1844 – A Drive Toward Statehood – A proposal that crossed the line.
In 1843, there was a strong upswing of Iowans wanting to pursue statehood. On April 5th, the people of Iowa finally voted, by a majority of 2,400, to form a State Constitution, which was one of the primary steps the U.S. Senate required in order to proceed. In that written constitution, proposed boundaries must be spelled out, the election process of officers must be decided, and how the state will make laws must be addressed as well.
On January 23, 1844, Governor Chambers signed all the paperwork, sending it off to Washington D.C. for President John Tyler’s signature, which he approved on February 12th. When it was all said and done, the U.S. Congress decided that they would approve Iowa statehood only if Iowans would ratify an agreement that redrew the lines on the north, south and west (see map above).
After voting on the revised constitution and rejecting it, Iowa remained a U.S. territory until 1846, when finally, these serious boundary issues were better resolved to the agreement of all parties.
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