Northwest Territory

Northwest Territory

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{{About|the historical U.S. territory|the Canadian territory|Northwest Territories|the Hudson's Bay Company territory|North-Western Territory|the northwestern corner of the Lower 48|Northwestern United States|other related terms|Northwest (disambiguation)}} The '''Territory Northwest of the River Ohio''', more commonly known as the '''Northwest Territory''', was an [[organized incorporated territory of the United States]] that existed from July 13, 1787, until March 1, 1803, when the southeastern portion of the territory was admitted to the [[United States|Union]] as the [[Ohio|state of Ohio]]. Previously, it was part of the [[Indian Reserve (1763)|Indian Reserve]], a territory under British rule set aside in the [[Royal Proclamation of 1763]] for use by American Indians, which was assigned to the United States in the [[Treaty of Paris (1783)]]. The [[Congress of the Confederation]] enacted the [[Northwest Ordinance]] in 1787 to provide for the administration of the territories and set rules for admission as a state. On August 7, 1789, the new [[United States Congress|U.S. Congress]] affirmed the Ordinance with slight modifications under the [[U.S. Constitution|Constitution]]. The territory included all the land of the United States west of [[Pennsylvania]] and northwest of the [[Ohio River]]. It covered all of the modern states of [[Ohio]], [[Indiana]], [[Illinois]], [[Michigan]], and [[Wisconsin]], as well as the northeastern part of [[Minnesota]]. The area covered more than {{convert|260000|sqmi}}. ==History== {{refimprove|section|date=July 2011}} European exploration of the region began with [[French-Canadian]] voyageurs in the 17th century, followed by French missionaries and French fur traders. French-Canadian explorer [[Jean Nicolet]] was the first recorded white entrant into the region, landing in 1634 at the current site of [[Green Bay, Wisconsin]] (although [[Étienne Brûlé]] is stated by some sources as having explored Lake Superior and possibly inland Wisconsin in 1622). The French exercised control from widely separate posts in the region they claimed as [[New France]], the oldest of which is [[Fort Detroit|Detroit]], founded in 1701. France ceded the territory to the [[Kingdom of Great Britain]] in the Treaty of Paris, which ended the [[French and Indian War]]. A new colony, named [[Charlotina]], was proposed for the southern Great Lakes region. However, facing [[Pontiac's Rebellion|armed opposition]] by [[Native Americans in the United States|Native Americans]], the British issued the [[Proclamation of 1763]], which prohibited [[White American|white]] settlement west of the [[Appalachian Mountains]]. This action angered American colonists interested in expansion as well as those who had already settled in the area. In 1774, by the [[Quebec Act]], the region was annexed to the [[Province of Quebec (1763–1791)|Province of Quebec]] in order to provide a civil government and to centralize British administration of the Montreal-based fur trade. The prohibition of settlement west of the Appalachians remained and this was a contributing factor to the [[American Revolution]]. In February 1779, [[George Rogers Clark]] of the [[Virginia Militia]] [[Battle of Vincennes|captured Vincennes]] from British commander [[Henry Hamilton (governor)|Henry Hamilton]]. Virginia capitalized on Clark's success by laying claim to the whole of the Old Northwest, calling it Illinois County, Virginia, until 1784, when Virginia ceded its land claims to the federal government. The Old Northwest Territory included all the then-owned land of the United States west of Pennsylvania and northwest of the Ohio River. It covered all of the modern states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin, as well as the northeastern part of Minnesota. The area covered more than {{convert|260000|mi2}} and was a significant addition to the [[United States]]. It was inhabited by about 45,000 Native Americans and 4,000 traders, mostly French and British – although both groups included the [[Métis people (United States)|Metis]], a sizeable group descended from Native women married