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1890 United States House of Representatives election in Wyoming

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1890 United States House of Representatives election in Wyoming

September 11, 1890 (1890-09-11) 1892 →
Senator Clarence Don Clark3.jpg
No image.png
Nominee Clarence D. Clark George T. Beck
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 9,087 6,520
Percentage 58.22% 41.78%

Elected U.S. Representative

Clarence D. Clark

The Wyoming United States House election for 1890 was held on September 11, 1890. Republican lawyer Clarence D. Clark defeated Democratic George T. Beck with 58.22% of the vote and became the first person to represent Wyoming in the House of Representatives.

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  • ✪ The Fort Laramie National Historic Site and 150th Anniversary of the 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie
  • ✪ Andrew Jackson - Good Evil & The Presidency - PBS Documentary


- [Narrator] Your support helps us bring you programs you love. Go to, click on support, and become a sustaining member or an annual member. It's easy and secure, thank you. - The commemoration of the 1868 treaty for Fort Laramie is honoring the spirit of indigenous sovereign nations who have maintained their cultural values and traditions, proudly proclaiming we are still here. - The Fort Laramie National Historic Society and the 1868 treaty for Fort Laramie next on Wyoming Chronicle. (upbeat music) - [Narrator] Funding for Wyoming Chronicle is provided in part by the Dragicevich Foundation. Supporting the work of the Wyoming Women's Foundation. - My name is Affie Ellis, I represent senate district eight here in Laramie County, I was elected to the Wyoming senate in 2016. And this past session I brought senate joint resolution to along with several other co-sponsors who I serve with on the Joint Tribal Relations Committee. And this joint resolution commemorates the 150th anniversary of the signing of the treaty of Fort Laramie. This resolution was important for us to bring forward because Fort Laramie is such an amazing place that has a very long history. Geographically it's a place where the two rivers meet and where the plains meet some mountains. But historically native people have always gathered at the fort and throughout history we've seen that it's been a place where immigrants have stopped to get additional supplies as they were traveling west during the mid-1800s. It served as a military fort and there were rendezvous men, fur trappers, and traders that often spent a lot of time at Fort Laramie. And so throughout history it served many different purposes and it's such a treasure for Wyoming. Serving in the legislature has been a tremendous honor for me and one part of that is that I'm Native American, my tribal affiliation is Navajo and so I definitely have an interest and passion for those kind of issues. And I hope people, when they visit Fort Laramie, really take the time to embrace not only the historical important of that area, but what that history has meant for Indian people and non-Indian people today. Certainly the treaty was designed and one of it's goals was to try and cease some conflicts that happened between non-Indians and Indians during the mid-1800s. And as we see, history will tell us, that those treaties were often broken. But it's important to recognize their importance because these treaties really solidified the United States' relationship with tribes as sovereign nations and that's something that still holds true today. But at the same time they're also, they mark the beginning of an end in some ways for how tribes were living prior to the signing of those treaties. They defined land boundaries where tribes were supposed to settle and really they followed some efforts to try and assimilate native people. So there's a lot of mixed reactions about what these treaties meant, but hopefully visitors today will take away some of that history and just understand that complex dynamic of what those treaties meant and continue to mean. One component of the resolution states that it calls on the federal government to uphold it's treaty obligations. And initially the treaty that was signed back in 1868 has some defined land boundaries and as more western immigration continued and as valuable resources were found in the Black Hills, we saw that the United States broke very important elements of those treaties. And so today I think it's really important for the federal government to remember that there are still people living on reservations that promises were made to provide for some basic necessities. And so that's kind of morphed into a different kind of trust responsibility as we know it today, but the obligation is still there. And sometimes I do think it's frustrating when people are forgetful of that history and view native people as relics of the past, that somehow maybe extinguished or were exterminated once these treaties were signed. And that's simply not the case. I think tribal governments are continuing to grow and become stronger and more sophisticated and we're seeing some really positive things that tribes are doing for their citizens nationwide. And so hopefully