Colorado History - the history of Colorado
   
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Vacation 2 USA   >   Colorado   >   History
Vacation 2 USA   >   History   >   Colorado History

   
 

Colorado History


Prior to the arrival of European settlers, Colorado, was inhabited by a number of Native American tribes. These included the Apache, who inhabited the eastern plains in the 18th century but then migrated southward into Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. The void left by the migration of the Apache was filled by the Arapaho and Cheyenne, who had both come from the East, however they were both relocated out Colorado in the 1860s. Additionally, the Shoshoni inhabited a number of valleys, including the Yampa River valley, in the North of the state, until the late 19th century, and the Ute were an established tribe in the Rocky Mountains for many centuries but were relocated almost entirely out of the state in the 1880s.

The first Europeans to arrive in the area were Spanish, French and American fur traders, trappers and explorers. The land that would eventually become Colorado, was acquired in part by the 1803 Louisiana Purchase from France, and in part from Mexico by the 1848 Mexican Cession (following the 1846-1848 Mexican-American War).

In 1858, gold was discovered in Colorado, and when news got to the East, large numbers of settlers arrived in the 1859 Colorado Gold Rush. The population exploded in many places, but later fell back down again when the ore ran out, leaving many ghost towns.

Colorado was organized as a U.S. territory on February 28, 1861, and was admitted to the Union as the 38th state on 1876.

In 1970, the 1976 Winter Olympics was awarded to Denver. However, Colorado voted to prohibit public funds from being used to support the games, so the games were instead relocated to Innsbruck in Austria.


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A Wild West History of Frontier Colorado: Pioneers, Gunslingers & Cattle Kings on the Eastern Plains

By Jolie Anderson Gallagher

The History Press
Released: 2011-11-02
Paperback (144 pages)

A Wild West History of Frontier Colorado: Pioneers, Gunslingers & Cattle Kings on the Eastern Plains
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Jolie Anderson's collection of wild west tales focuses on the early frontier history of Colorado's plains and includes a look at some of the state's early pioneers like the "59ers" who promoted the state through travel guides and newspapers, exaggerating tales of gold discovery and even providing inaccurate maps to promote settlement in the plains; the perils of living and traveling the major gold routes the town of Julesburg relocated four times in a decade; feuds; Indian fights; outlaws, and even early rodeo history. These stories and events shaped the Colorado territory and are a rich glimpse into the early history of the state.

Colorado: A History of the Centennial State, Fifth Edition

By Carl Abbott & Thomas J. Noel

University Press of Colorado
Paperback (572 pages)

Colorado: A History of the Centennial State, Fifth Edition
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Since 1976, newcomers and natives alike have learned about the rich history of the magnificent place they call home from Colorado: A History of the Centennial State. In the fifth edition, coauthors Carl Abbott, Stephen J. Leonard, and Thomas J. Noel incorporate recent events, scholarship, and insights about the state in an accessible volume that general readers and students will enjoy.

The new edition tells of conflicts, shifting alliances, and changing ways of life as Hispanic, European, and African American settlers flooded into a region that was already home to Native Americans. Providing a balanced treatment of the entire state’s history—from Grand Junction to Lamar and from Trinidad to Craig—the authors also reveal how Denver and its surrounding communities developed and gained influence.

While continuing to elucidate the significant impact of mining, agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism on Colorado, the fifth edition broadens and focuses its coverage by consolidating material on Native Americans into one chapter and adding a new chapter on sports history. The authors also expand their discussion of the twentieth century with updated sections on the environment, economy, politics, and recent cultural conflicts. New illustrations, updated statistics, and an extensive bibliography including Internet resources enhance this edition.

Centennial: A Novel

By James A. Michener

Random House Trade
Released: 2007-05-29
Paperback (1104 pages)

Centennial: A Novel
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Written to commemorate the Bicentennial in 1976, James A. Michener’s magnificent saga of the West is an enthralling celebration of the frontier. Brimming with the glory of America’s past, the story of Colorado—the Centennial State—is manifested through its people: Lame Beaver, the Arapaho chieftain and warrior, and his Comanche and Pawnee enemies; Levi Zendt, fleeing with his child bride from the Amish country; the cowboy, Jim Lloyd, who falls in love with a wealthy and cultured Englishwoman, Charlotte Seccombe. In Centennial, trappers, traders, homesteaders, gold seekers, ranchers, and hunters are brought together in the dramatic conflicts that shape the destiny of the legendary West—and the entire country.
 
