Chapter 3 - The United States of America
Table of Contents
Part 1. Conditions leading to the formation of the United States
Part 2. The American Civil War
Part 3. The United States of America – The Nation
Part 4. The Fifty States
Part 5. District of Columbia and U.S. Territories and Possessions
o District of Columbia
o United States Virgin Islands
o American Samoa
o Republic of the Marshall Islands
o Federated States of Micronesia
o Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
o Republic of Palau
o Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
o Territories no longer in possession of the United States
Part 6. Republics and States Not Recognized
o Vermont Republic
o Republic of Texas
o California Republic
o State of Franklin
o State of Deseret
o Republic of Indian Stream
o Republic of Madawaska
o State of Muskogee
o Republic of the Rio Grande
o The Watauga Association
o The Republic of West Florida
Flags of U.S. States and Territories
Part 1. Conditions leading to the formation of the United States.
Chapter 2 of the Genealogists’ Guide to North America discussed the colonial period before the formation of the United States. This chapter will briefly discuss the conditions leading up to the formation of the United States, then go into more detail examining each of the fifty states.
Great Britain eventually acquired all of the territories from Nova Scotia down through Florida. However, many of the inhabitants of the Eastern seaboard of North America had originated not just from Britain, but from the Netherlands, France, Germany, and other countries of Europe. In addition, there were Native Americans remaining in some parts. The majority of those of British descent were the second and third generation who had never visited the British Isles. Thus allegiance to the British crown was not strong for most people.
Many had fled Britain for religious freedom. Most were peasants who resented the control of the nobility and desired the human rights available within Colonial America. Huguenots and Arcadians had also left their mother countries for the freedom of America.
England’s treatment of the colonies left much to be desired. Rather than treat them as equals, they were treated as a second-class population to be exploited for economic gain. The colonists desired representation in Parliament. This was denied. England passed a series of acts that the colonies did not favor. Two acts, in particular, were especially odious -The Townshend Acts of 1767 and the Intolerable Acts of 1774. The last two were instrumental in causing the War of Independence.. The Townshend act levied customs duties on various colonial imports. The tax on tea led to the “Boston Tea Party.” But the Intolerable Acts were the last straw. They were intended to punish the colonies. The port of Boston was closed until the colony paid for the tea dumped in the harbor, the charter of Massachusetts was revoked and the colony’s civil government was suspended. Massachusetts was placed under military rule. The colonists were forced to quarter British soldiers providing food and lodging in private homes. Any British officials who caused injury to colonists while in their duties could not be tried by the colony, but instead had to be returned to England for trial. These Acts pushed the colonies into open rebellion. The Second Continental Congress tried to appeal to King George III and come up with a compromise, but he refused to yield. Some historians blame Cornwall’s defeat at Yorktown for losing the colonies, but, in reality, the real culprits were a very stubborn king and a parliament who underestimated the resolve of the American colonies.
On July 4, 1776 independence was declared by thirteen of the British American Colonies, and open warfare with England commenced – the American War of Independence also known as the Revolutionary War. The war ended by England being defeated, and recognition of the United States in the Treaty of Paris.
In retrospect, had England treated the colonists as equals and granted them the rights enjoyed in the motherland, we might exist today in the British Commonwealth. At some point, we would probably have become independent, very much like Canada. It is quite possible that the United States and Canada would be a single country.
It is not the intent of this article to discuss wars, only the end result. Although wars shaped the formation of the United States many times, it is far beyond the scope of this publication to go into the details of those wars. However, how states were formed and how borders changed, and how states aligned in the War Between the States will be discussed
Part 2. The American Civil War
Flag of the United States 1864
Flag of the Confederacy 1864
This is the official flag of the Confederate States of America. Since the end of the American Civil War, private and official use of the Confederacy’s flags, particularly the battle flag, has continued amid philosophical, political, cultural, and racial controversy in the United States. These include flags displayed in states; cities, towns and counties; schools, colleges and universities; private organizations and associations; and by individuals. It was also displayed in many movies and TV shows. It is shown here for historical significance, with apologies to anyone who is offended by its appearance. The battle flag was also featured in the state flags of Georgia and Mississippi, although it was removed from both by 2020.
In part 1, we discussed how dissatisfaction with England resulted in the Revolutionary War. Eventually dissatisfaction with the United States itself resulted in rebellion of Southern States and a resulting American Civil War, (also known as the War between the States), from 1861 to 1865. Many factors contributed to this war such as economic disparities between the North and the South. Dissatisfaction with congressional decisions and anti-slavery movements were also contributors. There are many publications that discuss this in great detail. In any event the South formed a new nation, the Confederate States of America, patterned after the United States with the same form of government. With the defeat of the South, the Confederacy was dissolved and those states were returned to the United States. The following is a list of the 11 states of the Confederacy: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. In addition to the Confederate States of America, Arizona seceded from the Union as the Confederate Territory of Arizona on March 16, 1861.
Part 3 – The United States of America – The Nation
The United States of America, often called the U.S, the U.S.A, or America is a federal constitutional republic consisting of fifty states and a federal district. 48 states are located in Central North America, bordered by the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and Canada and Mexico. Two states lies elsewhere. Alaska is located at the Northwest corner of the North American Continent and Hawaii is an archipelago located in the Pacific ocean slightly over 7,000 miles from the mainland. In addition, the U.S. owns territories in the Pacific and the Caribbean.
The birth of the United States is generally accepted as July 4, 1776 with the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Actual entry into the United States was by ratification of the United States Constitution which was adopted on September 17, 1787. Ratification was in 1788 which was the actual formation of the Republic. Delaware was the first to ratify the Constitution and became the first state, followed by the rest of the colonies. For genealogical purposes, we accept July 4, 1776 as the date of statehood for the thirteen colonies. These colonies were: Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts Bay, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, South Carolina and Virginia. Massachusetts Bay entered the U.S. as Massachusetts, and Rhode Island and Providence Plantations entered as Rhode Island.
After the formation of the United States, relations with Great Britain did not improve. The British Navy would take American citizens off our U.S. ships and impress them into service in the British Navy. The deteriorating conditions led to further conflict, the War of 1812, often called the Second War of Independence, which finally secured U.S. claims and prevented the United States from annexing provinces in Canada.
Four of the fifty states have Commonwealth as part of their names – The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, of Virginia, of Kentucky and of Massachusetts. The term has no particular significance in its meaning and was chosen to emphasize the distinction from the status of royal colonies as a place governed for the general welfare of the populace.
Part 4. The Fifty States
Following are a series of charts providing information and links about each state.
The links in this first chart take you to the website state.1keydata.com. This website provides basic data about each state. It does not discuss the state’s status prior to entering the United States. Each page includes the following:
The two-letter abbreviation for each state.
Statehood: When each state was admitted into the Union.
The capital city of the state.
The area of the state, both total (land + water) and land only.
Number of Counties: The number of counties for each state.
The estimated population for each state in 2010, based on US Census data.
The number of electoral votes each state has.
State Quarter Issue Date: The date the State Quarter commemorating each state was issued.
The motto for each state.
The state flower as designated by each state.
The state bird as designated by each state.
The nickname for each state.
State Flag: The picture for the state flag for each state.
Area Codes: The telephone area codes for each state.
Top 5 Cities (2010 population): The top 5 cities for each state, based on 2010 US Census data.
Major Sports Teams: Teams in each state that belong to The Major League Baseball (MLB), National Football League (NFL), National Basketball Association (NBA), and National Hockey League (NHL).
The source for the ratification dates of the U.S. Constitution by the 13 original colonies was the National Website. Clicking on the name of the state will take you to the Wikipedia article about that state.
The original 13 colonies were: Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania. Rhode Island, South Carolina and Virginia.
States in the Confederate States of America were: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, also the Arizona Territory. West Virginia was formed out of Western Virginia and was part of the Confederacy until it declared its independence and was admitted to the Union in 1863.
Alabama The French founded the first European settlement in the region at Old Mobile, in 1702. This area was French from 1702 to 1763, part of British West Florida from 1763 to 1783, and split between the United States and Spain from 1783 to 1821. What is now the counties of Baldwin and Mobile became part of Spanish West Florida in 1783, part of the independent Republic of West Florida in 1810, and was finally added to the Mississippi Territory in 1812. The area making up today’s northern and central Alabama and Mississippi, then known as the Yazoo lands, had been claimed by the Province of Georgia after 1767. Following the Revolutionary War, it remained a part of Georgia, although heavily disputed. With the exception of the immediate area around Mobile and the Yazoo lands, what is now central Alabama was made part of the Mississippi Territory upon its creation in 1798. The Yazoo lands were added to the territory in 1804, following the Yazoo land scandal. Spain had kept a governmental presence in Mobile after 1812. When Andrew Jackson’s forces occupied Mobile in 1814 he demonstrated the United States’ de facto authority over the region, which effectively ended Spanish influence, although not its claim, while gaining an unencumbered passage to the Gulf of Mexico from the hinterlands of the territory. Prior to the admission of Mississippi as a state on December 10, 1817, the more sparsely settled eastern half of the territory was separated and named the Alabama Territory. The Alabama Territory was created by the United States Congress on March 3, 1817.
