Why Are There Two Dakota’s? Here’s Why
As a fan of history, particularly American history and South Dakota history, I wondered why are there two Dakotas when there was only one Dakota territory. Maybe it was because, hey, if one Dakota is good, then two would be great!
Well, uh, no.
If we'd jump into the ol' time machine and head on back to, say, 1861 we'd land smack dab into the middle of Dakota territory. Now, there wasn't much dispute that this part of the great American frontier would become a state. Basically, all that was needed was enough people and a state constitution. Then, with the swipe of a President's pen, we would have the newest, the greatest state in the country...Dakota!
There were a few, well, differences between those kind folks in the southern part of the territory and those nice folks up north. In addition to some trade routes and population discrepancies, well...according to some, they just flat out didn't get along real well at the time. More bluntly, one history professor put it this way:
'The south half didn't like the north half'. Perhaps a northern version of the Hatfields and McCoys.
Now, as far as population, the south half always did have more people than the north half. Why? Perhaps weather? Geography? Whatever it was, most folks lived 'down south'. And there was even a perceived personality difference. The southerners thought the northerners were a bit, well...disreputable.
Well, be that what it may, eventually the halves both had enough population to become a state, or rather two states. And no it was on November 2, 1889, that President Benjamin Harrison signed the papers to make it official
The United States of America added not one, but two Dakotas.