The Colorado Territory as drawn in 1860 from the Utah, Nebraska, Kansas, and New Mexico Territories. Colorado appears to have a rectangular border at this scale, but there are in fact some slight deviations from a straight line along its southern border.
$1 City of Omaha 1857 uniface banknote. The note is signed by Jesse Lowe in his function as Mayor of Omaha City. It was issued as scrip in 1857 to help fund the erection of the territorial capitol building at Omaha.
The Colorado Territory as drawn in 1860 from the Utah, Nebraska, Kansas, and New Mexico Territories. Colorado appears to have a rectangular border at this scale, but there are in fact some slight deviations from a straight line along its southern border.
The front page of the December 6, 1854 issue of the Nebraska Palladium, the first newspaper to be published in the Nebraska Territory
The front page of the May 4, 1857 issue of the Nebraska Advertiser founded by Robert Wilkinson Furnas, in Brownville, Nebraska Territory
Site No. JF00-072: The Nebraska–Kansas state line at the intersection of Nebraska counties Thayer and Jefferson and Kansas counties Washington and Republic
Map of the territory of Nebraska and seal of the Nebraska Territory

East of the Continental Divide, the new territory included the western portion of the Kansas Territory, as well as some of the southwestern Nebraska Territory, and a small parcel of the northeastern New Mexico Territory.

- Colorado Territory

The Colorado Territory was formed February 28, 1861 from portions of the territory south of 41° N and west of 102°03′ W (25° W of Washington, D.C.) (an area that includes present-day Fort Collins, Greeley and the portions of Boulder north of Baseline Road, in addition to portions of Kansas Territory, New Mexico Territory, and Utah Territory).

- Nebraska Territory

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Kansas Territory

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Organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from May 30, 1854, until January 29, 1861, when the eastern portion of the territory was admitted to the Union as the free state of Kansas.

Organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from May 30, 1854, until January 29, 1861, when the eastern portion of the territory was admitted to the Union as the free state of Kansas.

Map of the United States in 1812
Site No. JF00-072: The Nebraska–Kansas state line at the intersection of Nebraska counties Thayer and Jefferson and Kansas counties Washington and Republic
1855 first edition of Colton's map of the Nebraska and Kansas Territories
Territorial changes of Kansas

The Territory of Colorado was created to govern this western region of the former Kansas Territory on February 28, 1861.

This act established both the Nebraska Territory and Kansas Territory.

Colorado

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State in the Mountain West subregion of the Western United States.

State in the Mountain West subregion of the Western United States.

Ruins of Cliff Palace at Mesa Verde National Park. Photo by Gustaf Nordenskiöld, 1891
Great Kiva at Chimney Rock in the San Juan Mountains of Southwestern Colorado. It is said to have been built by the Ancient Pueblo peoples.
The Spanish discovering the Colorado River, namesake of the state, in 1540, by Augusto Ferrer-Dalmau. García López de Cárdenas can be seen overlooking the Grand Canyon.
Map of the Mexican Cession, with the white representing the territory the United States received from Mexico (plus land ceded to the Republic of Texas) after the Mexican–American War. Well over half of Colorado was received during this treaty.
The Anasazi Heritage Center in Dolores
The territories of New Mexico, Utah, Kansas, and Nebraska before the creation of the Territory of Colorado
Mount of the Holy Cross, photographed by William Henry Jackson in 1874
The Georgetown Loop of the Colorado Central Railroad as photographed by William Henry Jackson in 1899
Three 10th Mountain Division skitroopers above Camp Hale in February 1944.
The arid high plains in Southeastern Colorado
Front Range Peaks west of Denver
Tenmile Range and Dillon Reservoir near Breckenridge
Grays Peak at 4352 m is the highest point on the Continental Divide in North America
The high desert lands that make up the San Luis Valley in Southern Colorado
Maroon Bells, at 14163 ft, is part of White River National Forest and a tourist destination
The Colorado National Monument near Grand Junction is made up of high desert canyons and sandstone rock formations
Köppen climate types of Colorado, using 1991-2020 climate normals.
Breckenridge naturalist Edwin Carter with a mounted gray wolf killed in the Colorado Rockies, ca. 1890–1900.
An enlargeable map of the 64 counties of the State of Colorado
An enlargeable map of the 17 core-based statistical areas of Colorado
Colorado population density map
Denver Energy Center lies in the Denver financial district along 17th Street, known as the Wall Street of the West
Corn growing in Larimer County
An oil well in western Colorado
History Colorado Center in Denver
Street art in Denver
The Colorado Rockies baseball club at Coors Field
Empower Field at Mile High in Denver, home field of the Denver Broncos and the Denver Outlaws
Ball Arena, home of the Denver Nuggets, the Colorado Avalanche, and the Colorado Mammoth
Dick's Sporting Goods Park, home of the Colorado Rapids
A Colorado state welcome sign
The main terminal of Denver International Airport evokes the peaks of the Front Range.
The westbound and eastbound California Zephyrs meet in the Glenwood Canyon.
Colorado Christian University
Colorado College
Colorado Mesa University
Colorado School of Mines
Colorado State University
Regis University
The United States Air Force Academy
The University of Colorado Boulder
The University of Denver
Fort Carson
Peterson Space Force Base
United States Air Force Academy
The Southern Ute Tribal Administration Building
The Ute Mountain Ute Tribal Office Complex
Lowry Pueblo in Canyons of the Ancients National Monument
Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve
Spruce Tree House in Mesa Verde National Park