Alaska Some researchers believe that the first Russian settlement in Alaska was established in the 17th century. The first permanent European settlement was founded in 1784. Between 1774 and 1800 Spain sent several expeditions to Alaska in order to assert its claim over the Pacific Northwest. In 1789 a Spanish settlement and fort were built in Nootka Sound. These expeditions gave names to places such as Valdez, Bucareli Sound, and Cordova. Later, the Russian-American Company carried out an expanded colonization program during the early-to-mid-19th century. The Russians never fully colonized Alaska, and the colony was never very profitable. William H. Seward, the United States Secretary of State, negotiated the Alaska Purchase (also known as Seward’s Folly) with the Russians in 1867 for $7.2 million. Alaska was loosely governed by the military initially, and was administered as a district starting in 1884, with a governor appointed by the president of the United States, as well as a district court headquartered in Sitka.
Arizona About one-quarter of Arizona is federal land that serves as the home of various Native-American tribes. The Society of Jesus (Jesuits), developed a chain of missions and converted many of the Indians to Christianity in the 1690s and early 18th century. Spain founded presidios (“fortified towns”) beginning in 1752. When Mexico achieved its independence from Spain in 1821, what is now Arizona became part of the Territory of Nueva California, also known as Alta California. In the Mexican–American War (1847), the U.S. occupied Mexico City and pursued its claim to much of northern Mexico, including what later became Arizona. In 1853, the land below the Gila River was acquired from Mexico in the Gadsden Purchase. Arizona was administered as part of the Territory of New Mexico until southern New Mexico seceded from the Union as the Confederate Territory of Arizona on March 16, 1861. Arizona was recognized as a Confederate Territory by presidential proclamation of Jefferson Davis on February 14, 1862. A new Arizona Territory, consisting of the western half of New Mexico Territory was declared in Washington, D.C., on February 24, 1863. The new boundaries would later form the basis of the state. Brigham Young sent Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) to Arizona in the mid-to-late 19th century. They founded Mesa, Snowflake, Heber, Safford and other towns. They also settled in the Phoenix Valley (or “Valley of the Sun”), Tempe, Prescott, and other areas. The Mormons settled what became northern Arizona and northern New Mexico, but these areas were located in a part of the former New Mexico Territory. Arizona became a U.S. state on February 14, 1912. This resulted in the end to the territorial colonization of Continental North America.
Arkansas The first European settlement was by the French in 1686. Settlers, including fur trappers, moved to Arkansas in the early 18th century. During the colonial period, Arkansas changed hands between France and Spain following the Seven Years’ War (1754-1763). Napoleon Bonaparte sold French Louisiana to the United States in 1803, including all of Arkansas, in a transaction known today as the Louisiana Purchase. Following a controversy over allowing slavery in the territory, the Territory of Arkansas was organized on July 4, 1819. When Arkansas applied for statehood, the slavery issue was again raised in Washington DC. Congress eventually approved the Arkansas Constitution, admitting Arkansas on June 15, 1836 as the 25th state and the 13th slave state.
California The name California once referred to a large area of North America claimed by Spain that included much of modern-day Southwestern United States and the Baja California peninsula. Beginning in the late 18th century, the area known as Alta California, comprising the California territory north of the Baja Peninsula, was colonized by the Spanish Empire as part of New Spain. In 1821, Alta California became a part of Mexico following its successful war for independence. Shortly after the beginning of the Mexican-American War in 1846, a group of American settlers in Sonoma declared an independent California Republic in Alta California. Though its existence was short-lived, its flag became the precursor for California’s current state flag. American victory in the war led to the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo of 1848, in which Mexico ceded Alta California to the United States. Western areas of Alta California became the state of California, which was admitted as the 31st state on September 9, 1850.
Colorado The United States acquired a territorial claim to the eastern flank of the Rocky Mountains with the Louisiana Purchase from France in 1803. This U.S. claim conflicted with the claim of Spain to the upper Arkansas River Basin as the exclusive trading zone of its colony of Santa fé de Nuevo Méjico. The United States relinquished its claim to all land south and west of the Arkansas River and south of 42nd parallel north and west of the 100th meridian west as part of its purchase of Florida from Spain with the Adams-Onís Treaty of 1819. The treaty took effect February 22, 1821. Having settled its border with Spain, the United States admitted the southeastern portion of the Territory of Missouri to the Union as the state of Missouri on August 10, 1821. The remainder of the Missouri Territory, including what would become northeastern Colorado, became unorganized territory, and would remain so for 33 years over the question of slavery. Mexico surrendered its northern territory to the United States with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo at the conclusion of the war in 1848. In 1849, the Mormons of the Salt Lake Valley organized the extralegal State of Deseret, claiming the entire Great Basin and all lands drained by the Green, Grand, and Colorado rivers. The federal government of the United States flatly refused to recognize the new Mormon government. Instead, the Compromise of 1850 divided the Mexican Cession and the northwestern claims of Texas into a new state and two new territories, the state of California, the Territory of New Mexico, and the Territory of Utah. On April 9, 1851, Mexican American settlers from the area of Taos settled the village of San Luis, then in the New Mexico Territory, later to become Colorado’s first permanent Euro-American settlement. In 1854, Senator Stephen A. Douglas persuaded the U.S. Congress to divide the unorganized territory east of the Continental Divide into two new organized territories, the Territory of Kansas and the Territory of Nebraska, and an unorganized southern region known as the Indian territory. The gold seekers organized the Provisional Government of the Territory of Jefferson on August 24, 1859, but this new territory failed to secure approval from the Congress of the United States embroiled in the debate over slavery. The election of Abraham Lincoln for the President of the United States on November 6, 1860, led to the secession of nine southern slave states and the threat of civil war among the states. Seeking to augment the political power of the Union states, the Republican Party dominated Congress quickly admitted the eastern portion of the Territory of Kansas into the Union as the free State of Kansas on January 29, 1861, leaving the western portion of the Kansas Territory, and its gold-mining areas, as unorganized territory. On February 28, 1861, outgoing U.S. President James Buchanan signed an Act of Congress organizing the free Territory of Colorado. The original boundaries of Colorado remain unchanged today. Colorado was admitted as the 38th State on 1 August 1876.
Connecticut The Dutch settled first in 1623 until the Treaty of Hartford changed ownership. Dutch settlers departed the area and were gone by 1654. From 1623-1650, Connecticut was within the New Netherland Colony of Dutch Colonial America. John Winthrop from Massachusetts created Saybrook Colony. Connecticut was formed from the Saybrook, New Haven and Hartford Colonies and from settlers from Massachusetts Bay and Plymouth colonies in 1635. Neither the establishment of the Connecticut Colony or the New Haven (originally the Quinnipiack) Colony was carried out with the sanction of the English Crown, and they were independent political entities. They naturally were presumptively English, but in a legal sense, they were only secessionist outposts of Massachusetts Bay. In 1662, Winthrop took advantage of this void in political affairs and obtained in England the charter by which the colonies of Connecticut and Quinnipiack were united. Although Winthrop’s charter favored the Connecticut colony, New Haven remained a seat of government with Hartford until after the American Revolution. From 1650-1776, Connecticut was part of British Colonial America. Connecticut was one of the 13 Colonies that declared independence from Great Britain on 4 Jul 1776. Connecticut ratified the U.S. Constitution on 9 January 1788.
Delaware The Dutch settled in 1631 and were defeated by the English in 1664. from 1623-1663 Delaware was within the New Netherland Colony of Dutch Colonial America. At various times in early colonial history, Delaware was part of Virginia, Pennsylvania, or New York. It was chartered as a British Colony in 1638. From 1664-1776, Delaware was part of British Colonial America. Delaware was one of the 13 Colonies that declared independence from Great Britain on 4 Jul 1776. On December 7, 1787, Delaware became the first state to ratify the Constitution of the United States, thereby becoming known as The First State.
Florida was the first part of what is now the continental United States to be visited by Europeans. The earliest known European explorers came with the Spanish conquistador Juan Ponce de León. In 1513, the Spanish settled Florida in – 107 years before the Pilgrims landed in New England. From 1513 onward, the land became known as “La Florida.” Over the following century, both the Spanish and French established settlements in Florida with varying degrees of success. The area of Spanish Florida diminished with the establishment of English colonies to the north and French colonies to the west. Florida was attracting a large number of Africans and African Americans from British-occupied North America who sought freedom from slavery. Once in Florida, the Spanish Crown converted them to Roman Catholicism and gave them freedom. Great Britain gained control of Florida and other territory diplomatically in 1763 through the Peace of Paris. The British divided their new acquisitions into East Florida, with its capital at St. Augustine, and West Florida, with its capital at Pensacola. Britain tried to develop the Floridas through the importation of immigrants for labor, but this project ultimately failed. Spain received both Floridas after Britain’s defeat by the American colonies and the subsequent Treaty of Paris (also known as Treaty of Versailles) in 1783, continuing the division into East and West Florida. They offered land grants to anyone who settled in the colonies, and many Americans moved to them. In 1819, by terms of the Adams-Onís Treaty, Spain ceded Florida to the United States in exchange for $5 million and the American renunciation of any claims on Texas that they might have from the Louisiana Purchase. On March 3, 1845, Florida became the 27th state of the United States of America.
Georgia French, Spanish, and English explorers visited Georgia in the early 1500’s, but did not make permanent settlements. James Oglethorpe was a granted a charter in 1730 and the first settlers from England arrived in Savannah in 1733. From 1732-1776, Georgia was part of British Colonial America. In 1829, gold was discovered in the north Georgia mountains, resulting in the Georgia Gold Rush. The influx of white settlers put pressure on the government to take land from the Cherokee Nation. In 1830, the Indian Removal Act was signed into law. This resulting in sending many eastern Native American nations to reservations in present-day Oklahoma, including all of Georgia’s tribes. Georgia was one of the 13 Colonies that declared independence from Great Britain on 4 Jul 1776. Georgia ratified the U.S. Constitution on 2 Jan 1788.
