First Book of Substantial Size Printed in Wyoming Territory
First Printing of the Territory’s Laws
First Granting of Suffrage to Women in the U.S.
237. WYOMING (Territory). LAWS. General Laws, Memorials and Resolutions of the Territory of Wyoming, Passed at the First Session of the Legislative Assembly, Convened at Cheyenne, October 12th, 1869, and Adjourned sine die, December 11th, 1869, to Which Are Prefixed Declaration of Independence, Constitution of the United States, and the Act Organizing the Territory, together with Executive Proclamations. Published by Authority. Cheyenne: S. Allan Bristol, Public Printer, Tribune Office, 1870. xvi, 784 pp. 8vo, original full law sheep, red and black gilt-lettered leather spine labels, “1st Session” stamped in black letter on spine, covers with panel lines in dark brown. Spine slightly worn, upper joint split, moderate scuffing to binding. Except for corner being torn away from one index page (costing a few letters) and a few other minor paper flaws (none affecting text), the interior is very fine. Faded contemporary black ink property stamp on lower cover: “This book is the property of Ralph E. Esteb, Cheyenne, Wyo.”
First edition of the first book of substantial size printed in Wyoming Territory, and the first printing of the Territory’s laws. AII (Wyoming) 6. McMurtrie, Early Printing in Wyoming 6. Stopka 1870.2. Streeter Sale 2235: “This compilation was for some time considered the first book printed in Wyoming; it is certainly the earliest official book printing.” Chapter 62 contains laws covering marks and brands, and chapter 85 is an act concerning stray stock.
Printer Bristol was brother-in-law of Wyoming’s first Territorial Secretary Edward M. Lee, who founded the Wyoming Tribune in 1869. It is possible that Bristol got the contract for printing this volume through his connections. The women of the Territory put their franchise to good use when six hundred of them petitioned to have the unpopular Lee removed. Shortly after Lee’s recall, the Tribune collapsed.
Of interest for women’s history on p. 371 is “Female Suffrage, Chapter 31, An Act to Grant to the Women of Wyoming Territory the Right of Suffrage and to Hold Office.” Wyoming Territory was the first modern polity wherein equal rights to vote, hold public office, and serve on juries were extended to women. The right survived an effort to repeal it, but proved to be contentious in the admission of Territory to the Union, with many in the U.S. Congress opposed to admitting a state that allowed women’s suffrage. ($500-1,000)
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