The Mormon Trail is the 1,300-mile route that members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints traveled from 1846 to 1868. Today, the Mormon Trail is a part of the United States National Trails System, known as the Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail; the Mormon Trail extends from Nauvoo, the principal settlement of the Latter Day Saints from 1839 to 1846, to Salt Lake City, settled by Brigham Young and his followers beginning in 1847. From Council Bluffs, Iowa to Fort Bridger in Wyoming, the trail follows much the same route as the Oregon Trail and the California Trail; the Mormon pioneer run began in 1846, when his followers were driven from Nauvoo. After leaving, they aimed to establish a new home for the church in the Great Basin and crossed Iowa. Along their way, some were assigned to establish settlements and to plant and harvest crops for emigrants. During the winter of 1846–47, the emigrants wintered in Iowa, other nearby states, the unorganized territory that became Nebraska, with the largest group residing in Winter Quarters, Nebraska.
In the spring of 1847, Young led the vanguard company to the Salt Lake Valley, outside the boundaries of the United States and became Utah. During the first few years, the emigrants were former occupants of Nauvoo who were following Young to Utah; the emigrants comprised converts from the British Isles and Europe. The trail was used for more than 20 years, until the completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad in 1869. Among the emigrants were the Mormon handcart pioneers of 1856–60. Two of the handcart companies, led by James G. Willie and Edward Martin, met disaster on the trail when they departed late and were caught by heavy snowstorms in Wyoming. Under the leadership of Joseph Smith, Latter Day Saints established several communities throughout the United States between 1830 and 1844, most notably in Kirtland, Ohio. However, the Saints were driven out of each of them in turn, due to conflicts with other settlers; this included the actions of Governor Lilburn Boggs, who issued Missouri Executive Order 44, which called for the "extermination" of all Mormons in Missouri.
Latter-day Saints were forced to abandon Nauvoo in 1846. Although the movement had split into several denominations after Smith's death in 1844, most members aligned themselves with Brigham Young and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Under Young's leadership, about 14,000 Mormon citizens of Nauvoo set out to find a new home in the West; as the senior apostle of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles after Joseph Smith's death, Brigham Young assumed responsibility of the leadership of the church. He would be sustained as President of the Church and prophet. Young now had to lead the Saints into the far west, without knowing where to go or where they would end up, he insisted the Mormons should settle in a place no one else wanted and felt the isolated Great Basin would provide the Saints with many advantages. Young reviewed information on the Great Salt Lake Valley and the Great Basin, consulted with mountain men and trappers, met with Father Pierre-Jean De Smet, a Jesuit missionary familiar with the region.
Young organized a vanguard company to break trail to the Rocky Mountains, evaluate trail conditions, find sources of water, select a central gathering point in the Great Basin. A new route on the north side of the Platte and North Platte rivers was chosen to avoid potential conflicts over grazing rights, water access, campsites with travelers using the established Oregon Trail on the river's south side; the Quincy Convention of October 1845 passed resolutions demanding that the Latter-day Saints withdraw from Nauvoo by May 1846. A few days the Carthage Convention called for establishment of a militia that would force them out if they failed to meet the May deadline. To try to meet this deadline and to get an early start on the trek to the Great Basin, the Latter-day Saints began leaving Nauvoo in February 1846; the departure from Nauvoo began on February 1846, under the leadership of Brigham Young. This early departure exposed them to the elements in the worst of winter. After crossing the Mississippi River, the journey across Iowa Territory followed primitive territorial roads and Native American trails.
Young planned to lead an express company of about 300 men to the Great Basin during the summer of 1846. He believed they could reach the Missouri River in four to six weeks. However, the actual trip across Iowa was slowed by rain, swollen rivers, poor preparation, it required 16 weeks – nearly three times longer than planned. Heavy rains turned the rolling plains of southern Iowa into a quagmire of axle-deep mud. Furthermore, few people carried adequate provisions for the trip; the weather, general unpreparedness, lack of experience in moving such a large group of people all contributed to the difficulties they endured. The initial party reached the Missouri River on June 14, it was apparent that the Latter-day Saints could not make it to the Great Basin that season and would have to winter on the Missouri River. Some of the emigrants established. Others moved across the river into the area of present-day Omaha and built a camp called Winter Quarters. In April 1847, chosen members of the vanguard company gathered, final supplies were packed, the group was organized into 14 military companies.
