The Missouri River is the longest river in North America. Rising in the Rocky Mountains of western Montana, the Missouri flows east and south for 2,341 miles before entering the Mississippi River north of St. Louis, Missouri; the river takes drainage from a sparsely populated, semi-arid watershed of more than half a million square miles, which includes parts of ten U. S. states and two Canadian provinces. When combined with the lower Mississippi River, it forms the world's fourth longest river system. For over 12,000 years, people have depended on the Missouri River and its tributaries as a source of sustenance and transportation. More than ten major groups of Native Americans populated the watershed, most leading a nomadic lifestyle and dependent on enormous bison herds that roamed through the Great Plains; the first Europeans encountered the river in the late seventeenth century, the region passed through Spanish and French hands before becoming part of the United States through the Louisiana Purchase.
The Missouri River was one of the main routes for the westward expansion of the United States during the 19th century. The growth of the fur trade in the early 19th century laid much of the groundwork as trappers explored the region and blazed trails. Pioneers headed west en masse beginning in the 1830s, first by covered wagon by the growing numbers of steamboats that entered service on the river. Settlers took over former Native American lands in the watershed, leading to some of the most longstanding and violent wars against indigenous peoples in American history. During the 20th century, the Missouri River basin was extensively developed for irrigation, flood control and the generation of hydroelectric power. Fifteen dams impound the main stem of the river, with hundreds more on tributaries. Meanders have been cut and the river channelized to improve navigation, reducing its length by 200 miles from pre-development times. Although the lower Missouri valley is now a populous and productive agricultural and industrial region, heavy development has taken its toll on wildlife and fish populations as well as water quality.
From the Rocky Mountains of Montana and Wyoming, three streams rise to form the headwaters of the Missouri River: the longest begins near Brower's Spring, 9,100 feet above sea level on the southeastern slopes of Mount Jefferson in the Centennial Mountains. From there it flows west north, it passes through Canyon Ferry Lake, a reservoir west of the Big Belt Mountains. Issuing from the mountains near Cascade, the river flows northeast to the city of Great Falls, where it drops over the Great Falls of the Missouri, a series of five substantial waterfalls, it winds east through a scenic region of canyons and badlands known as the Missouri Breaks, receiving the Marias River from the west widening into the Fort Peck Lake reservoir a few miles above the confluence with the Musselshell River. Farther on, the river passes through the Fort Peck Dam, downstream, the Milk River joins from the north. Flowing eastward through the plains of eastern Montana, the Missouri receives the Poplar River from the north before crossing into North Dakota where the Yellowstone River, its greatest tributary by volume, joins from the southwest.
At the confluence, the Yellowstone is the larger river. The Missouri meanders east past Williston and into Lake Sakakawea, the reservoir formed by Garrison Dam. Below the dam the Missouri receives the Knife River from the west and flows south to Bismarck, the capital of North Dakota, where the Heart River joins from the west, it slows into the Lake Oahe reservoir just before the Cannonball River confluence. While it continues south reaching Oahe Dam in South Dakota, the Grand and Cheyenne Rivers all join the Missouri from the west; the Missouri makes a bend to the southeast as it winds through the Great Plains, receiving the Niobrara River and many smaller tributaries from the southwest. It proceeds to form the boundary of South Dakota and Nebraska after being joined by the James River from the north, forms the Iowa–Nebraska boundary. At Sioux City the Big Sioux River comes in from the north; the Missouri flows south to the city of Omaha where it receives its longest tributary, the Platte River, from the west.