to European or Canadian traders who established a unique culture that ruled the Upper Midwest for more than a century{{Citation needed|date=July 2007}}. Britain officially ceded the area north of the Ohio River and west of the Appalachians to the United States at the end of the [[American Revolutionary War]] with the [[Treaty of Paris (1783)]], but the British continued to maintain a presence in the region as late as 1815, the end of the [[War of 1812]]. [[File:Statecessions.png|thumb|left|300px|The state cessions that eventually allowed for the creation of the Territories North and South West of the River Ohio]] Several states ([[Virginia]], [[Massachusetts]], [[New York]], and [[Connecticut]]) then had competing claims on the territory. Other states, such as [[Maryland]], refused to ratify the [[Articles of Confederation]] so long as these states were allowed to keep their western territory, fearing that those states could continue to grow and tip the balance of power in their favor under the proposed system of federal government. As a concession in order to obtain ratification, these states ceded their claims on the territory to the U.S. government: New York in 1780, Virginia in 1784, Massachusetts and Connecticut in 1785. So the majority of the territory became public land owned by the U.S. government. Virginia and Connecticut reserved the land of two areas to use as compensation to military veterans: The [[Virginia Military District]] and the [[Connecticut Western Reserve]]. In this way, the United States included territory and people outside any of the states. The [[Land Ordinance of 1785]] established a standardized system for surveying the land into saleable lots, although Ohio had already been partially surveyed several times using different methods, resulting in a patchwork of land surveys in Ohio. Some older French communities' property claims based on earlier systems of long, narrow lots also were retained. The rest of the Northwest Territory was divided into roughly uniform square townships and sections, which facilitated land sales and development. American settlement officially began at [[Marietta, Ohio]], on April 7, 1788, with the arrival of [[American pioneers to the Northwest Territory|forty-eight pioneers]]. Difficulties with Native American tribes and with British trading outposts presented continuing obstacles for American expansion until military campaigns of General [[Anthony Wayne|"Mad" Anthony Wayne]] against the Native Americans culminated with victory at the [[Battle of Fallen Timbers]] in 1794 and the [[Treaty of Greenville]] of 1795. [[Jay's Treaty]], in 1794, temporarily helped to smooth relations with British traders in the region, where British citizens outnumbered American citizens throughout the 1780s. The first governor of the Northwest Territory, [[Arthur St. Clair]], formally established the government on July 15, 1788, at Marietta. His original plan called for the organization of five initial counties: [[Washington County, Ohio|Washington]] (Ohio east of the [[Scioto River]]), [[Hamilton County, Ohio|Hamilton]] (Ohio between the Scioto and the [[Great Miami River|Miami]] Rivers), [[Knox County, Indiana|Knox]] (Indiana and eastern Illinois), [[St. Clair County, Illinois|St. Clair]] (Illinois and Wisconsin), and [[Wayne County, Michigan|Wayne]] (Michigan). On July 4, 1800, in preparation for Ohio's statehood, the [[Indiana Territory]] was decreed by an act of the U.S. Congress, signed into law by President John Adams on May 7, 1800, effective on July 4. The Congressional legislation encompassed all land west of the present Indiana–Ohio border and its northward extension to [[Lake Superior]], reducing the Northwest Territory to present day Ohio and the eastern half of Michigan's [[Lower Peninsula]]. Ohio was admitted as a state on March 1, 1803, at the same time the remaining land was annexed to [[Indiana Territory]], and the Northwest Territory went out of existence. Ongoing disputes with the British over the region was a contributing factor to the War of 1812. Britain irrevocably ceded claim to the Northwest Territory when it no longer officially existed, with the [[Treaty of Ghent]] in 1814. ==Law and