|Territory of Montana|
|Organized incorporated territory of the United States|
Montana Territory, 1879
|Capital|| Bannack (May 28, 1864–February 6, 1865)|
Virginia City (February 7, 1865–1875)
|• Type||Organized incorporated territory|
• Split from Idaho Territory
|May 26 1864|
|November 8 1889|
The Territory of Montana was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from May 26, 1864, until November 8, 1889, when it was admitted as the 41st state in the Union as the state of Montana.
The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or simply America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City. Most of the country is located contiguously in North America between Canada and Mexico.
Montana is a state in the Northwestern United States. Montana has several nicknames, although none are official, including "Big Sky Country" and "The Treasure State", and slogans that include "Land of the Shining Mountains" and more recently "The Last Best Place".
The Montana Territory was organized out of the existing Idaho Territory by Act of Congress and signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln on May 26, 1864. The areas east of the Continental Divide had been previously part of the Nebraska Territory and Dakota Territory and had been acquired by the United States in the Louisiana Purchase.
The Territory of Idaho was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from March 3, 1863, until July 3, 1890, when the final extent of the territory was admitted to the Union as Idaho.
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, and consists of two chambers: the House of Representatives and the Senate. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. Both senators and representatives are chosen through direct election, though vacancies in the Senate may be filled by a gubernatorial appointment. Congress has 535 voting members: 435 representatives and 100 senators. The House of Representatives has six non-voting members representing Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia in addition to its 435 voting members. Although they cannot vote in the full house, these members can address the house, sit and vote in congressional committees, and introduce legislation.
Abraham Lincoln was an American statesman and lawyer who served as the 16th president of the United States from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. Lincoln led the nation through the American Civil War, its bloodiest war and its greatest moral, constitutional, and political crisis. He preserved the Union, abolished slavery, strengthened the federal government, and modernized the U.S. economy.
The territory also included a portion of the Idaho Territory west of the continental divide and east of the Bitterroot Range, which had been acquired by the United States in the Oregon Treaty, and originally included in the Oregon Territory. The part of the Oregon Territory that became part of Montana had been split off as part of the Washington Territory.
The Bitterroot Range is a mountain range and a subrange of the Rocky Mountains that runs along the border of Montana and Idaho in the northwestern United States. The range spans an area of 24,223 square miles (62,740 km2) and is named after the bitterroot, a small pink flower that is the state flower of Montana.
The Oregon Treaty is a treaty between the United Kingdom and the United States that was signed on June 15, 1846, in Washington, D.C. The treaty was signed under the presidency of James K. Polk, the treaty brought an end to the Oregon boundary dispute by settling competing American and British claims to the Oregon Country; the area had been jointly occupied by both Britain and the U.S. since the Treaty of 1818.
The Territory of Oregon was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from August 14, 1848, until February 14, 1859, when the southwestern portion of the territory was admitted to the Union as the State of Oregon. Originally claimed by several countries, the region was divided between the UK and the US in 1846. When established, the territory encompassed an area that included the current states of Oregon, Washington, and Idaho, as well as parts of Wyoming and Montana. The capital of the territory was first Oregon City, then Salem, followed briefly by Corvallis, then back to Salem, which became the state capital upon Oregon's admission to the Union.
The boundary between the Washington Territory and Dakota Territory was the Continental Divide (as shown on the 1861 map); however, the boundary between the Idaho Territory and the Montana Territory followed the Bitterroot Range north of 46°30′ north (as shown on the 1864 map). This change was due in part to Congress unifying the area with the creation of Idaho Territory in 1863, coupled with the subsequent political maneuvering of Sidney Edgerton, soon to be the first Territorial Governor of Montana, and his allies in the Congress. They successfully implemented the boundary change that won the Flathead and Bitterroot valleys for Montana Territory.The Organic Act of the Territory of Montana defines the boundary as extending from the modern intersection of Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming at:
Sidney Edgerton was an American politician, lawyer, judge and teacher from Ohio. He served during the American Civil War, as a Squirrel Hunter. During this time, Edgerton served as a U.S. Congressman. In 1863, Abraham Lincoln appointed him the first Chief justice of the Idaho Territorial Court. Edgerton lobbied for the creation of separate territories, out of the Idaho Territory, and in 1864, Abraham Lincoln appointed Edgerton as the first Territorial Governor of Montana. During his term as Territorial Governor, he was an alleged member of the infamous Montana Vigilantes, and was reputedly among its founders.
The Flathead Valley, located in Northwestern Montana, is a region of the U.S. state of Montana. It includes Flathead County, and part of Lake County. Notable towns include Bigfork, Kalispell, Columbia Falls, Polson, and Whitefish. The geography of the Flathead roughly corresponds to the valley where Flathead Lake is located. In addition to the lake, the area's proximity to attractions such as Glacier National Park and Whitefish Mountain Resort have made the area a major resort destination. Many outdoor activities can be pursued there such as hiking, backpacking, rafting, canoeing, skiing, hunting, and trout fishing. The Flathead Valley is also home to a portion of the Flathead Indian Reservation.