Downstream, it begins to define the Nebraska–Missouri border flows between Missouri and Kansas. The Missouri swings east at Kansas City, where the Kansas River enters from the west, so on into north-central Missouri. To the east of Kansas City, the Missouri receives, on the left side, the Grand River, it passes south of Columbia and receives the Osage and Gasconade Rivers from the south downstream of Jefferson City. The river rounds the northern side of St. Louis to join the Mississippi River on the border between Missouri and Illinois. With a drainage basin spanning 529,350 square miles, the Missouri River's catchment encompasses nearly one-sixth of the area of the United States or just over five percent of the continent of North America. Comparable to the size of the Canadian province of Quebec, the watershed encompasses most of the central Great Plains, stretching from the Rocky Mountains in the
Flag of the United States
The flag of the United States of America referred to as the American flag, is the national flag of the United States. It consists of thirteen equal horizontal stripes of red alternating with white, with a blue rectangle in the canton bearing fifty small, five-pointed stars arranged in nine offset horizontal rows, where rows of six stars alternate with rows of five stars; the 50 stars on the flag represent the 50 states of the United States of America, the 13 stripes represent the thirteen British colonies that declared independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain, became the first states in the U. S. Nicknames for the flag include the Stars and Stripes, Old Glory, the Star-Spangled Banner; the current design of the U. S. flag is its 27th. The 48-star flag was in effect for 47 years until the 49-star version became official on July 4, 1959; the 50-star flag was ordered by the president Eisenhower on August 21, 1959, was adopted in July 1960. It is the longest-used version of the U. S. has been in use for over 58 years.
At the time of the Declaration of Independence in July 1776, the Continental Congress would not adopt flags with "stars, white in a blue field" for another year. The flag contemporaneously known as "the Continental Colors" has been referred to as the first national flag; the Continental Navy raised the Colors as the ensign of the fledgling nation in the American War for Independence—likely with the expedient of transforming their previous British red ensigns by adding white stripes—and would use this flag until 1777, when it would form the basis for the subsequent de jure designs. The name "Grand Union" was first applied to the Continental Colors by George Preble in his 1872 history of the U. S. flag. The flag resembles the British East India Company flag of the era, Sir Charles Fawcett argued in 1937 that the company flag inspired the design. Both flags could have been constructed by adding white stripes to a British Red Ensign, one of the three maritime flags used throughout the British Empire at the time.
However, an East India Company flag could have from nine to 13 stripes, was not allowed to be flown outside the Indian Ocean. Benjamin Franklin once gave a speech endorsing the adoption of the Company's flag by the United States as their national flag, he said to George Washington, "While the field of your flag must be new in the details of its design, it need not be new in its elements. There is in use a flag, I refer to the flag of the East India Company." This was a way of symbolising American loyalty to the Crown as well as the United States' aspirations to be self-governing, as was the East India Company. Some colonists felt that the Company could be a powerful ally in the American War of Independence, as they shared similar aims and grievances against the British government tax policies. Colonists therefore flew the Company's flag. However, the theory that the Grand Union Flag was a direct descendant of the flag of the East India Company has been criticised as lacking written evidence. On the other hand, the resemblance is obvious, a number of the Founding Fathers of the United States were aware of the East India Company's activities and of their free administration of India under Company rule.
In any case, both the stripes and the stars have precedents in classical heraldry. Mullets were comparatively rare in early modern heraldry, but an example of mullets representing territorial divisions predating the U. S. flag are those in the coat of arms of Valais of 1618, where seven mullets stood for seven districts. On June 14, 1777, the Second Continental Congress passed the Flag Resolution which stated: "Resolved, That the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white. Flag Day is now observed on June 14 of each year. While scholars still argue about this, tradition holds that the new flag was first hoisted in June 1777 by the Continental Army at the Middlebrook encampment; the first official U. S. flag flown during battle was on August 3, 1777, at Fort Schuyler during the Siege of Fort Stanwix. Massachusetts reinforcements brought news of the adoption by Congress of the official flag to Fort Schuyler. Soldiers cut up their shirts to make the white stripes.
Abraham Swartwout's blue cloth coat. A voucher is extant that Capt. Swartwout of Dutchess County was paid by Congress for his coat for the flag; the 1777 resolution was most meant to define a naval ensign. In the late 18th century, the notion of a national flag was only nascent; the flag resolution appears between other resolutions from the Marine Committee. On May 10, 1779, Secretary of the Board of War Richard Peters expressed concern "it is not yet settled what is the Standard of the United States." However, the term, "Standard," referred to a national standard for the Army of the United States. Each regiment was to carry the national standard in addition to its regimental standard; the national standard was not a reference to the naval flag. The Flag Resolution did not specify any particular arrangement, number of points, nor orientation for the stars and the arrangement or whether the flag had to have seven red stripes and six white ones or vice versa; the appearance was up to the maker of the flag.
