Dakota Territory

Dakota Territory

Overview
The Territory of Dakota was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from March 2, 1861, until November 2, 1889, when the final extent of the reduced territory was split and admitted to the Union
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 as the states of North
North Dakota
North Dakota is a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States of America, along the Canadian border. The state is bordered by Canada to the north, Minnesota to the east, South Dakota to the south and Montana to the west. North Dakota is the 19th-largest state by area in the U.S....

 and South Dakota
South Dakota
South Dakota is a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States. It is named after the Lakota and Dakota Sioux American Indian tribes. Once a part of Dakota Territory, South Dakota became a state on November 2, 1889. The state has an area of and an estimated population of just over...

.

The Dakota Territory consisted of the northernmost part of the land acquired in the Louisiana Purchase
Louisiana Purchase
The Louisiana Purchase was the acquisition by the United States of America of of France's claim to the territory of Louisiana in 1803. The U.S...

 of the United States. The name refers to the Dakota branch of the Sioux
Sioux
The Sioux are Native American and First Nations people in North America. The term can refer to any ethnic group within the Great Sioux Nation or any of the nation's many language dialects...

 tribes which occupied the area at the time.
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Encyclopedia
The Territory of Dakota was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from March 2, 1861, until November 2, 1889, when the final extent of the reduced territory was split and admitted to the Union
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 as the states of North
North Dakota
North Dakota is a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States of America, along the Canadian border. The state is bordered by Canada to the north, Minnesota to the east, South Dakota to the south and Montana to the west. North Dakota is the 19th-largest state by area in the U.S....

 and South Dakota
South Dakota
South Dakota is a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States. It is named after the Lakota and Dakota Sioux American Indian tribes. Once a part of Dakota Territory, South Dakota became a state on November 2, 1889. The state has an area of and an estimated population of just over...

.

The Dakota Territory consisted of the northernmost part of the land acquired in the Louisiana Purchase
Louisiana Purchase
The Louisiana Purchase was the acquisition by the United States of America of of France's claim to the territory of Louisiana in 1803. The U.S...

 of the United States. The name refers to the Dakota branch of the Sioux
Sioux
The Sioux are Native American and First Nations people in North America. The term can refer to any ethnic group within the Great Sioux Nation or any of the nation's many language dialects...

 tribes which occupied the area at the time. Most of Dakota Territory was formerly part of the Minnesota
Minnesota Territory
The Territory of Minnesota was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from March 3, 1849, until May 11, 1858, when the eastern portion of the territory was admitted to the Union as the State of Minnesota.-History:...

 and Nebraska
Nebraska Territory
The Territory of Nebraska was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from May 30, 1854, until March 1, 1867, when the final extent of the territory was admitted to the Union as the State of Nebraska. The Nebraska Territory was created by the Kansas–Nebraska Act of 1854...

 territories. When Minnesota
Minnesota
Minnesota is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state...

 became a state in 1858, the leftover area between the Missouri River
Missouri River
The Missouri River flows through the central United States, and is a tributary of the Mississippi River. It is the longest river in North America and drains the third largest area, though only the thirteenth largest by discharge. The Missouri's watershed encompasses most of the American Great...

 and Minnesota's western boundary fell unorganized. When the Yankton Treaty
Yankton Treaty
In 1858 the United States government and the Sioux and Yankton Indian tribes reached an agreement, ceding most of eastern South Dakota to the U.S. The agreement immediately opened this territory up for settlement by whites, resulting in the establishment of an unofficial local government not...

 was signed later that year, ceding much of what had been Lakota land to the U.S. Government, early settlers formed an unofficial provisional government
Provisional government
A provisional government is an emergency or interim government set up when a political void has been created by the collapse of a very large government. The early provisional governments were created to prepare for the return of royal rule...

 and unsuccessfully lobbied for United States territory status. Three years later soon-to-be-President
President-elect
An -elect is a political candidate who has been elected to an office but who has not yet been sworn in or officially taken office. These may include an incoming president, senator, representative, governor and mayor.Analogously, the term "designate" An -elect is a political candidate who has been...

