Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That all the territory ceded by Spain to the United States, situated to the eastward of the Perdido, and known by the name of East and West Florida, shall constitute a territory of the United States, under the name of the territory of Florida…
A bill for the establishment of a territorial government in Florida, 03/03/1822
Exactly twenty-three years later on March 3, 1845, Florida would be admitted as the 27th state.
In 1894, Congress passed an enabling act for Utah that outlined the steps the territory needed to take in order to achieve statehood status. On January 4, 1896, Utah was admitted to the Union as the 45th state.
Map of Utah Territory (306510), 10/2/1866, Records of the U.S. Senate
On October 18, 1867, the U.S. officially took possession of Alaska from Russia. Alaska was purchased for $7.2 million dollars. It was officially organized as a territory on May 11, 1917 and was granted statehood on January 3, 1959.
Today marks West Virginia’s 150th Statehood Anniversary. Check out the online exhibit we put together to commemorate this momentous occasion.
Memorial on behalf of the citizens of Frederick County, Virginia asking to include Frederick County in West Virginia, January 5, 1866 (HR 39A-H14.1), Records of the U.S. House of Representatives
Happy 210th Statehood Day to Ohio!
The Act of April 30, 1802 (“Ohio Enabling Act”), 2 STAT 173, “enabling the people of the Eastern Division of the territory northwest of the river Ohio to form a Constitution and State government and for the admission of such state into the Union.”
Ohio was admitted to the Union on March 1, 1803, becoming the 17th state, and the first admitted under the Northwest Ordinance.
We are partial to to any of the Berryman cartoons, but “Ohio, the Mother of Presidents” (306104) is one of our favorites! What do you think?
On December 31, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed an act admitting West Virginia into the Union. This petition in favor of admission was received by Congress in 1862.
Petition from citizens of Monongalia County, requesting admission of West Virginia into the Union, 1862, Records of the U.S. House of Representatives (ARC 306643)
This document certifies the election of Daniel K. Inouye (D-HI) to the 86th Congress as the State of Hawaii’s first voting member of the U.S. House of Representatives. After serving in the House for four years, Inouye was elected to the Senate in 1962 where he served until his passing on December 17.
Certificate of Election for Representative Daniel K. Inouye, 8/21/1959, Records of the U.S. House of Representatives (ARC 6926548)
This week marks the bicentennial celebration of the statehood of Louisiana. Among the historical records of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate at the Center for Legislative Archives are many documents that illustrate the important role Congress plays in the creation of states. For Louisiana the road to statehood was relatively short; it became a state less than 10 years after being acquired from the French Government under provisions of the Louisiana Purchase. Visit our featured documents page for selection of congressional records that document Louisiana’s journey to become the 18th state in the Union.
Proclamation of Governor William Claiborne, 12/20/1803, Records of the U.S. House of Representatives
President Jefferson’s nomination of William Claiborne, 11/30/1804, Records of the U.S. Senate
The Constitution of the State of Louisiana, 1/22/1812, Records of the U.S. Senate
HR 88, 3/20/1812, Records of the U.S. Senate
Approved on March 6, 1820, the Missouri Compromise admitted Missouri as a slave state and Maine as a non-slave state at the same time, so as not to upset the balance between slave and free states in the nation. It also outlawed slavery above the 36º 30´ latitude line in the remainder of the Louisiana Territory but would be later repealed by the Kansas-Nebraska Act.