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Mapping Iowa's Roots: Iowa Time Machine June 23, 1834

Iowa Time Machine ⏰: On June 23, 1834, the U.S. House of Representatives introduced a bill that would include the “unorganized” lands of Iowa, Minnesota & the Dakotas into Michigan Territory.

Most of the area in the Iowa Territory originally formed part of the Louisiana Purchase and then 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, and 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 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 was organized as an incorporated territory of the United States on July 4, 1838, and 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 was 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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