Imágenes de páginas

By act of February 3, 1809, Indiana Territory was again divided, and the Territory of Illinois was created from the part lying west of the Wabash River and a meridian running through the city of Vincennes, extending thence to the Canada line.

On December 11, 1816, Indiana was admitted to the Union as a State, with its boundaries defined as at present, and on December 3, 1818, Illinois was likewise admitted.

The act of June 28, 1834, added to the Territory of Michigan a portion of the Missouri River drainage basin as far west as the White Earth River and north to the 49th parallel and included for the first time a part of the drainage basin of the Red River, south of the 49th parallel, under a Territorial government. This addition to Michigan included also a small part of the Louisiana Purchase. (See p. 195 and fig. 17.)

Wisconsin Territory was formed in 1836 from the portion of the Territory of Michigan west of the present State of Michigan. On January 26, 1837, Michigan was admitted into the Union, with its present boundaries. On June 12, 1838, all that portion of Wisconsin Territory lying west of the Mississippi River and a line drawn due north from its source to the international boundary was made into the Territory of Iowa, and in 1848 Wisconsin was admitted as a State, with its boundaries as at present defined.

The admission of Wisconsin appears to have left the area which is now the northeastern part of Minnesota, lying east of the Mississippi and a line drawn due north from its source, without any government until the formation of Minnesota Territory, in 1849.


The“ territory south of the River Ohio," the government of which was provided for by act of Congress approved May 26, 1790, was bounded on the north by the present northern boundary of Tennessee, on the east by the States of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, and on the west by the Mississippi River. It included besides the Tennessee area nominal possessions to the 31st parallel. The cessions that made up this region are as follows:

1. The area ceded by North Carolina was described as extending from latitude 36° 30' N. (since found to be 36° 33') southward to 35° and from the western boundary line of the present State to the Mississippi River. This is now the State of Tennessee.

2. The area ceded by South Carolina formed a belt 12 or 14 miles in width lying south of the 35th parallel and extending from her western boundary to the Mississippi River. It is doubtful whether under the terms of the original charters South Carolina possessed this strip or whether it was included in the possessions of Georgia. (See p. 153.)

3. The area ceded by Georgia comprised most of the territory of the present States of Alabama and Mississippi north of the 31st parallel

Tennessee was admitted as a State in 1796. In 1798 Congress organized as the Territory of Mississippi a small rectangular area, bounded on the west by the Mississippi River, on the north by a parallel through the mouth of the Yazoo River, on the east by the Chattahoochee River, and on the south by the 31st parallel of north latitude. This area was subsequently enlarged so as to include the whole of what is now Mississippi and Alabama and a strip along the Gulf coast, which was at that time claimed by Spain. In 1817 the Territory was divided, and the eastern portion was made into Alabama Territory. Subsequently the two Territories were admitted as States.



The Louisiana Purchase was effected in 1803. In 1804 the region thus obtained was divided into two parts; the southern was organized as Orleans Territory, and the remainder was called the District of Louisiana. The State of Louisiana, comprising most of the Territory of Orleans, was admitted to the Union in 1812. In the same year it was enlarged by the addition of the area lying between the Mississippi and Pearl Rivers, in the southeastern part, and the name of the District of Louisiana was changed to the Territory of Missouri. (See fig. 18.) In 1819 Arkansaw Territory was created, and in 1836 it was admitted as a State. (The State name was spelled with an “s” in place of the final“ w.")

In 1821 the State of Missouri was formed from another portion of the Territory of Missouri, and in 1836 the boundaries of the State were extended to their present limits. In 1834 that part of this Territory lying north of the State of Missouri and east of the Missouri and White Earth Rivers was attached to the Territory of Michigan. (See fig. 17.) In 1836 this portion became part of the Wisconsin Territory. In 1838 it became part of the Territory of Iowa. In 1846 the State of Iowa was created, and in 1849 the remainder of the Iowa Territory was organized as the Territory of Minnesota. Minnesota was admitted as a State on May 11, 1858, with its present boundaries.

Indian Territory (unorganized) was set apart by act of June 30, 1834, and described as follows 79 (see fig. 21): all that part of the United States west of the Mississippi, and not within the States of Missouri and Louisiana, or the Territory of Arkansas

shall be taken and deemed to be Indian country.


70 4 Stat. L. 729, 733.

Apparently this covered a large part of the area previously designated Territory of Missouri, but for judicial control the same act restricted the area to that commonly known as Indian Territory and bounded on the north by the north line of lands assigned to the Osage tribe of Indians, produced east to the State of Missouri; west by the Mexican possessions (100th meridian); south by the Red River; and east by the line of the Territory of Arkansas and the State of Missouri.80

While the cessions by the States and the Louisiana region were being subdivided Texas was admitted to the Union, and by the treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo and the Gadsden Purchase the United States acquired from Mexico the area west of the northern part of Texas and south of the 42d parallel. In the same period the northern boundary had been established on the 49th parallel to the Pacific Ocean.

Out of the great western region thus acquired were carved the following Territories : 81

The Territory of Oregon, formed in 1848, extended from latitude 49° N., southward to latitude 42o and from the Pacific Ocean east to the summit of the Rocky Mountains. (See fig. 26.)

California was admitted as a State in 1850 with the same limits which it possesses at present.

The Territory of Utah, formed in 1850 (see fig. 24), extended from the 42d parallel southward to the 37th and from the California boundary line eastward to the Rocky Mountains.

The Territory of New Mexico comprised all the country lying south of Utah to the boundary lines of Texas and Mexico and from the California boundary eastward to the boundary of Texas. (See fig. 22.)

The Territory of Nebraska, formed from Missouri Territory in 1854, comprised the country from the 49th parallel to the 40th and from the Missouri and White Earth Rivers westward to the summit of the Rocky Mountains. (See fig. 20.)