these treaties are a reminder that Indian people are still contributing members of society today and they're doing their best to provide for their citizens and we should be working on improving relationships between tribes and states and tribes and the federal government. I think the native perspective about the 1868 treaty of Fort Laramie is probably fairly mixed. On the one hand I think it's an important reminder of tribal sovereignty and that tribes have been dealt with as sovereign nations and that's a status that continues to be very important today. On the other hand, the signing of these treaties does mark a significant departure in how tribes used to live and how their existences used to be. But one thing I do find remarkable is the fact that despite hundreds of years of federal policies against Indians, from removal when you're talking about things like the Trail of Tears to assimilation, to wars, to eras where the federal government tried to terminate it's legal responsibility to recognize these tribes. Despite all these efforts, tribes have still continued to persevere and still exist today. And so we've been very careful in talking about the treaty to make sure we're not using the word celebrate because there are definitely difficult aspects in talking about that history. But to commemorate it is absolutely important and hopefully there will be ways of celebrating the fact that tribes still have very vibrant cultures. Hopefully we can use this as an opportunity to celebrate the cultural heritage. And so I think that it's important for visitors, not only in Wyoming, but across the country, to consider visiting the fort, participating in some of those events, and hopefully gaining a better understanding of why the history of this place is so important. - And our thanks to Senator Affie Ellis and we're here now at Ford Laramie at the National Historic Site with Eric Valencia, he is the chief of interpretation and visitor services here at Fort Laramie. Eric, welcome. And with Maryann Newbert. Maryann, you're the museum curator here at Fort Laramie. Welcome to Wyoming Chronicle, both of you, and thanks for having us today. We're on the bank of the Laramie River here and, Maryann I'll begin with you, right behind us and I think our viewers can see the teepees in our picture here. This is where the treaty of Fort Laramie was discussed, negotiated. What would you say happened right here? - Behind us, basically behind where the teepees actually are was where the council area was located. It's where the tribes came to talk with the members of the Indian Peace Commission and to learn about what was in the treaties. The treaties took place on April 29th, May 3rd, and May 10th. The Sioux were the first group, the Crow were the second group, and the northern Arapaho and northern Cheyenne were the third group. And they basically came to listen to the Indian Peace Commissioners and to see what the US government was offering them in exchange for their land. - This wasn't necessarily the first treaty, there's an earlier treaty at Fort Laramie that I'd like you to talk about just briefly. Dates back clear to 1851. - 1851 treaty, it does carry our name officially, 1851 treat of Fort Laramie, however it was negotiated at Horse Creek. They brought in multiple tribes and they brought in roughly 10,000 people and the landscape here could not take care of itself so they moved it over to Horse Creek, which was roughly 40 miles into Nebraska. - But that's important because the Native Americans, or Indians at the time, and maybe still today, they agreed by consensus. Tell us what that means. - Consensus means that during treaty in '68 they would listen to the commissioners and then they would go amongst themselves and talk amongst themselves. And what they would do is they would come up with something that they all believed in, that they all agreed to. And that actually was kind of a foreign thing to the US government. The US government was looking for signatures of chiefs, they weren't looking-- They didn't understand the idea that these chiefs came to consensus with their people that were there. But it wasn't consensus among the entire tribe because not every chief was here. - Eric, what can visitors take from where we're standing at here today when they come and see-- I mean we're here on a beautiful day, but there's so much history that really began right here. - That's correct and I like to think that when a visitor arrives here at Fort Laramie they are transported to the past. So at this particular site you're given our wayside information that we have here. The visitors will be able to look across the river here, see the three teepees that are displayed out there, and imagine a large congregation of natives negotiating with US representatives here at the fort in that exchange of culture and working to bring peace to the area here. - Before we move along and see more of Fort Laramie and what's offered here, there's really kind of two segments in my eye. There was the time when Fort Laramie became more of a military outpost, but well before that it was more of a place for fur traders and traders met. Is that an accurate was to think about the history of Fort Laramie? - Early 1800s, yes. This was a very important