A militia and night guard were formed. The company consisted of 143 men, including three black people and eight members of th
The California Trail was an emigrant trail of about 3,000 mi across the western half of the North American continent from Missouri River towns to what is now the state of California. After it was established, the first half of the California Trail followed the same corridor of networked river valley trails as the Oregon Trail and the Mormon Trail, namely the valleys of the Platte, North Platte and Sweetwater rivers to Wyoming. In the present states of Wyoming and Utah, the California and Oregon trails split into several different trails or cutoffs. By 1847, two former fur trading frontier forts marked trailheads for major alternative routes through Utah and Wyoming to Northern California; the first was Jim Bridger's Fort Bridger in present-day Wyoming on the Green River, where the Mormon Trail turned southwest over the Wasatch Range to the newly established Salt Lake City, Utah. From Salt Lake the Salt Lake Cutoff went north and west of the Great Salt Lake and rejoined the California Trail in the City of Rocks in present-day Idaho.
The main Oregon and California Trails crossed the Green River on several different ferries and trails that led to or bypassed Fort Bridger and crossed over a range of hills to the Great Basin drainage of the Bear River. Just past present-day Soda Springs, both trails turned northwest, following the Portneuf River valley to the British Hudson's Bay Company's Fort Hall on the Snake River in present-day Idaho. From Fort Hall the Oregon and California trails went about 50 miles southwest along the Snake River Valley to another "parting of the ways" trail junction at the junction of the Raft and Snake rivers; the California Trail from the junction followed the Raft River to the City of Rocks in Idaho near the present Nevada-Idaho-Utah tripoint. The Salt Lake and Fort Hall routes were about the same length: about 190 miles. From the City of Rocks the trail went into the present state of Utah following the South Fork of the Junction Creek. From there the trail followed along a series of small streams, such as Thousand Springs Creek in the present state of Nevada until approaching present-day Wells, where they met the Humboldt River.
By following the crooked, meandering Humboldt River Valley west across the arid Great Basin, emigrants were able to get the water and wood they needed for themselves and their teams. The water turned alkaline as they progressed down the Humboldt, there were no trees. "Firewood" consisted of broken brush, the grass was sparse and dried out. Few travelers liked the Humboldt River Valley passage. Humboldt is not good for man nor beast... and there is not timber enough in three hundred miles of its desolate valley to make a snuff-box, or sufficient vegetation along its banks to shade a rabbit, while its waters contain the alkali to make soap for a nation. At the end of the Humboldt River, where it disappeared into the alkaline Humboldt Sink, travelers had to cross the deadly Forty Mile Desert before finding either the Truckee River or Carson River in the Carson Range and Sierra Nevada mountains that were the last major obstacles before entering Northern California. An alternative route across the present states of Utah and Nevada that bypassed both Fort Hall and the Humboldt River trails was developed in 1859.
This route, the Central Overland Route, about 280 miles shorter and more than 10 days quicker, went south of the Great Salt Lake and across the middle of present-day Utah and Nevada through a series of springs and small streams. The route went south from Salt Lake City across the Jordan River to Fairfield, Utah west-southwest past Fish Springs National Wildlife Refuge, Utah, Utah, to Ely, Nevada across Nevada to Carson City, Nevada. In addition to immigrants and migrants from the East, after 1859 the Pony Express, Overland stages and the First Transcontinental Telegraph all followed this route with minor deviations. Once in western Nevada and eastern California, the pioneers worked out several paths over the rugged Carson Range and Sierra Nevada mountains into the gold fields and cities of northern California; the main routes were the Truckee Trail to the Sacramento Valley and after about 1849 the Carson Trail route to the American River and the Placerville, California gold digging region.