 Abraham Lincoln's
Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis – the American Civil War – preserving the Union, while ending slavery, and...

 cousin-in-law, J.B.S. Todd
John Blair Smith Todd
John Blair Smith Todd was a Delegate from Dakota Territory to the United States House of Representatives and a general in the Union Army during the American Civil War.-Biography:...

, personally lobbied for territory status and Washington
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 formally created Dakota Territory.

It became an organized territory on March 2, 1861. Upon creation, Dakota Territory included much of present-day Montana
Montana
Montana is a state in the Western United States. The western third of Montana contains numerous mountain ranges. Smaller, "island ranges" are found in the central third of the state, for a total of 77 named ranges of the Rocky Mountains. This geographical fact is reflected in the state's name,...

 and Wyoming
Wyoming
Wyoming is a state in the mountain region of the Western United States. The western two thirds of the state is covered mostly with the mountain ranges and rangelands in the foothills of the Eastern Rocky Mountains, while the eastern third of the state is high elevation prairie known as the High...

; by 1868, creation of new territories reduced Dakota Territory to the present boundaries of the Dakotas
The Dakotas
The Dakotas is a collective term that refers to the U.S. states of North Dakota and South Dakota together. The term has been used historically to describe the Dakota Territory, and is continued to be used to describe the collective heritage, culture, geography, fauna, sociology, the economy, and...

. Territorial counties were defined in 1872, including Bottineau County
Bottineau County, North Dakota
-Major highways:* U.S. Highway 83* North Dakota Highway 5* North Dakota Highway 14* North Dakota Highway 43* North Dakota Highway 60* North Dakota Highway 256-National protected areas:*J...

, Cass County
Cass County, North Dakota
-Demographics:As of the census of 2000, there were 123,138 people, 51,315 households, and 29,814 families residing in the county. The population density was 70 people per square mile . There were 53,790 housing units at an average density of 30 per square mile...

 and others.


The territorial capital was Yankton
Yankton, South Dakota
Yankton is a city in, and the county seat of, Yankton County, South Dakota, United States. The population was 14,454 at the 2010 census. Yankton was the original capital of Dakota Territory. It is named for the Yankton tribe of Nakota Native Americans...

 from 1861 until 1883, when it was moved to Bismarck
Bismarck, North Dakota
Bismarck is the capital of the U.S. state of North Dakota and the county seat of Burleigh County. It is the second most populous city in North Dakota after Fargo. The city's population was 61,272 at the 2010 census, while its metropolitan population was 108,779...

. The Dakota Territory was divided into the states of North Dakota
North Dakota
North Dakota is a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States of America, along the Canadian border. The state is bordered by Canada to the north, Minnesota to the east, South Dakota to the south and Montana to the west. North Dakota is the 19th-largest state by area in the U.S....

 and South Dakota
South Dakota
South Dakota is a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States. It is named after the Lakota and Dakota Sioux American Indian tribes. Once a part of Dakota Territory, South Dakota became a state on November 2, 1889. The state has an area of and an estimated population of just over...

 on November 2, 1889. The admission of two states, as opposed to one, was done for a number of reasons. The two population centers in the territory were in the northeast and southeast corners of the territory, several hundred miles away from each other. On a national level, there was pressure from the Republican Party to admit two states to add to their political power in the Senate. A century later, with the populations of the two states at low levels, there were discussions of reuniting them as "Dakota", but this has never been seriously considered.

Life in Dakota Territory


After becoming an organized territory, the population increased very slowly during the early years and then very rapidly with the "Dakota Boom" from 1870 to 1880. The white population grew slowly for a number of reasons. Mainly, the Sioux Indians were considered very hostile and a threat to early settlers. They were gradually defeated and were not as severe a threat. The population increase can largely be attributed to the growth of railroads, specifically the Northern Pacific Railroad. Settlers that came to the Dakota Territory were from other western territories as well as many from Northern and Western Europe. These included large numbers of Norwegians, Germans, Swedes, and Canadians.