fur trading area just because we are in a very convenient location at the confluence of the Laramie and Plat Rivers. We're easy to get to, we're flat, I don't think the topography has changed any. As I was telling you before, the history goes back 10,000 years, though. So the history is much longer even than fur trading. - And even when trading started it wasn't just people who were coming to the area, it was Indians trading, it was white people trading, and it was them trading with each other, amongst each other, and beaver and buffalo and those types of things. Is that an accurate description? - Yes, Fort Laramie has been the gathering place for nations for thousands of years, as Maryann has stated. And it is also, to this very day, still a gathering place for visitors from around the world as they come to take a view back into history. - Before we move on, this summer we're gonna remember the treat of Fort Laramie of 1868. What can visitors expect relative to that, Eric? - Visitors can expect an experience here that they may have never experienced and that, of course, again, going back to Fort Laramie being that gathering place of the many different or diverse and vibrant cultures that have been gathering here at Fort Laramie for centuries. And it's that experience of diversity of the Native American contribution to this fort, to this area, that we seek to incorporate into the larger story of the area and Fort Laramie. - Is this a celebration, is it a remembrance? How is it going to be framed? - The commemoration of the 1868 treaty of Fort Laramie is honoring the spirit of indigenous sovereign nations who have maintained their cultural values and traditions, proudly proclaiming we are still here. The NPS and the tribes have been working together recognizing the intent of the original negotiators, acknowledging the negative impacts that resulted, and strategizing ways to seek solutions in a forward-looking manner. - We have more to see. We're gonna go to the oldest standing structure in the state of Wyoming. We're gonna see Old Bedlam. So stay with us. Eric and Maryann, we've kind of come about 150 yards north and now we're in front of a building called Old Bedlam, the oldest structure in Wyoming. Eric, what's important about this place? - At one point it did serve as the administrative building here at the fort and Maryann will tell us a little bit about some of the furnishings that we have. I will say that this is probably one of the most important sites that folks will have because legend does have it that it is the oldest building in Wyoming. And visitors are always amazed, especially in the summer when they climb up on the top of the balcony up there, beautiful view of the site. It is just one of those areas that visitors, that is a must-see for visitors. - Lots has happened inside this building, Maryann, and it really has been transformed several times. - Yes it has. When it was constructed in 1849 it was originally for apartments for housing. Very quickly became the administration building. It's been non-commissioner officers housing, it's been housing for two officers families. This building, as beautiful as it is, was not actually one of the places people wanted to live. It was very drafty, very cold. - It is beautiful. - It is very beautiful, but it wasn't very well constructed. - Not well heated? - No. The walls actually are filled with adobe, which you think would help, but it still was cold in the winter, hot in the summer, not very well sealed windows let drafts in. - Give us an idea what life was like here during the fur trading days and later on as it became a military post. - As far as fur trading days, there was probably lots of communication between traders and Native Americans and all the people who came here. - They come for a few days, a week, a day? Do we know? - One of the things that we have to keep in mind that in those times that when traders did arrive they stayed for a substantial amount of time. It's not like today where we think of obtaining supplies in a matter of hours or even sometimes in a matter of days, it would've taken a long time to reach this area and they would have stayed until they would have gathered the supplied that they needed or bartered for the supplies that they needed. Stuck around and socialized and had cultural interactions and then eventually left. - But for immigrants here there was a race against weather and winter as to how long they stayed. - For immigrants, exactly. They would have probably come in and gotten resupplied as quickly as possible and then continued on their way depending on the weather situation. - So then we come to the later time when it was a military post. Maryann, what was life here if you were a soldier here? - If you were an enlisted soldier it wasn't very good. Lots of enlisted soldiers who came here were actually immigrants from the northeast and because they were considered undesirable classes, this was the only job they could get was in the military. So they would join the military and they would be shipped out to a place like this, which is incredibly different than what they're used to. So they would do what they could, they would march around in units, they would hang out on the porch of the cavalry