Some flag makers arranged the stars into one big star, in a circle or in rows and some re
St. Louis is an independent city and major inland port in the U. S. state of Missouri. It is situated along the western bank of the Mississippi River, which marks Missouri's border with Illinois; the Missouri River merges with the Mississippi River just north of the city. These two rivers combined form the fourth longest river system in the world; the city had an estimated 2017 population of 308,626 and is the cultural and economic center of the St. Louis metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in Missouri, the second-largest in Illinois, the 22nd-largest in the United States. Before European settlement, the area was a regional center of Native American Mississippian culture; the city of St. Louis was founded in 1764 by French fur traders Pierre Laclède and Auguste Chouteau, named after Louis IX of France. In 1764, following France's defeat in the Seven Years' War, the area was ceded to Spain and retroceded back to France in 1800. In 1803, the United States acquired the territory as part of the Louisiana Purchase.
During the 19th century, St. Louis became a major port on the Mississippi River, it separated from St. Louis County in 1877, becoming an independent city and limiting its own political boundaries. In 1904, it hosted the Summer Olympics; the economy of metropolitan St. Louis relies on service, trade, transportation of goods, tourism, its metro area is home to major corporations, including Anheuser-Busch, Express Scripts, Boeing Defense, Energizer, Enterprise, Peabody Energy, Post Holdings, Edward Jones, Go Jet and Sigma-Aldrich. Nine of the ten Fortune 500 companies based in Missouri are located within the St. Louis metropolitan area; this city has become known for its growing medical and research presence due to institutions such as Washington University in St. Louis and Barnes-Jewish Hospital. St. Louis has two professional sports teams: the St. Louis Cardinals of Major League Baseball and the St. Louis Blues of the National Hockey League. One of the city's iconic sights is the 630-foot tall Gateway Arch in the downtown area.
The area that would become St. Louis was a center of the Native American Mississippian culture, which built numerous temple and residential earthwork mounds on both sides of the Mississippi River, their major regional center was at Cahokia Mounds, active from 900 to 1500. Due to numerous major earthworks within St. Louis boundaries, the city was nicknamed as the "Mound City"; these mounds were demolished during the city's development. Historic Native American tribes in the area included the Siouan-speaking Osage people, whose territory extended west, the Illiniwek. European exploration of the area was first recorded in 1673, when French explorers Louis Jolliet and Jacques Marquette traveled through the Mississippi River valley. Five years La Salle claimed the region for France as part of La Louisiane; the earliest European settlements in the area were built in Illinois Country on the east side of the Mississippi River during the 1690s and early 1700s at Cahokia and Fort de Chartres. Migrants from the French villages on the opposite side of the Mississippi River founded Ste.
Genevieve in the 1730s. In early 1764, after France lost the 7 Years' War, Pierre Laclède and his stepson Auguste Chouteau founded what was to become the city of St. Louis; the early French families built the city's economy on the fur trade with the Osage, as well as with more distant tribes along the Missouri River. The Chouteau brothers gained a monopoly from Spain on the fur trade with Santa Fe. French colonists used African slaves as domestic workers in the city. France, alarmed that Britain would demand French possessions west of the Mississippi and the Missouri River basin after the losing New France to them in 1759–60, transferred these to Spain as part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain; these areas remained in Spanish possession until 1803. In 1780 during the American Revolutionary War, St. Louis was attacked by British forces Native American allies, in the Battle of St. Louis; the founding of St. Louis began in 1763. Pierre Laclede led an expedition to set up a fur-trading post farther up the Mississippi River.