Commerce was organized around agriculture with wheat being the territory's main cash crop. Other economic activities included mining and cattle ranching. Gold was discovered in the Black Hills
Black Hills
The Black Hills are a small, isolated mountain range rising from the Great Plains of North America in western South Dakota and extending into Wyoming, USA. Set off from the main body of the Rocky Mountains, the region is something of a geological anomaly—accurately described as an "island of...

 and attracted more settlers to the area. The population surge increased the demand for meat spurring expanded cattle ranching on the territory's vast open ranges. Economic hardship hit the territory in the 1880s due to lower wheat prices and a drought.

Dakota Territory in popular culture


Dakota Territory was the setting for the syndicated
Television syndication
In broadcasting, syndication is the sale of the right to broadcast radio shows and television shows by multiple radio stations and television stations, without going through a broadcast network, though the process of syndication may conjure up structures like those of a network itself, by its very...

 western
Western (genre)
The Western is a genre of various visual arts, such as film, television, radio, literature, painting and others. Westerns are devoted to telling stories set primarily in the latter half of the 19th century in the American Old West, hence the name. Some Westerns are set as early as the Battle of...

 television series, Man Without a Gun
Man Without a Gun
Man Without a Gun is a western television series produced by 20th Century Fox television and presented in first-run syndication in the United States from 1957 to 1959...

, starring Rex Reason
Rex Reason
Rex Reason is an American actor.He is the brother of actor Rhodes Reason, who is two years younger...

 as newspaper
Newspaper
A newspaper is a scheduled publication containing news of current events, informative articles, diverse features and advertising. It usually is printed on relatively inexpensive, low-grade paper such as newsprint. By 2007, there were 6580 daily newspapers in the world selling 395 million copies a...

 editor Adam McLean and Mort Mills
Mort Mills
Mort Mills was an American film and television actor who had roles in over 200 movies and television episodes. He was often the town lawman or the local bad guy in many popular westerns of the 1950s and 1960s. From 1957-1959 he had a recurring co-starring role as Marshal Frank Tallman in Man...

 as Marshal
Marshal
Marshal , is a word used in several official titles of various branches of society. The word is an ancient loan word from Old French, cf...

 Frank Tillman. The program aired from 1957–1959.

The Disney
Walt Disney Pictures
Walt Disney Pictures is an American film studio owned by The Walt Disney Company. Walt Disney Pictures and Television, a subsidiary of the Walt Disney Studios and the main production company for live-action feature films within the Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group, based at the Walt Disney...

 musical film The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band
The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band
The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band is a 1968 musical film based on a biography by Laura Bower Van Nuys, directed by Michael O'Herlihy, with original music and lyrics by the Sherman Brothers...

takes place in the Dakota Territory during the time of the 1888 Presidential Election
United States presidential election, 1888
The 1888 election for President of the United States saw Grover Cleveland of New York, the incumbent president and a Democrat, try to secure a second term against the Republican nominee Benjamin Harrison, a former U.S. Senator from Indiana...

.

Dakota Territory was the setting for several novels by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Laura Ingalls Wilder
Laura Elizabeth Ingalls Wilder was an American author who wrote the Little House series of books based on her childhood in a pioneer family...

, including By the Shores of Silver Lake, The Long Winter, Little Town on the Prairie, These Happy Golden Years and The First Four Years.

See also

  • Governors of Dakota Territory
    Governors of Dakota Territory
    Dakota Territory existed as an entity from 1861 until 1889, when it was divided into the states of North Dakota and South Dakota. The Territorial Governor was appointed by the President of the United States....

