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Iowa History Daily: October 26 - The Iowa District

Iowa History Daily: On October 26, 1836, the Wisconsin Territorial Legislature met for the first time and subdivided a portion of the territory now encompassed in Iowa into Lee, Van Buren, Henry, Muscatine, and Cook (now a part of Muscatine) counties.

Most of the area in the Iowa Territory originally stood as a part of the Louisiana Purchase and then a part of the Missouri Territory. When Missouri gained statehood in 1821, the area (along with the Dakotas) effectively became unorganized territory. The area, closed to white settlers until the 1830s when the Black Hawk War ended, became part of Michigan Territory on June 28, 1834.

At an extra session of the Sixth Legislative Assembly of Michigan held in September, 1834, officials divided the Iowa District into two counties by running a line due west from the lower end of Rock Island in the Mississippi River. The territory north of the line (which started just south of Davenport) became Dubuque County, and all land to the south of became Des Moines County.

When Michigan gained statehood in 1836, the lands became the Iowa District of Wisconsin Territory. When Wisconsin Territory officials first met, they further subdivided the rapidly growing Des Moines County into Lee, Van Buren, Henry, Muscatine, and Cook counties.

When Michigan gained statehood in 1836, the lands became the Iowa District of Wisconsin Territory. The Territory of Iowa, organized as an incorporated territory of the United States on July 4, 1838, lasted until December 28, 1846, when the southeastern portion of the territory was admitted to the Union as the state of Iowa. The original boundaries of the territory, as established in 1838, included Minnesota and parts of the Dakotas, while covering about 194,000 square miles. Burlington served as the provisional capital until officials designated Iowa City as the official territorial capital in 1841. Fort Snelling, located on the western side of the Mississippi River, stood within the Iowa Territory until Iowa’s new statehood boundaries. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


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