Starting about 1859 the Johnson Cutoff and the Henness Pass Route across the Sierras were improved and developed. These main roads across the Sierras were both toll roads so there were funds to pay for maintenance and upkeep on the roads; these toll roads were used to carry cargo west to east from California to Nevada, as thousands of tons of supplies were needed by the gold and silver miners, etc. working on the Comstock Lode near the present Virginia City, Nevada. The Johnson Cutoff, from Placerville to Carson City along today's U. S. Route 50 in California, was used by the Pony Express year-round and in the summer by the stage lines, it was the only overland route from the East to California that could be kept open for at least horse traffic in the winter. The California Trail was used from 1845 until several years after the end of the American Civil War. After about 1848 the most popular route was the Carson Route which, while rugged, was still easier than most others and entered California in the middle of the gold fields.
The trail was heav
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; the territorial capital was Omaha. The territory encompassed areas of what is today Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota and Montana. An enabling act was passed by Congress in 1864. Delegates for a constitutional convention were elected. Two years in 1866, a constitution was drafted and voted upon, it was approved by 100 votes. However, a clause in this constitution that limited suffrage to "free white males" delayed Nebraska's entry into the Union for a year; the 1866 enabling act for the state was subject to a pocket veto by President Andrew Johnson. When Congress reconvened in 1867, it passed another bill to create the state of Nebraska, on the condition that Nebraska's constitution be amended to remove the suffrage clause.
This bill was vetoed by President Johnson. Congress overrode his veto. Several trading posts and towns were established in the Nebraska Territory from the early 19th century through 1867, including Fontenelle's Post founded in the present-day site of Bellevue in 1806, it was first mentioned in fur trading records in 1823. Fort Lisa, founded by Manuel Lisa near present-day Dodge Park in North Omaha was founded in 1812, although Lisa had earlier founded posts further up the Missouri River in Montana and North Dakota. Fort Atkinson, was founded on the Council Bluff in 1819. Mormon settlers founded Cutler's Park in 1846, the town of Bellevue was incorporated in 1853. Nearby Omaha City was founded in 1854, with Nebraska City and Kearney incorporated in 1855; the influential towns of Brownville and Fontanelle were founded that year as well. The early village of Lancaster called Lincoln, was founded in 1856, along with the towns of Saratoga, South Nebraska City and Florence; the first newspaper published in the terrain that would become Nebraska was a weekly military journal stationed at Ft. Atkinson, published for five years, from 1822 – 1827, before the fort was closed.
Thirty years the Nebraska territory was settled and print media served the dual purposes of sharing the news and promoting the area for settlement. In 1854 the Nebraska Palladium was the first paper to be published in the territory however it would last less than a year; these territorial newspapers were efficient but rough and many of the papers folded under changed owners, or consolidated with other publications. By 1860 the Nebraska territory had twelve weekly publications, one biweekly and one monthly, with a combined circulation of 9,750. After statehood in 1867 the newspaper industry expanded greatly. With a variety of early fur trading posts, Fort Atkinson, founded in 1819, was the location of the first military post in what became the Nebraska Territory, as well as its first school. Other posts in the Nebraska Territory included Fort Kearny near present-day Kearney; the Nebraska Territory's original boundaries included much of the original Louisiana Purchase. Upon creation, the territory encompassed most of the northern Great Plains, much of the upper Missouri River basin and the eastern portions of the northern Rocky Mountains.