Hawaii is the only U.S. state made up entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean. Hawaii is one of four states, besides the original thirteen, that were independent prior to becoming part of the United States, along with the Vermont Republic (1791), the Republic of Texas (1845), and the California Republic (1846), and one of two, along with Texas, that had formal diplomatic recognition internationally. The Kingdom of Hawaii was sovereign from 1810 until 1893 when the monarchy was overthrown by resident American (and some European) businessmen. It was an independent republic from 1894 until 1898, when it was annexed by the United States as a territory, becoming a state in 1959. The 1778 arrival of British explorer James Cook was Hawaii’s first documented contact with European explorers. Cook named the islands the “Sandwich Islands.” After Cook’s visit and the publication of several books relating his voyages, the Hawaiian islands received many European visitors: explorers, traders, and eventually whalers who found the islands a convenient harbor and source of supplies. Early British influence can be seen in the design of the flag of Hawaii which has the British Union Flag in the corner. These visitors introduced diseases to the once-isolated islands and the Hawaiian population plunged precipitously because native Hawaiians had no resistance to influenza, smallpox, and measles, among others. By 1820, Eurasian diseases, famine, and wars among the chiefs killed more than half of the Native Hawaiian population. the Newlands Resolution was used to annex the Republic to the United States and it became the Territory of Hawaii on 6 July 1898. Hawaii is the most recent of the 50 U.S. states, joining the Union on August 21, 1959.
Idaho The first European presence was that of French-Canadian trappers. Idaho, as part of the Oregon Country, was claimed by both the United States and Great Britain until the United States gained undisputed jurisdiction in 1846. From 1843 to 1849 present-day Idaho was under the de facto jurisdiction of the Provisional Government of Oregon. When Oregon became a state, what is now Idaho was in what was left of the original Oregon Territory not part of the new state, and designated as the Washington Territory. Between then and the creation of the Idaho Territory on July 4, 1863, parts of the present-day state were included in the Oregon, Washington, and Dakota Territories. The new territory included present-day Idaho, Montana, and most of Wyoming. The first non-indigenous settlement was established for fur trading in 1809. The first attempts at organized communities, within the present borders of Idaho, were established in 1860. After some tribulation as a territory, including the illegal and chaotic transfer of the territorial capital from Lewiston in December 1864 to Boise in January 1865, disenfranchisement of Mormon polygamists upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1877, and a federal attempt to split the territory between Washington Territory which gained statehood in 1889, a year before Idaho, and the state of Nevada which had been a state since 1863, Idaho achieved statehood in 1890.
Illinois In 1680, French explorers constructed a fort at the site of present day Peoria. French Canadians came south to settle particularly along the Mississippi River, and Illinois was part of the French empire of La Louisiane until 1763, when it passed to the British with their defeat of France in the Seven Years War (American battles known as the French and Indian War). The Crown made it part of the territory reserved for Indians west of the Appalachians. In 1778, George Rogers Clark claimed the Illinois Country for Virginia. In a compromise, Virginia ceded the area to the new United States in 1783 and it became part of the Northwest Territory, to be administered by the federal government and later organized as states. The Illinois Territory was created on February 3, 1809. In 1818, Illinois became the 21st U.S. state.
Indiana Starting in 1679, French explorers and fur traders started coming into Indiana. The first trading post was built in 1702. British colonists arrived from the East and contended against the Canadians for control of the lucrative fur trade. Fighting between the French and British colonists occurred throughout the 1750’s as a result. The Native American tribes of Indiana sided with the French Canadians during the French and Indian War (also known as the Seven Years War). With British victory in 1763, the French were forced to cede all their lands in North America east of the Mississippi River and north and west of the colonies to the British crown. At the end of the Revolutionary War, through the Treaty of Paris, the British crown ceded their claims to the land south of the Great Lakes to the newly formed United States, including American Indian lands which they did not own. In 1787 the U.S. defined present-day Indiana as part of its Northwest Territory. In 1800, Congress separated Ohio from the Northwest Territory, designating the rest of the land as the Indiana Territory. After Michigan was separated and the Illinois Territory was formed, Indiana was reduced to its current size and geography. Indiana was admitted to the United States as the 19th U.S. state on December 11, 1816.
Iowa Beginning in 1673, the area of Iowa was claimed for France and remained a French territory until 1763. The French, prior to their impending defeat in the French and Indian War, transferred ownership to their ally, Spain. Spain practiced very loose control over the Iowa region, granting trading licenses to French and British traders, who established trading posts along the Mississippi and Des Moines Rivers. Iowa was part of a territory known as La Louisiane or Louisiana. In 1800, Napoleon Bonaparte took control of Louisiana from Spain in a treaty. After the 1803 Louisiana Purchase, Iowa was placed under United States control. The first American settlers officially moved to Iowa in June 1833. Primarily, they were families from Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana, Kentucky, and Virginia. On July 4, 1838, the U.S. Congress established the Territory of Iowa. In 1846, Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) were forced out of Nauvoo, Illinois, crossing into Iowa. They established many communities in southern Iowa. The road made by the Mormons in southern Iowa is called the Mormon Trail. On December 28, 1846, Iowa became the 29th state in the Union
Kansas In 1803, most of modern Kansas was secured by the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase. Southwest Kansas, however, was still a part of Spain, Mexico and the Republic of Texas until the conclusion of the Mexican-American War in 1848. From 1812 to 1821, Kansas was part of the Missouri Territory. In 1827, Fort Leavenworth became the first permanent settlement of white Americans in the future state. The pace of settlement accelerated in the 1850s, in the midst of political wars over the slavery issue. When officially opened to settlement by the U.S. government in 1854, abolitionist Free-Staters from New England and pro-slavery settlers from neighboring Missouri rushed to the territory to determine if Kansas would become a free state or a slave state. Thus, the area was a hotbed of violence and chaos in its early days as these forces collided, and was known as Bleeding Kansas. The abolitionists eventually prevailed and on January 29, 1861, Kansas entered the Union as a free state.
Kentucky, officially the Commonwealth of Kentucky. European settlers beginning entering Kentucky in the mid 18th century. Since this area was a hunting ground for Native Americans, warfare broke out because of the encroachment. After the American Revolution, the counties of Virginia beyond the Appalachian Mountains became known as Kentucky County. Eventually, the residents of Kentucky County petitioned for a separation from Virginia and on Jun 1, 1792, Kentucky became the 15th state to be admitted to the Union. It was one of the border states during the American Civil War. Although frequently described as never having seceded, representatives from several counties passed an Ordinance of Secession on November 20, 1861. They established a Confederate government of Kentucky with its capital in Bowling Green. Though Kentucky was represented by the central star on the Confederate battle flag, the secesionists did not represent the majority of residents. Kentucky officially remained “neutral” throughout the war due to Union sympathies of many of the Commonwealth’s citizens.
Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties. Some Louisiana urban environments have a multicultural, multilingual heritage, being so strongly influenced by an admixture of 18th century French, Spanish, Native American (Indian) and African cultures that they are considered to be somewhat exceptional in the U.S. Before the American influx and statehood at the beginning of the 19th century, the territory of current Louisiana State had been both a Spanish and French colony. In addition, the pattern of development included importing numerous African slaves in the 18th century, with many from the same region of West Africa, thus concentrating their culture. Louisiana was named after Louis XIV, King of France from 1643–1715 and was originally named La Louisiane, meaning “Land of Louis”. Once part of the French Colonial Empire, the Louisiana Territory stretched from present-day Mobile Bay to just north of the present-day Canadian border, and included a small part of what is now southwestern Canada. The first Spanish explorers to visit Louisiana came in 1528, but Spanish interest was dormant. In the late 17th century, French and French Canadian expeditions, which included sovereign, religious and commercial aims, established a foothold on the Mississippi River and Gulf Coast. The French colony of Louisiana originally claimed all the land on both sides of the Mississippi River and north to French territory in Canada. The following States were part of Louisiana: Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota. France ceded most of its territory to the east of the Mississippi to Great Britain in the aftermath of Britain’s victory in the Seven Years’ War or French and Indian War, as it is known in North America. It retained the area around New Orleans and the parishes around Lake Pontchartrain. The rest of Louisiana became a colony of Spain after the Seven Years’ War by the Treaty of Fontainebleau of 1762. In 1765, during the period of Spanish rule, several thousand French-speaking refugees from the region of Acadia (now Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island, Canada) made their way to Louisiana after having been expelled from their homelands by the British during the French and Indian War. In 1800, France’s Napoleon Bonaparte reacquired Louisiana from Spain in the Third Treaty of San Ildefonso. The United States acquired the Louisiana territory in 1803 via the Louisana Purchase and Louisiana was admitted into the U.S. as the 18th state on 30 Apr 1812. Texas is proud of the six flags that flew over Texas, but many people do not know that ten flags flew over Louisiana. The were the flags of:
Flag of Castile and Leon (1492-1541)
White Fleur de Lis of France (1672-1762)
Spanish flag (1763-1803)
British flag (1763-1779)
French tricolor (Nov 30, 1803 – Dec 20, 1803)
S. Flag (15 stars and 15 stripes) (1803-1861)
Flag of West Florida (Bonnie Blue) (Sep 1810 – Dec 1810)
National Flag of Louisiana (1861)
Confederate States of America (first national, with 7 stars)
The Current State Flag (1912 –
Maine The first European settlement in Maine was by the French in 1604 on Saint Croix Island.. The first English settlement in Maine, the short-lived Popham Colony, also known and the Sagadahoc Colony, was established by the Plymouth Company in 1607. A number of English settlements were established along the coast of Maine in the 1620s, although the rugged climate, deprivations, and conflict with the local peoples caused many to fail over the years. As Maine entered the 18th century, only a half dozen European settlements survived. Patriot and British forces contended for Maine’s territory during the American Revolution and the War of 1812. Maine was part of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts until 1820, when it voted to secede from Massachusetts. On March 15, 1820, it was admitted to the Union as the 23rd state under the Missouri Compromise.
