Serving longer in the US Senate than any other Coloradan, Henry M Teller was one of the Centennial State's greatest statesmen and political leaders. Teller was a prime example of what a politician should be in an era when elected officials left a great deal to be desired. As Colorado's representative, Teller stated his beliefs and stuck by them. Not all agreed with him, but all admired him for his honesty and integrity. His legal career in Colorado encompassed much of the early legislation in the territory, such as developing mining law and the organisation of the Colorado Central Railroad, while his Washington career touched on nearly every important western economic development issue that occurred in Colorado between 1876 and 1909. Teller declared to the US Congress that Colorado was a part of the nation, and that the West deserved a say in its decisions.
Duane A. Smith is a professor of history at Fort Lewis College in Durango, and is the author or coauthor of more than fifty books on Colorado and the West. He also serves as chair of the Durango Parks and Forestry Board and on the Anima School House Museum Board.