Minnesota 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.

Territory of Minnesota
Organized incorporated territory of the United States

CapitalSt. Paul
  TypeOrganized incorporated territory
Alexander Ramsey
Willis A. Gorman
Samuel Medary
LegislatureMinnesota Territorial Legislature
 Split from Iowa and Wisconsin territories
March 3 1849
May 11 1858
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Iowa Territory
Wisconsin Territory
Unorganized territory


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 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.[2]

Territorial Governors

#GovernorTook officeLeft officeParty
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 Secretaries

Territorial Attorneys General

Congressional Delegates

See also


  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. "History of the Minnesota Territory". Minnesota Territorial Pioneers. Retrieved August 25, 2019.

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