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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.

Territory of Minnesota
Organized incorporated territory of the United States



Location of Minnesota Territory
Capital St. Paul
Government Organized incorporated territory
 •  1849–1853 Alexander Ramsey
 •  1853–1857 Willis A. Gorman
 •  1857–1858 Samuel Medary
Legislature Minnesota Territorial Legislature
 •  Split from Iowa and Wisconsin territories March 3, 1849
 •  Statehood May 11, 1858
Nine original Minnesota Territory Counties (1849–1851) superimposed over Minnesota (right), North Dakota and South Dakota (left) of today
Minnesota Territory Centennial, U.S. postage issue of 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.[1]

At the time of its formation, the territory contained three cities: 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.[2]

Territorial GovernorsEdit

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

Territorial SecretariesEdit

Territorial Attorneys GeneralEdit

Congressional DelegatesEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ Minnesota History Archived July 3, 2007, at the Wayback Machine at the Minnesota State University, Mankato website, retrieved July 4, 2007.

External linksEdit