Before Laclede had been a successful merchant. For this reason, he and his trading partner Gilbert Antoine de St. Maxent were offered monopolies for six years of the fur trading in that area. Although they were only granted rights to set-up a trading post and other members of his expedition set up a settlement; some historians believe that Laclede's determination to create this settlement was the result of his affair with a married woman Marie-Thérèse Bourgeois Chouteau in New Orleans. Laclede on his initial expedition was accompanied by Auguste Chouteau; some historians still debate. The reason for this lingering question is that all the documentation of the founding was loaned and subsequently destroyed in a fire. For the first few years of St. Louis's existence, the city was not recognized by any of the governments. Although thought to be under the control of the Spanish government, no one asserted any authority over the settlement, thus St. Louis had no local government; this led Laclede to assume a position of civil control, all problems were disposed i
Louisiana is a state in the Deep South region of the South Central United States. It is the 25th most populous of the 50 United States. Louisiana is bordered by the state of Texas to the west, Arkansas to the north, Mississippi to the east, the Gulf of Mexico to the south. A large part of its eastern boundary is demarcated by the Mississippi River. Louisiana is the only U. S. state with political subdivisions termed parishes. The state's capital is Baton Rouge, its largest city is New Orleans. Much of the state's lands were formed from sediment washed down the Mississippi River, leaving enormous deltas and vast areas of coastal marsh and swamp; these contain a rich southern biota. There are many species of tree frogs, fish such as sturgeon and paddlefish. In more elevated areas, fire is a natural process in the landscape, has produced extensive areas of longleaf pine forest and wet savannas; these support an exceptionally large number of plant species, including many species of terrestrial orchids and carnivorous plants.
Louisiana has more Native American tribes than any other southern state, including four that are federally recognized, ten that are state recognized, four that have not received recognition. Some Louisiana urban environments have a multicultural, multilingual heritage, being so influenced by a mixture of 18th-century French, Spanish, Native American, African cultures that they are considered to be exceptional in the US. Before the American purchase of the territory in 1803, present-day Louisiana State had been both a French colony and for a brief period a Spanish one. In addition, colonists imported numerous African people as slaves in the 18th century. Many came from peoples of the same region of West Africa. In the post-Civil War environment, Anglo-Americans increased the pressure for Anglicization, in 1921, English was for a time made the sole language of instruction in Louisiana schools before a policy of multilingualism was revived in 1974. There has never been an official language in Louisiana, the state constitution enumerates "the right of the people to preserve and promote their respective historic and cultural origins."
Louisiana was named after Louis XIV, King of France from 1643 to 1715. When René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle claimed the territory drained by the Mississippi River for France, he named it La Louisiane; the suffix -ana is a Latin suffix that can refer to "information relating to a particular individual, subject, or place." Thus Louis + ana carries the idea of "related to Louis." Once part of the French Colonial Empire, the Louisiana Territory stretched from present-day Mobile Bay to just north of the present-day Canada–United States border, including a small part of what is now the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. The Gulf of Mexico did not exist 250 million years ago when there was but one supercontinent, Pangea; as Pangea split apart, the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico opened. Louisiana developed, over millions of years, from water into land, from north to south; the oldest rocks are exposed in areas such as the Kisatchie National Forest. The oldest rocks date back to the early Cenozoic Era, some 60 million years ago.
The history of the formation of these rocks can be found in D. Spearing's Roadside Geology of Louisiana; the youngest parts of the state were formed during the last 12,000 years as successive deltas of the Mississippi River: the Maringouin, Teche, St. Bernard, the modern Mississippi, now the Atchafalaya; the sediments were carried from north to south by the Mississippi River. In between the Tertiary rocks of the north, the new sediments along the coast, is a vast belt known as the Pleistocene Terraces, their age and distribution can be related to the rise and fall of sea levels during past ice ages. In general, the northern terraces have had sufficient time for rivers to cut deep channels, while the newer terraces tend to be much flatter. Salt domes are found in Louisiana, their origin can be traced back to the early Gulf of Mexico, when the shallow ocean had high rates of evaporation. There are several hundred salt domes in the state. Salt domes are important not only as a source of salt. Louisiana is bordered to the west by Texas.