barracks, they would do their daily drills. Life here wasn't actually-- - Is boring the right word? - Pretty boring for them. If you were an officer, it was a completely different story. Officers came here as part of their career path. They want to go out west to make their-- Higher grade in their careers and then hopefully at some point get shipped off somewhere else. But that's what they did. - Before this-- Go ahead. - Enlisted men, their life was very regimented, if you will. It was drill, drill, drill, and more drill. One of the special things that we have here at the fort is even to this very day you can still hear the bugle call of the regimented life of the soldier. And that was that bugle call that dictated exactly where they needed to be, what they were supposed to be doing, and as the morning came along you awaited the bugle call and that determined how your day went. - We're at Fort Laramie, but there was a time when it was a different place, it was either Forth William or Fort John. Give us a little bit of the back history, if you will. - Both were fur trading posts. Obviously areas where people met and traded, communicated with one another. Fort William, we do not know the location of it, there are lots of theories. But we do not know the actual location of it. Fort John we do, Fort John was actually located right being quarters eye right there. - Some of the other buildings that are close by, are they barracks? Is that what is right behind us as we're visiting today? - Much of the remaining structures are housing units. The two that are right behind us, those were actually duplex officers quarters, so two families. - Before we move on, at any one time when it was Fort Laramie how many people might have been here? Did it depend on the time of year? What did it depend on? - It depended on how many units were actually out of the fort. This is a place where they came, drilled, got ready for wars outside of this area. - Hundreds? - Thousands. - Turnover rate was very high amongst enlisted. - Yes, around 50%. Some of them joined immigrant wagons and just left. Some left on their own. It's probably safer to leave with an immigrant wagon or with another soldier, at least, because once you leave here there is nothing to the landscape. And it's just a little bit safer idea to have left with somebody, but yeah. - On your way west like everyone else? - Yes, some of them heard about the gold in California, that's a better idea than this. So they would join a wagon train going to California or they had heard about homesteading. The reason a lot of them came to this country was for a better life. "Well I can get a homestead in Oregon so I'm gonna join "this wagon train that's on the Oregon trail." - We have more to see so we'll move along. We've now progressed to the final stop on our tour of Fort Laramie, the Fort Laramie National Historic Site today. We're in the settler store. Eric, what are people gonna see when they walk in here? - It really is a trip back in time to the supplies and necessities that anyone would be-- That would be necessary for survival on the harsh plains, on the harsh northern great plains. - Give me an idea of what those supplies might've been. - As we look through here you can see there's anything from your basic hygiene elements such as combs, toothbrushes, toothpaste, things of that sort. Then you'd also have your canned good, which is always a favorite, your coffee, your tobacco, and a favorite for the children, of course candy. - Sure, sure. There's blankets and hats and clothing also here, too. How was business transacted, Maryann, when someone needed something here in the store? - Mostly it was either cash, credit-- - Bartering? - They also can trade. The buffalo ribs that are right behind you actually could've been traded with Native Americans for things like beads and the food supplies and stuff. Some soldiers could buy stuff on credit. The settler would have a running book and at the end of the month he would actually give the amounts owed to the pay master of whatever unit the soldier came from and it would be taken out of his paycheck. Or cash. Anything here could actually be ordered by the settler. So what you see here is kind of a very small amount of what they actually did come to get. They can get furniture, pianos, if they need more cloth, dresses, they could get anything. - So give me an idea, geographically, or where things came from and how they got here. Again, keeping in mind the mid to late 1800s. - A lot of the good came via wagon train. Later on it was actually railroad and wagon train. - Early on from Omaha? - Probably farther east. - Farther east yet? And then about what time did railroad service come? - Roughly in the 1870s. - Would that have been coming, then, from Cheyenne? So go ahead Eric. - That really is the story of Fort Laramie is it sits at the confluence of two major rivers. And, as you can imagine, these rivers were highways of their day. And it's where these two rivers meet that you find the gathering of nations, the gathering of peoples, and it really is the crux of our diversity story here at Fort Laramie. - We're not far from Nebraska. Geographically the best way for folks to come and visit Fort Laramie would be, Eric? - Highway 26, right