The Bitterroot Valley is located in southwestern Montana, along the Bitterroot River between the Bitterroot Range and Sapphire Mountains, in the Northwestern United States.
The forty-fourth degree and thirty minutes of north latitude; thence due west along said forty-fourth degree and thirty minutes of north latitude to a point formed by its intersection with the crest of the Rocky Mountains; thence following the crest of the Rocky Mountains northward till its intersection with the Bitter Root Mountains; thence northward along the crest of the Bitter Root Mountains to its intersection with the thirty-ninth degree of longitude west from Washington; thence along said thirty-ninth degree of longitude northward to the boundary line of British possessions.
The boundaries of the territory did not change during its existence. It was admitted to the Union as the State of Montana on November 8, 1889.
The act of Congress of 1864 creating Montana, known as the Organic Act,prescribed a somewhat standard organization for the territorial government of Montana. It established executive, judicial, and legislative branches of government, however, the federal government held a dominant role in administering the new territory. Particularly, the Congress reserved the right to nullify any laws passed by the citizen-elected territorial legislature. The President of the United States appointed the most powerful positions in the territory, including a governor, secretary of the territory, and three members of the territorial supreme court, with the advice and consent of the U.S. Senate. The citizens of the territory elected a legislative assembly, consisting of a Council and House of Representatives, which together created the laws for the territory. Citizens also elected a lone delegate to Congress as strictly an advisor to the U.S. House of Representatives; a territorial delegate was not permitted to vote. The territorial government was meant to provide a training ground for a future move to statehood, allowing time for an area's institutions to mature and populations to grow.
The governor served a four-year term, unless removed by the President. Duties of the office included 1) the faithful execution of the laws, 2) to serve as the commander-in-chief of the militia, and 3) to serve as the superintendent of Indian affairs. The governor also had to approve or veto laws within three days of passage by the territorial legislative assembly.
|#||Governor||Party||Term start||Term end||Appointed by||Notes|
|1||Sidney Edgerton||Rep||June 22, 1864||July 12, 1866||Abraham Lincoln||Did not find out he had been appointed right away; left the state in September 1865 and did not return for 25 years|
|2||Green Clay Smith||Dem||July 13, 1866||April 9, 1869||Andrew Johnson||Did not assume office until October 1866; stopped functioning as governor in summer 1868|
|3||James Mitchell Ashley||Rep||April 9, 1869||July 12, 1870||Ulysses S. Grant||Removed from office by President Ulysses S. Grant in mid-December 1869 for unclear reasons.|
|4||Benjamin F. Potts||Rep||July 13, 1870||January 14, 1883||Ulysses S. Grant|
|5||John Schuyler Crosby||Rep||January 15, 1883||December 15, 1884||Chester A. Arthur|
|6||B. Platt Carpenter||Rep||December 16, 1884||July 13, 1885||Chester A. Arthur|
|7||Samuel Thomas Hauser||Dem||July 14, 1885||February 7, 1887||Grover Cleveland|
|8||Preston Hopkins Leslie||Dem||February 8, 1887||April 8, 1889||Grover Cleveland|
|9||Benjamin F. White||Rep||April 9, 1889||November 8, 1889||Benjamin Harrison|
The secretary of the territory served a four-year term, unless removed by the President. Duties of the office included 1) the recording of all laws and proceedings of the legislative assembly and the acts of the governor, 2) the transmission of copies of the laws and journals of the legislative assembly to the President and the leaders of Congress, and 3) the transmission of executive proceedings and correspondence twice a year to the President. Importantly, the secretary also served as acting governor in case of the death, removal, resignation, or absence of the governor from the territory.
