yellowstone region and like Colter, most of
his reports on that region of the state were considered at the time to be
tall tales. During the early 19th century, fur
trappers known as mountain men flocked to the mountains of western Wyoming in
search of beaver. In 1824, the first mountain man rendezvous was held in
Wyoming. The gatherings continued annually until 1840, with the majority of
them held within Wyoming territory.
Territory and Statehood
The name Wyoming was used by Representative J. M. Ashley
of Ohio, who introduced the Ashley Bill to Congress to provide a “temporary
government for the territory of Wyoming”.The name “Wyoming” was made famous
by the 1809 poem Gertrude of Wyoming by Thomas Campbell. The name is derived
from the Delaware (Munsee) name xwé:wamənk, meaning “at the big river flat”,
originally applied to the Wyoming Valley in Pennsylvania. After the arrival
of the railroad, the population began to grow steadily in the Wyoming
Territory, which was established on July 25, 1868. Unlike Colorado to the
south, Wyoming never experienced a rapid population boom in the 19th century from any major mineral discoveries such as gold
Inclusion of women's suffrage in the Wyoming constitution
was debated in the constitutional convention, but ultimately accepted. The
constitution was mostly borrowed from those of other states, but also
included an article making all the water in Wyoming
property of the state. Wyoming overcame the obstacles of low population and
of being the only territory in the U.S. giving women the right to vote, and
the United States admitted Wyoming into the Union as the 44th
state on July 10, 1890
arms of Wyoming Territory was described in the proclamation about the Territorial
seal of 19
second arms of Wyoming Territory is described in the Legislative Act of 9 December 1869:
The third arms of Wyoming Territory is described in the Legislative Act of 10 March 1882.
See illustration in the head of this article (the year 1869 changed into 1890,
the year of admission to the Union).
The first Seal of the Wyoming Territory was designed by Wyoming's first governor John A. Campbell, who issued a proclamation on May 19, 1869, ordering its use until another could be adopted by the Territorial Legislature. This seal was used on printed documents, but never struck.
providing for a Territorial Seal
A mountain with a locomotive and train
of cars crossing over its summit. Near the summit a spring
of water, from which flow two streams, one to the east, and one to the west.
In foreground at base of the mountain, a shovel and pickax, shepherd's crook
and a plow grouped, all engraved on a shield;
running from left to right on each side and underneath the shield the motto
"Let us have Peace." Over the mountains the figures 1868.
Crest - an Elk's Head, surmounting fasces the whole surrounded by a double circle with the words "Wyoming Territory. Great Seal"
That the above be the Great Seal of the Territory of Wyoming until another is adopted by the Legislature.
The Seal adopted by the Legislative Assembly on December 9, 1869, was, with some minor changes, in accordance with the design submitted by Governor Campbell.
On March 10, 1882, the Legislative Assembly amended the 1869 act correcting the error in the Latin quotation from CEDANT ARMA TOGA to CEDANT ARMA TOGAE, also the year 1868 was changed to 1869. These were the only changes by law, but when struck, the Norman shield was embellished. This seal was used until the state seal was adopted.The seal of Wyoming Territory has in the upper half a range of mountains, at the base of which is a railroad and train of cars; a sun in the left-hand corner gilding the mountains with its rays; over the mountains the motto ‘Cedant Arma togæ, 1963.’The lower half of the shield is divided per pale; the dexter half gules, bearing agricultural implements; the sinister half or, a mailed hand holding a drawn sword.
The 1891 State Legislature approved a design for the state seal by Rep. Hugo Buechner, a Cheyenne jeweler. Enroute to Acting Governor Amos Barber's desk for his signature, Fenimore Chatterton replaced the approved design with one of his own (in which Lady Liberty had mysteriously lost her clothes.) The deception was not immediately realized but when it was, the local newspapers ran with the scandal. As Secretary of State, Barber declared that until a new seal was designated by the Legislature, the Territorial Seal would continue to be used.
During the summer of 1891, Barber commissioned Philadelphia artist Edmund A. Stewardson to design a new seal and to prepare a four foot wide plaster mold of it to be displayed in his office. Though the Legislative committee had suggested that the figure on the left "be made to represent a shepherd with his crook," the Stewardson design was adopted by the 1893 State Legislature with the minor alteration of replacing "cattle" with "livestock" as a compromise.
Photograph of the artist's plaster model
accompanying the 1893 House bill.
The word "Cattle"
is clearly visible on the left column. (WSA SOS 1893 HB 23)
Soon after its adoption, the plaster seal was sent to the US Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Philadelphia so that the new official seal could be added to US bank notes and was subsequently misplaced.