government== [[File:United States 1789-08-1790.png|right|thumb|300px|Map of the states and territories of the United States as it was on August 7, 1789, when the Northwest Territory was first organized, to May 26, 1790, when the [[Southwest Territory]] was organized.]] {{Main|Northwest Ordinance}} At first, the [[Territory (country subdivision)|territory]] had a modified form of [[martial law]]. The [[governor]] was also the senior [[army]] [[Commissioned officer|officer]] within the territory, and he combined [[legislative]] and [[executive branch|executive authority]]. But a [[supreme court]] was established, and he shared legislative powers with the [[court]]. [[County]] governments were organized as soon as the [[population]] was sufficient, and these assumed local [[Public administration|administrative]] and [[judicial]] functions. Washington County was the first of these, at Marietta in 1788. This was an important event, as this court was the first establishment of civil and criminal law in the pioneer country. As soon as the number of free male [[settler]]s exceeded 5,000, the Territorial Legislature was to be created, and this happened in 1798. The full mechanisms of [[government]] were put in place, as outlined in the [[Northwest Ordinance]]. A [[bicameral legislature]] consisted of a [[State legislature (United States)|House of Representatives]] and a Council. The first House had 22 [[Legislator|representatives]], apportioned by population of each county. The House then nominated 10 citizens to be Council members. The nominations were sent to the U.S. Congress, which appointed five of them as the Council. This assembly became the legislature of the Territory, although the governor retained [[veto]] power. Article VI of the Articles of Compact within the Northwest Ordinance prohibited the owning of [[History of slavery in the United States|slaves]] within the Northwest Territory. However, territorial governments evaded this law by use of indenture laws. The Articles of Compact prohibited legal discrimination on the basis of religion within the territory. The [[township (United States)|township]] formula created by [[Thomas Jefferson]] was first implemented in the Northwest Territory through the [[Land Ordinance of 1785]]. The square surveys of the Northwest Territory would become a hallmark of the [[Midwestern United States|Midwest]], as [[Section (U.S. land surveying)|section]]s, townships, counties (and states) were laid out scientifically, and land was sold quickly and efficiently (although not without some speculative aberrations). ===Officials=== [[File:1938WoodenNickelNorthwestTerritory150thCelebration.jpg|thumb|300px|left|Wooden Nickel from the 150th Anniversary Celebration of the Northwest Territory, 1938, Marietta, Ohio]] [[Arthur St. Clair]] was the territory's governor until November 1802, when President [[Thomas Jefferson]] removed him from office and appointed [[Charles Willing Byrd]], who served the position until Ohio became a state and elected their first governor, [[Edward Tiffin]], on March 3, 1803. The original supreme court was made up of [[John Cleves Symmes]], [[James Mitchell Varnum]], and [[Samuel Holden Parsons]]. There were three secretaries: [[Winthrop Sargent]] (July 9, 1788–May 31, 1798); [[William Henry Harrison]] (June 29, 1798–December 31, 1799); and [[Charles Willing Byrd]] (January 1, 1800–March 1, 1803). The General Assembly of the Northwest Territory consisted of a Legislative Council (five members chosen by Congress) and a House of Representatives consisting of 22 members elected by the male [[freeholder]]s in nine counties. The first session of the Assembly was held in September 1799. Its first important task was to select a non-voting [[United States congressional delegations from Northwest Territory|delegate to the U.S. Congress]]. Locked in a power struggle with Governor St. Clair, the legislature narrowly elected [[William Henry Harrison]] as the first delegate over the governor's son, Arthur St. Clair, Jr. Subsequent congressional delegates were [[William McMillan (congressman)|William McMillan]] (1800–1801) and [[Paul Fearing]] (1801–1803). The territory's first [[Ohio Courts of Common Pleas|common