  • HBO fictional series Deadwood
    Deadwood (TV series)
    Deadwood is an American Western drama television series created, produced and largely written by David Milch. The series aired on the premium cable network HBO from March 21, 2004, to August 27, 2006, spanning three 12-episode seasons. The show is set in the 1870s in Deadwood, South Dakota, before...

    set in the Black Hills
    Black Hills
    The Black Hills are a small, isolated mountain range rising from the Great Plains of North America in western South Dakota and extending into Wyoming, USA. Set off from the main body of the Rocky Mountains, the region is something of a geological anomaly—accurately described as an "island of...

     in the town of Deadwood
    Deadwood, South Dakota
    Deadwood is a city in South Dakota, United States, and the county seat of Lawrence County. It is named for the dead trees found in its gulch. The population was 1,270 according to a 2010 census...

     in 1876.
  • Historic regions of the United States
    Historic regions of the United States
    This is a list of historic regions of the United States.-Colonial era :-The Thirteen Colonies:* Connecticut Colony* Delaware Colony* Province of Georgia* Province of Maryland...

  • History of North Dakota
    History of North Dakota
    North Dakota was first settled by Native Americans several thousand years ago. The first Europeans explored the area in the 18th century establishing some limited trade with the natives....

  • History of South Dakota
    History of South Dakota
    The history of South Dakota describes the history of the U.S. state of South Dakota over the course of several millennia, from its first inhabitants to the recent issues facing the state.-Early inhabitants:...

  • List of Dakota Territory Civil War units
  • Territorial evolution of the United States
    Territorial evolution of the United States
    This is a list of the evolution of the borders of the United States. This lists each change to the internal and external borders of the country, as well as status and name changes. It also shows the surrounding areas that eventually became part of the United States...

    • Territory of France that encompassed land that would later become part of the Territory of Dakota:
      • Louisiane
        Louisiana (New France)
        Louisiana or French Louisiana was an administrative district of New France. Under French control from 1682–1763 and 1800–03, the area was named in honor of Louis XIV, by French explorer René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle...

        , 1682–1764 and 1803
    • Territory of Spain that would later be returned to France:
      • Luisiana
        Louisiana (New Spain)
        Louisiana was the name of an administrative district of the Viceroyalty of New Spain from 1764 to 1803 that represented territory west of the Mississippi River basin, plus New Orleans...

        , 1764–1803
    • Territory of the United Kingdom that encompassed land that would later become part of the Territory of Dakota:
      • Rupert's Land
        Rupert's Land
        Rupert's Land, or Prince Rupert's Land, was a territory in British North America, consisting of the Hudson Bay drainage basin that was nominally owned by the Hudson's Bay Company for 200 years from 1670 to 1870, although numerous aboriginal groups lived in the same territory and disputed the...

        , 1670–1870
    • U.S. territories that encompassed land that would later become part of the Territory of Dakota:
      • Louisiana Purchase
        Louisiana Purchase
        The Louisiana Purchase was the acquisition by the United States of America of of France's claim to the territory of Louisiana in 1803. The U.S...

        , 1803–1804
      • District of Louisiana
        District of Louisiana
        The District of Louisiana, or Louisiana District, was an official, temporary, United States government designation for the portion of the Louisiana Purchase that had not been organized into the Orleans Territory. It officially existed from March 10, 1804 until July 4, 1805, when it was incorporated...

        , 1804–1805
      • Territory of Louisiana, 1805–1812
      • Territory of Missouri, 1812–1821
      • Territory of Michigan, 1805–1837
      • Territory of Wisconsin, 1836–1848
      • Territory of Iowa, 1838–1846
      • Territory of Minnesota, 1849–1858
      • Territory of Nebraska, 1854–1867
      • Territory of Idaho, 1863–1890
    • U.S. territories that encompassed land that was previously part of the Territory of Dakota:
      • Territory of Idaho, 1863–1890
      • Territory of Montana, 1864–1889
      • Territory of Wyoming, 1868–1890
    • U.S. states that encompass land that was once part of the Territory of Dakota:
      • State of Nebraska, 1867 (annexed land 1882)
      • State of North Dakota, 1889
      • State of South Dakota, 1889
      • State of Montana, 1889
      • State of Wyoming, 1890
  • United States Congressional Delegations from Dakota Territory
    United States congressional delegations from Dakota Territory
    From 1861 to 1889, Dakota Territory sent a single non-voting Delegate to the United States House of Representatives....


External links