Formation of Illinois Co, VA

The book: The Hornbook of Virginia History, by Emily J. Salmon and Edward DC. Campbell, Jr., says:
"Illinois Co, VA, was formed in December 1778 after George Rogers Clark had captured several British posts on the Mississippi River within Virginia's boundaries. The county included all of that territory between the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers that now constitutes the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin, as well as a small part of Minnesota. The General Assembly [of Virginia] continued the county's existence until 5 January 1782. On March 1784 the Illinois territory was ceded to Congress and ceased to be part of the commonwealth of Virginia"

This territory was taken from Augusta Co, and set its western boundary at the Ohio River.

Territory Northwest of the Ohio River

Geological Survey Bulletin 1212, Boundaries of the United States and the Several States, by Franklin K. Van Zandt, US GPO, 1966, says:
"The territory north of the Ohio was bounded on the west by the Mississippi and a line running north from its source to the international bounday, on the north by the boundary line between the United States and the British possessions, on the east by the Pennsylvania and New York State lines, and on the south by the Ohio River. ... It was made up of claims of individual States as follow.
  1. The Virginia claim, which consisted of all the territory west of Pennsylvania and north of the Ohio to the 41st parallel of north latitude; in addition, above that her claim by capture extended as far as the north limits of the land under the Crown which had been subject to the jurisdiction of the Province of Quebec and as far as Lakes Michigan and Huron.
  2. The Connecticut claim, which extended from the 41st parallel northward to the parallel of 42° 2' and from the west line of Pennsylvania to the Mississipi River.
  3. The Massachusetts claim, which extended from the north line of the Connecticut claim above noted to lat 43° 42' 12" N. and from the western boundary of New York to the Mississippi.
  4. The belt or zone lying north of the Massachusetts claim, extending thence to the Canada line and west to the Mississippi River, obtained from Great Britain by the treaty of peace of September 3, 1783, became public domain after the Virginia cession.
  5. At the time of the cession by the State of Virginia, both Massachusetts and New York claimed the Erie triangle of about 324 square miles, which was subsequently bought by Pennsylvania and added to that state
"From this territory were formed the States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin, the part of Minnesota east of the Mississippi River, and the northwest corner of Pennsylvania."

Indiana Territory is formed

"By act of May 7, 1800, Congress divided the territory northwest of the Ohio into two separate governments and ordered
"that all part of the territory of the United States northwest of the Ohio river, which lies to the westward of a line beginning at the Ohio, opposite to the mouth of Kentucky river, and running thence to Fort Recovery, and thence north until it shall intersect the territorial line between the United States and Canada, shall for the purposes of temporary government constitute a separate territory, and shall be called the Indiana Territory."

Ohio becomes a State

"The eastern part was called the territory northwest of the River Ohio, and a large part of it was admitted to the Union in 1802 as the State of Ohio. The remainder was added to Indiana Territory."

Michigan Territory formed

"In 1805 all that part of Indiana Territory lying north of a parallel drawn through the most southerly bend of Lake Michigan and east of a line drawn from the same point through the middle of Lake Michigan and north to the Canadian line became the Territory of Michigan."

Illinois Territory formed

"By act of February 3, 1809, Indiana Territory was again divided and the Territory of Illinois was created from the part lying west of the Wabash River and a meridian running through the city of Vincennes, extending thence to the Canada line."

Indiana and Illinois become states

"On December 11, 1816, Indiana was admitted to the Union as a State, with its boundaries defined as at present, and on December 3, 1818, Illinois was likely admitted"

Michigan Territory expanded

"The act of June 28, 1834, added to the Territory of Michigan a part of the Missouri River drainage basin as far west as the White Earth River and north to the 49th parallel and included for the first time a part of the drainage basin of the Red River, south of the 49th parallel, under a Territorial government. The addition to Michigan included also a small part of the Louisiana Purchase."

Completion of State Formation

"Wisconsin Territory was formed in 1836 from the part of the Territory of Michigan west of the present State of Michigan. On January 26, 1837, Michigan was admitted into the Union, with its present boundaries. On June 12, 1838, all that part of Wisconsin Territory lying west of the Mississippi River and a line north from its source to the international boundary was made into the Territory of Iowa, and in 1848 Wisconsin was admitted as a State, with its boundaries as at present defined.
"The admission of Wisconsin appears to have left the area which is now the northeastern part of Minnesota, lying east of the Mississsippi and a line drawn due north from its source, without any government until the formation of Minnesota Territory, in 1849."

Later, the book says:

"The Territory of Minnesota was organized on March 3, 1849. It comprised the portion of the former Territory of Iowa outside the limits of the present State of Iowa and extended east to the west boundary line of Wisconson. ...
"Minnesota was admitted as a State on May 11, 1858, with the same boundaries that it has at present."

Genealogical Research


March 9, 2010