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Sheep [cattle] on the Gravelly Range at the Foot of Black Butte, Madison County, Montana, 1942
Vast Montana, with sheep at home on the range

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Lincoln Created the Montana Territory
May 26, 1864

It was a place rich in grazing land for cattle and sheep, with long valleys and high mountains, producing gold and copper. On May 26, 1864, President Lincoln signed an act making it a territory of the U.S. What is it? It's the wide-open spaces of the state of Montana, often called "Big Sky Country."

During the dark days of the Civil War, Lincoln looked away from the fighting momentarily and decided the area now known as Montana needed governing. But violent clashes were to occur in the new territory before it became the 41st state in the Union on November 8, 1889.

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