The Most Dishonest Politician in Wyoming History
As Mark Twain once wrote, "politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason."
In fact, the state of Wyoming would not exist today if our elected officials weren't completely full of it.
On March 26, 1890, Wyoming’s Congressional Delegate Joseph Carey introduced a bill in the House of Representatives that would establish the territory as a state.
The biggest issue in the debate was Wyoming’s population, which fell below the traditional standard for statehood of 60,000 citizens.
Leading up the vote, Carey had suggested that Wyoming actually had a population of nearly 125,000. Several members of congress questioned his estimate, citing the considerably smaller number of residents who had voted in recent state elections.
Carey dismissed the low voter turnout, claiming it was due to a lack of interest in politics. “There is but little of politics in Wyoming. Every year is an off year,” Carey testified.
Carey also argued that the vast size of Wyoming and its rugged terrain made it difficult for census takers to conduct an accurate population survey.
Of course, Carey was lying through his teeth. Yet somehow, he convinced the House and Senate that Wyoming’s population was large enough to merit statehood.
July 10, 1890, United States President Benjamin Harrison signed a bill that officially made Wyoming the 44th state in the union.
Like many great events in American history, it may have never happened were it not for a lying politician.