Monday, December 17, 2007

Before Minnesota

John Smith's Map of Virginia (1612)
My apologies on the quality of this image; it was the best I could find of this particular map, which shows what would one day be Minnesota, as part of the vast Virginia Charter of 1609. Note that the Gulf of Mexico was at this time known as the Virginia Sea, and the delta areas were much out of proportion.

From Parke S. Rouse Jr.'s Planters and Pioneers:
Although Virginia shared the Back Country with other colonies, she claimed the lion's share because Virginia's 1609 charter defined her boundaries as "from sea to sea." For this reason, the Old Dominion fought off all claimants to the Northwest Territory until she reluctantly ceded it to the Union in 1784, to form Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, and part of Minnesota...
Of course, that 'other part' of Minnesota, surrounding the Red River Valley, still had a strong connection to the British, and despite boundary surveys by this time, would go back and forth between Minnesota and Dakota Territories until the states formalized themselves.