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Territories to Statehood, the Northern West: Topics in Chronicling America

From 1889 to 1890, four territories joined the Union as five new states. This guide provides access to materials related to the "Northern West Territories to Statehood" in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.


"Map showing boundary lines of the proposed new state." April 22, 1907. The Washington Times (Washington, DC), Image 3. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers.

After years of serving as territories, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and Washington all join the Union as new states in November 1889. Congress agreed to split the Dakota territory into two new states and allowed Montana and Washington territories to become their own states. Less than a year later, the Idaho territory followed, gaining statehood in July 1890. Read more about it!

The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.

The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.


November 2, 1889 North Dakota and South Dakota are admitted to the Union as the 39th and 40th states.
November 8, 1889 Montana is admitted to the Union as the 41st state.
November 11, 1889 Washington is admitted to the Union as the 42nd state.
July 3, 1890 Idaho becomes the 43rd state to enter the Union.