up the north Plat, just like those immigrants did. - Just off I-25 exit north of Wheatland a little bit. - Exit 92. - And it would be a very easy way to get here. What are the hours of Fort Laramie? - Fort Laramie is open sunrise to sunset. Our visitor center hours from Labor Day to Memorial Day are eight AM to 4:30 PM. Our summer hours are extended and of course that would be Memorial Day through Labor Day where our visitor center is open from nine AM 'til seven PM. - And if visitors want to come here, maybe they should know they're not real close to a restaurant or a hotel, it's something that visitors need to plan for. - Yes. And local communities do have those services, the nearest communities to the fort here of course are Lingle, Wyoming, Fort Laramie, Wyoming, and Torrington Wyoming, and Gurnsey Wyoming. - So to kind of circle back from where we started, though, we're really remembering and honoring, if you will, the treaty of 1868. This would've been in a place that did exist when that treaty was signed, is that right Maryann? - Yes. - And so what was the later history of where we're standing? How long was it a going concern, if you will. - The fort itself was decommissioned in 1890 and after that it was sold, actually, to homesteaders. And we can actually thank the preservation of this fort because of those homesteaders. - These are local people? - Yes, they used these buildings for farming and ranching in their homes. And then when they were purchased by the state of Wyoming, given to the federal government, the structures were actually in really good shape for the most part. And as far as forts in the national park service, we are one of the best preserved. - So a lot of archeology has occurred to this date? Lots of research happens here or has happened here. And still more to be discovered, in your mind? - Absolutely. Like the location of Fort William. - And so archeologists will probably tell us that story. What else is on the horizon, short tern, for Fort Laramie? - I think as far as our commemoration one thing that we hope to achieve as far as extending the story of Fort Laramie is to get-- - The commemoration of the treaty? - Yes, to get the stories from the descendants of those who were here during the time of the signing and also to get a better of what their lives are today. Because their lives were very much determined by their ancestors signing the 1868 treaty. - And are there opportunities for people to interact with you to provide more stories and more research? - There's an extensive archives in this park. Actually, just to be nice, we have probably one of the best. One thing we do have is something called the Name File, which has 36,000 names of people who've passed through Fort Laramie and I mean everybody. It is Native Americans, it is immigrants, and it is the military. A lot of people come looking for information about their ancestors here. Also we have information, jus historical information about the history of the park and also we have an extensive just general library about the topics pertaining to military history, some immigrant history, and some Native American history, also. - And as you saw today we had our first group of fourth graders actually on our, what we refer to as our, educational season. And we are very proud to say that a large number of Wyoming fourth grade students come to the fort to learn more about the history of Wyoming as it encompasses everything that is Wyoming, if you will. - We were watching that tour, interacting with rangers, learning directly about the history of Fort Laramie. - Exactly and that is, again, part of our educational program. Throughout the summer visitors can arrive here at the fort and they would find a living history, a person dressed in living history attire attending to the store here, telling the story of the settler and the importance of this particular building. We also offer interpretive programing throughout the day in addition to our living history stations. - And they can get the most information by starting at the visitor's center? - That's correct. - Lot of books for sale there, which ones are the most popular? - The most popular happens to be the general survey of the history of the Fort here that is a book entitled The Pageant of the West. - Eric and Maryann, it's been a pleasure. I think that we look forward to what will happen here this summer as we remember the treaty of 1868 and its relevance even today. So thank you very much for joining us. - Thank you for coming out to the fort and allowing us to be a part of your program. - It was our pleasure and I'll tell our viewers this is kind of a little gem that's kind of on the eastern fringe of Wyoming that is a wonderful place and there is a lot of history that is available to be learned right here. So thank you for joining us on Wyoming Chronicle. (upbeat music)


United States House of Representatives election in Wyoming, 1890[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Clarence D. Clark 9,087 58.22%
Democratic George T. Beck 6,520 41.78%
Total votes 15,607 100%


  1. ^ "United States House of Representatives election in Wyoming, 1890".
This page was last edited on 5 April 2019, at 00:01
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