Nebraska Territory

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The Nebraska Territory was a historic, organized territory of the United States from May 30, 1854 until March 1, 1867 when Nebraska became the 37th U.S. state. It was established by the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854.

The original land allocated to the Nebraska Territory included much the original Louisiana Purchase north of the 40th parallel (which forms the current Kansas-Nebraska border) but not including the Minnesota Territory pr the existing states of Missouri and Iowa. As such, the territory at its greatest extent encompassed much of the northern Great Plains and the upper basin of the Missouri River, as well as portions of the northern Rocky Mountains.

The territory was gradually reduced in size over the following decade with the organization of additional territories in the west.

  • In 1859 some land east of the Missouri River was removed by Congress in 1859, and left unorganized until it was eventually attached to Iowa.
  • In 1861, the newly-organized Colorado Territory took a portion of the territory that forms present-day Colorado north of the 40th parallel and east of the continental divide, including present-day Fort Collins and Greeley, as well as Boulder north of Baseline Drive. The newly-organized Dakota Territory took everything north of the 43rd parallel west of the Missouri (the present-day Nebraska-South Dakota border). The Idaho Territory was given everything west of the 127th meridian. The territory was granted a small portion of the Washington Territory in present-day southwestern Wyoming west of the continental divide. This last portion was not part of the Louisiana Purchase but had been become part of the United States with the 1848 Treaty of Oregon.
  • As a result, in the early 1860s, at the time of the Pony Express, the territory resembled present-day Nebraska but with the panhandle extended westward across southern Wyoming to the present-day Utah-Wyoming border (including Cheyenne and Laramie, and the route of the transcontinetal railroad then under construction).
  • The portion of the territory in present-day Wyoming became part of the Idaho Territory upon the 1867 admission Nebraska to the Union within in present borders.

The territorial capital was Omaha.

See also

External link

Template:US-midwest-geo-stub

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