Maryland For a new royal charter for what was to become the Province of Maryland. Calvert’s interest in creating a colony derived from his Catholicism and his desire for the creation of a haven for Catholics in the new world. In addition, he was familiar with the fortunes that had been made in tobacco in Virginia, and hoped to recoup some of the financial losses he had sustained in his earlier colonial venture in Newfoundland. George Calvert died in 1632, but a charter for “Maryland Colony” (in Latin, “Terra Maria”) was granted to his son, Cæcilius Calvert, 2nd Lord Baltimore, on June 20, 1632. Settlers began to arrive in 1634. Although most of the settlers were Protestants, Maryland soon became one of the few regions in the English Empire where Catholics held the highest positions of political authority. Maryland was also one of the key destinations of tens of thousands of English convicts. The royal charter granted Maryland the land north of the entire length of the Potomac River up to the 40th parallel. A problem arose when Charles II granted a charter for Pennsylvania. The grant defined Pennsylvania’s southern border as identical to Maryland’s northern border, the 40th parallel. But the terms of the grant clearly indicate that Charles II and William Penn assumed the 40th parallel would pass close to New Castle, Delaware when in fact it falls north of Philadelphia, the site of which Penn had already selected for his colony’s capital city. Negotiations ensued after the problem was discovered in 1681. A compromise proposed by Charles II in 1682, which might have resolved the issue, was undermined by Penn’s receiving the additional grant of what is now Delaware—which previously had been part of Maryland. The dispute remained unresolved for nearly a century, carried on by the descendants of William Penn and Lord Baltimore—the Calvert family, which controlled Maryland, and the Penn family, which controlled Pennsylvania. The conflict led to the Cresap’s War (also known as the Conojocular War), a border conflict between Pennsylvania and Maryland, fought in the 1730s. Hostilities erupted in 1730 with a series of violent incidents prompted by disputes over property rights and law enforcement, and escalated through the first half of the decade, culminating in the deployment of military forces by Maryland in 1736 and by Pennsylvania in 1737. The armed phase of the conflict ended in May 1738 with the intervention of King George II, who compelled the negotiation of a cease-fire. A provisional agreement had been established in 1732. Negotiations continued until a final agreement was signed in 1760. The agreement defined Maryland’s border with what is now Delaware as well as Pennsylvania. The border between Maryland and Pennsylvania was defined as the line of latitude 15 miles (24 km) south of the southernmost house of Philadelphia, a line now known as the Mason-Dixon Line. Maryland’s border with Delaware was based on a Transpeninsular Line and the Twelve-Mile Circle around New Castle. From 1634-1776, Maryland was part of British Colonial America. Maryland was one of the 13 Colonies that declared independence from Great Britain on 4 Jul 1776. Maryland ratified the U.S. Constitution on 28 Apr 1788.
Massachusetts, officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, was settled by Puritans in 1620 as the Plymouth Colony. In 1630, the Massachusetts Bay Colony was created. In the early 1600s (after contact had been made with Europeans, but before permanent settlements were established), large numbers of the indigenous people in the northeast of what is now the United States were killed by disease In 1617–19, smallpox reportedly killed 90% of the Massachusetts Bay Native Americans. The first English settlers in Massachusetts, the Pilgrims, established their settlement at Plymouth in 1620, and developed friendly relations with the native Wampanoag. This was the second successful permanent English colony in North America, after the Jamestown Colony. The Pilgrims were soon followed by other Puritans, who established the Massachusetts Bay Colony at present-day Boston in 1630. The Puritans, who believed the Church of England was too hierarchical (among other disagreements), came to Massachusetts for religious freedom, although, unlike the Plymouth colony, the bay colony was founded under a royal charter. Both religious dissent and expansionism resulted in several new colonies being founded shortly after Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay elsewhere in New England. Dissenters such as Roger Williams were banished due to religious disagreements. Williams believed that the Puritan beliefs were wrong, and the Indians must be respected. In 1636, Williams founded the colony of Rhode Island. In 1691, the colonies of Massachusetts Bay and Plymouth were united (along with present-day Maine, which had previously been divided between Massachusetts and New York) into the Province of Massachusetts Bay. Shortly thereafter the Salem witch trials took place, in which a number of men and women were hanged. From 1620-1776 Massachusetts was part of British Colonial America. Massachusetts was one of the 13 Colonies that declared independence from Great Britain on 4 Jul 1776. Massachusetts ratified the U.S. Constitution on 6 Feb 1788.
Michigan French voyageurs explored and settled in Michigan in the 17th century. The first Europeans to reach what later became Michigan arrived in 1622. The first permanent European settlement was founded in 1668 on the site of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan as a base for Catholic missions. From 1660 to the end of French rule, Michigan was part of the Royal Province of New France. In 1759, following the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in the French and Indian War (1754–1763), Québec City fell to British forces. This marked Britain’s victory in the Seven Years War. Under the 1763 Treaty of Paris (Peace of Paris), Michigan and the rest of New France east of the Mississippi River passed to Great Britain. During the American Revolutionary War, Detroit was an important British supply center. Most of the inhabitants were French-Canadians or Native Americans, many of whom had been allied with the French. Because of imprecise cartography and unclear language defining the boundaries in the 1783 Treaty of Paris, the British retained control of Detroit and Michigan after the American Revolution. When Quebec split into Lower and Upper Canada in 1790, Michigan was part of Kent County, Upper Canada. Under terms negotiated in the 1794 Jay Treaty, Britain withdrew from Detroit and Michilimackinac in 1796. Questions remained over the boundary for many years, and the United States did not have uncontested control of the Upper Peninsula and Drummond Island until 1818 and 1847, respectively. Michigan was admitted into the Union on January 26, 1837, as the 26th state.
Minnesota Before European settlement of North America, Minnesota was populated by the Dakota people. As Europeans settled the east coast, Native American movement away from them caused migration of the Anishinaabe and other Native Americans into the Minnesota area. The first Europeans in the area were French fur traders who arrived in the 17th century. Late that century, Anishinaabe, also known as Ojibwe Indians migrated westward to Minnesota, causing tensions with the Dakota. he portion of the state east of the Mississippi River became part of the United States at the end of the American Revolutionary War, when the Second Treaty of Paris was signed. Land west of the Mississippi River was acquired with the Louisiana Purchase, although a portion of the Red River Valley was disputed until the Treaty of 1818. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the 32nd state on May 11, 1858.
Mississippi The first major European expedition into the territory that became Mississippi was that of the Spanish explorer, Hernando de Soto, who passed through the northeast part of the state in 1540, in his second expedition to the New World. In April 1699, French colonists established the first European settlement at Fort Maurepas (also known as Old Biloxi), built at Ocean Springs and settled by Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville. In 1716, the French founded Natchez on the Mississippi River (as Fort Rosalie); it became the dominant town and trading post of the area. The French called the greater territory “New Louisiana”; the Spanish continued to claim the Gulf coast area of present-day southern Alabama and Florida. Through the next decades, the area was ruled by Spanish, French and British colonial governments. The colonists imported African slaves as laborers. After Great Britain’s victory in the French and Indian War (Seven Years’ War), the French surrendered the Mississippi area to them under the terms of the Treaty of Paris (1763). After the American Revolution, this area became part of the new United States of America. The Mississippi Territory was organized on April 7, 1798, from territory ceded by Georgia and South Carolina. It was later twice expanded to include disputed territory claimed by both the United States and Spain. From 1800 to about 1830, the United States purchased some lands (Treaty of Doak’s Stand) from Native American tribes for new settlements of European Americans, who were mostly migrants from other Southern states. Mississippi was admitted to the Union on December 10, 1817 as the 20th state.
Missouri The first European settlers were mostly ethnic French Canadians, who created their first settlement in Missouri at present-day Sainte-Geneviève, about an hour south of St. Louis. They had migrated about 1750 from the Illinois Country. They came from colonial villages on the east side of the Mississippi River, where soils were becoming exhausted and there was insufficient river bottom land for the growing population. Napoleon Bonaparte had gained Louisiana for French ownership from Spain in 1800 under the Treaty of San Ildefonso, after it had been a Spanish colony since 1762. But, the treaty was kept secret. Louisiana remained nominally under Spanish control until a transfer of power to France on November 30, 1803, just three weeks before the cession to the United States. The land that is now Missouri was acquired from France as part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 and became known as the Missouri Territory. Missouri earned the nickname “Gateway to the West” because it served as a major departure point for expeditions and settlers heading to the West in the 19th century. St. Charles, just west of St. Louis, was the starting point and the return destination of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, which departed up the Missouri River in 1804 to explore the western territories to the Pacific Ocean. St. Louis was a major supply point for decades for parties of settlers heading west. Part of the Territory was admitted into the union as the 24th state on August 10, 1821.
