5¢ Nevada Statehood
Issue Date: July 22, 1964
City: Carson City, NV
Printed by: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Giori Press
Color: Red, yellow, and blue
U.S. #1248 commemorates the 100th anniversary of Nevada statehood. The stamp pictures Virginia City, a ghost town that’s become a major tourist attraction.
Nevada’s Road to Statehood
The United States acquired Nevada from Mexico at the end of the Mexican War in 1848. It was governed as part of a vast territory that included California, Utah, and parts of four other states. The Mormon leader Brigham Young organized the State of Deseret in 1849. Deseret included Utah, most of Nevada, and parts of other U.S. states. Young asked the federal government to admit Deseret to the Union. Instead, in 1850, Congress created the Utah Territory, which included Utah and most of Nevada, and named Young governor.
Starting in 1851, large numbers of Mormons began moving to the Carson Valley in Nevada. They established a trading post called Mormon Station for people traveling west to California to find gold. Mormon Station later became Genoa, the oldest permanent white settlement in Utah.
In 1859, a rich deposit of silver ore was discovered at the present site of Virginia City. Although other miners had discovered the silver, Henry Comstock took credit for finding the ore. Thus, this deposit became known as the Comstock Lode. News of the discovery spread fast, and soon miners from California and the Eastern U.S. flocked to the area looking to strike it rich. Virginia City quickly became a thriving mining center. By 1860, Carson County’s mining camps held more than 6,700 people.
On March 2, 1861, President James Buchanan created the Nevada Territory. Two days later, President Abraham Lincoln took office. Lincoln named New York politician James W. Nye the territory’s first governor. The Civil War erupted before the territorial government could be established. Nevada’s rich silver resources gained importance during the war, as both sides needed wealth to pay for the expense of waging battle.