IOWA AS A TERRITORY
In a territory the management of local affairs
is largely in the hands of the national Government. The
people of a territory do not have so much to say about their
own affairs as do the people of a state. The President, for
instance, appoints the governor of a territory, whereas the
people elect him in a state. This is one reason why many
people prefer to live in a state. Another reason is that
states have representatives who can vote in the United States
Congress while territories do not have a vote there.
The advantage of the territorial government,
on the other hand, is that the cost of running it is paid by
our national government. In states the people must tax
themselves to pay for their government. People in a new
section of the country, because they were poor, often
preferred territory to state.
INDIANA AND MISSOURI
When the United States bought Louisiana from
France it became necessary for her to provide a government for
the new territory. To do so, the new region was first divided
into two parts. The southern part was called the Territory of
Orleans; the northern part, the District of Louisiana. Since
very few people lived in the northern division, it was
attached to the Territory of Indiana for its government.
A serious difficulty soon arose. The southern
parr of the District of Louisiana was far south of Iowa and
the people who lived there wanted to own slaves. But the laws
of the Territory of Indiana did not permit slavery. Congress
then made into a new territory all of the land of the
Louisiana Purchase that was north of the present southern
boundary of the state of Arkansas. The new territory was
first called the Territory of Louisiana, but when the present
State of Louisiana was admitted to the Union, in 1812, the
name of the territory to the north was changed to Missouri.
In 1820, the present State of Missouri was
carved out of the Territory of Missouri. When that was done
Congress seems to have forgotten about that part of the
Missouri Territory which was not included in the new state.
It did not provide any kind of government for it. Perhaps
that was because very few people lived there. Iowa land was
then considered a good place for the Indians.
The people who lived on Iowa land soon found
that they needed a government. A murder took place at
Dubuque. One miner shot another miner; the murderer said he
could not be punished because there was no government and no
law. The settlers said something must be done; so they
decided to hold court and try the murderer. A jury was chosen
and it sat on a log to hear the case. The murderer had
someone to act for him as attorney. The jury said that the
man was guilty of murder and should be hanged in one month.
The miner took his case to the courts of
Illinois, to the governor of Missouri, and to the national
Government at Washington. They said they could do nothing,
and he was hanged.
MICHIGAN AND WISCONSIN
Congress now saw that something must be done
to provide a government for this territory. In 1834 all of
the old Territory of Missouri that was north of the State of
Missouri was made a part of the Territory of Michigan. But
Michigan, too, wanted to become a state. So some provision
again had to be made for Iowa land.
In 1836, Iowa became a part of the Territory
of Wisconsin. Henry Dodge was governor of the territory. He
ordered that a census be taken. It was found that there were
10,531 white people then living in what is now Iowa.
The first legislature for the Territory of
Wisconsin met in 1836, at Belmont, the site of which is now a
farm in Wisconsin. Eighteen men came from west and nineteen
from east of the Mississippi. The second legislature for the
territory met in 1837 at Flint Hills, now Burlington. This
was the first legislature to meet within the present State of
TERRITORY OF IOWA
In 1838, Wisconsin Territory was divided. The
portion that was west of the Mississippi was organized as a
separate territory and was called Iowa. It included what is
now Iowa and most of Minnesota and the Dakotas. Another
census was taken in 1838. Iowa then had 22,860 people. The
population had doubled in two years.
President Van Buren appointed a governor, a
secretary, and three justices of the territorial supreme
court. The people were to elect a legislature. The Iowa
Territory could now send a delegate to Congress. The delegate
was allowed to speak but not to vote. Congress gave the new
territory $20,000, a section of land for public buildings, and
$5,000 for a library.
Robert Lucas of Ohio was the first man, having
twice been governor of Ohio. Mr. Lucas was born in Virginia;
he was fifty-seven years old when he came to govern Iowa. He
played an important part in our early history.
The first legislature for the Territory of
Iowa met at Burlington, in Zion Church. It was made up of two
houses, the Council, now called the Senate, and the House.
There were 13 members of the Council and 26 of the House.
Many important laws were passed by this first legislature,
but the members are said to have been extravagant. They
appropriated more money than Congress had allowed them. One
member said: "Uncle Sam is a cow, and we will milk her
freely." Governor Lucas, who had been a legislator in Ohio
for many years, wanted the legislature to be careful about
spending. He made many wise recommendations but they were not