Montana The land in Montana east of the continental divide was part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Subsequent to the Lewis and Clark Expedition and after the finding of gold and copper (see the Copper Kings) in the area in the late 1850s, Montana became a United States territory (Montana Territory) on May 26, 1864. Prior to the creation of Montana Territory (1864–1889), various parts of what is now Montana were parts of Oregon Territory (1848–1859), Washington Territory (1853–1863), Idaho Territory (1863–1864), and Dakota Territory (1861–1864). The Army established a series of posts in the late 1860s, including Fort Shaw, Camp Cooke on the Judith River and Fort C.F. Smith on the Bozeman Trail. Montana was the scene of warfare as the Native Americans struggled to maintain control of their land. The Battle of the Little Bighorn was fought near the present-day town of Hardin. Montana was also the location of the final battles of the Nez Perce Wars. A series of major mining discoveries in the western third of the state starting in 1862 found gold, silver, copper lead, coal (and later oil) that attracted tens of thousands of miners to the area. The revised Homestead Act of 1909 greatly affected the settlement of Montana. This act expanded the amount of free land from 160 acres (0.6 km2) to 320 acres (1.3 km2) per family. Tens of thousands of inexperienced homesteaders arrived, lured by free land and high wheat prices, but they were unprepared for the climate, which usually had little rainfall and required special dry farming techniques. The droughts of 1917–1919 proved devastating, as many left. The Montana Territory was admitted to the Union as Montana on November 8, 1889, the 41st state.
Nebraska Ethnically, the largest group are German-Americans, and the state has the biggest Czech-American population per capita. Long before the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1804–1806, French-Canadian explorers (including the Mallet brothers in 1739) traversed the territory of Nebraska on their way to trade in Santa Fe, then claimed by Spain. In 1819, the United States established Fort Atkinson as the first US Army post west of the Missouri River, just east of present-day Fort Calhoun. European-American settlement did not begin in any numbers until after 1848 and the California Gold Rush. On May 30, 1854, the US Congress created the Kansas and the Nebraska territories, divided by the Parallel 40° North, under the Kansas-Nebraska Act. The Nebraska Territory included parts of the current states of Colorado, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana. In the 1860s, after the US government forced many of the Native American tribes to cede their lands and settle on reservations, it opened large tracts of land to agricultural development by Europeans and Americans. Under the Homestead Act, thousands of new settlers migrated into Nebraska to claim free land granted by the federal government. Because so few trees grew on the prairies, many of the first farming settlers built their homes of sod, as had the Native Americans such as the Omaha. The first wave of settlement gave the territory a sufficient population to apply for statehood. Nebraska became the 37th state on March 1, 1867,
Nevada was claimed by Spain as a part of Alta California until the Mexican War of Independence brought it under Mexican control. The United States gained the territory in 1848 following its victory in the Mexican-American War and the area was eventually incorporated as part of Utah Territory in 1850. The discovery of silver at the Comstock Lode in 1859 led to a population boom that was an impetus to the creation of Nevada Territory. On March 2, 1861, the Nevada Territory separated from the Utah Territory and adopted its current name, shortened from Sierra Nevada (Spanish for “snowy range) Nevada became the 36th state on October 31, 1864.
New Hampshire was originally known as Province of New Hampshire. In 1691 formally chartered as a colony. Prior to that time New Hampshire was administered by Massachusetts Bay Colony. The first settlers were fisherman at Rye near Portsmouth. By 1631, the Upper Plantation comprised modern-day Dover, Durham and Stratham; in 1679, it became the “Royal Province. From 1623-1776, New Hampshire was part of British Colonial America. It became the first of the British North American colonies to break away from Great Britain in January 1776. New Hampshire was the first U.S. state to have its own state constitution. New Hampshire was one of the 13 Colonies that declared independence from Great Britain on 4 Jul 1776. New Hampshire ratified the U.S. Constitution on 21 Jun 1788.
New Jersey was permanently settled in 1624, but explorers had been there since the late 1500’s. In the early 17th century, the Dutch and the Swedes made the first European settlements. The British later seized control of the region, naming it the Province of New Jersey. It was granted as a colony to Sir George Carteret and John Berkeley, 1st Baron Berkeley of Stratton. At this time, it was named after the largest of the British Channel Islands, Jersey. From 1624-1664, New Jersey was in the New Netherland Colony of Dutch Colonial America. From 1664-1776, New Jersey was part of British Colonial America. New Jersey was one of the 13 Colonies that declared independence from Great Britain on 4 Jul 1776. New Jersey ratified the U.S. Constitution on 18 Dec 1787.
New Mexico Inhabited by Indigenous peoples of the Americas for many centuries, New Mexico has also been part of the Imperial Spanish Viceroyalty of New Spain, part of Mexico, and a U.S. territory. Among U.S. states, New Mexico has the highest percentage of Hispanics, including descendants of Spanish colonists and recent immigrants from Latin America. It also has the second-highest percentage of Indigenous peoples of the Americas, after Alaska, and the fourth-highest total number of Indigenous peoples of the Americas after California, Oklahoma, and Arizona.The tribes in the state consist of mostly Navajo and Pueblo peoples. As a result, the demographics and culture of the state are unique for their strong Hispanic and Native-American influences. The name Nuevo México was first used by a seeker of gold mines who explored far to the north of Mexico in 1563 and reported his findings as being in “a New Mexico”. Juan de Oñate officially established the name when he was appointed the first governor of the new Province of New Mexico in 1598. The same year he founded the San Juan de los Caballeros colony, the first permanent European settlement in the future state of New Mexico, on the Rio Grande. Oñate extended El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro, “Royal Road of the Interior,” by 700 miles (1,100 km) from Santa Bárbara, Chihuahua to his remote colony. As a part of New Spain, the claims for the province of New Mexico passed to independent Mexico in 1821 following the Mexican War of Independence. The Republic of Texas claimed the portion east of the Rio Grande when it seceded from Mexico in 1836. The extreme northeastern part of New Mexico was originally ruled by France, and sold to the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Following the Mexican-American War, from 1846–1848 and the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848, Mexico ceded its mostly unsettled northern holdings, today known as the American Southwest and California, to the United States of America. In the Compromise of 1850 Texas ceded its claims to the area lying east of the Rio Grande and the US government established the New Mexico Territory on September 9, 1850, including most of the present-day states of Arizona and New Mexico, and part of Colorado. The United States acquired the southwestern boot heel of the state and southern Arizona below the Gila river in the mostly desert Gadsden Purchase of 1853. Congress admitted New Mexico as the 47th state in the Union on January 6, 1912.
New York The state has a maritime border with Rhode Island east of Long Island, as well as an international border with the Canadian provinces of Ontario to the west and north, and Quebec to the north. The state of New York is often referred to as New York State to distinguish it from New York City. Henry Hudson’s 1609 voyage marked the beginning of the European involvement with that area. Sailing for the Dutch East India Company and looking for a passage to Asia, he entered the Upper New York Bay on September 11 of that year. After his return word of his findings quickly spread and Dutch merchants began to explore the coast in search for profitable fur trade. During the 17th century, Dutch trading posts established for the trade of pelts expanded into the colony of New Netherland. Fort Amsterdam (1625), developed into the town New Amsterdam which is present-day New York City. The English captured the colony during the Second Anglo-Dutch War and governed it as the Province of New York. The city of New York was recaptured by the Dutch once again in 1673 during the Third Anglo-Dutch War (1672–1674) and renamed New Orange, but returned to the English under the terms of the Treaty of Westminster a year later. From 1623-1664, New York was part of the New Netherland Colony of Dutch Colonial America. The Duke of York also settled in New York for the English. The French claimed western New York from 1614-1664. From 1664-1776, New York was in British Colonial America. New York was one of the 13 Colonies that declared independence from Great Britain on 4 Jul 1776. New York ratified the U.S. Constitution on 26 Jul 1788.
North Carolina. Spanish colonial forces were the first Europeans to make a permanent settlement in the area, when the Juan Pardo Expedition built Fort San Juan in 1567. The Spanish colony only lasted 18 months. The Roanoke Colony was formed in 1585 but by 1587, the colony had disappeared (the Lost Colony). Virginia Dare, born 18 Aug 1587 in the Roanoke Colony was the first English child born in America. North Carolina was then populated by settlers from Virginia. From 1653-1776, North Carolina was part of British Colonial America. North Carolina was known as the Province of Carolina and included both North and South Carolina. On May 20, 1861, North Carolina was the last of the Confederate states to declare secession from the Union. North Carolina was one of the 13 Colonies that declared independence from Great Britain on 4 Jul 1776. North Carolina ratified the U.S. Constitution on 21 Nov 1789.
North Dakota The first European to reach the area was the French-Canadian trader La Vérendrye, who led an exploration party to Mandan villages in 1738. The trading arrangement between tribes was such that North Dakota tribes rarely dealt directly with Europeans. However, the native tribes were in sufficient contact that by the time that Lewis and Clark entered North Dakota in 1804, they were aware of the French and then Spanish claims to their territory. Much of present-day North Dakota was included in the Louisiana Purchase of 1803; the remainder was acquired in the Treaty of 1818. The acquired land was organized into Minnesota and Nebraska Territories. Dakota Territory, making up present-day North Dakota and South Dakota, along with parts of present-day Wyoming and Montana, was organized on March 2, 1861. Dakota Territory was settled sparsely until the late 19th century, when the railroads entered the region and aggressively marketed the land. An omnibus bill for statehood for North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and Washington titled the Enabling Act of 1889 was passed on February 22, 1889 during the administration of Grover Cleveland. After Cleveland left office, it was left to his successor, Benjamin Harrison, to sign proclamations formally admitting North Dakota and South Dakota to the Union on November 2, 1889.