The Nebraska Territory reduced in size as new territories were created in the 1860s. The Colorado Territory was formed February 28, 1861 from portions of the territory south of 41° N and west of 102°03′ W. March 2, 1861, saw the creation of the Dakota Territory, it was made of all of the portions of Nebraska Territory north of 43° N, along with the portion of present-day Nebraska between 43° N and the Keya Paha and Niobrara rivers. The act creating the Dakota Territory included provisions granting Nebraska small portions of Utah Territory and Washington Territory—present-day southwestern Wyoming bounded by 41° N, 110°03′ W, 43° N, the Continental Divide; these portions had not been part of the Louisiana Purchase. On March 3, 1863, the Idaho Territory was formed of all the territory west of 104°03′ W. American Civil War, 1861–65 Nebraska in the American Civil War California Trail Compromise of 1850 First Transcontinental Railroad Governors of Nebraska Territory Historic regions of the United States History of Nebraska Landmarks of the Nebraska Territory Mexican–American War, 1846–48 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, 1848 Mormon Trail Oregon Trail Territorial evolution of the United States Territories of Spain that encompassed land that would become part of the Territory of Nebraska: Nueva Vizcaya, 1562–1821 Santa Fé de Nuevo Méjico, 1598–1821 Luisiana, 1764–1803 Territory of Fr
David W. Ballard
David Wesley Ballard was governor of Idaho Territory from 1866 to 1870. Unlike many territorial governors of the Reconstruction Era, Ballard physically resided in his jurisdiction during his tenure. A physician by trade, Ballard practiced medicine in Boise throughout his tenure as territorial governor. Ballard was born in Indiana, he graduated from the medical college at Cincinnati, Ohio. He married Jane Eliza Rooker in 1848 in Indiana, they had nine children: Lonner L. Oscar, Frank Rooker, Florence E. Carrie, Maud M. Ora, two daughters, Amanda D. and Mary J. who died in infancy. Of historical note, Ballard was a direct descendant of Thomas Ballard, Jr. the chief founder of Yorktown, Virginia in 1705. Ballard soon grew a large medical practice in Indiana. Cheerful reports from Oregon and a keen interest in the far west led him to move his family to Linn County, six miles from Lebanon, Oregon Territory. Again his medical practice grew large and his neighbors developed a trust in his integrity, he was elected to the state senate soon after Oregon's admission to statehood in 1859.
On the recommendation of Oregon Senator George Henry Williams, Ballard was appointed territorial governor by President Andrew Johnson in April 1866. When he arrived in Idaho Territory in June he found the government in serious disarray; the territory was still reeling from the mismanagement of Ballard's predecessor, Caleb Lyon divided over the controversial decision to move the capital from Lewiston to Boise, nearly broke because former territorial secretary Horace C. Gilson had embezzled most of the territory's funds while serving as acting governor between Lyon and Ballard's administrations. A Republican who supported the Union during the Civil War, Ballard clashed bitterly with the overwhelmingly Democratic and pro-Confederate territorial legislature. At the time many of the top federally appointed officials in Idaho Territory hailed from Oregon from Yamhill County; these officials were linked to Radical Republican policies, which were unpopular in Idaho Territory. Although Ballard was not from Yamhill County, as an Oregonian he was associated with this group.
Upon his arrival, Ballard learned that the legislature of 1865 had passed an act abolishing extra pay for the governor and secretary, but retaining, increasing, their own and that of their clerks. Public furor over this arbitrary exercise of power caused the legislature to restore it a few days afterward by another act. By all accounts, it was a corrupt legislature filled with self-dealing legislators. Ballard, in response, sent in a special message artfully worded, approving of the measure, suggested that the territory be saved the whole of the extra money, including monies to Democratic legislators. Despite this, the territorial legislature contacted federal Treasury Secretary Hugh McCulloch and advised him they were three sessions behind in pay due to the embezzlement and Lyon's disastrous administration. In response territorial secretary Solomon R. Howlett informed McCulloch that many of the legislators had refused to sign an oath of allegiance to the union per an 1862 act of Congress and were therefore ineligible for any back pay to begin with.
Although McCulloch allocated the territory $20,000 towards legislative back pay, he advised Howlett not to pay any legislator who hadn't signed the "ironclad oath of allegiance" upon election. The legislature responded by passing a bill exempting itself from the federal law, claiming that it only applied to Washington appointees. Calling the legislation "presumptuous," Ballard vetoed it on the grounds that it violated the Idaho Organic Act of 1863, which established the territory. Legislators reacted violently, within hours either Ballard or Howlett ordered federal troops to enter legislative chambers to quell the unrest. In January 1867 Howlett offered back pay to any legislator willing to sign the oath retroactively defusing the situation; the Idaho Territorial Legislature attempted to have Ballard removed from office. In 1867 Idaho Territory's Democratic Congressional delegate Edward Dexter Holbrook temporarily convinced President Johnson to suspend Ballard and nominate an Isaac Gibbs in his stead, but Johnson soon changed his mind and Ballard remained.
