Bannack Ghost Town State Park Montana

Montana First Legislative Assembly December 12, 1864

The first Montana legislative assembly convened at Bannack. The meeting was not held in a bastion of concrete, stone, and marble; but rather in a cold log cabin with a dirt floor. They practiced the democratic principles of a country they were yet to be a part of as they huddled around a wood stove. The meeting was not without dissension. When Governor B. F. White called the meeting to order, he told the elected officials that they needed to recite the oath of allegiance to the United States. Most didn’t hesitate to do so, but three vociferously disagreed. One, a man named Rogers, resigned rather than taking the oath. Interestingly, Montanans have always been some of the most fiercely independent citizens of any state in the union. They are also the first to answer the call to defend our freedoms. They consistently send a higher percentage of their population to war than any other U. S. state.