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President Buchanan signs the Colorado Territory into existence

Colorado, 1861, zoomable map
02/28/1861
President Buchanan signed into law the legislation organizing the Colorado Territory.  The bill had been introduced earlier in the month and helped through congress both by the absence of many southern members and its silence on slavery. It was named for its main river after proposals for "Jefferson" and "Idaho" were rejected.  Abraham Lincoln later appointed Philadelphian William Gilpin as the new territory's first governor. (By John Osborne)
Source Citation: 
Eugene H. Berwanger, The Rise of the Centennial State: Colorado Territory, 1861-76 (Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2007), 5-6. 

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