The state may properly be divided into two parts, the uplands of the north, the alluvial along the coast. The alluvial region includes low swamp lands, coastal marshlands and beaches, barrier islands that cover about 20,000 square miles; this area lies principally along the Gulf of Mexico and the Mississippi River, which traverses the state from north to south for a distance of about 600 mi ) and empties into the Gulf of Mexico. The breadth of the alluvial region along the Mississippi is from 10 to 60 miles, along the other rivers, the alluvial region averages about 10 miles across; the Mississippi River flows along a ridge formed by its own natural deposits, from which the lands decline toward a river beyond at an average fall of six feet per mile. The alluvial lands along other streams present similar features; the higher and contiguous hill lands of the north and northwestern part of the state have an area of more than 25,000 square miles. They consist of prairie and woodl
The Territory of Iowa was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from July 4, 1838, until December 28, 1846, when the southeastern portion of the territory was admitted to the Union as the state of Iowa. The remainder of the territory would have no organized territorial government until the Minnesota Territory was organized on March 3, 1849. Most of the area in the territory was part of the Louisiana Purchase and was a part of the Missouri Territory; when Missouri became a state in 1821, this area became unorganized territory. The area was closed to white settlers until the 1830s, it was attached to the Michigan Territory on June 28, 1834. At an extra session of the Sixth Legislative Assembly of Michigan held in September, 1834, the Iowa District was divided into two counties by running a line due west from the lower end of Rock Island in the Mississippi River; the territory north of this line was named Dubuque County, all south of it was Demoine County. When Michigan became a state in 1836 the area became the Iowa District of western Wisconsin Territory—the region west of the Mississippi River.
The original boundaries of the territory, as established in 1838, included Minnesota and parts of the Dakotas, covering about 194,000 square miles of land. Burlington was the stop-gap capital; when Iowa became a state on December 28, 1846, no provision was made for official organization of the remainder of the territory. Morgan L. Martin, the Wisconsin territorial delegate to congress, pushed through a bill to organize a territory of Minnesota which would encompass this land. While the bill passed in the house, it did not pass the senate. In the following session a bill by Stephen A. Douglas was introduced in the senate but did not pass; the situation was resolved when Minnesota Territory was organized on March 3, 1849, the day before the close of congress. Territorial officers of Iowa Territory from 1838–1846. Robert Lucas, appointed 1838. John Chambers, appointed 1841. James Clarke, appointed 1845. William B. Conway, appointed 1838. James Clarke, appointed 1839. O. H. W. Stull, appointed 1841. Samuel J. Burr, appointed 1843.
Jesse Williams, appointed 1845. Jesse Williams, appointed 1840. William L. Gilbert, appointed 1843. Robert M. Secrest, appointed 1845. Thornton Bayless, appointed 1839. Morgan Reno, appointed 1840. William W. Chapman 25th and 26th Congresses, 1838–1840 Francis Gehon, irregularly "elected" in 1839, but never served as delegate Augustus C. Dodge, in the 27th, 28th, 29th Congresses, 1840–1846 Historic regions of the United States History of Iowa Territorial evolution of the United States Territory of France that encompassed land that became part of the Territory of Iowa: Louisiane, 1682–1764 and 1803 Territory of Spain that would be returned to France: Luisiana, 1764–1803 Territory of the United Kingdom that encompassed land that became part of the Territory of Iowa: Rupert's Land, 1670–1870 U. S. territories that encompassed land that became part of the Territory of Iowa: Louisiana Purchase, 1803–1804 District of Louisiana, 1804–1805 Territory of Louisiana, 1805–1812 Territory of Missouri, 1812–1821 Territory of Michigan, 1805–1837 Territory of Wisconsin, 1836–1848 U.
S. territories that encompassed land, part of the Territory of Iowa: Territory of Minnesota, 1849–1858 Territory of Dakota, 1861–1889 U. S. states that encompass land, once part of the Territory of Iowa: State of Iowa, 1846 State of Minnesota, 1858 State of North Dakota, 1889 State of South Dakota, 1889 Template:Coord missing:United States
In the United States, an unorganized territory is a region of land without a "normally" constituted system of government. This does not mean that it is unclaimed territory. In practice, such territories are always sparsely populated; the term "unorganized territory" was applied to an area in which there was no effective government control of affairs on a day-to-day basis, such as the former U. S. territories where the government exerted only transient control when its forces were present. In modern usage it indicates an area in which local government does not exist, or exists only in embryonic form; however the area is still, at least in theory, governed by the nation of which it forms part, or by a smaller unit of that nation. These governed regions were common in the 19th century during the growth of United States. Large tracts such as the Louisiana Territory, Missouri Territory and the Oregon Country were established by Congress. A portion of a territory would organize and achieve the requirements for statehood, leaving the remainder "unorganized".
