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Dakota Promoter


A man of many hats was born on this date in 1814, but Andrew Jackson Faulk is most remembered as Dakota Territory’s third territorial governor. The Pennsylvania native received his education in his home state. As a young man he worked as a printer, editor and journalist for the Armstrong County Democrat, a Pennsylvania newspaper. He studied law and went on to enter politics, serving as a county treasurer. He also served as a lieutenant colonel for the state militia in 1842.

Soon after Dakota Territory was organized in 1861, Faulk moved to Yankton where he had been appointed chief clerk at the Yankton Indian Agency. At the time, political chaos blackened Dakota Territory. The territorial governor and a Yankton Indian agent both faced corruption accusations and an investigation by special committees. After the territorial governor was ousted by President Andrew Johnson in 1866, Faulk was appointed to replace him. He served as interim governor for several months before his official inauguration in March 1867.

Faulk’s tenure ended when President Ulysses S. Grant appointed his successor in 1869. During his term, he championed white settlement of the territory, particularly the Black Hills. He also served as Dakota’s superintendent of Indian Affairs.

Following Faulk’s governorship, he remained in the territory, serving roles on the territory’s district court and at the asylum for the insane. His contributions to history also include being peace adviser for the Fort Laramie Treaty and the mayor of Yankton.

He participated in statehood efforts and did indeed live to see North and South Dakota become states in 1889. He lived the rest of his life in Yankton, where he died in 1898 at age 84.

Dakota Datebook by Jack Dura