pleas court]] opened at Marietta on 2 September 1788. Its first judges were General [[Rufus Putnam]], General [[Benjamin Tupper]], and Colonel Archibald Crary. [[Ebenezer Sproat]] was the first sheriff, Paul Fearing became the first attorney to practice in the territory, and Colonel [[William Stacy]] was foreman of the first grand jury. [[Winthrop Sargent]], the first secretary of the territory, married Roewena Tupper, daughter of Gen. [[Benjamin Tupper]], on 6 February 1789 at Marietta in the first marriage ceremony held within the Northwest Territory. ==Territorial counties== [[File:OhioCompanyOfAssociates.jpg|thumb|300px|right|Plaque at Marietta, Ohio commemorating the first American settlement of the Northwest Territory]] [[Image:MELIOREM LAPSA LOCAVIT.JPG|thumb|300px|right|Seal of the Northwest territory over a time capsule outside the [[Campus Martius Museum]]. Latin phrase “He has planted one better than the one fallen,” signifies the replacement of wilderness by civilization.]] [[Image:Ohio Counties 1802.png|thumb|300px|Ohio Counties in 1802]] 13 counties were formed by Governor [[Arthur St. Clair]] during the territory's existence: * [[Washington County, Ohio|Washington County]], with its seat at [[Marietta, Ohio|Marietta]], was the first county formed in the territory, proclaimed on July 26, 1788 by territorial governor St. Clair. Its original boundaries were proclaimed as all of present-day Ohio east of a line extending due south from the mouth of the [[Cuyahoga River]], but this did not take into account [[Connecticut|Connecticut's]] still unresolved claim of the [[Western Reserve]]. It kept these boundaries until 1796. *[[Hamilton County, Ohio|Hamilton County]], with its seat at [[Cincinnati]], was proclaimed on January 2, 1790. The same proclamation officially changed Cincinnati's name from Losantiville into its present form. Its original boundaries claimed all land north of the Ohio between the [[Great Miami River|Great Miami]] and [[Little Miami River|Little Miami]] Rivers as far north as Standing Stone Fork (now [[Loramie Creek]]), just north of present-day [[Piqua, Ohio|Piqua]]. In 1792 Hamilton County would expand to encompass all lands between the mouths of the Great Miami and Cuyahoga Rivers, as well as all of what is now the [[Lower Peninsula]] of [[Michigan]]. Its territory would undergo several reductions after 1796. *[[St. Clair County, Illinois|St. Clair County]], with its seat at [[Kaskaskia, Illinois|Kaskaskia]] was proclaimed on April 27, 1790. It originally encompassed most of present-day [[Illinois]] south of the [[Illinois River]]. It lost most of its southern lands in the formation of Randolph County in 1795, necessitating the transfer of the county seat to [[Cahokia, Illinois|Cahokia]], but would expand to the north to take in northwest present-day Illinois and most of present-day [[Wisconsin]] in 1801 after becoming part of [[Indiana Territory]]. *[[Knox County, Indiana|Knox County]], with its seat at [[Vincennes, Indiana|Vincennes]], was proclaimed on June 20, 1790, and encompassed the majority of the territory's land area - all land between St. Clair County and Hamilton County, extending north to [[Canada]]. *[[Randolph County, Illinois|Randolph County]] was formed October 5, 1795 with its seat at [[Kaskaskia, Illinois|Kaskaskia]] and encompassed the southern half of what was St. Clair County. *[[Wayne County, Michigan|Wayne County]] was formed on August 15, 1796, out of portions of Hamilton County and unorganized land, with its seat at [[Detroit]], which had been evacuated by the British five weeks previously. Wayne County originally covered all of Michigan's [[Lower Peninsula]], northwestern [[Ohio]], northern [[Indiana]] and a small portion of the present [[Lake Michigan]] shoreline, including the site of present-day [[Chicago]]. The lands west of the extension of the present Indiana-Ohio border would become part of [[Indiana Territory]] in 1800; the eastern portion of the county's land in Ohio would be erected into Trumbull County that same year. The part of the territory north of the Ordinance Line would become part of Indiana Territory in 1803 as a reorganized Wayne County; the remainder would revert to an