Praise for Centennial
 
“A hell of a book . . . While he fascinates and engrosses, Michener also educates.”Los Angeles Times
 
“An engrossing book . . . imaginative and intricate . . . teeming with people and giving a marvelous sense of the land.”The Plain Dealer
 
“Michener is America’s best writer, and he proves it once again in Centennial. . . . If you’re a Michener fan, this book is a must. And if you’re not a Michener fan, Centennial will make you one.”The Pittsburgh Press
 
“An absorbing work . . . Michener is a superb storyteller.”BusinessWeek

Colorado: A Historical Atlas

By Thomas J. Noel

University of Oklahoma Press
Hardcover (368 pages)

Colorado: A Historical Atlas
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This is a thoroughly revised edition of the Historical Atlas of Colorado, which was coauthored by Tom Noel and published in 1994. Chock-full of the best and latest information on Colorado, this new edition features thirty new chapters, updated text, more than 100 color maps and 100 color photos, and a best-of listing of Colorado authors and books, as well as a guide to hundreds of tourist attractions.

Colorado received its name (Spanish for “red”) after much debate and many possibilities, including Idaho (an “Indian” name meaning “gem of the mountains” later discovered to be a fabrication) and Yampa (Ute for “bear”). Noel includes other little-known but significant facts about the state, from its status as first state in the Union to elect women to its legislature, to its controversial “highest state” designation, elevated by the 2013 legalization of recreational cannabis.

Noel and cartographer Carol Zuber-Mallison map and describe Colorado’s spectacular geography and its fascinating past. The book’s eight parts survey natural Colorado, from rivers and mountains to dinosaurs and mammals; history, from prehistoric peoples to twenty-first-century Color-oddities; mining and manufacturing, from the gold rush to alternative energy sources; agriculture, including wineries and brewpubs; transportation, from stagecoach lines to light rail; modern Colorado, from the New Deal to the present (including politics, history, and information on lynchings, executions, and prisons); recreation, covering not only hiking and skiing but also literary locales and Colorado in the movies; and tourism, encompassing historic landmarks, museums, and even cemeteries. In short, this book has information—and surprises—that anyone interested in Colorado will relish.

A Colorado History, 10th Edition (The Pruett Series)

By Maxine Benson-Cook & Carl Ubbelohde

WestWinds Press
Paperback (512 pages)

A Colorado History, 10th Edition (The Pruett Series)
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Experience Colorado with this new, enlarged edition of A COLORADO HISTORY. For fifty years, the authors of this preeminent resource have led readers on an extraordinary exploration of how the state has changed―and how it has stayed the same.
From the arrival of Paleo-Indians in the Mesa Verde region to the fast pace of the twenty-first century, A COLORADO HISTORY covers the political, economic, cultural, and environmental issues, along with the fascinating events and characters, that have shaped this dynamic state.
In print for fifty years, this distinctive examination of the Centennial State is a must-read for history buffs, students, researchers―or anyone―interested in the remarkable place called Colorado.

Denver Inside and Out (Colorado History)

By Colorado Historical Society

Colorado Historical Society
Paperback (132 pages)

Denver Inside and Out (Colorado History)
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Denver turned 150 just a few years ago--not too shabby for a city so down on its luck in 1868 that Cheyenne boosters deemed it "too dead to bury." Still, most of the city's history is a recent memory: Denver's entire story spans just two human lifetimes.

In Denver Inside and Out, eleven authors illustrate how pioneers built enduring educational, medical, and transportation systems; how Denver's social and political climate contributed to the elevation of women; how Denver residents wrestled with-and exploited-the city's natural features; and how diverse cultural groups became an essential part of the city's fabric. By showing how the city rose far above its humble roots, the authors illuminate the many ways that Denver residents have never stopped imagining a great city.

Published in time for the opening of the new History Colorado Center in Denver in 2012, Denver Inside and Out hints at some of the social, economic, legal, and environmental issues that Denverites will have to consider over the next 150 years. Finalist for the 2012 Colorado Book Awards

Weird Colorado: Your Travel Guide to Colorado's Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets

By Charmaine Ortega Getz

Brand: Sterling
Hardcover (272 pages)

Weird Colorado: Your Travel Guide to Colorado s Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets
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For weirdness to flourish, it requires a combination of dramatic history, amazing environments, and truly unique, off-the-grid characters. Colorado is blessed with all three! From the strange tale of Alfred Packer to Fruita's annual commemoration of Mike (the rooster that lost its head but not its will to live), there's no shortage of bizarre history and happenings in this Rocky Mountain locale.