The original 1893 statue read:
There shall be a great seal of the State of Wyoming, which shall be of the
following design, viz: A circle two
and one-fourth inches in diameter, on the outer rim or edge of which
shall be engraven the words "Great Seal of the
State of Wyoming", and the design shall conform substantially to the
A pedestal, showing on the front thereof an eagle resting upon a shield, said shield to have engraven thereon a star and the figures "44," being the number of Wyoming in the order of admission to statehood. Standing upon the pedestal shall be a draped figure of a woman, modeled after the statue of "Victory of the Louvre," from whose wrists shall hang links of a broken chain, and holding in her right hand a staff, from the top of which shall float a banner with the words "Equal Rights," thereon, all suggesting the political position of woman in this State. On either side of the pedestal, and standing at the base thereof, shall be male figures typifying the live stock and mining industries of Wyoming. Behind the pedestal, and in the background, shall be two pillars, each supporting a lighted lamp, signifying the light of knowledge. Around each pillar shall be a scroll with the following words thereon: On the right of the central figure the words "Live Stock" and "Grain" and on the left the words "Mines" and "Oil." A the base of the pedestal, and in front, shall appear the figures "1869-1890," the former date signifying the organization of the Territory of Wyoming, and the latter the date of its admission to statehood. A facsimile of the above described seal is here represented and is hereby made a part of this act." 
The Great Seal of the State of Wyoming was readopted by an act of the Wyoming legislature, aproved February 15, 1921, amending and and re-enacting an act of 1920.
The act reads:
“Section 1. That
Section 1, Wyoming Compiled Statutes 1920, be amended and re-enacted to read
There shall be a great seal of the State of Wyoming, which shall be of the
following design, viz: A circle one and
one-half inches in diameter, on the outer rim or edge of which shall be
engraven the words "Great Seal of the State of
Wyoming", and the design shall conform substantially to the following
A pedestal, showing on the front thereof an eagle resting upon a shield, said shield to have engraven thereon a star and the figures “44,” being the number of Wyoming in the order of admission to statehood. Standing upon the pedestal shall be a draped figure of a woman, modeled after the statue of "Victory of the Louvre," from whose wrists shall hang links of a broken chain, and holding in her right hand a staff, from the top of which shall float a banner with the words "Equal Rights," thereon, all suggesting the political position of woman in this State. On either side of the pedestal, and standing at the base thereof, shall be male figures typifying the live stock and mining industries of Wyoming. Behind the pedestal, and in the background, shall be two pillars, each supporting a lighted lamp, signifying the light of knowledge. Around each pillar shall be a scroll with the following words thereon: On the right of the central figure the words "Live Stock" and "Grain" and on the left the words "Mines" and "Oil." A the base of the pedestal, and in front, shall appear the figures "1869-1890," the former date signifying the organization of the Territory of Wyoming, and the latter the date of its admission to statehood.
“Section 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after April 1. 1921.” 
Seal of 1921 Colored version
That for regiments and separate battalions of the Wyoming Army National Guard: From a wreath of colors, an American bison statant Proper.
The buffalo is from the flag of the State.
The crest for color bearing organizations of the State of Wyoming was approved on 31 December 1923.
A gold color metal and enamel device 2.86 cm in diameter overall consisting of the central design of the Great Seal of the State of Wyoming all in gold on a blue disc.
The distinctive unit insignia was originally approved for State Staff and State Detachment, Wyoming National Guard on 7 May 1937. It was revised to change the badge from a gold disc to a blue enamel disc on 11 August 1937. The insignia was redesignated on 22 February 1971, for Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment and noncolor bearing units of the Wyoming Army National Guard. The insignia was redesignated effective 1 October 1982, for Headquarters, State Area Command, Wyoming Army National Guard.
On a blue rectangle within a 3.2 mm yellow border 6.67 cm in width and 5.08 cm in height overall, a galloping horse and rider, both yellow.
The colors blue and gold refer to the fact that Wyoming was a part of the Louisiana Purchase and once belonged to France. The horse and rider, having played a vital role in the settling, development, and defense of the State, are a well-known symbol of Wyoming.
The shoulder sleeve insignia was originally approved for Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, Wyoming National Guard on 25 February 1953. It was redesignated for Headquarters, State Area Command, Wyoming Army National Guard on 30 December 1983. (TIOH Dwg. No. A-1-186)
Arapahoe Tribe of the Wind River
Shoshone Tribe of the Wind River
© Hubert de Vries 2017-10-16
“Session Laws of Wyoming, 1921: Session Laws of
the State of Wyom,ing passes by the Sixteenth Stte
Legislature Convened at Cheyenne, January 11, 1921, Adjourned February 19,
1921. W. E. Chaplin, compiled and published under Statutoty Authority (The
Laramie Printing Company, Printers, Laramie, Wyoming, 1921) chap 49, p. 38, 39.
Georg Earlie: State Names, Flags, Seals, Songs, Birds, Flowers and other
Symbols. The H.W. Wilson Comp.. New York, 1951.