BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Whereas the Congress of the United States passed an act, which was approved on the 21st day of March last, entitled "An act to enable the people of Nevada to fore a constitution and State government and for the admission of such State into the Union on an equal footing with the original States;" and
Whereas the said constitution and State government have been formed, pursuant to the conditions prescribed by the fifth section of the act of Congress aforesaid, and the certificate required by the said act and also a copy of the constitution and ordinances have been submitted to the President of the United States:
Now, therefore, be it known that I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, in accordance with the duty imposed upon me by the act of Congress aforesaid, do hereby declare and proclaim that the said State of Nevada is admitted into the Union on an equal footing with the original States.
In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the city of Washington, this 31st day of October, A.D. 1864, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-ninth.
By the President:
WILLIAM H. SEWARD,
Secretary of State.
On March 2, 1861, the Nevada Territory separated from the Utah Territory and adopted its current name, shortened from Sierra Nevada (Spanish for "snowy range").
The separation of the territory from Utah was important to the federal government because of the Nevada population's political leanings, while the population itself was keen to be separated because of animosity (and sometimes violence) between the non-Mormons who dominated Nevada, and the Mormons who dominated the rest of the Utah territory.Animosity between non-Mormon settlers and Mormons was particularly high after the Mountain Meadows massacre of 1857 and the Utah War in 1857-58.
The 1861 southern boundary is commemorated by Nevada Historical Markers 57 and 58 in Lincoln and Nye counties.
Eight days prior to the presidential election of 1864, Nevada became the 36th state in the union. Statehood was rushed to the date of October 31 to help ensure Abraham Lincoln's reelection on November 8 and post-Civil War Republican dominance in Congress, as Nevada's mining-based economy tied it to the more industrialized Union.
Nevada achieved its current southern boundaries on May 5, 1866 when it absorbed the portion of Pah-Ute County in the Arizona Territory west of the Colorado River, essentially all of present day Nevada south of the 37th parallel. The transfer was prompted by the discovery of gold in the area, and it was thought by officials that Nevada would be better able to oversee the expected population boom. This area includes most of what is now Clark County.
In 1868 another part of the western Utah Territory, whose population was seeking to avoid Mormon dominance, was added to Nevada in the eastern part of the state, setting the current eastern boundary.
Nevada was rushed into statehood by the pressure of national politics in Abraham Lincoln's administration. On October 31, 1864, a sparsely settled, but vast area of the west with only one truly urban area, Virginia City, became a state. Since agriculture was relatively unimportant, the population tended to cluster in certain towns which were currently booming mining camps. Life in early Nevada was harsh even when the Comstock and other areas were enjoying boom times. Mining was hard, dangerous work. In the haste to establish Nevada as a state after only three years as a territory, there was no time to build a governmental structure to provide social services. Nevada borrowed heavily from California, its larger neighbor to the west, and California had borrowed from Iowa and New York. This borrowing from older, more settled regions of the country did not always fit Nevada's needs. One particular difficulty was people came to Nevada to work in the mines for only a short period of time. Residency is a matter of intent, and most intended to make money, then return to California or the East to retire.