The Territory of Colorado was organized on February 28, 1861, and on August 1, 1876, U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant signed Proclamation 230 admitting Colorado to the Union as the 38th state.

In 1854, Senator Stephen A. Douglas persuaded the U.S. Congress to divide the unorganized territory east of the Continental Divide into two new organized territories, the Territory of Kansas and the Territory of Nebraska, and an unorganized southern region known as the Indian territory.

Missouri Compromise line (36°30′ parallel) in dark blue, 1820. Territory above this line would be reserved for free states, and below, slave states

Kansas–Nebraska Act

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Missouri Compromise line (36°30′ parallel) in dark blue, 1820. Territory above this line would be reserved for free states, and below, slave states
The United States after the Compromise of 1850 and the Gadsden Purchase. Douglas sought to organize parts of the area labeled as "Unorganized territory."
Stephen A. Douglas – "The great principle of self-government is at stake, and surely the people of this country are never going to decide that the principle upon which our whole republican system rests is vicious and wrong."
Forcing Slavery Down the Throat of a Freesoiler. An 1854 cartoon depicts a giant free soiler being held down by James Buchanan and Lewis Cass, standing on the Democratic platform of making slave states out of "Kansas," "Cuba," and "Central America". Franklin Pierce also holds down the giant's beard, as Stephen A. Douglas shoves a black man down his throat.
Sam Houston from Texas was one of the few southern opponents of the Kansas–Nebraska Act. In the debate, he urged, "Maintain the Missouri Compromise! Stir not up agitation! Give us peace!"
Alexander Stephens from Georgia – "Nebraska is through the House. I took the reins in my hand, applied the whip and spur, and brought the 'wagon' out at eleven o'clock P.M. Glory enough for one day."
Thomas Hart Benton of Missouri – "What is the excuse for all this turmoil and mischief? We are told it is to keep the question of slavery out of Congress! Great God! It was out of Congress, completely, entirely, and forever out of Congress, unless Congress dragged it in by breaking down the sacred laws which settled it!"
Charles Sumner on Douglas – "Alas! too often those principles which give consistency, individuality, and form to the Northern character, which renders it staunch, strong, and seaworthy, which bind it together as with iron, are drawn out, one by one, like the bolts of the ill-fitted vessel, and from the miserable, loosened fragments is formed that human anomaly—a Northern man with Southern principles. Sir, no such man can speak for the North."
This 1856 map shows slave states (gray), free states (pink), U.S. territories (green), and Kansas (white)

The Kansas–Nebraska Act of 1854 was a territorial organic act that created the territories of Kansas and Nebraska.

