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McDonald Territory

McDonald Territory

Overview


McDonald Territory was an extralegal, unrecognized territory of the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 that existed for a short time in 1961. The area comprised all of present-day McDonald County, Missouri
McDonald County, Missouri
McDonald County is a county located in Southwest Missouri in the United States of America. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, the population was 23,083. Its county seat is Pineville...

, USA. A provisional government chose the name when they attempted to secede the county from the state of Missouri
Missouri
Missouri is a US state located in the Midwestern United States, bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. With a 2010 population of 5,988,927, Missouri is the 18th most populous state in the nation and the fifth most populous in the Midwest. It...

 in 1961.
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McDonald Territory was an extralegal, unrecognized territory of the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 that existed for a short time in 1961. The area comprised all of present-day McDonald County, Missouri
McDonald County, Missouri
McDonald County is a county located in Southwest Missouri in the United States of America. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, the population was 23,083. Its county seat is Pineville...

, USA. A provisional government chose the name when they attempted to secede the county from the state of Missouri
Missouri
Missouri is a US state located in the Midwestern United States, bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. With a 2010 population of 5,988,927, Missouri is the 18th most populous state in the nation and the fifth most populous in the Midwest. It...

 in 1961. The government of the territory, while democratically elected, was never recognized by the State of Missouri or the United States Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

.

In 1961, the Missouri State Highway Commission published its annual Family Vacationland map and distributed it around the state. Officials in McDonald County, upon reviewing the map discovered that Noel
Noel, Missouri
Noel is a city in McDonald County, Missouri, United States, along the Elk River. The population was 1,615 at the 2009 census. It is part of the Fayetteville–Springdale–Rogers Metropolitan Area....

, a small but economically vital Ozarks resort town, was inadvertently omitted from the publication.

Noel
Noel, Missouri
Noel is a city in McDonald County, Missouri, United States, along the Elk River. The population was 1,615 at the 2009 census. It is part of the Fayetteville–Springdale–Rogers Metropolitan Area....

, located in the extreme southwest corner of the state, was one of the most popular tourist destinations in that part of the state, due to its resorts, bluffs, caves, and rivers. Its absence on one of the most-read pieces of tourist literature in the state was sure to affect the county's livelihood negatively.

To demonstrate their dissatisfaction with the state's inattention to detail and apparent lack of respect for their rural, isolated county, local officials drafted a resolution to secede from the state. They went so far as to set up a provisional government, elect officers, and print their own tourism literature. A local Territorial Militia was formed and visas were issued. Vehicles entering the Territory were stopped by militiamen and, if the occupants were not local residents, they were given entry visas and local tourism information.

The Provisional Government of the Territory also established or licensed a private dispatch service, which provided mail service from the Territorial Post Office to the nearest U.S. Post Office. This private service issued a 2 cent stamp to charge for its services.