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District of Louisiana: Wikis


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District of Louisiana
Territory of the United States

1804 – 1805
Location of District of Louisiana
A map of the District of Louisiana
Capital St. Louis
 - 1804-1805 William Henry Harrison
 - Established October 1 1804
 - Organized July 4 1805

The District of Louisiana or Louisiana District was an official United States government designation for the portion of the Louisiana Purchase that had not been organized into the Territory of Orleans. The area north of present-day Arkansas was also known as Upper Louisiana. The Louisiana District was also an administrative division under French and Spanish rule.


Military District of Louisiana

In legislation enacted October 31, 1803, Congress made provisions for a temporary government of the territory purchased from France. The President was authorized to use military forces to maintain order, although local civil government was to continue as it had under French and Spanish rule.[1] This military rule was in effect from March 10, 1804 (the official date of transfer from French hands on Three Flags Day) until September 30, 1804 with Amos Stoddard serving as commandant.

Civilian District of Louisiana

On March 26, 1804, Congress enacted legislation effective October 1, 1804, that extended the authority of the Governor and Judges of Indiana Territory to provide temporary jurisdiction over the District of Louisiana.[2] In 1804, Indiana Territorial Governor William Henry Harrison and Territorial Judges Davis, Griffin, and Vandenberg held court in the District capital of St. Louis and enacted laws for the region.

Under the terms of the act establishing the temporary government, the Governor and Judges of the Indiana Territory were supposed to meet twice a year in St. Louis, Missouri. However, the settlers on the west bank were to complain about the arrangement noting:

  • Protests of policies not recognizing Spanish land grants (including property belonging to Daniel Boone)
  • Protests of policies evicting settlers from land in anticipation that much of the territory would be given to Native Americans who were to be relocated west of the Mississippi.
  • Protests over the implementation of common law when the land had been governed previously by civil law (along with the introduction of taxes)
  • Lack of provision for schooling the French speaking majority on the west side.
  • Concerns that Northwest Ordinance provisions prohibiting slavery would be implemented on the west side where slaves had historically been owned.
  • Protests that Vincennes was more than 180 miles away

Settlers from the Louisiana District which had been broken up into five districts on the annexation (New Madrid, Cape Girardeau, Ste. Genevieve, St. Charles and St. Louis) met in St. Louis in September 1804 to formally protest the annexation. Among the signers of the declaration were Auguste Chouteau.[3]

One of the most notable events during this period was the Treaty of St. Louis in which the Sac (tribe) and Fox (tribe) ceded northeastern Missouri, northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin to the United States. Resentments over this treaty were to cause the tribes to side with the British during the War of 1812 in raids along the Missouri, Ohio and Mississippi Rivers and was to spur the Black Hawk War in 1832.

On March 3, 1805, Congress enacted legislation organizing the District of Louisiana into the Louisiana Territory, effective July 4, 1805. This territorial government was organized similarly to that of the Indiana Territory.[4]

See also


External links



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