Thursday, June 14, 2018


It is surprising to me who has grown up with the familiar map of the US with its neat borders that there was so many changes in states and their borders in the early years of the Union.  Colorado didn't really become Colorado until February 28, 1861 when James Buchanan signed an Act of Congress organizing the the free Territory of Colorado.  Before that Spain owned portions of the territory, it was part of Mexico and the territory was divided in several different ways.

It is sometimes asserted that it was named Colorado because it was believed the Colorado River originated there and the river was named by the Native Americans because of the red-brown silt that the river carried from the mountains.  However according to Friends of Red Rock Canyon the state was named for Colorado City as the Colorado River has only recently been called the Colorado River.  Colorado City was named because the Spanish word for red is colorado and the Rocks in Colorado are red.  So take your pick river or rocks, red is associated with the terrain of Colorado.