Unorganized territories, as defined by the U. S. Census Bureau, occur in 10 minor civil division states where portions of counties are not included in any established MCD or independent incorporated place; the U. S. Census Bureau recognizes such separate pieces of territory as one or more separate county subdivisions for statistical purposes, it assigns each unorganized territory a descriptive name, followed by the designation "unorganized territory". Unorganized territories were first used for statistical purposes in conjunction with the 1960 census. At the 2000 census there were 305 of these territories within the United States, their total land area was 85,392 square miles and they had a total population of 247,331. South Dakota had the most unorganized territories, 102, as well as the largest amount of land under that status: 39,785 square miles, or 52.4% of the state's land area. North Dakota followed with 20,358 square miles, or 29.5 % of its land area. Maine was next with 14,052 square miles, or 45.5 % of its land area.
Minnesota had 10,552 square miles, or 13 % of its land area. Several other states had small amounts of unorganized territory; the unorganized territory with the largest population was Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, a United States Marine Corps base with a census population of 34,452 inhabitants. In the 2010 census, unorganized territory areas were identified in nine U. S. states: Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Dakota. An unorganized territory can be a United States territory for which the United States Congress has not enacted an organic act. In this sense, unorganized territories are territories over which the federal U. S. government is sovereign but which are not located within any of the states of the Union and have not been "organized" into self-governing units. All federal unorganized territories are insular areas, administered by the Office of Insular Affairs, U. S. Department of the Interior. American Samoa is technically unorganized, in that Congress has not passed an organic act, but it is self-governing, under the terms of a constitution last revised in 1967.
As of 2019, Palmyra Atoll is the only unorganized incorporated U. S. territory. The other unorganized and all organized territories are unincorporated. Incorporated territories are permanently part of the United States whereas unincorporated territories may be sold, leased or granted independence by the United States. At various times during the 19th century, large parts of the Great Plains were unorganized territory. After the Louisiana Purchase from France in 1803, the entire region was part of the Louisiana Territory until 1812 and the Missouri Territory until 1821. In 1821 the Missouri Compromise created the State of Missouri from the territory, the rest of the region was left unorganized; the Kansas–Nebraska Act of 1854 created the Kansas and Nebraska Territories, bringing organized government to the region once again. The creation of Kansas and Nebraska left the Indian Territory as the only unorganized territory in the Great Plains. In 1858, the western part of the Minnesota Territory became unorganized when it was not included in the new state of Minnesota.
On May 2, 1890, the western half of the Indian Territory was organized as Oklahoma. The remainder was incorporated into the State of Oklahoma upon its admission to the union in 1907. Alaska was an unorganized territory between its acquisition by the United States in 1867 and the creation of the Alaska Territory in 1912. While still organized as a state, however half of Alaska remains unorganized at the county level. In modern parlance, such territory would be considered incorporated territory, yet not organized territory. However, the distinction between incorporated and non-incorporated territories did not arise until the territorial acquisitions following the Spanish–American War in 1898. Unorganized territories exist in certain regions of Canada, such as Northern Ontario where there is no region-wide level of government. In Quebec, territory not within the border of a municipality of some sort is unorganized territory. Organized incorporated territories of the United States – which became U.