unorganized status after Ohio statehood. *[[Adams County, Ohio|Adams County]] was formed on July 10, 1797, with its seat at [[Manchester, Ohio|Manchester]]; it encompassed most of present-day south central Ohio. *[[Jefferson County, Ohio|Jefferson County]] was formed July 29, 1797 with its seat at [[Steubenville, Ohio|Steubenville]], carved out of Washington County and originally encompassed all of what is now northeastern Ohio. *[[Ross County, Ohio|Ross County]] was organized on August 20, 1798 with its seat at [[Chillicothe]] and was carved out of portions of Knox, Hamilton and Washington counties. Knox, Randolph and St. Clair counties were separated from the territory effective July 4, 1800, and, along with the western part of Wayne County, and unorganized lands in what are now Minnesota and Wisconsin, became the [[Indiana Territory]]. *[[Trumbull County, Ohio|Trumbull County]] was proclaimed July 10, 1800 out of the [[Western Reserve]] portion of Jefferson and Wayne Counties, with its county seat at [[Warren, Ohio|Warren]], chosen over rivals [[Cleveland]] and [[Youngstown]].[http://planning.co.trumbull.oh.us/History_CAS.htm] *[[Clermont County, Ohio|Clermont County]] was formed December 6, 1800 out of Hamilton County, with its seat at [[Williamsburg, Ohio|Williamsburg]]. In contrast with most other Northwest Territory counties, Clermont County's original boundaries are only slightly larger than its present-day limits. *[[Fairfield County, Ohio|Fairfield County]] was proclaimed December 9, 1800 and formed out of Ross and Washington counties, with its seat at [[Lancaster, Ohio|Lancaster]]. *[[Belmont County, Ohio|Belmont County]] was formed September 7, 1801 out of Washington and Jefferson counties, with its seat at [[St. Clairsville, Ohio|St. Clairsville]]. The Northwest Territory ceased to exist upon Ohio statehood on March 1, 1803; the lands in Ohio that were previously part of Wayne County but not included in Trumbull County reverted to an unorganized status until new counties could be formed in the years to come. The remainder of Wayne County, roughly the eastern half of the [[Lower Peninsula of Michigan]] and the eastern tip of the [[Upper Peninsula]], was attached to Indiana Territory. ==Territorial contributions== {{Portal box|Ohio|Indiana|Illinois|Michigan|Wisconsin|Minnesota|History}} **[[U.S. states]] that [[State cessions|ceded territorial claims]] in what would become the Northwest Territory: ***[[State of New York]], 1780–1782 ***[[Commonwealth of Virginia]], 1781–1784 ***[[Commonwealth of Massachusetts]], 1784–1785 ***[[State of Connecticut]], 1786 and 1800 **[[U.S. territories]] that encompassed land that was previously part of the Northwest Territory: ***[[Territory of Indiana]], 1800–1816 ***[[Territory of Michigan]], 1805–1837 ***[[Territory of Illinois]], 1809–1818 ***[[Territory of Wisconsin]], 1836–1848 ***[[Territory of Minnesota]], 1849–1858 **[[U.S. states]] that encompass land that was once part of the Northwest Territory: ***[[State of Ohio]], 1803 ***[[State of Indiana]], 1816 ***[[State of Illinois]], 1818 ***[[State of Michigan]], 1837 ***[[State of Wisconsin]], 1848 ***[[State of Minnesota]], 1858 ==See also== {{Wikisource|The Northwest Ordinance}} *[[American pioneers to the Northwest Territory]] *[[Historic regions of the United States]] *[[History of Ohio]] *[[Illinois-Wabash Company]] *[[Indian Reserve (1763)]] *[[Northwest Indian War]] *[[Northwest Ordinance]] *[[Northwestern University]] - Created in 1851 to serve the people of the former Northwest Territory *[[Ohio Company|Ohio Country]] *[[Zane's trace]] ==External links== * [http://rs6.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=llsl&fileName=001/llsl001.db&recNum=173 Facsimile of 1789 Act] * [http://www.ohiohistory.org/onlinedoc/northwest/exjournal The Territory's Executive Journal] * [http://www.maumeevalleyheritagecorridor.org/ Maumee Valley Heritage Corridor] * [http://dig.lib.niu.edu/prairiefire/index.html/ Prairie Fire: The Illinois Country 1673-1818, Illinois Historical Digitization Projects at Northern Illinois University Libraries] {{Ohio}} {{Indiana}} {{Michigan}} {{Illinois}} {{Wisconsin}} {{Minnesota}} {{coord missing|United States}}