3¢ Colorado Statehood
Issue Date: August 1, 1951
City: Minturn, CO
Printed by: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Rotary Press
Perforations: 11 x 10½
Color: Blue violet
Issued to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Colorado’s statehood, U.S. #1001 pictures the state capitol building. Surrounding the capitol are Mount of the Holy Cross, the state seal, the state flower (the columbine), and a cowboy on a horse.
Colorado’s Road to Statehood
The United States acquired the region that is now eastern and central Colorado as part of the Louisiana Purchase, in 1803. Teams led by Zebulon M. Pike and Major Stephen H. Long explored the area. In 1833, the first permanent American settlement was established at Bent’s Fort, near present-day La Junta. The fort was used as a base for several famous frontiersmen of the time. In 1821, Mexico gained control of western Colorado from Spain. The region came under United States control twenty-seven years later, under the terms of the treaty that ended the Mexican War.
Colorado was sparsely populated until 1858, when prospectors found gold along Cherry Creek. Word spread quickly as gold hunters flocked to the area. By the following year, more than 100,000 people had come to Colorado in search of riches. However, more than half turned back, disappointed that they had not found much gold.
As the population grew in the Colorado area, government became an important issue. Settlers created the Jefferson Territory, ignoring Indian claims that they were given the land by various treaties. In 1861, Congress, which until that point had not recognized the Jefferson Territory, established the Colorado Territory with William Gilpin as the first governor.
Colorado became the 38th state of the Union on August 1, 1876. John L. Routt, the former territorial governor, was elected as the first State Governor.
Shortly after Colorado gained statehood, a silver boom brought vast wealth to the area. Horace A.W. Tabor invested his profits from several silver mines in the frontier towns of Leadville and Denver. The magnificent buildings he financed helped Denver become one of the state’s largest business and financial centers.