S. states Territories of the United States – the classifications and lists of foreign possessions Types of municipalities in Quebec Unparished ar
The Territory of Kansas was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from May 30, 1854, until January 29, 1861, when the eastern portion of the territory was admitted to the Union as the state of Kansas. The territory extended from the Missouri border west to the summit of the Rocky Mountains and from the 37th parallel north to the 40th parallel north. Part of Missouri Territory, it was unorganized from 1821 to 1854. Much of the eastern region of what is now the State of Colorado was part of Kansas Territory; the Territory of Colorado was created to govern this western region of the former Kansas Territory on February 28, 1861. From June 4, 1812 until August 10, 1821 the area that would become Kansas Territory 33 years was part of the Missouri Territory; when Missouri was granted statehood in 1821 the area became unorganized territory and contained little to no permanent white settlement with the exception of Fort Leavenworth. The Fort was established in 1827 by Henry Leavenworth with the 3rd U.
S Infantry from St. Louis, Missouri; the fort was established as the westernmost outpost of the American military to protect trade along the Santa Fe Trail from Native Americans. The trade came from the East, by land using the Boone's Lick Road, or by water via the Missouri River; this area, called the Boonslick, was located due east in west-central Missouri and was settled by Upland Southerners from Virginia and Tennessee as early as 1812. Its slave-holding population would contrast with settlers from New England who would arrive in the 1850s; the land that would become Kansas Territory was considered to be infertile by 19th century American pioneers. It was called the Great American Desert, for it was dryer than land eastward. Technically, it was part of the vast grasslands that make up the North American Great Plains and supported giant herds of American bison. After the invention of the steel plow and more sophisticated irrigation methods the thick prairie soil would be broken for agriculture.
By the 1850s immigration pressure was increasing and organization into a Territory was desired. Kansas Territory was established on May 1854 by the Kansas -- Nebraska Act; this act established both Kansas Territory. The most momentous provision of the Act in effect repealed the Missouri Compromise of 1820 and allowed the settlers of Kansas Territory to determine by popular sovereignty whether Kansas would be a free state or a slave state; the Act contained thirty-seven sections. The provisions relating to Kansas Territory were embodied in the last eighteen sections; some of the more notable sections were: Section 19 Defines the boundaries of the Territory, gives it the name of Kansas, prescribes that "when admitted as a State or States, the said Territory, or any portion of the same, shall be received into the Union with or without slavery, as their constitution may prescribe at the time of their admission." It further provides for its future division into two or more Territories, the attaching of any portion thereof to any other State or Territory.
Section 28 Declares the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 to be in full force in the Territory. Section 31 Locates the seat of government of the Territory, temporarily at Fort Leavenworth, authorizes the use for public purposes of the government buildings. Section 37 Declares all treaties and other engagements made by the United States Government, with the Indian tribes inhabiting the Territory, to remain inviolate, notwithstanding anything contained in the provisions of this act. Within a few days after the passage of the Kansas–Nebraska Act, hundreds of Missourians crossed into the adjacent territory, selected a section of land, united with fellow-adventurers in a meeting or meetings, intending to establish a pro-slavery preemption upon all this region; as early as June 10, 1854, the Missourians held a meeting at Salt Creek Valley, a trading post 3 miles west from Fort Leavenworth, at which a "Squatter's Claim Association" was organized. They said they were in favor of making Kansas a slave state if it should require half the citizens of Missouri, musket in hand, to emigrate there.
According to these emigrants, abolitionists would do well not to stop in Kansas Territory, but keep on up the Missouri River until they reach Nebraska Territory, anticipated to be a free state. Before the first arrival of Free-State emigrants from the northern and eastern States, nearly every desirable location along the Missouri River had been claimed by men from western Missouri, by virtue of the preemption laws. During the long debate that preceded the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, it had become the settled opinion at the North that the only remaining means whereby the territory might yet be rescued from the grasp of the slave power, was in its immediate occupancy and settlement by anti-slavery emigrants from the free states in sufficient numbers to establish free institutions within its borders; the desire to facilitate the colonization of the Territory took practical shape while the bill was still under debate in the United States Congress. The largest organization created for this purpose was the New England Emigrant Aid Company, organized by Eli Thayer.
Emigration from the free states, flowed into the territory beginning in 1854. These emigrants were known as Free-Staters; because Missourians had claimed much of the land closest to the border, the Free-Staters were forced to establish settlements further into Kansas Territory. Among these were Lawrence and Manhattan. To pr