Historic Dakota Territory Law (External)

Welcome to my Historic Dakota Territory Law page!

The Territory of Dakota was incorporated in 1861. The original boundaries included parts of Wyoming, Montana, and the Dakotas. The territory was reduced to the Dakotas in 1868. In 1889, the omnibus bill divided the territory into the states of South Dakota and North Dakota. The new states had to decide how to divide territorial records. Dakota Territory background information is crucial when researching people who lived there.

The North Dakota Supreme Court website has historical background on the Supreme Court of the Dakota Territory. The State Historical Society of North Dakota’s website has a page explaining the division of Dakota Territory records.

Dakota Territory session laws from 1862–1889 are hosted on the North Dakota Legislative Branch website. Compiled Laws of Dakota Territory (and South Dakota), from territorial days to 2003 are on the South Dakota State Library website.

This page guides you to background information on the Dakota Territory and its records, and to sources for territorial statutes.

I wrote a blog post about Dakota Territory law.


Dakota Territory Historical Background, Records, Session Laws, and Compiled Laws



Statutory Law Online

1861–1889 The Supreme Court of the Dakota Territory State of North Dakota Courts
1861–1889 Dakota Territory Records State Historical Society of North Dakota
1862–1889 Session Laws of the Territory of Dakota North Dakota Legislative Branch
Territorial days–2003 South Dakota Codified Laws [and Dakota Territory] South Dakota State Library