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THE EARLY HISTORY OF NORTH DAKOTA, AND
ITS ORGANIZATION AS A STATE.
1. The Territory of Dakota was a part of that vast area of land purchased by the United States from France in 1803. That portion of the country lying north of the present southern boundary of Arkansas was called the Indian Territory; in 1812 its name was changed to the Territory of Missouri. This Territory was divided into
smaller Territories, and many new names appeared on the maps of that period. Through these changes we can trace the history of Dakota.
2. During the thirty-seven years following the establishment of the Territory of Missouri, Dakota successively came under the jurisdiction of the Territories of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa, as these Territories were in turn established. In 1849, Minnesota Territory was established, and in it was included that part of Dakota east of the Missouri River. That part of Dakota west of the Missouri and White Earth Rivers was known as Mandan Territory until 1854, when the Nebraska Territory was organized, of which Mandan Territory became a part. Minnesota became a State in May, 1858, and from that time until the establishment of the territorial government in 1861 Dakota was without an organized government.
3. The Territory of Dakota was organized by act of Congress March 2, 1861. It was located between 96° 25' and 104° 5' longitude west from Greenwich, and between 42° 28' and 49° north latitude. Its northern boundary was the line dividing the United States from the British possessions of Manitoba and Assiniboia; the States of Minnesota and Iowa lay on the east, the State of Nebraska on the south, and the Territories of Montana and Wyoming on the west. Its average extent from north to south was 430 miles, and from east to west 350 miles. It contained 150,932 square miles, or 96,596,480 acres.
4. The bill to provide a temporary government for the Territory of Dakota and to create the office of surveyorgeneral was signed by President Buchanan March 2, 1861.
President Lincoln, shortly after his inauguration, appointed the territorial officers.
5. The first governor, William Jaynes of Springfield, Illinois, arrived in Yankton May 27, 1861, and at this point the civil history of Dakota begins. The other territorial governors were—Newton Edmunds, appointed by
President Lincoln in 1863; Andrew J. Faulk of Pennsylvania, appointed by President Johnson in 1866; John A. Burbank of Indiana, appointed by President Grant in 1869; John L. Pennington, appointed by President Grant in 1874; William A. Howard of Vermont, appointed by President Hayes in 1878; Nehemiah G. Ordway of New Hampshire, appointed by President Hayes in 1880; Gilbert A. Pierce of New York, appointed by President Arthur in 1884; Louis K. Church of New York, appointed by President Cleveland in 1887; and Arthur C. Mellette, appointed by President Harrison in 1889.
The secretaries of the Territory were John Hutchinson, S. L. Spink, T. M. Wilkins, G. H. Batchelder, E. S. McCook, Oscar Whitney, George H. Hand, J. M. Teller, M. L. McCormack, and L. B. Richardson.
The chief justices were Philemon Bliss, Ara Bartlett, George W. French, Peter C. Shannon, A. G. Edgerton, and Bartlett Tripp.
6. The capital of Dakota was Yankton until 1883, when the seat of government was removed to Bismarck. The first session of the territorial legislature was held at Yankton, beginning March 17, 1862. The sessions were annual at first, but by an act of Congress in 1869 they were made biennial and were limited to sixty days. The legislature was composed of two houses, called the Council and the House of Representatives. There were twentyfour councilmen and forty-eight representatives.
7. The admission of new States into the Union is provided for by the Constitution of the United States, but the conditions and the mode of admission are left to be prescribed by Congress. The people of a Territory may petition to be admitted as a State, Congress may grant the petition and pass an enabling act, or an enabling act may be passed without a petition. It is not imperative upon Congress to admit a State, nor can Congress compel a Territory to become a State; but a State cannot be admitted without the consent of Congress. Michigan, Kansas, Iowa, and Oregon were admitted without enabling acts. Texas had been an independent State before admission. California was a part of the territory ceded to the United States by Mexico in 1848, and never had a territorial government.
8. An enabling act defines the territory to be admitted by fixing its boundaries; it provides for calling a convention of the electors of the Territory to form a constitution, and for submitting the constitution so formed to popular vote; it stipulates that a republican form of government shall be established, and that the constitution adopted shall not in any manner conflict with the Constitution of the United States; it determines the number of representatives in Congress to which the State is entitled at the time of its admission; and it appropriates certain lands belonging to the United States, situated within the Territory, for the benefit of state and educational institutions.
9. The enabling act providing for the admission of North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and Washington was passed by Congress February 22, 1889. Omitting that part relating to Montana and Washington, the first section reads: "Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in congress assembled : That the inhabitants of all that part of the area of the United States now constituting the Territory of Dakota may become the States of North Dakota and South Dakota.”
10. The division of the Territory of Dakota into the States of North Dakota and South Dakota was made on the line of the seventh standard parallel extended due west from the western boundary of Minnesota to the western boundary of Dakota Territory.
By this division North Dakota is located as follows: The British provinces of Manitoba and Assiniboia are on