|1||Henry P. Torsey||Rep||June 22, 1864||Abraham Lincoln||Declined appointment due to poor health.|
|2||John Coburn||Rep||March 3, 1865||Abraham Lincoln||Did not assume office as he resigned almost immediately upon being appointed; later in 1884 appointed a justice to the Supreme Court of Montana Territory|
|3||Thomas Francis Meagher||Dem||August 4, 1865||Andrew Johnson||He served as acting governor from Sep. 1865, when Gov. Edgerton left the territory, until Oct. 1866, when Gov. Smith arrived. He served again as acting governor from early 1867, when Gov. Smith went to Washington D.C., until Meagher's death on July 1, 1867.|
|4||James Tufts||Rep||March 28, 1867||Andrew Johnson||He served as acting governor from the summer of 1868, when Gov. Smith left the territory, until the summer of 1869 when his replacement arrived.|
|5||Wiley S. Scribner||Rep||April 20, 1869||Ulysses S. Grant||He served as acting governor from mid-December 1869, when Ashley was removed, until the end of August 1870, when Gov. Potts arrived in Virginia City.|
|6||Addison Hiatt Sanders||Rep||July 19, 1870||Ulysses S. Grant||Withdrew before taking office since he took another appointment as register of the Land Office in Montana.|
|7||James E. Callaway||Rep||January 27, 1871||Ulysses S. Grant||He did not arrive in Montana until mid-April 1871 to take up his duties; he was the longest serving secretary of the territory.|
|8||James Hamilton Mills||Rep||May 10, 1877||Rutherford B. Hayes|
|9||Isaac D. McCutcheon||Rep||May 28, 1882||Chester A. Arthur||date is given as the date he arrived in Helena; he resigned under scandal in Sep. 1883|
|10||John S. Tooker||Rep||1883||Chester A. Arthur||He appears to have been commissioned sometime during the last three months of 1883 after McCutcheon's resignation, though one source reports him being appointed in Jan. 1884, and another on April 21, 1884.|
|11||William B. Webb||Dem||October 23, 1885||Grover Cleveland||One source has Webb appointed in 1886.|
|12||Louis A. Walker||Rep||April 15, 1889||Benjamin Harrison|
The eligible citizens of Montana Territory voted for a delegate to Congress, electing them to a two-year term. The territorial delegate had a seat in the House of Representatives and, as any other representative, participated in debates, yet they did not have the right to vote.During the time Montana was a territory, some delegates to Congress were allowed to sit on select committees and even standing committees of the House, yet as on the floor of the House, they were not permitted to vote.
|#||Delegate||Party||Term start||Term end||Congress||Notes|
|1||Samuel McLean||Dem||January 6, 1865||March 3, 1867||38th, 39th|
|2||James M. Cavanaugh||Dem||March 4, 1867||March 3, 1871||40th, 41st|
|3||William H. Clagett||Rep||March 4, 1871||March 3, 1873||42nd|
|4||Martin Maginnis||Dem||March 4, 1873||March 3, 1885||43rd, 44th, 45th, 46th, 47th, 48th|
|5||Joseph Toole||Dem||March 4, 1885||March 3, 1889||49th, 50th|
|6||Thomas H. Carter||Rep||March 4, 1889||November 8, 1889||51st||After statehood, became Montana's first U.S. Representative|
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The Territory of Wyoming was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from July 25, 1868, until July 10, 1890, when it was admitted to the Union as the State of Wyoming. Cheyenne was the territorial capital. The boundaries of the Wyoming Territory were identical to the modern State of Wyoming.
The Indiana Territory was created by a congressional act that President John Adams signed into law on May 7, 1800, to form an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from July 4, 1800, to December 11, 1816, when the remaining southern portion of the territory was admitted to the Union as the state of Indiana. The territory originally contained approximately 259,824 square miles (672,940 km2) of land, but its size was decreased when it was subdivided to create the Michigan Territory (1805) and the Illinois Territory (1809). The Indiana Territory was the first new territory created from lands of the Northwest Territory, which had been organized under the terms of the Northwest Ordinance of 1787. The territorial capital was the settlement around the old French fort of Vincennes on the Wabash River, until transferred in to Corydon near the Ohio River in 1813.
Lincoln is the name for several proposals to create a new state in the Northwest United States. The proposed State has been defined in multiple ways, but can generally be said to be coterminous with the region known as the Inland Northwest. The proposed state was named in honor of Abraham Lincoln, who was president during the American Civil War. His name was also proposed for the states that were eventually named North Dakota and Wyoming.
The Constitution of the State of Washington is the document that describes the structure and function of the government of the U.S. State of Washington. The constitution was adopted as part of Washington Territory's path to statehood in 1889. An earlier constitution was drafted and ratified in 1878, but it was never officially adopted.
The Montana Republican Party (MTGOP) is the affiliate of the Republican Party in Montana. The state party is led by Chair, Debra Lamm (Livingston) and Vice Chair, Terry Nelson. The National Committeeman is Errol Galt (Martinsdale) and the National Committeewoman is Betti Hill (Helena). The headquarters of the Montana GOP is located in Helena, Montana. The party is a private corporation organized of political organizations including political action, advocacy, and interest groups.
George Edward Cole was an American politician. He is remembered as the 6th Governor and 5th Delegate from the Territory of Washington.
Idaho Territory's at-large congressional district is an obsolete congressional district that encompassed the area of the Idaho Territory, which was originally created from parts of the Washington Territory and Dakota Territory in 1863. In 1864, parts of the territory were ceded back to the Dakota Territory and another part was reorganized into the Montana Territory. The boundaries of the territory were changed again in 1868 when the Wyoming Territory was created.
William Horace Clagett was a nineteenth-century politician and lawyer from various places in the United States. He was the uncle of Samuel B. Pettengill.
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The following timeline traces the territorial evolution of the U.S. State of Montana.
The following timeline traces the territorial evolution of the U.S. State of Idaho.
The following outline traces the territorial evolution of the U.S. State of Nevada.
James Tufts was a United States politician and acting governor of Montana Territory in 1869.
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