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Iowa History Daily: December 28 - Iowa Statehood

Iowa History Daily: On December 28, 1846, Iowa officially became the 29th state in the United States. Officially opened to American settlement in June of 1833, Iowa existed as a stand-alone territory from July 4, 1838 until James K. Polk officially signed Iowa’s admission into the Union.

Although the past of the land between two rivers stretches back well into pre-history, the area first came under European claim by France from 1673 until 1763. At that time, Spain gained claim and held the official rights until 1800 when France regained title during treaty proceedings overseen by Napoleon Bonaparte.

During this time, English traders made inroads with Indigenous peoples including the Sauk, Meskwaki, Dakota, and Báxoje (Ioway) who actually lived in and controlled the area. Following the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, Americans gained formal title but exercised little power. During the War of 1812, many Indigenous people allied with the British in the hopes of maintaining sovereignty over their lands.

Following a period of removal starting with the dubious 1804 treaty between the Sauk man Quashquame and future President William Henry Harrison, dispossession of native peoples and assertion of American control opened the lands to settlement. As the population climbed following the 1833 opening, a clamor for statehood soon followed, leading to the Constitutional Convention and Iowa’s eventually successful bid to gain status as a state. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


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