The last two years of Ballard's administration were much more sedate. By 1869 Ballard's administration patched many its differences with the territorial legislature and managed to address many of the serious issues it inherited. Upon the expiration of his term of office in 1870, two-thirds of the citizens of Idaho Territory petitioned for Ballard's reappointment by President Ulysses S. Grant, but by the time it reached Grant he had appointed a successor, Gilman Marston, who declined the position. Three subsequent appointees either declined or resigned the post until Grant found a lasting replacement in Thomas W. Bennett, several months after Ballard left office. Ballard returned to Oregon. There he expanded his medical practice which became the largest in the state, he returned to the Oregon State Senate. Ballard died on September 18, 1883 at age 59, he is interred at Lebanon Pioneer Cemetery in Oregon. Find A Grave The Political Graveyard
Snake River Plain
The Snake River Plain is a geologic feature located within the U. S. state of Idaho. It stretches about 400 miles westward from northwest of the state of Wyoming to the Idaho-Oregon border; the plain covers about a quarter of Idaho. Three major volcanic buttes dot the plain east of the largest being Big Southern Butte. Most of Idaho's major cities are in the Snake River Plain; the Snake River Plain can be divided into three sections: western and eastern. The western Snake River Plain is a large tectonic graben or rift valley filled with several kilometers of lacustrine sediments; the western plain began to form around 11 -- 12 Ma with the eruption of rhyolite ignimbrites. The western plain is not parallel to North American Plate motion and lies at a high angle to the central and eastern Snake River Plains, its morphology is similar to other volcanic plateaus such as the Chilcotin Group in south-central British Columbia, Canada. The eastern Snake River Plain traces the path of the North American Plate over the Yellowstone hotspot, now centered in Yellowstone National Park.
The eastern plain is a topographic depression that cuts across Basin and Range mountain structures, more or less parallel to North American Plate motion. It is underlain entirely by basalt erupted from large shield volcanoes. Beneath the basalts are rhyolite lavas and ignimbrites that erupted as the lithosphere passed over the hotspot; the central Snake River plain is similar to the eastern plain but differs by having thick sections of interbedded lacustrine and fluvial sediments, including the Hagerman fossil beds. Island Park and Yellowstone Calderas formed as the result of enormous rhyolite ignimbrite eruptions, with single eruptions producing up to 600 cubic miles of ash. Henry's Fork Caldera, measuring 18 miles by 23 miles, may be the largest symmetrical caldera in the world; the caldera formed when a dome of magma built up and drained away. The center of the dome collapsed. Henry's Fork Caldera lies within the older and larger Island Park Caldera, 50 miles by 65 miles. Younger volcanoes that erupted after passing over the hotspot covered the plain with young basalt lava flows in places, including Craters of the Moon National Monument.
The Snake River Plain has a significant effect on the climate of Yellowstone National Park and the adjacent areas to the south and west of Yellowstone. Over time, the Yellowstone hotspot left a 70-mile wide channel through the Rocky Mountains; this channel is in line with the gap between the Sierra Nevada. The result is a moisture channel extending from the Pacific Ocean to Yellowstone. Moisture from the Pacific Ocean streams onshore in the form of humid air, it passes through the gap between the Sierra and Cascades and into the Snake River Plain where it is channeled through most of the Rocky Mountains with no high plateaus or mountain ranges to impede its progress. It encounters upslope conditions at the head of the Snake River Valley at Ashton, at Island Park, Idaho, at the Teton Range east of Driggs, at the Yellowstone Plateau of Yellowstone National Park where the channeled moisture precipitates out as rain and snow; the result is a localized climate on the eastern side of the Rockies, akin to a climate on the west slope of the Cascades or the northern Sierras.
