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4. The belt or zone lying north of the Massachusetts claim, extending thence to the Canada line and west to the Mississippi River, was claimed to have been obtained by the treaty of peace of Great Britain, September 3, 1783.

5. At the cession by the State of Virginia, both Massachusetts and New York claimed the Erie purchase of about 316 square miles, which was subsequently bought by Pennsylvania and added to that State.

From this territory were formed the following States: Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, that part of Minnesota east of the Mississippi River, and the northwest corner of Pennsylvania.

In 1787 a bill for its provisional division into not less than three nor more than five States was passed by Congress. In this bill the limits of the proposed States were defined, corresponding in their north and south lines to the boundaries of Ohio, Illinois, and Indiana as at present constituted. The following gives the text of the clause defining these boundaries:





ARTICLE 5. There shall be formed in the said territory not less than three nor more than five States; and the boundaries of the States, as soon as Virginia shall alter her act of cession and consent to the same, shall become fixed and established as follows, to wit: The western State in said territory shall be bounded by the Mississippi, the Ohio, and the Wabash River, a direct line drawn from the Wabash and Post Vincents due north to the territorial line between the United States and Canada, and by the said territorial line to the Lake of the Woods and Mississippi. The middle State shall be bounded by the said direct line, the Wabash from Post Vincents to the Ohio, by the Ohio, by a direct line drawn due north from the mouth of the Great Miami to the said territorial line, and by the said territorial line. The eastern State shall be bounded by the last-mentioned direct line, the Ohio, Pennsylvania, and the said territorial line: Provided, however, And it is further understood and declared, that the boundaries of these three States shall be subject so far to be altered, that, if Congress shall hereafter find it expedient, they shall have authority to form one or two States in that part of the said territory which lies north of an east and west line drawn through the southerly bend or extreme of Lake Michigan.

Passed July 13, 1787.





The provisions of this bill seem, however, never to have been carried out. A provisional government was instituted in 1788. By act of May 7, 1800, Congress divided this territory into two Territorial governments, the divisional line being a meridian passing through the mouth of the Kentucky River and extending thence northward to the Canada border. The eastern portion became the "Territory Northwest of the River Ohio," and the western portion, Indiana Territory.

On November 29, 1802, the State of Ohio, comprising most of the former, was formed and admitted into the Union, while the remnant of it was added to Indiana Territory.

In 1805 all that portion of Indiana Territory lying north of a parallel


through the most southerly bend of Lake Michigan and east of a meridian drawn through the same point became the Territory of Michigan. The boundary between these Territories was subsequently very much changed, as will appear in the sequel.

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.



In 1816 Indiana, and in 1818 Illinois, were admitted to the Union as States, each with its boundaries as constituted at present. By the same act the Mississippi River was made the western boundary of the Territory of Michigan, thus making it include all the balance of the original Northwest Territory after the formation of the three States of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois.

The act of 1834 added to Michigan Territory the land between the Missouri and White Earth rivers on the west and the Mississippi River on the east.

Wisconsin Territory was formed in 1836 from the portion of Michigan Territory west of the present State of Michigan. On January 26, 1837, Michigan was admitted into the Union, with its present boundaries. In 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 (that is, all that part which was originally comprised in the Louisiana purchase) was made the Territory of Iowa, and in 1848 Wisconsin was admitted as a State, with its boundaries as at present constituted.

This appears to leave the area which is now the northeastern part of Minnesota, lying east of the Mississippi River 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" was bounded on the north by the present northern boundary of Tennessee, on the south by the thirty-first parallel of latitude, on the east by the States of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, and on the west by Mississippi River. The different cessions from the States which made up this region are as follows:

1. The area ceded by North Carolina, which extended from 36° 30′ north latitude 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, which formed a narrow belt 12 or 14 miles in width lying south of the thirty-fifth 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 not included in the possessions of Georgia.

3. The area ceded by Georgia, which comprised most of the region of the present States of Alabama and Mississippi north of the thirtyfirst parallel.

