Minnesota Territory

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Territory of Minnesota
Organized incorporated territory of the United States
CapitalSt. Paul
 • TypeOrganized incorporated territory
• 1849–1853
Alexander Ramsey
• 1853–1857
Willis A. Gorman
• 1857–1858
Samuel Medary
LegislatureMinnesota Territorial Legislature
• Split from Iowa and Wisconsin territories
March 3 1849
• Statehood
May 11 1858
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Iowa Territory
Wisconsin Territory
Unorganized territory

The Territory of Minnesota was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from March 3, 1849, until May 11, 1858, when the eastern portion of the territory was admitted to the Union as the State of Minnesota.


Historical population
Source: 1850;[1]
The nine original counties of the Minnesota Territory (1849–1851) superimposed over Minnesota (right), North Dakota and South Dakota (left)
Minnesota Territory Centennial stamp, issued in 1949

The boundaries of the Minnesota Territory, as carved out of Iowa Territory, included the current Minnesota region and most of what later became Dakota Territory east of the Missouri River. Minnesota Territory also included portions of Wisconsin Territory that did not become part of Wisconsin, located between the Mississippi River and Wisconsin, including the Arrowhead Region.[2]

At the time of its formation, the territory which is now Minnesota contained three significant "white" settlements: St. Paul, St. Anthony (now part of Minneapolis), and Stillwater. The major territorial institutions were divided among the three: St. Paul was made the capital; Minneapolis was selected as the site of the University of Minnesota; and Stillwater was chosen as the site of the Minnesota Territorial Prison.[3]

Territorial Governors[edit]

# Governor Took office Left office Party
1 Alexander Ramsey Alexander Ramsey - Brady-Handy.jpg June 1, 1849 May 15, 1853 Whig
2 Willis Arnold Gorman WillisGorman.jpg May 15, 1853 April 23, 1857 Democratic
3 Samuel Medary SamuelMedary.jpg April 23, 1857 May 24, 1858 Democratic

Territorial Secretaries[edit]

Territorial Attorneys General[edit]

Congressional Delegates[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Forstall, Richard L. (ed.). Population of the States and Counties of the United States: 1790–1990 (PDF) (Report). United States Census Bureau. p. 4. Retrieved May 18, 2020.
  2. ^ See The Student Page of the Minnesota Secretary of State Archived July 1, 2007, at the Wayback Machine for an overview of how Minnesota's state boundaries were determined.
  3. ^ "History of the Minnesota Territory". Minnesota Territorial Pioneers. Archived from the original on July 24, 2016. Retrieved August 25, 2019.

External links[edit]

Media related to Minnesota Territory at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 46°00′N 97°24′W / 46°N 97.4°W / 46; -97.4