The head of the Snake River Valley, the Tetons, the Yellowstone Plateau receive much more precipitation than other areas of the region, the area is known for being wet, having many streams, having abundant snow in winter. Although the topography of the Plain has gone unchanged for several million years, this region's climate has not been so constant. Current climatic conditions began to characterize the region in the early Pleistocene. However, the arid climate of today was born from the gradual dissipation of a climate defined by greater moisture and narrower ranges of annual temperatures. Lost streams of Idaho Snake River Snake River Plain Wilson Butte Cave The Snake River Plain Snake River Plain at Digital Atlas of Idaho
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 as the states of North and South Dakota. The Dakota Territory consisted of the northernmost part of the land acquired in the Louisiana purchase in 1803, as well as the southernmost part of Rupert's Land, acquired in 1818 when the boundary was changed to the 49th parallel; the name refers to the Dakota branch of the Sioux tribes. Most of Dakota Territory was part of the Minnesota and Nebraska territories; when Minnesota became a state in 1858, the leftover area between the Missouri River and Minnesota's western boundary fell unorganized. When the Yankton Treaty was signed that year, ceding much of what had been Sioux Indian land to the U. S. Government, early settlers formed an unofficial provisional government and unsuccessfully lobbied for United States territory status.
Three years President-elect Abraham Lincoln's cousin-in-law, J. B. S. Todd lobbied for territory status and the U. S. Congress formally created Dakota Territory, it became an organized territory on March 2, 1861. Upon creation, Dakota Territory included much of present-day Montana and Wyoming as well as all of present-day North Dakota and South Dakota and a small portion of present-day Nebraska. A small patch of land known as "Lost Dakota" existed as a remote exclave of Dakota Territory until it became part of Gallatin County, Montana Territory, in 1873. Dakota Territory was not directly involved in the American Civil War but did raise some troops to defend the settlements following the Dakota War of 1862 which triggered hostilities with the Sioux tribes of Dakota Territory; the Department of the Northwest sent expeditions into Dakota Territory in 1863, 1864 and 1865. It established forts in Dakota Territory to protect the frontier settlements of the Territory and Minnesota and the traffic along the Missouri River.
Following the Civil War, hostilities continued with the Sioux until the 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie. By 1868, creation of new territories reduced Dakota Territory to the present boundaries of the Dakotas. Territorial counties were defined including Bottineau County, Cass County and others. During the existence of the organized territory, the population first increased slowly and very with the "Dakota Boom" from 1870 to 1880; because the Sioux were considered hostile and a threat to early settlers, the white population grew slowly. The settlers' population grew and the Sioux were not considered as severe a threat; the population increase can be attributed to the growth of the Northern Pacific Railroad. Settlers who 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 and Canadians. Commerce was organized around the fur trade. Furs were carried by steamboat along the rivers to the settlements.
Gold was discovered in the Black Hills in 1874 and attracted more settlers, setting off the last Sioux War. The population surge increased the demand for meat spurring expanded cattle ranching on the territory's vast open ranges. With the advent of the railroad agriculture intensified: wheat became the territory's main cash crop. Economic hardship hit the territory in the 1880s due to a drought; the territorial capital was Yankton from 1861 until 1883. The Dakota Territory was divided into the states of North Dakota and South Dakota 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. Admission of new western states was a party political battleground with each party looking at how the proposed new states were to vote.
At the beginning of 1888, the Democrats under president Grover Cleveland proposed that the four territories of Montana, New Mexico and Washington should be admitted together. The first two were expected to vote Democratic and the latter two were expected to vote Republican so this was seen as a compromise acceptable to both parties. However, the Republicans won majorities in Congress and the Senate that year. To head off the possibility that Congress might only admit Republican territories to statehood, the Democrats agreed to a less favorable deal in which Dakota was divided in two and New Mexico was left out altogether. Cleveland signed it into law on February 22, 1889 and the territories could become states in nine months time after that. However, incoming Republican president Benjamin Harrison had a problem with South Dakota. There had been previous attempts to open up the territory, but these had foundered because the Treaty of Fort Laramie required that 75% of Sioux adult males on the reservation had to agree to any treaty change.
