Territorial Items

Montana became a territory when the geographic obstructions associated with the rugged Rocky Mountains made the larger Idaho Territory unworkable. Its early history is marked by an influx of men to the gold fields of Bannack, Virginia City and ultimately Helena. Northerners with strong ties to the Union and the Republican Party were often at odds with Confederates fleeing the war who held the Republican Party’s principles in distain. Some authors have suggested the famous vigilante movement may have been as much about purging ex-confederates as criminals. As gold mining played out it was replaced by silver and copper mining which required large labor forces for removal and smelting of the ore. This also consolidated ownership creating the very rich and a labor class with strong ties to the Democratic Party and union organization. During this period the Democratic Party won most of the statewide elections and with rare exception sent a democrat as the Delegate to Congress in Washington. The most notable exception being the last territorial election in 1888; when the Republican, Thomas Carter, allegedly with significant help from Copper King and Democrat Marcus Daly defeated Democrat and Copper King, William Clark. In doing so, he overwhelmingly carried the strongly democratic precincts in Butte and Anaconda. This election is felt to have started the famous war of the Copper Kings details of which are presented in another article on this site, Battle for Montana; the Copper Kings’ Influence on Montana’s History.

A portrait of a man in military uniform.

Ferrotype of Thomas Meagher Territorial Governor 1865-1866

Three old ribbons with a man 's head on one side and an eagle on the other.

Left: Thomas Carter 1888

Right: Wilbur Sanders 1864,1866,1880 and 1886

Two old republican tickets are shown side by side.

Republican Tickets

A purple cloth with a red and gold banner on it.

Samuel Ward’s Delegate Badge to 1884 National Convention

A ribbon with the name of dillon, harrison & morrow club printed on it.


Harrison Ribbons 1888


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    March 20, 2017 at 3:30 am

    Ferrotype of Thomas Meagher Territorial Governor 1865-1866

    Would you offer this for sale? 

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      March 20, 2017 at 7:02 pm

      Not really interested in selling it but i do see them offered time to time–part of a civil war ferrotype set of union officers

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