This Is How Your State Was Founded

Source: Thinkstock

46. Virginia
> Founding date: June 25, 1788 (10th state to join)
> First capital city: Richmond
> First governor: Beverley Randolph

As one of the most populated and richest colonies, Virginia held a lot of sway over the other 12. Virginia residents, including Patrick Henry and James Monroe, opposed adopting the U.S. Constitution. But the addition of a Bill of Rights may have convinced Virginia’s representatives into becoming the 10th state to ratify the Constitution.


47. Washington
> Founding date: November 11, 1889 (42nd state to join)
> First capital city: Olympia
> First governor: Elisha Peyre Ferry

Washington was the last of four states — after North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana — to be admitted into the Union in November 1889. This rush of new states came on the heels of an act from Congress permitting territories to become states as long as they had adopted a state constitution.

Source: Thinkstock

48. West Virginia
> Founding date: June 20, 1863 (35th state to join)
> First capital city: Wheeling
> First governor: Arthur Ingraham Boreman

West Virginia was founded by splitting from Virginia during the Civil War. The western part of Virginia was decidedly pro-Union, while the rest of Virginia wanted to secede. Though President Abraham Lincoln was uneasy about whether the split was constitutional, he declared West Virginia the 35th state.

Source: Thinkstock

49. Wisconsin
> Founding date: May 29, 1848 (30th state to join)
> First capital city: Madison
> First governor: Nelson Dewey

For many years, people in the Wisconsin Territory were opposed to statehood. They were concerned that becoming a state would lead to higher taxes and they rejected statehood four times. Eventually, the residents relented and voted for statehood in 1848.

Source: Thinkstock

50. Wyoming
> Founding date: July 10, 1890 (44th state to join)
> First capital city: Cheyenne
> First governor: Francis E. Warren

Wyoming is the least populous state in the U.S. It was also sparsely populated in 1889, which posed an issue for the area. The Wyoming Territory wanted to become a state, but it was 5,000 people short of the 60,000-person requirement set forth by the Northwest Ordinance to become a state. Nonetheless, Congress and President Benjamin Harrison admitted Wyoming to the Union.

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