Map of states that were never territories of the US
This is a list of 19 U.S. states that were never territories of the United States after its independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1783. They are listed in the order they were admitted to the Union.
Status between European settlement and statehood
(sorted chronologically by admission to the union)
Original thirteen states, formerly thirteen of 21 British colonies in mainland and insular North America. They declared independence from Britain on 4 July 1776 and were formally thirteen independent countries until ratification of the first American constitution, the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, proposed in 1777, completed in 1781; whereupon the "United States of America" legally came into existence. The United States was subsequently re-confederated under a new constitution, the U.S. Constitution, which was proposed in 1787, ratified in 1788, and took effect on 4 March 1789.
Republic of Vermont formed unilaterally in 1777 from territory formerly associated with New York and New Hampshire. The Vermont Constitution dates from 1777. On 10 January 1791, the Republic of Vermont ratified the U.S. Constitution—the only state apart from the original 13 to do so. Vermont was admitted to the union as the 14th state a few months later.
Originally southwestern Virginia, Kentucky was distinguished from Virginia and granted statehood in 1792, pursuant to the relinquishment by all of the original states of their claims to land between the Mississippi River and the Appalachian Mountains.
District of Maine, part of Massachusetts until 1820, when Massachusetts and the United States granted statehood to Maine. (Under the U.S. Constitution, the grant of statehood to a territory that lies within an existing state requires collateral permission of the other state, as well as permission of the Congress.)
Most of Texas was part of the Spanish Viceroyalty of New Spain (with some parts once part of the French Royal Province of Louisiana) until 1821, when New Spain became the independent United Mexican States. The Mexican State of Texas declared and secured independence in 1836 as the Republic of Texas. It was annexed by the United States and reduced to its current size in 1845. Parts of the former Republic of Texas now lie within New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, and southeastern Wyoming.
Alta California was a province of New Spain until 1821, and then of Mexico until 1848. It became American under the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. At that time, Alta California included all of contemporary Upper California, northern Arizona, all of Nevada and Utah, and part of southwestern Wyoming. California in its present size wrote a bilingual state constitution in 1849 and was granted statehood without going through the territorial phase in 1850. (See the Compromise of 1850.) In 1846, prior to formal declaration of the Mexican–American War, a small band of men originally from the United States proclaimed the independence of California—the so-called Bear Flag Republic—but this never became a formal entity, and lasted less than a month before the area came to be occupied by U.S. Army forces as part of the American conquest of northern Mexico in the Mexican–American War.
When Virginia seceded from the Union in 1861, Pro-Union counties seceded from Virginia; the Union members of the Virginia legislature approved this at Wheeling in 1861. Congress granted statehood to West Virginia in 1863.