Ohio During the 18th century, the French set up a system of trading posts to control the fur trade in the region. In 1754, France and Great Britain fought a war that was known in North America as the French and Indian War and in Europe as the Seven Years War. As a result of the 1763 Treaty of Paris, the French ceded control of Ohio and the remainder of the Old Northwest to Great Britain. Pontiac’s Rebellion in the 1760s, however, posed a challenge to British military control. This came to an end with the colonists’ victory in the American Revolution. In the Treaty of Paris in 1783, Britain ceded all claims to Ohio country to the United States. The United States created the Northwest Territory under the Northwest Ordinance of 1787. Slavery was not permitted in the new territory. Settlement began with the founding of Marietta by the Ohio Company of Associates, which had been formed by a group of American Revolutionary War veterans. Following the Ohio Company, the Miami Company (also referred to as the “Symmes Purchase“) claimed the southwestern section, and the Connecticut Land Company surveyed and settled the Connecticut Western Reserve in present-day Northeast Ohio. The old Northwest Territory originally included areas previously known as Ohio Country and Illinois Country. As Ohio prepared for statehood, the Indiana Territory was created, reducing the Northwest Territory to approximately the size of present-day Ohio plus the eastern half of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan and the eastern tip of the Upper Peninsula. On February 19, 1803, President Jefferson signed an act of Congress that approved Ohio’s boundaries and constitution. However, Congress had never passed a resolution formally admitting Ohio as the 17th state. The current custom of Congress declaring an official date of statehood did not begin until 1812, with Louisiana’s admission as the 18th state. Although no formal resolution of admission was required, when the oversight was discovered in 1953, Ohio congressman George H. Bender introduced a bill in Congress to admit Ohio to the Union retroactive to March 1, 1803. At a special session at the old state capital in Chillicothe, the Ohio state legislature approved a new petition for statehood that was delivered to Washington, D.C. on horseback. On August 7, 1953 (the year of Ohio’s 150th anniversary), President Eisenhower signed an act that officially declared March 1, 1803 the date of Ohio’s admittance into the Union.
Oklahoma French explorers claimed the area in the 1700s and it remained under French rule until 1803, when all the French territory west of the Mississippi River was purchased by the United States in the Louisiana Purchase. During the 19th century, thousands of Native Americans were expelled from their ancestral homelands from across North America and transported to the area including and surrounding present-day Oklahoma. Increased presence of white settlers in Indian Territory prompted the United States Government to establish the Dawes Act in 1887, which divided the lands of individual tribes into allotments for individual families, encouraging farming and private land ownership among Native Americans but expropriating land to the federal government. In the process, railroad companies took nearly half of Indian-held land within the territory for outside settlers and for purchase. The Dust Bowl sent thousands of farmers into poverty during the 1930s. Major land runs, including the Land Run of 1889, were held for settlers where certain territories were opened to settlement starting at a precise time. Usually land was open to settlers on a first come first served basis. Those who broke the rules by crossing the border into the territory before the official opening time were said to have been crossing the border sooner, leading to the term sooners, which eventually became the state’s official nickname. Deliberations to make the territory into a state began near the end of the 19th century, when the Curtis Act continued the allotment of Indian tribal land. Attempts to create an all-Indian state named Oklahoma and a later attempt to create an all-Indian state named Sequoyah failed but the Sequoyah Statehood Convention of 1905 eventually laid the groundwork for the Oklahoma Statehood Convention, which took place two years later.On November 16, 1907, Oklahoma was established as the 46th state in the Union, formed by the combination of Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory.
Oregon The area was inhabited by many indigenous tribes before the arrival of The first Europeans to visit Oregon were Spanish explorers In 1778, British captain James Cook also explored the coast. French Canadian and metis trappers and missionaries arrived in the eastern part of the state in the late 18th century and early 19th century, many having travelled as members of Lewis and Clark and the 1811 Astor expedition. Some stayed permanently, including Étienne Lussier, believed to be the first European farmer in the state of Oregon. In 1811, New Yorker John Jacob Astor financed the establishment of Fort Astoria at the mouth of the Columbia River as a western outpost to his Pacific Fur Company; this was the first permanent European settlement in Oregon. In the War of 1812, the British gained control of all Pacific Fur Company posts. The Treaty of 1818 established joint British and American occupancy of the region west of the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean. By the 1820s and 1830s, the Hudson’s Bay Company dominated the Pacific Northwest from its Columbia District headquarters at Fort Vancouver. Ttraders, explorers, and settlers formed an autonomous government in Oregon Country in 1843 before American annexation. Starting in 1842–1843, the Oregon Trail brought many new American settlers to Oregon Country. For some time, it seemed that Britain and the United States would go to war for a third time in 75 years (see Oregon boundary dispute), but the border was defined peacefully in 1846 by the Oregon Treaty. The border between the United States and British North America was set at the 49th parallel. The Oregon Territory was officially organized in 1848, and Oregon became the 33rd state on February 14, 1859.
Pennsylvania, officially the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, was settled by the Dutch in 1624. Both the Dutch and the English claimed both sides of the Delaware River as part of their colonial lands in America. From 1624-1664, Pennsylvania was part of the New Netherland Colony of Dutch Colonial America. In 1638, Sweden heated up the issue by establishing the New Sweden Colony, centered on Fort Christina, on the site of present day Wilmington, Delaware. New Sweden claimed and, for the most part, controlled the lower Delaware River region (Parts of present Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania) but settled few colonists there. On March 12, 1664, King Charles II of England gave James, Duke of York a grant that included all of the lands included in the original Virginia Company of Plymouth Grant as well as other lands. This grant was – again – in conflict with the Dutch claim for New Netherland, which included parts of today’s Pennsylvania. On June 24, 1664, The Duke of York sold the portion of his large grant that included present day New Jersey to John Berkeley and George Carteret for a proprietary colony. As of yet, the land was not in British possession, but the sale boxed in the portion of New Netherland on the West side of the Delaware River. The British conquest of New Netherland was commenced on August 29, 1664, when New Amsterdam was coerced to surrender, facing the cannons on British ships in New York Harbor. This conquest continued, and was completed in October 1664, when the British captured Fort Casimir in what today is New Castle, Delaware. The Peace of Breda between England, France and the Netherlands confirmed the British conquest on July 21, 1667. On September 12, 1672, as part of the Third Anglo-Dutch War, the Dutch re-conquered New York Colony/New Amsterdam, the Dutch established three County Courts which went on to become original Counties in present day Delaware and Pennsylvania. The one that later transferred to Pennsylvania was Upland. This was partially reversed on February 9, 1674, when the Treaty of Westminster ended the Third Anglo-Dutch War, and reverted all political situations to the status quo ante bellum. The British retained the Dutch Counties with their Dutch names. By June 11, 1674, New York reasserted control over the outlying colonies, including Upland, but the names started to be changed to British names by November 11, 1674. Upland was partitioned on November 12, 1674, producing the general outline of the current border between Pennsylvania and Delaware. Pennsylvania was administered by New York until the William Penn Charter of 1681. From 1664-1776, Pennsylvania was part of British Colonial America. Pennsylvania was one of the 13 Colonies that declared independence from Great Britain on 4 Jul 1776. Pennsylvania ratified the U.S. Constitution on 12 Dec 1787.
Rhode Island, officially the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations is the smallest state in area in the United States but has the longest name. Roger Williams was banned from the Massachusetts Bay Colony for religious views and settled in what is now Providence Rhode Island in 1636, naming his colony Providence Plantations. Providence indicated “Divine Providence.” Rhode Island was heavily involved in the slave trade during the post-revolution era. In 1774, the slave population of Rhode Island was 6.3%, nearly twice as high as any other New England colony. In the years after the Revolution, Rhode Island merchants controlled between 60% and 90% of the American trade in African slaves. During the American Civil War, Rhode Island was the first Union state to send troops in response to President Lincoln’s request for help from the states. From 1636-1776, Rhode Island was part of British Colonial America. Rhode Island was one of the 13 Colonies that declared independence from Great Britain on 4 Jul 1776. Rhode Island ratified the U.S. Constitution on 29 May 1790.
South Carolina was settled by the French in 1562 who landed on Parris Island. The colony failed in 1564. Parts of Carolina (mostly the coastal areas) were colonized earlier by Spain (see Fort Caroline), but battles between the Spanish and the Native Americans caused the Spanish people to retreat to Florida, Cuba, Mexico, and Central and South America. From 1564-1663, there was no European population. The Province of Carolina was settled by British settlers, mostly from Barbados. The British settled by a Royal Charter from Charles II. From 1663-1776, South Carolina was part of British Colonial America. Carolina did not develop as planned. It split into northern and southern Carolina, creating two different colonies. It separated because of political reasons as the settlers wanted political power. In 1719 settlers in southern Carolina seized control from its proprietors. Then, in 1729, Carolina became two royal colonies- North Carolina and South Carolina. Farmers from inland Virginia settled northern Carolina. Originally part of the Province of Carolina, the Province of South Carolina was the first of the 13 colonies that declared independence from the British Crown during the American Revolution. South Carolina was the first state to ratify the Articles of Confederation. South Carolina later became the first state to vote to secede from the Union which it did on December 20, 1860. It was readmitted to the United States on June 25, 1868. South Carolina was one of the 13 Colonies that declared independence from Great Britain on 4 Jul 1776. South Carolina ratified the U.S. Constitution on 23 May 1788
South Dakota In 1803, the United States purchased the Louisiana Territory, an area that included most of South Dakota, from Napoleon Bonaparte, and President Thomas Jefferson organized the “Lewis and Clark Expedition” to explore the newly-acquired region. In 1817, an American fur trading post was set up at present-day Fort Pierre, beginning continuous American settlement of the area. Settlement by Americans and Europeans was by this time increasing rapidly, and in 1858 the Yankton Sioux signed the 1858 Treaty, ceding most of present-day eastern South Dakota to the United States. A growing population caused Dakota Territory to be divided in half and President Benjamin Harrison signed proclamations formally admitting both South Dakota and North Dakota. Harrison had the papers shuffled to obscure which one was signed first and the order went unrecorded. Once the southern portion of the Dakota Territory, South Dakota became a state on November 2, 1889.