Most a commission headed by Richard Henry Pratt in 1888 had failed to get the necessary signatures in the face of opposition from Sioux leaders and government worker Elaine Goodale Superintendent of Indian Education for the Dakotas. The government believed that the Dawes Act, which attempted to move the Indians from hunting to farming, in theory meant that they needed less land (but in reality was an economic dis
Organized incorporated territories of the United States
Organized incorporated territories are territories of the United States that are both incorporated and organized. There have been no such territories since Alaska and Hawaii were admitted as states in 1959. Through most of U. S. history, regions that were admitted as U. S. states were, prior to admission, parts of territories of this kind. As the United States grew, the most populous parts of the organized territory would achieve statehood; the remainder kept at least some of the governing structure of the old legal entity and would be renamed to avoid confusion. Some territories existed only a short time before becoming states, while others remained territories for decades; the shortest-lived was Alabama Territory at two years, while New Mexico Territory and Hawaii Territory both lasted more than 50 years. Of the current 50 U. S. states, 31 were at one time or another part of a U. S. territory. The exceptions include: the original Thirteen Colonies. Common regional names such as Louisiana Purchase, Indian Territory, Oregon Country were never formally organized as territories.
During the American Civil War, there was a Confederate-established Arizona Territory, which split Arizona and New Mexico along an east–west line, rather than the Union-established north–south line that persists today. See article for map. Since 1959, there have been no incorporated U. S. territories formally organized by an Organic Act. When Hawaii was admitted as a state in 1959, the Hawaii Admission Act excluded Palmyra Island, part of the Territory of Hawaii, Palmyra remains today as the only incorporated U. S. territory, the United States Territory of Palmyra Island. Although it still has private landowners, Palmyra is uninhabited, no Palmyra Island government has been organized under an act of Congress. Palmyra is governed as a territory by the United States Department of the Interior. All other U. S. territories except Palmyra are unincorporated, whereas other former incorporated territories are now states. While the District of Columbia functions to an organized incorporated territory, it is governed by different provisions of the United States Constitution as a federal district.
The following territories within the United States were organized by Congress with an Organic Act on the first date listed. Each was admitted as a U. S. state on the second date listed. Larger outlying portions of an organized territory were not included in the new state. For maps, see Territorial evolution of the United States. Northwest Territory became the State of Ohio and the Indiana Territory Southwest Territory became the State of Tennessee Mississippi Territory became the State of Mississippi and Alabama Territory Indiana Territory became western Michigan Territory, Illinois Territory, the State of Indiana Territory of Orleans became the State of Louisiana Michigan Territory became Wisconsin Territory and the State of Michigan Louisiana Territory, renamed Missouri Territory Illinois Territory became the State of Illinois, part of the Michigan Territory Missouri Territory became the State of Missouri and the rest unorganized Alabama Territory Arkansas Territory became the State of Arkansas and unorganized Indian Territory Florida Territory became the state of Florida Wisconsin Territory became the Iowa Territory, the State of Wisconsin, with a portion becoming part of the Minnesota Territory Iowa Territory became the State of Iowa and the rest unorganized Oregon Territory Minnesota Territory, the eastern part of which became the state of Minnesota New Mexico Territory Utah Territory Washington Territory Kansas Territory Nebraska Territory Colorado Territory Nevada Territory Dakota Territory became the Idaho Territory, the States of North Dakota and South Dakota Arizona Territory Idaho Territory Montana Territory Wyoming Territory Oklahoma Territory Territory of Hawaii Territory of Alaska Historic regions of the United States Insular areas of the United States Insular Cases Political divisions of the United States Territorial evolution of the United States Territories of the United States – foreign possessions, legal classifications Territories of the United States on stamps United States territorial acquisitions