On the day Julien Dubuque died in 1810, the land where he is buried was part of the vast northern district of the Louisiana Territory (with St. Louis as the capital city), purchased from France by President Jefferson in 1803. But over the next two decades, the land we now call Iowa bounced around like a young dog without a home.
In 1812, Louisiana (or the Orleans district of Jefferson’s 1803 land purchase) became a state. So, to avoid confusion, the northern portion of the territory, with Iowa included, was now renamed Missouri Territory. But in 1821, when Missouri was admitted into statehood, that left the remainder of the territory officially “un-organized” – a political orphan until 1834, when the portion of region that laid east of the Missouri River was combined into an enlarged Michigan Territory which included today’s Michigan and Wisconsin.
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