On February 8, 1864 a senator
from Wisconsin introduced a bill that would enable the people of Nevada
Territory to write a constitution and form a state government. Territorial
Governor Nye called for an election to select delegates to create the constitution.
From July 4 through July 27, 35 delegates met and produced a constitution.
Some delegates did not want to use the name "Nevada" for the new state
because there were already a number of places in California using that
name. They suggested Washoe, Humboldt or Esmeralda instead, but Congress
had used the name Nevada in the enabling act and that was the name that
was chosen. The Constitution was ratified in an election held September
7. President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation on October 31,
1864, and Nevada became a state.
of Nevada, however, looked much different than it does now. Part
of eastern Nevada still belonged to Utah and Clark County and Las Vegas
were in New Mexico Territory. The last of the additional territory
was added by 1867 and the familiar shape of Nevada was complete.
Nevada State Library and