Tennessee The first recorded European excursions into what is now called Tennessee were three expeditions led by Spanish explorers. The first British settlement in what is now Tennessee was Fort Loudoun, near present-day Vonore. In the 1760s, long hunters from Virginia explored much of East and Middle Tennessee, and the first permanent European settlers began arriving late in the decade. The vast majority of 18th century settlers were English or of primarily English descent but nearly 20% of them were also Scotch-Irish. These settlers formed the Watauga Association, a community built on lands leased from the Cherokee peoples. The Watauga Association was a 1772 frontier pact generally regarded as the first constitutional government west of the Appalachians. Three counties of the Washington District (now part of Tennessee) broke off from North Carolina in 1784 and formed the State of Franklin. Efforts to obtain admission to the Union failed, and the counties (now numbering eight) had re-joined North Carolina by 1789. North Carolina ceded the area to the federal government in 1790, after which it was organized into the Southwest Territory. In an effort to encourage settlers to move west into the new territory, in 1787 the mother state of North Carolina ordered a road to be cut to take settlers into the Cumberland Settlements. What is now Tennessee was initially part of North Carolina, and later part of the Southwest Territory. Tennessee was admitted to the Union as the 16th state on June 1, 1796. Tennessee was the last state to leave the Union and join the Confederacy at the outbreak of the U.S. Civil War in 1861, and the first state to be readmitted to the Union at the end of the war.
Texas The first recorded European contact was that of Spain in 1519. Settlement began in 1685 by the French at Matagorda Bay who mistakenly thought they were on the Mississippi. That colony only lasted four years. The term “six flags over Texas” came from the several nations that had ruled over the territory. Spain was the first European country to claim the area of Texas. France held a short-lived colony in Texas. Mexico controlled the territory until 1836 when Texas won its independence, becoming an independent Republic. In 1845 it joined the United States as the 28th state. The state’s annexation set off a chain of events that caused the Mexican–American War in 1846. A slave state, Texas declared its secession from the United States in early 1861, joining the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War. In 1690 Spanish authorities, concerned that France posed competitive threat, constructed several missions in East Texas. After Native American resistance, the Spanish missionaries returned to Mexico. When France began settling Louisiana, mostly in the southern part of the state, in 1716 Spanish authorities responded by founding a new series of missions in East Texas. Two years later, they created San Antonio as the first Spanish civilian settlement in the area. When the United States purchased Louisiana from France in 1803, American authorities insisted that the agreement also included Texas. The boundary between New Spain and the United States was finally set at the Sabine River in 1819, at what is now the border between Texas and Louisianna. Eager for new land, many United States settlers refused to recognize the agreement. Several filibusters raised armies to invade the area west of the Sabine River. In 1821, the Mexican War of Independence included the Texas territory, which became part of Mexico. Due to its low population, Mexico made the area part of the state of Coahuila y Tejas. Hoping that more settlers would reduce the near-constant Comanche raids, Mexican Texas liberalized its immigration policies to permit immigrants from outside Mexico and Spain. Under the Mexican immigration system, large swathes of land were allotted to empresarios, who recruited settlers from the United States, Europe, and the Mexican interior. Hostile native tribes and distance from nearby Spanish colonies discouraged settlers from moving to the area. It was one of New Spain‘s least populated provinces. Many immigrants openly flouted Mexican law, especially the prohibition against slavery. Combined with United States’ attempts to purchase Texas, Mexican authorities decided in 1830 to prohibit continued immigration from the United States. Conflict between the settlers and Mexico continued. Santa Anna‘s Mexican forces defeated the Texas force at the Battle of the Alamo which triggered panic and even greater armed resistance which culminated with the defeat of Santa Anna and the Treaties of Velasco, ending the war. Texas declared independence and formed the Republic of Texas on March 2, 1836. On December 29, 1845, Congress admitted Texas to the U.S. as a constituent state of the Union.
The six flags of taxes are show below.
Utah is the most religiously homogeneous state in the Union. Approximately 63% of Utahns are reported to be members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or LDS (Mormons), which greatly influences Utah culture and daily life. In 1821, the year Mexico achieved its independence from Spain, the region of Utah became part of Mexico, as part of Alta California. Trappers and fur traders explored some areas of Utah in the early 19th century. Following the death of Joseph Smith, in Carthage, Illinois, in 1844, the more than 11,000 Latter Day Saints remaining in Nauvoo, Illinois struggled in conflict with neighbors until Brigham Young, the president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, emerged as the leader of the largest portion. Brigham Young and the first band of Mormon pioneers came to the Salt Lake Valley on July 24, 1847. For the first few years Brigham Young and the thousands of early settlers of Salt Lake City struggled to survive. The barren desert land was deemed by the Mormons as desirable as a place they could practice their religion without interference. Utah was the source of many pioneer settlements located elsewhere in the West. Salt Lake City was the hub of a “far-flung commonwealth” of Mormon settlements. Fed by a continuing supply of church converts coming from the East and around the world, Church leaders often assigned groups of church members to establish settlements throughout the West. Throughout the remainder of the 19th century, Mormon pioneers called by Brigham Young would leave Salt Lake City and establish hundreds of other settlements in Utah, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, Wyoming, California, Canada, and Mexico. The Utah Territory, which was much smaller than the proposed state of Deseret, though more conformitive with the sizes of the territories created before and with it, was created with the Compromise of 1850. One of the conditions for granting Utah statehood was that a ban on polygamy be written into the state constitution. This was a condition required of other western states that were admitted into the Union later. Statehood was officially granted on January 4, 1896.
Vermont Much of the territory that is now Vermont was claimed by France during its early colonial period. France ceded the territory to the Kingdom of Great Britain after being defeated in 1763 in the Seven Years’ War (also called the French and Indian War). For many years, the nearby colonies, especially New Hampshire and New York, disputed control of the area (then called the New Hampshire Grants). Settlers who held land titles granted by these colonies were opposed by the Green Mountain Boys militia, which eventually prevailed in creating an independent state, the Vermont Republic. Founded in 1777 during the Revolutionary War, the republic lasted for fourteen years. Setting aside the Thirteen Colonies, Vermont is one of only four U.S. states (along with Texas, Hawaii, and the briefly declared Republic of West Florida) to have been a sovereign state in its past. On March 4, 1791, Vermont joined the United States as the 14th state, the first outside the original 13 Colonies. It abolished slavery while still independent, and upon joining the Union became the first state to have done so.
Virginia, officially The Commonwealth of Virginia. Virginia is nicknamed the “Old Dominion” and the “Mother of Presidents” after the eight U.S. presidents born there. The first permanent English settlement was a Jamestown in 1607. It was settled by a royal charter given to the Virginia Company of London. from 1607-1776, Virginia was part of British Colonial America. Virginia ratified the U.S. Constitution on 25 Jun 1788. Virginia was one of the 13 Colonies in the American Revolution and joined the Confederacy in the American Civil War, during which Richmond was made the Confederate capital and Virginia’s northwestern counties separated to form the state of West Virginia. The Virginia General Assembly is the oldest legislature in the Western Hemisphere
Washington The British-Spanish Nootka Convention of 1790 ended Spanish claims of exclusivity and opened the Northwest Coast to explorers and traders from other nations, most notably Britain and Russia as well as the fledgling United States. Britain and the United States agreed to what has since been described as “joint occupancy” of lands west of the Continental Divide to the Pacific Ocean as part of the Anglo-American Convention of 1818, which established the 49th Parallel as the international boundary west from Lake of the Woods to the Rocky Mountains. Resolution of the territorial and treaty issues, west to the Pacific, were deferred until a later time. Spain, in 1819, ceded their rights north of the 42nd Parallel to the United States, although these rights did not include possession. Negotiations with Great Britain over the next few decades failed to settle upon a compromise boundary and the Oregon boundary dispute was highly contested between Britain and the United States. Disputed joint-occupancy by Britain and the U.S. lasted for several decades. With American settlers pouring into Oregon Country, Hudson’s Bay Company, which had previously discouraged settlement because it conflicted with the fur trade, reversed its position in an attempt to maintain British control of the Columbia District. Britain eventually ceded all claims to land south of the 49th parallel to the United States in the Oregon Treaty on June 15, 1846. The first settlers in Washington were missionaries who arrived in 1836. Washington was carved out of the western part of Washington Territory. Washington was admitted to the Union as the 42nd state in 1889.
West Virginia The area now occupied by West Virginia was contested territory among European Americans as well, with the colonies of Pennsylvania and Virginia claiming territorial rights before the American Revolutionary War. Some speculative land companies, such as the Vandalia Company, and later the Ohio Company and Indiana Company, tried to legitimize their claims to land in parts of West Virginia and Kentucky, but failed. With the settlement of the Pennsylvania and Virginia border dispute, the inhabitants of a large part of West Virginia were grateful. West Virginia was originally part of the British Virginia Colony (from 1607 to 1776) and the western part of the state of Virginia (from 1776 to 1863). Long discontented with electoral malapportionment and underrepresentation in the state legislature, its residents became sharply divided over the issue of secession from the Union. West Virginia became a state following the Wheeling Conventions and broke away from Virginia during the American Civil War. The new state was admitted to the Union on June 20, 1863, and was a key Civil War border state. West Virginia was the only state to form by seceding from a Confederate state, and was one of two states formed during the American Civil War (the other one being Nevada, which separated from Utah Territory).
