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Minnesota’s Statehood


In 1849, Congress created Minnesota Territory; a region that included all of present-day Minnesota as well as North and South Dakota east of the Missouri River. When Minnesota Territory was organized, one-third of the Euro-American population lived in and around the Pembina settlement on the Red River.

When Minnesota was granted statehood nine years later on this day, May 11, 1858, the western section of Minnesota Territory, between the Red River and the Missouri, was left without official recognition, name or legal government. At the prompting of John B. S. Todd, a partner in the trading firm, Frost, Todd and Company and cousin-in-law of Abraham Lincoln, residents of this unorganized territory began making appeals to Congress for the creation of a territorial government. For nearly three years, the western portion of former Minnesota Territory remained unorganized until it became a part of Dakota Territory in 1861.

Written by Christina Sunwall


Compendium of History and Biography of North Dakota (Chicago: George A. Ogle and Co: 1900)

Lounsberry, Colonel Clement A. North Dakota: History and People, Volume I (Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company; 1917)

Minnesota Territorial Pioneers, Inc.- http://www.mnterritorialpioneers.org/index.html