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The Dakota Bill


The Dakota Bill was an attempt to divide Dakota Territory along the forty-sixth parallel and admit the southern part of the territory as a state. On this date in 1884, it sat in the United States House of Representatives where a Washington correspondent stated a “cold death awaited it.” It had passed in the US Senate on a strict party vote of 34 ayes to 28 nays. Among those in favor was Senator Benjamin Harrison whose signature only five years later would admit not one, but two states created out of Dakota Territory.

But in 1884, the Dakota Bill languished into oblivion. After progressing through a multitude of variations, it lay dormant when the First Session of the 49th Congress adjourned, effectively ending its existence.

Dakota Datebook written by Jim Davis


The Devils Lake Inter-Ocean December 20, 1884