Before the Spanish arrived in New Spain in the 1500s, the area now known as Colorado was inhabited for many thousand of years by people local to the Rocky Mountains as shown by archeological finds. When the Spanish first visited the Rocky Mountains in 1598, they found Native American tribes such as Apache, Arapaho, Cheyenne, Comanche, Kiowa, Shoshone, and Ute. These tribes roamed and hunted throughout the area. Although they warred with each other at times, were free until the gold fever hit Colorado.
The region that is now Colorado was organized as a territory of the United States by 1861, before the Civil War started, giving the Union access to the rich mineral assets of the Rocky Mountains. The recent gold rush into the Rocky Mountains had brought all the characters that race to a gold find; miners, trappers, store and saloon owners, missionaries, teachers, and the woman and children that brave such an adventure.
This wave of European peoples descended upon the native populations resulting in the Colorado War in 1863 in which the United States fought an alliance of tribes including Arapaho Cheyenne, Comanche, and Kiowa nations. It was a bloody war, with some dishonorable episodes on both sides finally resulting in the relocation of these four tribes from the Rocky Mountain regions to Oklahoma territory.
On August 1, 1876, the territory of Colorado became the 38 th state of the Union of the United States of America earning the nickname “Centennial State.” Colorado was the first state in the union to give women the right to vote in 1893 by a popular vote of the people.