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Wyoming

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Wyoming

The US acquired Wyo. by the Louisiana Purchase and treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. In August 1832, Benjamin Bonneville built a fort by the Green River (abandoned 1835). In 1834, fur traders built Fort Laramie, which became an army post in 1849. Large-scale white settlement began when the transcontinental railroad entered Wyo. in 1867. It became a US territory on 25 July 1868 and had 9,118 settlers by 1870. Wyo. was the main locale of the second Sioux War. A major part of the cattle kingdom, its herds increased from 300,000 head in 1880 to 1,500,000 during the great cattle freeze of 1886–7. Sheep grazing competed with ranching until sheep outnumbered cattle by 6,000,000 to 1,000,000 about 1905. Wyo. became the 44th state on 10 July 1890. In 1900 it had 92,531 residents (96 percent white, 2 percent Indian, 1 percent Chinese or Japanese, 1 percent black), of whom 71 percent were rural and 19 percent were foreign-born; it ranked 49th among states in population, 45th in the value of its agricultural goods, and 47th in manufactures. Economic development has been dominated by industries extracting coal, oil, aluminum, and iron. In 1990 Wyo. was the smallest state in population and had 453,588 inhabitants (91 percent white, 6 percent Hispanic, 2 percent Indian, 1 percent black), of which 30 percent were urban and 1.7 percent foreign-born. Mining employed 15 percent of workers and manufacturing 6 percent.