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The Oregon Country which was acquired by discovery in 1792, by exploration in 1805, by the Astoria Settlement in 1811, by the Florida Treaty in 1819 and by acknowledged title by Great Britain in 1846, embraces all of Oregon, Washington, and Idaho and parts of Montana and Wyoming. (The northwestern part of Sweetwater County, the western part of Fremont, and the northern part of Uinta together with the southern part of the Yellowstone Park.)
The Louisiana Purchase from France comprises all of the vast territory in Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Indian Territory, Oklahoma and parts of Minnesota, Kansas, Colorado, Montana and Wyoming. (All of Crook, Weston, Converse, Laramie, Sheridan, Johnson, Natrona, Big Horn and part of Albany, Carbon, Fremont and the Yellowstone Park.)
The lands included in these eight different stages of expansion constitute all the territory owned by the United States except Hawaii, which was acquired in 1898 and the Islands obtained in the late Spanish War.
A more detailed account of the manner in which our country was discovered and how we obtained title to the region west of the Mississippi will be found in the following tables. An effort has been made to trace step by step all the transactions made to give Wyoming a clear "abstract of title." All of the land in this unexplored West was comprised in the “Great American Desert” inhabited by tribes of unknown Indians and herds of wild buffalo. Title comes to a country by the right of discovery, or exploration, by conquest or war, by settlement or purchase or gift. Lands first discovered have no need of conquest. They belong to the discoverer by "right of discovery." If the land explored has been discovered before and is in doubtful possession title in the name of the country from where the explorers came is made by conquest. The title is better secured by a permanent settlement and a guarding of the possession
against land seekers. When land is purchased it is presumed that the contracting nation has a perfect title to the land which passes to the purchaser. Lands within the boundaries of Wyoming have passed through all of these stages, having been discovered and explored by the early trappers, conquered from the Indians and purchased from France, Mexico and Texas. The titled interests of Wyoming in a measure begin with Columbus and end with the date of our Statehood, July 10, 1890, or from the period when the western hemisphere was discovered to that time when we took our place in the Union as one of the States with self-government and a separate Constitution.
CHRONOLOGY OF EVENTS THAT LED TO THE OCCUPATION
OF THE TERRITORY WEST OF THE
SPANISH RULE. (The following tables trace the possessors of the land, by the different nations through their explorers and settlements, which is now included within the boundaries of Wyoming. Had the existence of this area been known and had there been settlers thereon they would have been under the rule of the following nations and their respective rulers. It must be remembered, however, that Wyoming was not even explored; that it was a vast unknown country, inhabited by savage tribes of Indians, their very existence then being unknown to civilization.) 1479-1516. Ferdinand I of Aragon.
Isabella of Castile.
THE NEW WORLD.
Guanahani, Cuba and San Domingo. Takes pos-
Queen of Spain.
which Spain rested her claims to the New World.
and discovers Jamaica.
America and discovers the river Orinoco.
tral America from Honduras to the Isthmus of
covered belonged to the Asiatic mainland.
ocean, called by him the Mar de Sur, or South
lantic into the Pacific ocean. America known to be a Continent.