Wyoming etym

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Dec 5 05:46:31 UTC 2000

At 1:08 PM -0500 12/5/00, Frank Abate wrote:
>As Don said, the above is basically right.  In Kelsie Harder's
>"Illustrated Dictionary of Place Names: United States and Canada
>(1976), he says:
>"From Delaware Indian _maughwauwame_ "large meadows," applied to a
>valley in NE Pa.  The narrative poem "Gertrude of Wyoming" (1809) by
>the British poet Thomas Campbell (1777-1844), concerning an Indian
>attack on the Wyoming Valley, became extremely popular and led to
>the use of the name in various localities. . . . When the Wyoming
>Territory was organized in 1868 from a portion of the old Nebraska
>Territory, the name _Wyoming_, suggested by Rep. James M.Ashley of
>Ohio, was chosen over _Cheyenne_.
>The valley is the "original" Wyoming.  All other uses derive from
>that, with help from the poem.
>Frank Abate

Then, of course, there's Indiana University of Pennsylvania.  So
while Ohio may be the Mother of Presidents, Pennsylvania is obviously
the Mother of State Names.


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