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You Could Be Living In “Wauwaumie,” Instead Of Wyoming

Cooper, Townsquare Media
Cooper, Townsquare Media

As far back as 12,000 years, what is present day Wyoming has been inhabited by Paleo Indians. Beginning in the 1700s the land was claimed by Spain, Great Britain, Mexico, and finally in 1803, the United States executed the Louisiana Purchase from France.

The name, “Wyoming,” was used as early as 1865, with the introduction of a bill to Congress to provide a “temporary government for the territory of Wyoming.”

A long Senate debate included the possible names; Cheyenne, Shoshoni, Arapaho, Sioux, Platte, Big Horn, Yellowstone, Sweetwater and Lincoln.

At the time, “Wyoming” was commonly used and was a popular choice. “Wyoming” was adopted from two Delaware Indian words, that meant “at the big plains” or “’end of plains.” There was irritation over using an eastern word for a western territory. It was spelled in various ways, including Wauwaumie, Wiwaume, Wiomie. But a Wyoming State Historian, argued that when the Delaware Indians moved westward, they brought the name with them to the upper Platte river country to the mountains, or ‘end of the plains.

We became Wyoming Territory in 1868, and then a state in 1890.

Out many possible names, I am glad the Senate passed on “Wauwaumie,” and some of the other names, and went instead with “Wyoming” for our name.

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