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1890 Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Story County, Iowa

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Page 47 of 460
CHAPTER IV.

The Louisiana Purchase Taken Possession Of By The United States—District Of Louisiana—Iowa A Part Of The Territories Of Illinois, Missouri, Michigan And Wisconsin—The First Officers To Govern The Territory—Iowa Territory Formed—Its Legislature And Laws—Location Of The Seat Of Government—Public Buildings—Settlement Of The Missouri Boundary Question, Etc.

They did not leave the helm in storms, And such they are make happy States. -Ben Jenson.

BY act of Congress, approved October 31, 1803, the President of the United States was authorized to take possession of the territory included in the Louisiana Purchase, and provide for a temporary government. By another act of the same session, approved March 26, 1804, the newly acquired country was divided, October 1, 1804, into the Territory of Orleans, south of the thirty-third parallel of north latitude, and the District of Louisiana, which latter was placed under the authority of the officers of Indiana Territory.

In 1805 the District of Louisiana was organized as a Territory, with a government of its own. In 1807 Iowa was included in the Territory of Illinois, and in 1812 in the Territory of Missouri. When Missouri was admitted as a State, March 2, 1821, Iowa was left a political orphan, until by act of Congress, approved June 28, 1834, the Black Hawk purchase having been made, all the territory west of the Mississippi and north of the northern boundary of Missouri was made a part of Michigan Territory. Up to this time there had been no county or other organization in what is now the State of Iowa, although one or two justices of the peace had been appointed and a post-office was established at Dubuque in 1833. In September, 1834, however, the Territorial Legislature of Michigan created two counties on the west side of the Mississippi River, viz.: Dubuque and Des Moines, separated by a line drawn westward from the foot of Rock Island. These counties were partially organized. John King was appointed chief justice of Dubuque County, and Isaac Leffler, of Burlington, of Des Moines County. Two associate justices in each county were appointed by the governor.

On the first Monday in October, 1835, Gen. George W. Jones, now a citizen of Dubuque, was, elected a delegate to Congress from this part of Michigan Territory. On the 20th of April, 1836, through the efforts of Gen. Jones, Congress passed a bill creating the Territory of Wisconsin, which went into operation July 4, 1836, and Iowa was then included in the

Page 47 of 460

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