Where the Water Goes: Life and Death Along the Colorado River

By David Owen

RIVERHEAD
Released: 2017-04-11
Hardcover (288 pages)

Where the Water Goes: Life and Death Along the Colorado River
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A downstream adventure into the heart of one of America’s most important water systems examining where our water comes from and where it all goes
 
The Colorado River is a crucial resource for a surprisingly large part of the United States, and every gallon that flows down it is owned or claimed by someone. David Owen traces all that water from the Colorado's headwaters to its parched terminus, once a verdant wetland but now a million-acre desert. He takes readers on an adventure downriver, along a labyrinth of waterways, reservoirs, power plants, farms, fracking sites, ghost towns, and RV parks, to the spot near the U.S.–Mexico border where the river runs dry. 
 
Water problems in the western United States can seem tantalizingly easy to solve: just turn off the fountains at the Bellagio, stop selling hay to China, ban golf, cut down the almond trees, and kill all the lawyers. But a closer look reveals a vast man-made ecosystem that is far more complex and more interesting than the headlines let on.

The story Owen tells in Where the Water Goes is crucial to our future: how a patchwork of engineering marvels, byzantine legal agreements, aging infrastructure, and neighborly cooperation enables life to flourish in the desert, and the disastrous consequences we face when any part of this tenuous system fails.

Roadside History of Colorado (Roadside History Series) (Roadside History (Paperback))

By Candy Moulton

Brand: Mountain Pr
Released: 2006-05-01
Paperback (277 pages)

Roadside History of Colorado (Roadside History Series) (Roadside History (Paperback))
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Colorado s roads wind through country that is steeped in history, sometimes tracing routes with a history of their own, from the Santa Fe Trail to the Million Dollar Highway. But no matter where you roam in this beautiful state, Roadside History of Colorado can guide you. In this long-awaited volume, award-winning history writer Candy Moulton escorts readers through ancient pueblos, perilous trails, mining boomtowns, and modern ski resorts. Like the other books in this popular series. Roadside History of Colorado is divided into geographical-historical areas, making it easy to explore the state region by region. Mesmerizing tales of adventure and tragedy including cannibalism on the Starvation Trail, the infamous Sand Creek Massacre, the jailing of Mother Jones, and the Big Thompson River flood of 1976 will thrill both Coloradans and visitors. Numerous historical photographs and maps enhance this entertaining and handy guide to the history of the Centennial State.

River Notes: A Natural and Human History of the Colorado

By Wade Davis

Island Press
Paperback (176 pages)

River Notes: A Natural and Human History of the Colorado
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Plugged by no fewer than twenty-five dams, the Colorado is the world’s most regulated river drainage, providing most of the water supply of Las Vegas, Tucson, and San Diego, and much of the power and water of Los Angeles and Phoenix, cities that are home to more than 25 million people. If it ceased flowing, the water held in its reservoirs might hold out for three to four years, but after that it would be necessary to abandon most of southern California and Arizona, and much of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. For the entire American Southwest the Colorado is indeed the river of life, which makes it all the more tragic and ironic that by the time it approaches its final destination, it has been reduced to a shadow upon the sand, its delta dry and deserted, its flow a toxic trickle seeping into the sea.
 
In this remarkable blend of history, science, and personal observation, acclaimed author Wade Davis tells the story of America’s Nile, how it once flowed freely and how human intervention has left it near exhaustion, altering the water temperature, volume, local species, and shoreline of the river Theodore Roosevelt once urged us to “leave it as it is.” Yet despite a century of human interference, Davis writes, the splendor of the Colorado lives on in the river’s remaining wild rapids, quiet pools, and sweeping canyons. The story of the Colorado River is the human quest for progress and its inevitable if unintended effects—and an opportunity to learn from past mistakes and foster the rebirth of America’s most iconic waterway.
 
A beautifully told story of historical adventure and natural beauty, River Notes is a fascinating journey down the river and through mankind’s complicated and destructive relationship with one of its greatest natural resources.


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