The Territory of Kansas, formed by the same act as Nebraska, comprised the country extending from Missouri westward to the boundary of New Mexico and Utah and from the south boundary of Nebraska to the 37th parallel.

The Territory of Washington was formed in 1853 from a part of Oregon, its southern boundary being the Columbia River and the 46th parallel, and its east line being the summit of the Rocky Mountains. (See fig. 26.)

80 Royce, C. C., Indian land cessions in the United States : Bur. Am. Ethnology Eighteenth Ann. Rept., pt. 2, 1899 (56th Cong., 1st sess., H. Doc. 736, 1899).

81 For an outline of historical events relating to the organization of States west of the Mississippi and settlement of their boundaries, see Higgins, R. L., The development of trans-Mississippi political geography : Iowa Jour. Hist. and Politics, vol. 21, pp. 397-455, 1923. For titles of manuscripts and published papers relating to the Territories, see Calendar of papers in Washington archives relating to the Territories of the United States, Carnegie Inst, Washington, 1911.

Oregon was admitted as a State in 1859, with its boundaries as at present established. The portion cut off from Oregon Territory was placed under the Territorial government of Washington.

The Territory of Dakota, formed in 1861, comprised all that region included in the present States of North Dakota and South Dakota and thence westward to the summit of the Rocky Mountains. (See fig. 19.)

The Territory of Nevada was organized from the western portion of the Territory of Utah in 1861. (See fig. 24.) As originally constituted, its east line was the 39th meridian west from Washington, and its southern boundary was the 37th parallel. It was admitted as a State in 1864, when its eastern boundary was made the 38th meridian (approximately 115° 03' west from Greenwich). In 1866, by act of Congress, the eastern boundary was moved 1° still farther east and placed upon the 37th meridian west from Washington, and the triangular portion contained between the former southern boundary, the boundary of California, the Colorado River, and the 37th meridian was added, thus giving the State its present limits.

The Territory of Colorado was formed in 1861, with the limits of the present State. It was admitted as a State in 1876.

The Territory of Arizona, formed in 1863, included that portion of New Mexico lying west of the 32d meridian west of Washington.

The Territory of Idaho was formed in 1863 from parts of Dakota and Washington Territories. As originally constituted it included the area lying east of the present eastern limits of Oregon and Washington to the 27th meridian west of Washington. Its southern boundary was the northern boundary of Colorado and Utah—that is, the 41st and 42d parallels of latitude. (See fig. 25.) From this Territory was detached in 1864 the Territory of Montana, with nearly the limits of the present State, and in 1868 the Territory of Wyoming; these changes reduced Idaho to its present dimensions.

The Territory of Oklahoma, organized in 1890 from a part of the Indian Territory and the public-land strip north of Texas, when admitted as a State in 1907 included the Indian Territory also. (See fig. 21.)


At the last session of the Twenty-second Congress an act was passed “to appropriate for a limited time the proceeds of the sales of the public lands of the United States and for granting lands to certain States," but it was not approved by President Jackson, who, under date of December 4, 1833, in a long message to the Twentythird Congress,82 set forth his reasons for withholding his signature. In that message he gave an excellent historical account of the State cessions by which the public lands had been in part acquired.

A somewhat similar act,83 approved June 23, 1836, by President Van Buren, directed that all money in the Treasury on January 1, 1837, in excess of $5,000,000 be divided among the States in proportion to the number of their Representatives in Congress, to be paid in quarterly installments and to be returned to the United States when required by Congress. Three installments were paid, amounting in all to $28,101,644.91. Payment of the fourth installment was postponed indefinitely by act of October 2, 1837. No part of these payments has ever been returned by the States.

Other payments to States from the proceeds of land sales were authorized by act of September 4, 1841,84 but discontinued by act of August 30, 1842.85




[ocr errors]

The first charter that related to the area forming the present State of Maine (fig. 1) was that granted by Henry IV of France to Pierre du Gast, Sieur de Monts, in 1603, known as the charter of Acadia, which embraced the whole of North America between the 40th and 46th degrees of north latitude. Under this charter several exploring expeditions along the coast were made in 1604, 1605, and 1606 (see pl. 4); and in 1606 it was decided to make a permanent settlement at Port Royal, now Annapolis, Nova Scotia. No attempts were made under this charter to plant colonies within the limits of the present State of Maine.88

By the first charter of Virginia (see p. 137), granted by James I in 1606, the lands along the coast of North America between the 34th and 45th degrees of north latitude were given to two companies, to one of which, the Plymouth Company, was assigned that part of

[ocr errors]

82 53d Cong., 2d sess., H. Doc. 210, pt. 3, pp. 56–69, 1896.
835 Stat. L. 55.
84 5 Stat. L. 453.
83 5 Stat. L. 567.

86 For a condensed historical description of the boundaries of the United States see Encyclopædia Americana, vol. 4, pp. 329-342, New York, 1920. This article contains & bibliography on boundaries comprising several hundred entries.

87 A general discussion of the boundaries of the New England States is given by S. W. Cushing (Assoc. Am. Geographers Annals, vol. 10, pp. 17-40, 1920). For reference to early voyages of the Northmen to Iceland, Greenland, and the New England coast, about the year 1000, see Preble, G. H., Origin and history of the American flag, 2d ed., pp. 160–167, Philadelphia, 1917; also Kohl, J. G., History of the State of Maine, vol. 1, ch. 2, Portland, Maine Hist. Soc., 1869.

88 Poore, B. P., Charters and constitutions, Federal and State, p. 773, 1877. Thorpe, F. N., The Federal and State constitutions : 59th Cong., 2d segs., H. Doc. 357, vol. 8, p. 1619, 1909.

« AnteriorContinuar »