Tennessee was admitted as a State in 1796. In 1798 Congress organized the Territory of Mississippi, which was originally 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; the boundary on the east was the river Chattahoochee, and on the south the thirty-first parallel of north latitude. This area was subsequently enlarged so as to include the whole of what is now Mississippi and Alabama, with the exception of 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 it was divided into two parts, that portion which now comprises the State of Louisiana being organized as Orleans Territory, while the balance remained as the Louisiana Territory. The State of Louisiana, comprising most of the Territory of Orleans, was admitted to the Union in 1812, and in the same year it was enlarged by the addition of the portion lying between the Mississippi and Pearl rivers, in the southeastern part. In the same year the name of Louisiana Territory was changed to Missouri Territory. In 1819 Arkansaw Territory was created, and in 1836 it was admitted as a State.

In 1820 the State of Missouri was formed from another portion of Missouri Territory, and in 1836 the boundaries of this State were enlarged to their present limits. In 1834, as was stated above, that portion 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. In 1836 this portion was transferred from the Territory of Michigan to the Territory of Wisconsin. In 1838 it was transferred to the Territory of Iowa. In 1845 the State of Iowa was created, and in 1846 its boundaries were enlarged. In 1849 the remainder of the Territory was transferred to Minnesota Territory. Minnesota was admitted as a State on May 11, 1858, with its present boundaries.

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Meantime Texas had been admitted to the Union, and by the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and the Gadsden purchase we had acquired from Mexico all the area west of the northern part of Texas and south


of the forty-second parallel. Furthermore, our northern boundary had been established on the forty-ninth parallel to the Pacific Ocean. Out of this great western region were carved the following Territories:



Oregon Territory, which was formed in 1848, and which extended from the parallel of 49° north latitude southward to latitude 42°, and from the Pacific Ocean east to the summit of the Rocky Mountains. California, which was admitted as a State in 1849, with the same. limits which it possesses at present.

Utah Territory, which was formed in 1850, and which extended from the forty-second parallel southward to the thirty-seventh, and from the California boundary line eastward to the Rocky Mountains.

New Mexico, which comprised all the country lying south of Utah to the boundary line of Texas and Mexico, and from the California boundary eastward to the boundary of Texas.

Nebraska Territory, which was formed from Missouri Territory in 1854. It comprised the country from the forty-ninth parallel down to the fortieth, and from the Missouri and White Earth rivers west to the summit of the Rocky Mountains.

Kansas Territory, formed by the same act as the last, comprised the country lying west of Missouri to the boundary of New Mexico and Utah, and from the south boundary of Nebraska to the thirty-seventh parallel.

Indian Territory then had its present limits.

Washington Territory was formed in 1853 from a part of Oregon, its southern boundary being Columbia River and the parallel of 46° north latitude, and its east line being the summit of the Rocky Mountains.

Oregon was admitted as a State in 1857, with its boundaries as at present established. The portion cut off from Oregon Territory was placed under the Territorial government of Washington.

Dakota Territory was formed in 1861. As originally formed, it comprised all that region between its present eastern and southern boundaries, while its western boundary was the summit of the Rocky Mountains.

The Territory of Nevada was organized from the western portion of the Territory of Utah in 1861. As originally constituted, its eastern line was the meridian of 39° of longitude west from Washington, and its southern boundary was the parallel of 37° of latitude. It was admitted as a State in 1864, its eastern boundary being made the thirty-eighth degree of longitude (approximately the one hundred and fifteenth degree west from Greenwich), while its southern boundary remained the same. In 1866, by act of Congress, the eastern boundary was moved one degree farther to the eastward, placing it upon the

thirty-seventh degree of longitude west from Washington, and the triangular portion contained between the former southern boundary, the boundary of California, the Colorado River, and the meridian of 37° of longitude was added, thus giving the State its present area and limits.

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

The Territory of Arizona was formed from New Mexico in 1863, being that portion of New Mexico lying west of the thirty-second meridian west of Washington.

In the same year Idaho was formed from parts of Dakota and Washington Territories. As originally constituted it included all the territory lying east of the present eastern limits of Oregon and Washington Territory to the twenty-seventh degree of longitude west of Washington, the latter meridian being its eastern boundary. Its southern boundary was the northern boundary of Colorado and Utah—that is, the forty-first and forty-second parallels of latitude.

From this Territory was detached, in 1864, the Territory of Montana with its present limits, and in 1868 the Territory of Wyoming, these several changes reducing Idaho to its present dimensions.

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