Wisconsin was first visited by French explorers and fur traders in the 1630’s. the French made no permanent settlements in Wisconsin before Great Britain won control of the region following the French and Indian War in 1763. Even so, French traders continued to work in the region after the war, and some settled in Wisconsin permanently rather than returning to British-controlled Canada. Wisconsin became a territorial possession of the United States in 1783 after the American Revolutionary War. However, the British remained in de facto control until after the War of 1812, which finally established an American presence in the area. Wisconsin Territory was organized in 1836. Continued white settlement led to statehood on May 29, 1848, when Wisconsin was admitted as the 30th state.
Wyoming What is now southwestern Wyoming became a part of the Spanish Empire and later Mexican territory of Alta California, until it was ceded to the United States in 1848 at the end of the Mexican-American War. French-Canadian trappers from Québec and Montréal ventured into the state in the late 18th century. Settlement was very slow and scattered until the arrival of the Union Pacific Railroad in 1867. After this, the population grew rapidly and the federal government established the Wyoming Territory on Jul 25, 1868. Wyoming was admitted into the Union on Jul 10, 1890 as the 44th state.
Part 5 – District of Columbia and American territories and possessions
District of Columbia As permitted by the U.S. Constitution, the District is under the exclusive jurisdiction of the United States Congress and is therefore not a part of any U.S. state. The centers of all three branches of the federal government of the United States are in the District, including the Congress, President, and Supreme Court. Washington is home to many national monuments and museums, which are primarily situated on or around the National Mall. The city hosts 176 foreign embassies as well as the headquarters of many international organizations, trade unions, non-profit organizations, lobbying groups, and professional associations. A locally elected mayor and 13-member council have governed the District since 1973; however, the Congress maintains supreme authority over the city and may overturn local laws. The District has a non-voting, at-large Congressional delegate, but no senators. The Twenty-third Amendment to the United States Constitution, ratified in 1961, grants the District three electoral votes in presidential elections.
Guam is an organized, unincorporated territory of the United States located in the western Pacific Ocean. It is one of five U.S. territories with an established civilian government.
United States Virgin Islands are an organized, unincorporated United States territory located in the Caribbean and are part of the Virgin Islands Archipelago.
American Samoa is an unincorporated territory of the United States located in the South Pacific Ocean.
Republic of the Marshall Islands is an independent sovereign island nation, officially known ad the Republic of the Marshall Islands. It is free association with the United States, with the U.S. providing defense, funding grants, and providing access to social services.
Federated States of Micronesia is an independent sovereign island nation. It is free association with the United States, with the U.S. providing defense, funding grants, and providing access to social services. This nation consists of four states. Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei and Kosrae.
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands is one of two Commonwealths of the United States; the other is Puerto Rico. It consists of fifteen islands in the western Pacific Ocean located about three-quarters of the way between Hawaii and the Philippines. The islands in the Commonwealth are: Farallon de Pajoros, Maug Islands, Asuncion, Afrihan, Pagan, Alamagan, Guguan, Zealandia Bank, Anatahan, Farallon de Medinilla, Saipan, Tinian, Aguijan and Rota.
Republic of Palau is an independent sovereign island nation. It is free association with the United States, with the U.S. providing defense, funding grants, and providing access to social services.
Johnson Atoll (aka Johnston Island) Is an unincorporated territory of the United States and is administered by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It is a wildlife refuge, closed to the public. Entry is only allowed by a special use permit for activities deemed related to wildlife refuge.
Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the northeastern Caribbean.
Territories no longer in the possession of the United States
Part 6 – Republics and States not recognized
The Vermont Republic existed from 1777 to 1791. In July 1777 delegates from 28 towns met and declared independence from jurisdictions and land claims of British colonies in New Hampshire and New York. They also abolished slavery within their boundaries. The people of Vermont took part in the American Revolution and considered themselves Americans, even if Congress did not recognize the jurisdiction. Because of vehement objections from New York, which had conflicting property claims, the Continental Congress declined to recognize Vermont, then called the New Hampshire Grants. Vermont’s overtures to join the British Province of Quebec failed. In 1791 Vermont was admitted to the United States as the 14th state.
The Republic of Texas was an independent sovereign nation in North America which existed from March 2, 1836, to February 19, 1846. Formed as a separate nation after gaining independence from Mexico in 1836, the republic claimed borders that included all of the present US state of Texas as well as parts of present-day Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, and New Mexico based upon the Treaties of Velasco between the newly created Texas Republic and Mexico. The eastern boundary with the United States was defined by the Adams-Onís Treaty between the United States and Spain in 1819. Its southern and western-most boundary with Mexico was under dispute throughout the entire existence of the republic with Texas claiming the boundary as the Rio Grande (known as the Río Bravo del Norte or Río Bravo in Mexico), and Mexico claiming the boundary as the Nueces River. This dispute would later become a trigger for the Mexican–American War from 1846 to 1848 between Mexico and the United States after the annexation of Texas by the United States on December 29, 1845.
The California Republic also called the Bear Flag Republic or Bear Republic is the name used for a period of revolt against Mexico initially proclaimed by a handful of American settlers in the Mexican territory of Alta California on June 14, 1846, in Sonoma. This was shortly before news of the Mexican–American War had reached the area. The participants declared independence from Mexico, but they did not form a functional provisional government. Thus, the “republic” never exercised any real authority, and it was never recognized by any nation. In fact, most of Alta California knew nothing about it. The revolt lasted 26 days, at the end of which the U.S. Army arrived to occupy the area. Once the leaders of the revolt knew the United States was claiming the area, they disbanded their “republic” and supported the U.S. federal effort to annex Alta California.
The State of Franklin (also the Free Republic of Franklin or the State of Frankland) was an unrecognized, autonomous “territory” located in what is today eastern Tennessee. Franklin was created in 1784 from part of the territory west of the Appalachian Mountains that had been offered by North Carolina as a cession to Congress to help pay off debts related to the American War for Independence. It was founded with the intent of becoming the fourteenth state of the new United States. After the summer of 1785, the government of Franklin (which was by then based in Greeneville), ruled as a “parallel government” running alongside (but not harmoniously with) a re-established North Carolina bureaucracy. Franklin was never admitted into the union. The extra-legal state existed for only about four and a half years, ostensibly as a republic, after which North Carolina re-assumed full control of the area.
The State of Deseret was a provisional state of the United States, proposed in 1849 by Latter-day Saints settlers in Salt Lake City. The provisional state existed for slightly over two years and was never recognized by the United States government. The name derives from the word for “honeybee” in the Book of Mormon. In March 1849, realizing that they did not have time to follow the usual steps towards statehood, Brigham Young and a group of church elders quickly drafted a state constitution based on that of Iowa, where the Mormons had temporarily settled, and sent the legislative records and constitution back to that state for printing, since no printing press existed in the Great Basin at the time. They then sent a second messenger with a copy of the state’s formal records and constitution to petition for statehood rather than territorial status.
The Republic of Indian Stream 1832-1845 was within the state of New Hampshire and was annexed by the United States.
The Republic of Madawaska 1827-1842 was within New Brunswick, Quebec, and Maine. It was divided between the United States and Canada.
The State of Muskogee 1799-1832 was within the State of Florida and consisted of several tribes of Creeks and Seminoles. It was annexed by the United States. The State of Muskogee was a proclaimed sovereign nation located in Florida, founded in 1799 and led by William Augustus Bowles, a Loyalist veteran of the American Revolutionary War who lived among the Muscogee, and envisioned uniting the American Indians of the Southeast into a single nation that could resist the expansion of the United States. Bowles enjoyed the support of the Miccosukee (Seminole) and several bands of Muscogee, and envisioned his state as eventually growing to encompass the Cherokee, Upper and Lower Creeks, Choctaw and Chickasaw.
The Republic of the Rio Grande 1840 consisted of southern Texas and three Mexican states of Coahuila, Nuevo León and Tamaulipas. The Republic of the Rio Grande (Spanish: República del Río Grande) was an independent nation that insurgents against the Central Mexican Government sought to establish in northern Mexico. The rebellion lasted from January 17 to November 6, 1840 and the Republic of the Rio Grande was never officially recognized.
The Watauga Association (sometimes referred to as the Republic of Watauga) was a semi-autonomous government created in 1772 by frontier settlers living along the Watauga River in what is now present day Elizabethton, Tennessee. Although it lasted only a few years, the Watauga Association provided a basis for what later developed into the state of Tennessee and likely influenced other western frontier governments in the trans-Appalachian region. North Carolina annexed the Watauga settlement area, by then known as the Washington District, in November 1776. Within a year, the area was placed under a county government, becoming Washington County, North Carolina, in November 1777. (This is the present day Washington County, Carter County and other areas now located in the northeast part of the state of Tennessee.) While there is no evidence that the Watauga Association ever claimed to be outside the sovereign territory of the British Crown, historians have often cited the Association as the earliest attempt by American-born colonists to form an independent democratic government.
The Republic of West Florida 1810. Short-lived Republic consisting of parts of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama annexed during the presidency of James Madison. The United States and Spain held long, inconclusive negotiations on the status of West Florida. In the meantime, American settlers established a foothold in the area and resisted Spanish control. British settlers, who had remained, also resented Spanish rule, leading to a rebellion in 1810 and the establishment for exactly ninety days of the Independent Republic of West Florida.