A large portion of Nebraska Territory would soon be split off into Dakota Territory (1861), and smaller portions transferred to Colorado Territory (1861) and Idaho Territory (1863) before the balance of the land became the State of Nebraska in 1867.

Map showing North American territorial boundaries leading up to the American Revolution and the founding of the United States: British claims are indicated in red and pink, while Spanish claims are in orange and yellow.

Historic regions of the United States

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The territory of the United States and its overseas possessions has evolved over time, from the colonial era to the present day.

The territory of the United States and its overseas possessions has evolved over time, from the colonial era to the present day.

Map showing North American territorial boundaries leading up to the American Revolution and the founding of the United States: British claims are indicated in red and pink, while Spanish claims are in orange and yellow.
Map showing mid 17th century claims and land grant boundaries. Some colonies seen here are: Nova Scotia (NSc), Territory of Sagadahock (TS), First Province of Maine (Me), New Hampshire (NH), Plymouth (PC), Massachusetts Bay (MBC), New Netherland (NN), New Sweden (NSw), and Lord Baltimore's Land (Md; Maryland)
New World settlements of The Netherlands, collectively called New Netherland
The Massachusetts Bay Colony
French settlements and forts in the so-called Illinois Country, 1763, which encompassed parts of the modern day states of Illinois, Missouri, Indiana and Kentucky)
A 1775 map of the German Coast, a historical region of present-day Louisiana located above New Orleans on the eastern bank of the Mississippi River
Vandalia was the name of a proposed British colony located south of the Ohio River, primarily in what is now the U.S. states of West Virginia and eastern Kentucky
A proposal for the creation of Westsylvania was largely deterred by the Revolutionary War
National Atlas map of United States territorial acquisitions
Seward's Folly. The controversial purchase of Alaska from Russia in 1867 turned out to be a great deal for the U.S. when the area proved to contain a treasure trove of natural resources.
The Oregon Country. The dispute over Oregon, between Britain and the U.S., led to an uneasy, parallel governing of the territory for almost 30 years.
Progression of the Indian Territory separation from the Arkansaw Territory, 1819–1836
Indiana lands acquired through treaties
The first state cessions. The 13 original states ceded their western claims to the federal government, allowing for the creation of the country's first western territories and states.
The Northwest Territory was a large and (at times) ill-defined territory ceded by Great Britain to the U.S. at the end of the Revolutionary War. British troops still occupied parts of the area well past 1800.
United States territorial expansion since 1803, maps by William R. Shepherd (1923)
Census Bureau map depicting territorial acquisitions and effective dates of statehood
The Ohio Country, indicating battle sites between settlers and Native American Tribes, 1775–1794
Selected tract purchases of western New York State
Map of the Ohio Lands
Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory, along with No Man's Land (also known as the Oklahoma Panhandle). The division of the two territories is shown with a heavy purple line. Together, these three areas would become the State of Oklahoma in 1907.
Pennsylvania land purchases from Native Americans
Post-Civil War military districts were set up to aid in the repatriation process of the southern states during Reconstruction.
The Panama Canal Zone was once a territory of the United States
The boundaries of the State of Deseret, as proposed in 1849
Animated map of secession and repatriation of the Confederacy, 1860–1870
The proposed State of Superior. The red areas show the counties of the Upper Peninsula that are generally accepted as being part of the proposed state. The pink areas show the counties of the "expanded" proposal.
The failed State of Lincoln, with its proposed 1868 boundaries
The Philippines was a commonwealth of the United States, 1935–1946
Worldwide location of current U.S. insular areas:
The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico

Territory of Nebraska (1854–1867) preceded by unorganized territory of the original Louisiana Purchase; split into the State of Nebraska, the Dakota Territory, additions to the Idaho Territory and additions to the Colorado Territory.

Territory of Colorado (1861–1876) preceded by parts of the territories of Kansas, Utah, New Mexico and Nebraska; became the State of Colorado. (See also Jefferson Territory.)